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Replacing large section of base - doable?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I got my hands on a pair of free skis the other day. They're in pretty bad shape, but as they were free I figure this would be an opportunity for me to practice repairing significant damage. Worse case scenario is I'm out $20 of materials, but gained some experience. I know I'll need to replace about a 12 inch section of the edge. The previous owner tried just epoxying the edge in place, and that came undone and the edge is covered with cured epoxy. Rather than chisel all that off, I think I'll just replace it.

 

The real question is how large of a chunk of base material can I replace in one spot? Most shops sell 12" x 4" pieces. I've studied some of the edge replacement tutorials online, and most of them cut out curved sections of the base using a metal guide. Is there a reason for this, other than minimizing the amount of base replacement? Any reason not to just cutaway a 12" x 4" section of base and replace with the whole piece? Do corners need to be rounded?

 

Thankfully it's the middle of the summer - I have nothing but time and would like to do a nice job of the repair (for a beginner, at least). I'll try to post some pictures later this afternoon.

post #2 of 21
The nice thing about curved base patches is the lack of corners or straight edges to catch and pull on the patch. That's the main reason for them. If you can round your shape as much as possible that will help.
post #3 of 21

Pretty much a general principle.  I round the corners on fabric patches for clothing tears for the same reason.

post #4 of 21

Related question.  Where the edge of the Ptex base patch meets the existing Ptex would you just butt them together at a 90* angle, or try to slot the patch under the existing Ptex at some sort of angle?

post #5 of 21
^I'll usually use a single edge razor blade to try and leave a little lip in the existing base, and sand the edge of the patch a little at an angle to"slot" the patch, like you mention...but I don't work too hard on it or worry about it too much. I'm just going for a nice, tight fit.
post #6 of 21

Tight fit is key. Creating any significant overlap by beveling the mating edges is not practical. The cutting guides serve two purposes. It defines shape of the edge of the old base and creates a matching shape to fit it. If you do 4" wide, it sounds like you are going to replace the base from edge to edge of the ski. That will weaken the good edge somewhat as you will be replacing a factory lay up with a repair unnecessarily. Pictures would help us suggest to you what shape and how much ptex to replace.

 

Adding a new piece of edge will require you to clear enough of the epoxy from the failed repair to insure that your new edge can fit into the profile of the ski properly. You will also need to add screws through the edge into a substantial part of the ski to help keep the edge in place. This is not easy. I'd add a screw every inch or so if you want your work to have the best shot at lasting.

 

You'll need lots of clamps and pieces of steel (metal scrapers?) to cover the entire base area being replaced.

 

There will be the inevitable high spots and/or low spots in both the edge and base. Getting the side edge to conform to the ski is going to be a major challenge. The screws will help with that. You may find that there are 'innies' that your file won't touch without removing large amounts of edge because the arc of the repaired side edge will be too irregular (wavy) to contact the file.

 

If I had a soft snow ski that had that much damage that I couldn't bear to retire, I'd consider just replacing the base and edge with epoxy and have the bad edge on the outside. If it was a hard snow ski, I'd probably retire it.

 

Good luck. Take pictures of before and after. We (at least I) would be interested to see the outcome.

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Here's a pic of what I'm looking at:

 

 

 

 

The previous owner tried to repair with just epoxy, but that tore out. I haven't cleaned them up, so what they look like now is how I got them. A majority of the edge between the red lines is completely detached. Most of the white is just wax buildup, except for the large core shot at the top. My plan is to cut about 11" of edge (between the red lines) using a dremmel tool at a 45 degree angle along the long edge, and cut a 12" x 1.5" of the base out with rounded corners so it extends just past the edge replacement. The edge will be screwed in to hold it during the epoxy cure. I'll also patch out the circled core shot. Everything else is going to be metal grip and ptex using a soldering iron.

 

Given the damage, I'm just coming into this as a learning experience. Not sure I'll ever ski much on these regardless of how well the repair turns out.

post #8 of 21

That the ski has been waxed will make getting the surfaces you plan to glue the ptex to that much more difficult. Use a wax remover (a spefic type of liquid solvent) to clean the ski. If the edge isn't broken, you'll be better off using screws to hold it in rather than cutting it out to replace with an edge segment. Cheaper, too. Tiny screws will help hold the edge in place when you epoxy it. You can dremel the heads of the screws down once everything has set. You are looking for lateral strength from the screws, so the heads can be pretty thin. They'll need to be to accept the layer of ptex over them.

