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Newbie waxing and tuning skis-any tips for slushy spring snow-base prep-sandpaper?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I've decided to jump into the realm of waxing my own skis (and removing minor burrs on the edges of my skis).. I dug around did some research and ordered some things..

I'm mainly a recreational skier, not a racer, so speed isnt the goal here, but doing it myself is, as well as avoiding that "hitting the brakes" feeling when getting to the flats in warm 40-50F springtime temps and slush.

 

I've got a ski brass brush (tools4boards), Stage nylon brush, 70mm diamond file (200 grit), a non digital demon ski wax iron and some scotch brite pads for removing debris as well as a cheese cloth (may not be useful?).

 

I read about structuring the base of the ski before doing the final wax, but i'm unclear if its even going to help in my situation (NE, spring skiing in PA).. that is, clean the ski with the brass brush and scotch pad.. then use 100 grit or less coarse sandpaper by hand tip to tail on the ski to give it a coarse pattern? (any type of sandpaper or aluminum oxide/carbide etc?)

 

This is the part i'm unclear on.. if i impart a coarse pattern on my ski, come next year for colder skiing, do i simply take some coarse 150-200 grit sandpaper and work over the base (how hard/how many times) in the beginning of winter again, then apply a universal temp wax at that point?

 

 

So, so far, these seem to be the steps I will follow (for spring/now):

 

1.  Take brass brush and go over the bass (lightly?) about 3-5 times, then use a pad to wipe off debris

2.  Take scraper and scrape off skis tip to tail (3x or till nothing coming off)

3.  Use the sandpaper 100 grit over the base (structure) by hand

4.  Take diamond file and go over edges of the skis for burrs, dipping in soapy water as lubricant.

5.  Wipe off edges/base with scotch pad

6.  Take some of the warm weather zumwax (all i have on hand right now), yellow wax and give it a pre-coat for cleaning, drips every 1/2"

7.  Iron over those drips and then immediately scrape off and wipe down once more

8.  Scrape right away and wipe off with scotch brite again

9.  Now take the warm wax and iron it on (permanent coat), wait 30-45 minutes or overnight

10.  Scrape off excess wax (3-4 passes till nothing removing)

11.  Take nylon brush 3-4 passes

12.  Done

 

Does this seem accurate and ok.. particularly on the structuring for spring part with sandpaper, unclear if i should even touch that.

 

Thanks in advance

post #2 of 27
A clean, open structure of some kind is key. Personally, I wouldn't change the ski to a new structure for spring. I tried that once and HATED the result. The ski became very demanding about it's turns and skidding sideways became impossible. I freely admit to skidded turns, especially after that experience. So, I'd make sure you have a fresh structure more than anything. Lots will recommend things like graphite waxes, fluoro, paraffin, yada yada. None of that works as well as a clean, open structure. I've tried them all. Sure, part of the day, you'll be zooming, and then either it wears off or the temps change and suddenly the glue appears. I've even tried changing the whole ski out to get fresh wax instantly. (Spare set). Nope, it's the structure.

We have a lot of cat tracks here, so the glide is important to me. I glide and pass most everyone. (Although Posaune gave me a run for my money..)

I don't use sandpaper, I use this dealybob: http://www.slidewright.com/weblog/ski-snowboard/bases-ski-snowboard/base-flattener-structuring-plane/

Sandpaper may be fine, I don't know.
post #3 of 27

As sib said, it's the open structure.

 

Don't worry so much about steps 1-10.  I don't think it's going to make that much of a difference.  I wouldn't sandpaper my skis.

 

If you don't want to spend any more money, it's step 11+ removing the excess and exposing the structure that may help you the most. 

3 passes may or maynot be enough, depends on your wax technique and how much excess wax you end with.

Just keep brushing until no dust is coming out.  I would use first pass with the brass brush to cut into the wax.

 

If you have a 2nd brush with smaller bristles, hit your skis with that after the nylon.  

(e.g. the brush kits from racewax has horsehair which is 8mm versus the 12mm nylon).

 

If you want to spend some money, then perhaps try a spring solution wax before abrading your base. 

http://www.epicski.com/t/102401/favorite-spring-wax/60


Edited by raytseng - 3/12/15 at 9:26pm
post #4 of 27
I like brushing my skis. I use a nylon, brass and horse hair brush after I scrap off the wax.
post #5 of 27
Do you have a 3 degree edge bevel to hold your diamond stone? This will help keep the side bevel accurate. I agree I brush mine after waxing.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfifield View Post

Do you have a 3 degree edge bevel to hold your diamond stone? This will help keep the side bevel accurate. I agree I brush mine after waxing.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

As sib said, it's the open structure.

