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What wax to use on new bases?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

So the wax hound and brush threads made me wonder about what wax to use and what is the best procedure when you start out with new / newly ground bases.  With a new ski, if you are layering on multiple coats to saturate the base, does it really matter what you put on with the first waxing?  I notices that the Swix BP-88 / BP-77 say they are specially made for new and freshly ground bases.

 

Also, would it be bad to use basic parafin wax (basic hydrocarbon wax) for base prep, as hot scrape to clean the bases, and / or letting it cool for a base scape and then using whatever temp hydrocarbon ski wax?  Will the latter procedure clog up the base structure?  Require more work as it's a super soft wax / will clog up brushes?

 

I have used parafin wax to store my skis... then I blow it off with compressed air and hot scrape at the start of season. 


Edited by gdeangel - 2/26/14 at 1:53pm
post #2 of 17

About the only time I hot scrape, as I prefer to use Swix glide wax cleaner instead, is with a new or freshly ground ski.  I want the bases as clean and naked as possible so I'll hot scrape 2 or 3 times to make sure they're as bare as I can get before I start pumping the wax to them.  Look at the color of the wax when you hot scrape, it'll tell you how clean your bases are and if its not coming off clean, I'll let the ski cool a bit then I'll brush it out and hot scrape again.  Usually, 1-3 hot scrapes will get you in good shape to start pumping base prep wax to your skis.

 

Like I said, I don't hot scrape much but when I do, I use the softest wax I've got and that's Swix BP 99.  After I feel the bases are clean and ready to start hot waxing, I again, use BP99 as my first few layers.  You can skip to BP88 as your first hot wax layer if you want I just usually put down a layer of BP99 first.  Dominator makes a great base prep wax also, but even with it, I start with a layer or two of BP99.

 

When skis are new or fresh ground, they're basically naked so think of wax as if they were clothes.  Before you go out into the cold you put your base layer on then gradually work up your layering until you're ready to put your coat on and the coat you wear that day will depend on the conditions.  Just like your final coat of wax will go over the top of all the layers of softer wax that you've built up in your bases.  What you use for your final coat will depend on the conditions.  If you're a one coat guy that likes to use one coat all season I'd recommend Dominator Zoom and or Zoom w/graphite.  It's an excellent recreational skier wax that covers a very wide range of temps. and it's likely, all, most free skiers will ever need.  If you're the type that has lots of different coats because they want the perfect coat for that days conditions, you can certainly go that route too.

 

You can do it however you wish but this is pretty much how I base prep skis.

 

1) Hot Scape with Swix BP99 1-3 times.  Cleanliness of the wax you're hot scraping off will dictate how many times I repeat the hot scraping.  If it's more than 1 hot scrape I let the ski cool awhile, brush, then reapply BP99 and hot scrape again.

 

2) Apply either BP99, BP88 or Dominator renew, and iron it in.  Before I had a hot box I usually skipped right to BP88(red) or Dominator Renew and I'd drip on a pretty thick layer, let it cool for an hour or two then come back and make a couple more passes, let it cool and repeat multiple times but make sure to drip on more wax as needed, never hot iron over a bare spot.  It'll save you a lot of scraping and brushing doing it this way.  If you want to break the grind in faster, you can scrape and brush in between hot waxing cycles.  After hot waxing 5-10 times using some sort of base prep your skis should be ready for that final coat.  My personal preference of base prep wax is to use a progression of BP wax.  Race skis I'll hot scrape with BP99 as needed.  Apply thick coat of 99 and hot box for 6hrs then scrape and brush.  Apply thick layer of BP88 and hot box for 6hrs. scrape and brush.  Apply MB77 hot box for 6hrs. scrape and brush.  For rec/free skis, I'll  sometimes skip to BP88 or Dominator Renew or Renew w/graphite after hot scraping and either hot box that in or if I didn't have a hot box, 5-10 hot wax cycles.

 

3) Skis are now ready for whatever wax the conditions call for.  I'm a firm believer wax is cheaper than skis or even a fresh grind so with new or fresh ground skis I'll usually go thru at least 2 cycles of hot wax, scrape, brush, with the top coat of the day before they ever touch the snow.

 

FYI, base prep wax is soft so it melts easily and fast.  Luckily, it's also one of the cheapest waxes you'll buy so make sure you get twice as much of it as you think you'll need because you will go thru it a lot faster than you think.  Also, good and frequent waxing will pay you dividends in the long run.  It always blows me away to see people make the investment to buy the tools necessary to do their own waxing but then there to lazy to wax their skis.  Makes no sense to me.  So remember, when in doubt, wax away...  If you have any further questions, I'd say you've come to the right place as there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum that will gladly help you out.

post #3 of 17

I just wanted to chime in. Before you wax a freshly ground ski, you should condition the base first with the metal brush, metal scraper, and fibretex technique.  