 

I wouldn't use a dremel to cut the ptex. Use a guide and a very sharp box cutter or knife to cut the base area you talk about. Be sure the guide can be used to cut the patch as well or you'll have a hard time getting them to mate. Use a separate patch for the hole in the middle. You may need to chisel or lift the ptex from the ski. Or it might just pull off once you get a handle on it.

 

In a nutshell:

 

  • cut and remove ptex
  • clean ski to remove wax
  • dry fit the edge and screws
  • epoxy the edge and final fit the edge and screws
  • cut the patches and dry fit them; you should have not space between the patch and the base if possible
  • epoxy and clamp the patches
  • use a ptex candle for the rest of the base repairs

 

Clamps and metal sheets will hold the parts while the epoxy sets.

 

Use a good long curing epoxy.

 

These are pictures of my first edge and base patch repair:

 

Patch cut to expose damaged edge. I had started one hole in the edge for a screw.

 

Screws in place and epoxy set. Screw heads dremeled to allow for overlaying ptex.

 

The finished work. As I said, it is hard to get the edge to line up. You can see where it is skinnier because it bulged at that location and was ground down during side edge tuning. The patch is practically seamless which will help it to resist being pulled out. It took a fair amount of scraping and grinding to make the ptex flush with the original ptex as well. I started with a metal scraper to remove the gross excess, then finished with a belt and stone grind.

 

This was a virtually brand new ski and the customer insisted on keeping the original edge. I think in the long run it is a good idea, but as you can see it had been badly damaged prior to the repair. It was nigh impossible to get the damaged area to match the natural line of the edge without the surrounding edge being pushed inside the natural line, thus unable to be filed. It is a trade off. I marked this edge to be the outside edge for the customer.

 

BTW, this was the second repair to the ski. The edge hadn't been screwed in before and a simple square cut had been done to expose the edge by peeling back the original ptex rather than patching it. The ptex repair and as well as the edge repair had failed when I did this repair.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

 

If the edge isn't broken, you'll be better off using screws to hold it in rather than cutting it out to replace with an edge segment. Cheaper, too. 

 

Thanks for the response. I was originally thinking I could keep the edge intact, but it's covered in cured epoxy. Chiseling all that off is going to be a pain, especially with the little tabs. Unless there's an easy way to get it removed, replacing it is going to be a lot less frustrating (in theory). Also, good idea about the box cutter and the base - I'll used that instead.

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyja View Post
 

 

Thanks for the response. I was originally thinking I could keep the edge intact, but it's covered in cured epoxy. Chiseling all that off is going to be a pain, especially with the little tabs. Unless there's an easy way to get it removed, replacing it is going to be a lot less frustrating (in theory). Also, good idea about the box cutter and the base - I'll used that instead.

 

I suspect there are solvents to remove the epoxy, although epoxy bonds well to epoxy so don't worry too much about that. More important is to remove any other foreign matter, especially the wax. I'd try the wood chisel (nice and sharp) and just get rid of the majority of the epoxy. Remove the ptex, then chisel the area to get a good smooth surface, remove epoxy and make space to push the edge back in line. You might find you can gently push the epoxy out of the slots after you have removed any gobs of epoxy elsewhere. The edge isn't so bad that it should need replacing. It'll be stronger as one piece as well.

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post
 

The finished work. As I said, it is hard to get the edge to line up. You can see where it is skinnier because it bulged at that location and was ground down during side edge tuning. The patch is practically seamless which will help it to resist being pulled out. It took a fair amount of scraping and grinding to make the ptex flush with the original ptex as well. I started with a metal scraper to remove the gross excess, then finished with a belt and stone grind.

 

BTW - nice repair. Did you use any metal grip in the seam after the initial cure, or did the seams match up that nicely? I don't have the metal guide, so I'm planning on simply cutting the patch shape out I want and then tracking that over the area I want to remove. I doubt it will match up as nicely as what you have, but was just planning on filling any existing gap with epoxy or metal grip. 

 

Also, I hear a lot to keep repairs like this on the outside edge. Won't both edges flex the same when you initiate at turn. Or is there really that much more stress on the inside edge?

