Originally Posted by primoz
I have been reading this section for a while, and I decided to write this post, since I noticed there are many people who do things wrong way, when it comes to use of proper tools and right sequence of steps when preparing/waxing skis.
Sure nothing of this matters for recreational skiing, but I still think, that if we already do something, we can also do it right way.... even if it's not about extra hundredths of a second.
Ok I have more then 20 years of racing background when it comes to this (including few years as serviceman on World cup tour), so I probably look on ski preparation different way then most of normal skiers. But as I wrote before, I still think, we can do things best possible way if we already do this. Especially since it doesn't anything more to do it right way. Therefore many things probably won't matter for Sunday skiers (nowadays that's also me), but sometimes there's just extra step (or step less) and skis are prepared completely different.
First what not to do. Unless you have very good reason for this. Put your metal scraper into drawer and leave it there. Metal scrapers are used to fix smaller damages of your base, not for easier removing of wax. They do very similar thing as stone grinding does, just much less accurately, and without structure. This means, skis should be prepared from beginning after using metal scraper (hotboxing, or few cycles of waxing with iron). Same thing goes for using sandpaper. So if possible, avoid any of those two things on your ptex.
What else shouldn't be done? Brass brushes touching waxed base. Brass brushes have their place in waxing procedure, but it's definitelly not after wax have been put on skis. Same goes for fibertex, especially the one with aluminium oxide.
Now what to do, and more importantly, what is sequence of right steps.
First, clean base of ski. If you are lucky to get some sticky dirt on your base (there's more options for this with xc skis, and with all klister you can pick on track during warmer period), don't be scared to use wax/base cleaners. They are far from perfect thing, so avoid them if possible, but they are best thing to remove dirt.
If you have damage on base, now it's time to use metal scraper, if you don't, or damage is minor, keep metal scraper in drawer.
Once base is clean, it's time for brass brush. It doesn't matter if you use roto brush or normal brush. Brush skis from tip to tail and never opposite way. Ptex always have small "hairs" and they should be facing tail not tip of ski. With roto brushes take care in which way it rotates. If it's rotating wrong way, it's doing same thing as you would be brushing with hand brash from tail to tip. Brass brush opens ptex pores and removes little dirt hiding in structure and in ptex pores.
After brass brush it's time for fibertex. It's less agressive then brass brush, and it "flattens" those "hairs" I was talking about even more. Once again, be sure to do it from tip to tails. Now it's up to you to decide how long time are you prepared to spend doing this. More you do it (fibertex and brass brush) better it is, but there's no need to exaggerate spending 3 hours brushing
Now skis are ready for wax. I normally do it in two ways. First you heat wax and rub it on base. On top of that you melt and drip wax on base. This way you prevent hot iron touching exposed base. There's no big science with ironing. Keep iron moving, and move it from tip to tails. I guess it's kinda clear till now, that all things are always done from tip to tail and never opposite way. I normally do few passes, and if you want to make wax last a bit longer, you can cool down skis a bit, and make another pass or two. This way hot wax will penetrate a bit deeper and will last a bit longer.
Once skis are cold again (depending on wax it might take anything from 5 to 20-25 minutes), you scrap wax off. First scrap side of skis, and then base. With plastic scraper!!! Keeping plastic scraper sharp is not that big deal, that it would be worth touching your base with metal scraper. There are many tools to sharpen scraper, but sand paper put on flat surface does its job perfectly.
After excess wax is off the base, onlything left is nylon brush. Brush off smaller particles of wax left in structure and polish base. You can use quite lot of pressure with shorter faster strokes, making base to shine.
If you go fluoro powder way, then this is base for powders, otherwise your skis are ready. Just wipe some dust with paper towel or small brush and you are done.
If you are putting fluoro powders on, then put powder on skis, set iron to proper temperature (hotter then for normal wax, but normally between 120 and 150C, depending on specific powder) and iron in powder. Try not to over heat it. Base doesn't have any extra wax on it, so keep iron moving. Next to that, fluoro is going out of wax with temperature, so more you heat it, less fluoro stays on your ski. And I guess we want fluoro on ski not in air you breath
Another suggestion for doing fluoro powders is gas mask. Things are far from harmless. More then 15 years ago, when I started to use gas mask for doing fluoro waxes, most of people were laughing, nowadays, gas masks are standard equipment of techs. Just a side story... I have personally seen guy walking in our wax room when we were doing Toko Streamline. He lit cigarette and next minute we were calling ambulance trying to keep that guy alive. So do yourself and your lungs a favor and get gas mask if you are doing lot of fluoro waxes.
When powder is ironed, and cooled down (about 15-20mins) just brush it off with wild boar/horsehair brush. This one takes much more time and effort as before with nylon brush, but once you are doing powders, you know why you are doing them
I guess that's about it. It's a bit long post, but I hope it will clear few things.