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the detailed breakdown Mojo.  I notice BP99 is listed as a nordic wax.  I came across this video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-vfyM7ew04, where they are working on nordic skis, and using a base oil.  I came up with this page http://rex.fi/en/waxing-info/instructions-for-products/rex-base-oil/  about the stuff, and it looks like it's a Fluoro compound, and you apply with parrafin...  I  was surprised as my impression was there are only certain (wet) conditions when you want fluoro on your skis... ? 

 

Also, I came across an old thread here about base prep waxes, http://www.epicski.com/t/86335/whats-the-deal-with-base-prep-wax, and after reading the Maplus manual from 2008, it talks about using a soft parrafin wax for base saturation that will remain liquid at around 150 F in the hot box, not the run of the mill "temp" finish waxes.  So until I get some BP99, it seems better to use a straight low melt parrafin "canning"  wax than the red / blue ski stuff....  The price of  "low melt" BP99 is not so bad, but getting into the Dominator one with graphite that is about twice or the RaceRenew is getting pretty expensive.

 

Chezno, I did little poking around as to conditioning the base with metal scraper  and I found this video from a while back, but it seems like he's talking about scraping down old bases instead of getting them ground.  Is this what you are talking about to do to a new ski before waxing it ... http://www.epicski.com/t/122471/you-dont-need-to-stone-grind-skis-here-is-another-option

Can you just run the course fiber pad over it to pick up any micro hairs that might have been left from the factory?

 

 

 

post #5 of 17
If I've got a fresh base grind and structure from a good shop, do I need to remove hairs? Since the Geishas were ground and I ran through several rounds of hot scrape and base prep (but nowhere near the dozens of times Mojo described) and a few coats of Hertel and Cold Snap, they're almost dangerously slick!
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

I hope the wax experts will chime in here...

 

As I was digging down through forum searches related to this topic, I found a link to this page: http://www.myskiroom.com/shop/fr/content/8-conseils-expert, which is in french, but got a rough translation from Google, and - maybe from the translation, maybe because it was after midnight - I got really confused.  Starts out talking about the damaging effect of wax removers, then goes on to say as soon as you see base burn, get them ground.  No big news there...

 

Then they go on to talk about the hot box, and from what I can tell, they are "pre baking" the ski before the hot wax, so the pores are open.  But more to the point, though, there is this line:

 

Nous vous déconseillons la recommandation d'usage qui consiste à effectuer un fartage chaud afin "d'imprégner" vos semelles avant leur première utilisation.

 

The google translation on this line in particular is not so helpful, but my attempt at translating is something like, "We do not advise you to follow usage recommendations that call for performing a hot wax to "saturate" you bases before their first use."  By "hot" wax, I think they mean "high race temp" wax.

 

What? Isn't that soft base prep wax exactly what nearly everyone uses, just like Mojo described, backed up by the Maplus manual?  That's what I always thought also, but then again I've never even seen an actual hot box, let alone used one... 

 

Then we get to this, "Pour les raisons évoquées plus haut, nous vous conseillons d'utiliser un fart froid d'entretien dès la première utilisation." 

 

Again, I have some issues with the Google translation, and as I see it the way to translate that is, "For the reasons above, we advise you to maintain with a cold wax right from the first use".  Here, by "cold" wax, I think they mean "cold race temp" wax.

 

The "reason above" seems to be a claim - also discussed in other threads here -  that layering on wax, e.g., blue layered over red will produce not distinct layers of wax but a sort of "hybrid wax" that is somewhere between a hard wax and a soft wax.  So by using a soft wax with superior liquidification to "get down into" the pours of the base, you would be compromising the integrity of whatever hard wax you then use as a finish wax. Unless there is something special in these base prep waxes that keeps them from combining at a molecular level with the finish waxes you apply later.  I still remember the coach who taught me how to hot wax putting on a layer of warm temp, then a layer of cold temp, claiming that the snow would be cold in the am, and warm up later in the day, around the time the cold wax had worn off....

 

Then I got to the part about always hot scraping and never cold scraping... the Google translation was "always scrape with a plexi scraper you can easily sharpen with a strawberry lime."  Aren't heuristics great? I'm pretty sure they meant "fresh file!" 

 

But again, that's something quite different from what I was taught long ago, that you hot scrape only to clean the bases, and hot scraping too much will wear down the bases. 

 

Thoughts?

post #7 of 17
[/quote]

Chezno, I did little poking around as to conditioning the base with metal scraper  and I found this video from a while back, but it seems like he's talking about scraping down old bases instead of getting them ground.  Is this what you are talking about to do to a new ski before waxing it ... http://www.epicski.com/t/122471/you-dont-need-to-stone-grind-skis-here-is-another-option
Can you just run the course fiber pad over it to pick up any micro hairs that might have been left from the factory?
[/quote]

Step # 2 in this link. (I prefer one or two very light pass with sharp burr-free steel scraper in lieu of sandpaper)

http://pezwinter.blogspot.ca/2011/11/ten-step-new-ski-prep-step-by-step-ski.html
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post

Step # 2 in this link. (I prefer one or two very light pass with sharp burr-free steel scraper in lieu of sandpaper)

http://pezwinter.blogspot.ca/2011/11/ten-step-new-ski-prep-step-by-step-ski.html

 

Good reading.  All that stuff about rounding over the sidewalls / tips / tails was new to me, and also now I understand what you meant.  So the brush and scrapers are to even out / open up / smooth over the factory structure before the first wax... I had no idea there was so much to do mechanically to a factory shipped ski! 