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyja View Post
 

 

BTW - nice repair. Did you use any metal grip in the seam after the initial cure, or did the seams match up that nicely? I don't have the metal guide, so I'm planning on simply cutting the patch shape out I want and then tracking that over the area I want to remove. I doubt it will match up as nicely as what you have, but was just planning on filling any existing gap with epoxy or metal grip. 

 

Also, I hear a lot to keep repairs like this on the outside edge. Won't both edges flex the same when you initiate at turn. Or is there really that much more stress on the inside edge?

 

Thanks. I work at a shop and get a lot of advice from the owner who has been doing this for decades. The boss also prefers good work to quick work, so I get plenty of time to plan, prep and execute.

 

If you don't have a guide, cut the patch and the base at the same time by clamping the ptex on the ski, cutting through the base patch, then the base. Clamp a steel straight edge or something on top of the patch material to guide the knife. That will insure a close match. Instead of rounded corners, you might try using large angles. You don't want a 90 degree corner, though. Maybe three to four straight lines to make the corner. The cut that meets the edge should be at 90 degrees to the edge. Any forward pointing ptex at the edge is sure to create a weak spot. Be sure to not let the patch move when you change from one cut to another.

 

No metal grip or ptex was used in the seam. I did have to sand paper the patch to make it fit perfectly. Maybe a trace of epoxy came from below to fill the gap as well but that was just happen stance. BTW, metal grip isn't intended to be a running surface, just an interface between core/metal and ptex. It can work as ptex, but doesn't take wax as well.

 

The forces on the edge are mostly perpendicular to the ski. Flex isn't the issue, especially if the edge is still one piece; not cut out and replaced with edge repair material. Most people get more force on the inside edges than the outside so keeping the repair to the outside exposes it to less strain.

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyja View Post
 

Here's a pic of what I'm looking at:

 

 

 

 

The previous owner tried to repair with just epoxy, but that tore out. I haven't cleaned them up, so what they look like now is how I got them. A majority of the edge between the red lines is completely detached. Most of the white is just wax buildup, except for the large core shot at the top. My plan is to cut about 11" of edge (between the red lines) using a dremmel tool at a 45 degree angle along the long edge, and cut a 12" x 1.5" of the base out with rounded corners so it extends just past the edge replacement. The edge will be screwed in to hold it during the epoxy cure. I'll also patch out the circled core shot. Everything else is going to be metal grip and ptex using a soldering iron.

 

Given the damage, I'm just coming into this as a learning experience. Not sure I'll ever ski much on these regardless of how well the repair turns out.


Glad your having fun because that ski is gone through the "Goal Post of Life".  Always best to experiment on a POS!

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 


Glad your having fun because that ski is gone through the "Goal Post of Life".  Always best to experiment on a POS!

 

Agreed. They are even beyond what I'd ski on. ;)

post #15 of 21

Pfft, I'd just fill that with wax and ski it like nothing happened.  :newkeyboard:

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Pfft, I'd just fill that with wax and ski it like nothing happened.  :newkeyboard:

 

I would still keep that edge on the outside - filled with wax or not. :cool

post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

Here's the end result:

 

 

 

 

I know the pictures aren't that great - I did the final wax tonight and it's pretty dim in the garage. It's taken quite a while - doing a little here and there. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results. I did most everything by hand, but after hours with the Ski Visions base flattener (which is awesome), I gave in and had a shop do a base grind for $15. The bases aren't perfectly flat, but the patches worked pretty well, despite not being a perfect fit (you can see some of the epoxy where there was a gap) and I was able to save the edges. Not sure how much use I'll get out of them, but this was a great learning experience for $15 + cost of materials/tools.

 

I appreciate the help and input on what to do.

post #18 of 21
Nice. You don't seem to have any significant gaps which is good. How many screws are in the edge?
post #19 of 21

Nicely done!

post #20 of 21

Now you can sell the skis for the $15 (plus cost of materials) and leave with the experience necessary to fix any future problems your skis may have! Thanks for posting...I learned from this thread.

post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

How many screws are in the edge?

I'd estimate about 8. It was about a 12 inch section. I initially put in 3 or 4, but it was still pretty wavy. Every inch or so did the trick. A dremmel cut down the heads pretty easily.
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