 

Don't worry so much about steps 1-10.  I don't think it's going to make that much of a difference.  I wouldn't sandpaper my skis.

 

If you don't want to spend any more money, it's step 11+ removing the excess and exposing the structure that may help you the most. 

3 passes may or maynot be enough, depends on your wax technique and how much excess wax you end with.

Just keep brushing until no dust is coming out.  I would use first pass with the brass brush to cut into the wax.

 

If you have a 2nd brush with smaller bristles, hit your skis with that after the nylon.  

(e.g. the brush kits from racewax has horsehair which is 8mm versus the 12mm nylon).

 

If you want to spend some money, then perhaps try a spring solution wax before abrading your base. 

http://www.epicski.com/t/102401/favorite-spring-wax/60

  

As far as the diamond stone file, i dont have the 3 degree edge bevel.. i guess i should get one?  The file I have is this one  Would just filing off burrs cause the edge structure to change in a bad way (without bevel)?

 

Yeah i'm definitely skipping the sandpaper (unless i find a gauge with a high spot?)..

 

I seem to hear differing versions on the getting clean part.. some say to use some type of cleaner (citris?) in addition to a pre-new wax scrape off and the brass brush during cleaning phase (i think ill go with dawn dish soap, a few drops, scrape, brush, done)?  Others say dont use the brass brush for cleaning, to just wipe off the bottom off the skis and scotch brite them then scrape them, scotch brite again.. then head onto new wax application phase.

Then after wax has cooled to scrape, use a few passes on the brass brush (like some have said, maybe 10 passes, medium pressure?).. then some passes with the nylon brush (till no more powder comes out) and scotch brite pads to buff out (i dont have the horsehair brush unfortunately, no time to really get one)

 

I'm going to ptex a couple of deeper, non core shot gouges.. i dont as of yet have a metal scraper for post ptex cool, i'm assuming this would work better, or maybe i could get by with a puddy knife to scrape it flat?  As for normal scratches i guess those that are shallow will just exist with no worries.. though i'm more worried about scratching with brass brushes, but i guess thats a non issue :)

post #7 of 27

Unless you have the steady hands of a surgeon, you want a file guide.  Of course, the first step is actually knowing what angles your edges are currently at...  Three degrees is by no means some universal setting of edge angles.

 

You're not going to radically change your edge angles with a diamond stone (unless you sit there filing away until your arms fall off...).  Your sharp edges will be gone if your diamond stone runs down the actual edge (i.e., the point) though.

post #8 of 27

Unless your skis have scum on them (road salt residue, lift cable lube, random tree schmutz) or some other sort of residue, you don't need to do this.   

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by markm75 View Post
 

I seem to hear differing versions on the getting clean part.. some say to use some type of cleaner (citris?) in addition to a pre-new wax scrape off and the brass brush during cleaning phase (i think ill go with dawn dish soap, a few drops, scrape, brush, done)? 

 

 

Filing off burrs does not change the structure.

Don't use sandpaper.

A sharpish putty knife can scrape ptex - so can a razor blade.    Hold them both vertically on the ski, and scrape very very little at a time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markm75 View Post

 

Then after wax has cooled to scrape, use a few passes on the brass brush (like some have said, maybe 10 passes, medium pressure?).. then some passes with the nylon brush (till no more powder comes out) and scotch brite pads to buff out (i dont have the horsehair brush unfortunately, no time to really get one)

 

It's not about the pressure.  It's about the brushing.   Don't push down on the brush - use casual pressure ~5lbs and sweep.

 

For warm wax, you don't need brass brush after waxing.     Horsehair brushes are for fine structure.   

Scrape your warm wax until nothing comes off.      Take the nylon brush and do 20-30-40 passes.  Wipe off the ski with a white (non abrasive) scrubbing pad.

 

Done.    If you want a better slush wax job, repeat the process.

 

For PA slush right now, Dominator Butter and Zardoz liquid are working well.    I have 2 pairs of skis with a medium chevron structure and they are awesome in the sense of "get almost zero braking effect even in thoroughly wet clingy slush".


Edited by cantunamunch - 3/13/15 at 8:44am
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

Unless you have the steady hands of a surgeon, you want a file guide.  Of course, the first step is actually knowing what angles your edges are currently at...  Three degrees is by no means some universal setting of edge angles.

 

You're not going to radically change your edge angles with a diamond stone (unless you sit there filing away until your arms fall off...).  Your sharp edges will be gone if your diamond stone runs down the actual edge (i.e., the point) though.