 

In keeping with the thread's wax theme, I also note that the author there uses a hot scrape with soft wax to the clean the base after conditioning, seals off the bases, does the mechanical tune, coats the top sheets with an anti-stick spray (no-wax??), and then goes through a progression of soft to hard cold scrapes to saturate the bases, minimum 3, and letting the wax cool basically overnight.

 

Two things from his account I have to ask about, even though they don't apply to just new bases:  First, when he talks about waxing, he mentions heating the ski until it reverses camber. Is that right?  and second, I'd really like to know what the consensus is about the idea that letting the wax cool for 6 to 12 hours will cause it to dull and "scotch", as the French guys put it.   

post #9 of 17

Dominator base renew is my favorite.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by litterbug View Post

If I've got a fresh base grind and structure from a good shop, do I need to remove hairs? Since the Geishas were ground and I ran through several rounds of hot scrape and base prep (but nowhere near the dozens of times Mojo described) and a few coats of Hertel and Cold Snap, they're almost dangerously slick!

Saturating new or fresh ground bases with multiple hot wax cycles of BP will make your daily wax more durable and last longer.  The more durable your finish wax is the better your skis will glide for a longer period of time.  Building up all those layers helps your daily wax bond to the base and that leads to its durability.  You could kind of compare it to using a HF wax for the first time.  If you only use a CH Hydrocarbon wax  then decide you want to put some HF on your skis for whatever reason, that HF isn't going to bond to your CH wax very well and it won't last all that long.  But, if you go from your CH hydrocarbon to a few cycles of Low Fluoro then to the High Fluoro, it will bond to the base much better and last longer.

 

It may seem like a lot of work and it certainly can be time consuming but I believe you'll likely notice a difference in the durability and longevity of your daily wax.  As and option, the better shops usually have a hot box/thermo bag treatment they offer.  Typically, it's around $25-$35 for a non fluoro base prep cycle.  Depending on what you think your time is worth, this could be a reasonable option that will save you a lot of time.  Also, I believe Toko makes a Thermo Bag that they sell for a few hundred bucks.  It's basically a heated electric sleeping bag for skis that does the same thing as a hot box.  If you have a group of buddies you ski with and you all pitched in a few $$$ it could be a good investment that would save you all a lot of time over the years.  That Toko Thermo Bag is very portable and being able to thermo bag your skis on your own schedule without leaving your house, heck that has to be worth a few hundred bucks right there. :)

post #11 of 17
I'm not sure how this fits in, but both Swix BP88 and Dominator ReNew are blends of soft and cold waxes. Here's what Tognar says about BP88:

"When ironed into ski or snowboard bases, the warmer wax penetrates deeply into the base, while the harder additive rises to the top. This pulls up any undesirable p-tex hairs and stiffens them. When the excess wax is scraped off using a sharp plastic wax scraper, these hairs are cut off, leaving a well-prepped base."

On Renew, Tognar says:

"These base prep waxes are formulated to deeply penetrate ski or snowboard bases
They allow a very hard layer of wax to remain on the surface which helps better protect bases, reduce dirt absorption and allow good low-glide speed.
Traditional base prep waxes are usually very soft...and while they penetrate deeply into bases, still remain soft on the surface and wear quicker.

Maplus also has a base prep wax that's made with soft and medium waxes.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
]Also, I believe Toko makes a Thermo Bag that they sell for a few hundred bucks.  It's basically a heated electric sleeping bag for skis that does the same thing as a hot box.  If you have a group of buddies you ski with and you all pitched in a few $$$ it could be a good investment that would save you all a lot of time over the years.  That Toko Thermo Bag is very portable and being able to thermo bag your skis on your own schedule without leaving your house, heck that has to be worth a few hundred bucks right there. smile.gif

It's $5500 new, but if any of you guys see a used one for sale, please let me know. Thanks
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post


It's $5500 new, but if any of you guys see a used one for sale, please let me know. Thanks

That's for the hot box not the Thermo Bag.  I'll have to look around and see if I can find the price for the Toko Thermo Bag.  I think ARTECH had them on sale last spring for around $500ish.

post #14 of 17

Chenzo, I'm sorry, it was Swix not Toko and they call it a hot sleeve.  ARTECH had these on sale last spring for 40% off. http://www.artechski.com/2014-swix-portable-warming-sleeve-8508.aspx#gsc.tab=0

post #15 of 17
The toko hotbox is called the RS Thermobag.

I guess you meant this -
post #16 of 17
No worries.

Ya the Swiss team tech that was here couple years was a huge believer in the sleeve. I think it's jomax that's the oem
post #17 of 17

Hot boxing?  You can build one too.

 

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