Any tips on how to know what the edge angle is, or does the edge tool help figure this out?  So from what i'm gathering, just taking the diamond file and lightly working over the occasional burr wont hurt anything.. does it matter at what direction of motion i use it to remove them..

 

For in the future if i go further with edging.. would either this tool or this one be a good bet?

 

Thanks for the tips everyone

post #10 of 27

I don't scrap before I wax.  My process is to brush the skis with a nylon and brass brush then use a corse (maroon) fibertex pad to finish the cleaning process.  Some people do a hot scrape instead of the brushing.

 

After waxing I scrape then nylon brush, brass brush, white fibertex pad and finish with a horse hair brush.   Nylon and brass brush get 7 passes each and the horse hair about 15 passes.  The more you brush then faster the ski will glide, so ymmv.

 

Using ptex to fix a gouge will cause that area to no longer take wax.  I only use ptex on the deepest of gouges where it affects how the skis perform.  

 

I agree with KevinF about always using a file guide.  You'll want one for the base edge and another for the side edges.

 

base edge:

http://www.amazon.com/Base-BEAST-degree-Bevel-Guide/dp/B004543CIY/ref=sr_1_2?

 

side edge:

http://www.amazon.com/Swix-File-Guide-2deg/dp/B001H6BV5O/ref=sr_1_1

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

 

Filing off burrs does not change the structure.

Don't use sandpaper.

A sharpish putty knife can scrape ptex - so can a razor blade.    Hold them both vertically on the ski, and scrape very very little at a time.

 

It's not about the pressure.  It's about the brushing.   Don't push down on the brush - use casual pressure ~5lbs and sweep.

 

For warm wax, you don't need brass brush after waxing.     Horsehair brushes are for fine structure.   

Scrape your warm wax until nothing comes off.      Take the nylon brush and do 20-30-40 passes.  Wipe off the ski with a white (non abrasive) scrubbing pad.

 

Done.    If you want a better slush wax job, repeat the process.

 

 

I think ill give the putty knife a careful go for that (ptex), i do have the plastic scraper for wax scraping though.. thanks for the tip on the brushing..  so still use brass brush after scraping during the cleaning phase i'm assuming is ok to do? At this point all i have on hand are scotch brite pads for the wipe off the ski portion.

 

And to repeat the process for better slush wash job.. do i start from the beginning, ie: clean again by brass brushing/scraping off.. then repeat the hot wax, or do i jump strait to more hot wax and scrape and nylon

post #12 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by markm75 View Post

 

 

I think ill give the putty knife a careful go for that (ptex), i do have the plastic scraper for wax scraping though.. thanks for the tip on the brushing..  so still use brass brush after scraping during the cleaning phase i'm assuming is ok to do?



Overkill for warm wax, in the sense of "Ok to do but not particularly useful".

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by markm75 View Post At this point all i have on hand are scotch brite pads for the wipe off the ski portion.

 

Don't bother then, just scrape and brush.    Brush lots.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by markm75 View Post And to repeat the process for better slush wash job.. do i start from the beginning, ie: clean again by brass brushing/scraping off.. then repeat the hot wax, or do i jump strait to more hot wax and scrape and nylon

 

 

Repeat wax step, repeat scrape step, repeat brushing.    

You will get tired.  It is important to stay consistent.    Do not repeat and then skimp on the last scrape and the last brush steps.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markm75 View Post
 

Any tips on how to know what the edge angle is, or does the edge tool help figure this out?  So from what i'm gathering, just taking the diamond file and lightly working over the occasional burr wont hurt anything.. does it matter at what direction of motion i use it to remove them..

 

For in the future if i go further with edging.. would either this tool or this one be a good bet?

 

Thanks for the tips everyone

 

You can take a magic marker to the side edge and run your diamond-stone / file-guide combo over it...  If all the ink gets removed, you found your edge angle.  If the half closer to the base goes away, your guide is a steeper angle then your physical edge is.  If the half closer to the top sheet goes away, your physical edge is at a steeper angle than your file guide.

 

There are such things as variable file guides such as this that will enable you to work through the various edge angles until you find the "right" one.

 

The other way is to just ask your shop what they tuned the ski to (or tell your shop what you want your skis tuned to and let them set the angles.  Then you know).

 

The second tool you linked to is a base-edge guide.  Each ski has four edges -- left and right and the base and the side.  The base edge is what you see if the ski is upside down.  There is almost never a reason to touch the base edge, at least not until you have a much better idea what you're doing.  Work on the side edge only.

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

 

Repeat wax step, repeat scrape step, repeat brushing.    

You will get tired.  It is important to stay consistent.    Do not repeat and then skimp on the last scrape and the last brush steps.

 

Ok, so on the repeat round, there is no cleaning, just re-application and lots of nylon brushing (since the brass was done in the clean initial phase)..

 

Quote:

 

Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

 

 Work on the side edge only.

 

 

I looked up some images of side vs base edges.. basically, by side its meant, literally just the side/edge, not coming into contact with the flat part of the metal next to the base?  IE: like in this video, except in this video he touches the base edge, which ill avoid.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0x3-W7ozNk   Only problem is, I dont have a gummi at this point.

 

*I dont really want to sharpen at this point, maybe in the fall, main goal here is to just get rid of the burrs and any rust.. i'm assuming the Toko Edge Tuner is more for sharpening as well (looks like it can be set for either edge)?.


Edited by markm75 - 3/13/15 at 1:45pm
post #15 of 27
How come Jacques hasn't posted a video yet...
post #16 of 27
For spring expensive fluoro waxes work well or Dominator butter rub on. When it gets really sticky almost nothing works.
post #17 of 27
He's probably too busy skiing fast!
post #18 of 27
Surely Jacques has a vid using an old scythe to clean up a base?
post #19 of 27
Then there's all the articles on tuning. http://www.epicski.com/atype/2/Gear/tag/care-and-upkeep

I feel like we're going over every step at this point and not in a useful order.

I guess I'm feeling "worn out" today...
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Then there's all the articles on tuning. http://www.epicski.com/atype/2/Gear/tag/care-and-upkeep

I feel like we're going over every step at this point and not in a useful order.

I guess I'm feeling "worn out" today...

I got thrown by the terms "detuning" that are referenced by people, that i guess, want their ski's less sharp.. my only goal here was to remove burrs and any rust.. worry about sharpening with the edge tool (i assume) later.. I initially thought this was actually "tuning" not de-tuning.

post #21 of 27
What you're doing is deburring.
Eliminate detuningfrom your mind. It's bad.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

What you're doing is deburring.

Yeah and from what i read, actually, maybe just using a gummi stone is the safer route, since i dont have the edge tuners yet, but i dont have a gummi at this point, only a diamond stone filer.  May just hold off till i can get a gummi.

post #23 of 27
Most of us will freak out about the term detuning, because that's left over from the days of straight skis. (But like every single possible nit of ski care, there's going to be someone who believes strongly in doing it..). That being said, "detuning" is also used to really mean consciously having a greater base bevel in the front and rear areas of the ski. Not rounding the edge, which detuning does, but having a slightly greater base bevel to ease the point at which the ski begins to engage as you start the turn. Unfortunately, rather than split hairs, some use "detuning" to describe this.

This is the kind of nit that YOU still decide for yourself once you've been tuning your own skis for a while. There are no right answers here, aside from telling you not to keep "improving" the base bevel every time you work on the skis. Yah, sometimes you have to polish that edge, but over zealous attention will lead to the base edge becoming over beveled and then to fix it you'll have to grind the base to take the angle. Because the ptex is a finite resource, we like to avoid that.
post #24 of 27
Gummis are useless on burrs. You need diamond.
Just try to hold it flat to the side edge. Stop when burr is gone.
If you have a burr from a rock onthe bottom, base edge just hold the dia stone flat to the ptex and remove the rough part. You will not be able to remove the troughs. Just leave them.
post #25 of 27
And, yes, sometimes detuning is used to mean deburring. We need to get this "detuning" thing tossed since it causes such confusion.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Gummis are useless on burrs. You need diamond.
Just try to hold it flat to the side edge. Stop when burr is gone.
If you have a burr from a rock onthe bottom, base edge just hold the dia stone flat to the ptex and remove the rough part. You will not be able to remove the troughs. Just leave them.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

And, yes, sometimes detuning is used to mean deburring. We need to get this "detuning" thing tossed since it causes such confusion.

Thanks for the suggestions, ill give it a go using the diamond file, flat just to the point of removing any burrs.  Maybe in the fall i'll explore sharpening edges with tools :) 

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

How come Jacques hasn't posted a video yet...


Come on now.  You know I'm a butcher. 

 

For wet snow structure is most important.  After that it's waxing and brushing.  After that when the snow goes off nothing will run well anyway!

Not sure which video to post here.

 

Butter?

 

 

Deburr?   This is a mulit-part and long.

 

 

Good luck!

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