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What to do with my skis to start the season? - Page 2

post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

Agreed... waxing myself seems a little daunting. I've watched a whole bunch of waxing videos at this point, and I completely think I could do it and do a fine job of it with a little practice. But there are lots of tool options, and lots of people being very particular about how they do it. (I appreciate those above who seem to not be so persnickety about it.) Sibhusky's thought of getting into it a little at a time makes sense.

My secondary problem is that I live in a relatively small condo, and don't really have a place that I would want to create that kind of mess with scraping, or set up a vise, etc. I think the dining table's my best option, so I'd have to figure out how to do that without ruining the furniture or carpet. That'll take some thought, though I'm sure it could be done...

In the interim, my local shop charges $12 for a wax. Given that I'll ski less than 20 days this year, maybe just getting it done there a couple of times this season is the best interim answer? Would most shops do a decent job of it?

As a fellow Northern Virginian, I can say it is well worth it to wax your skis vs taking them to a shop. It is almost impossible to mess up and easy to overthink! Doesn't sound like you need the milliseconds of extra speed like Bode Miller, and you are just out for a good time like most of us.

You'll get better at waxing the more you practice, and you can wax your skis as often as you like for the same price as one or two trips to the shop per season.

I live in a townhouse with limited waxing space, so I lay down cardboard to catch drippings and shavings.

You can get everything you need at REI, Sun and Ski, Ski Center, etc. REI probably has the highest prices, so shop around. You can find cheaper alternatives at Lowes or Home Depot once you realize that the tools aren't special:

- Universal wax will do for starters. (http://m.rei.com/product/777576/swix-universal-temperature-wax)
- plastic scraper (http://m.rei.com/product/717232/swix-plexi-scraper-4mm?partner=cse_PLA&mr:trackingCode=DCF60C0E-220F-E211-BA78-001B21631C34&mr:referralID=NA&cm_mmc=cse_PLA)
- metal brush (http://m.rei.com/product/793002/swix-medium-bronze-brush?partner=cse_PLA&mr:trackingCode=A4813163-46C4-E011-9A77-001B21631C34&mr:referralID=NA&cm_mmc=cse_PLA)

For the iron, you can use an old laundry iron at medium temps - no real need to buy a waxing iron.

Steps:

Crack a brew.

Heat the iron to medium. Starting at the tip of skis, hold wax to iron and drip a bead of wax from tip to tail twice.

Run iron in small circular motions from tip to tail to spread wax across full width of base.

Let wax cool for 15 or 20 minutes.

Finish brew. Crack another brew.

Repeatedly Scrape with plastic scraper from tip to tail until minimal shavings fall off.

Brush in small circular motions from tip to tail until wax has a smooth and consistent finish.

Finish brew. Crack another brew.

Stand in silence and admire skis while finishing brew.
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbostedo View Post

 

Agreed... waxing myself seems a little daunting. 

 

Agreed.... Definitely daunting, not to mention a bit painful.

 

Well. at least no one will hear you scream when you pull it off. :D  

post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamster on skis View Post
 

Is it true that factory tune is always "atrocious"? So, always get new skis tuned?

 

I used to think that new skis need a tune -- the way new skates need to be sharpened -- but then people  told me there's a factory tune, and you can just go skiing.

 

Again -- I'm a person who totally trusts a basic tune from a random shop.


Not always.  Some gonna' be really bad, some not so bad.  If you have the new ski machine tuned it might get even worse.  Some makers will hand finish the edges, but you pay for that. 

 

I recommend only hand tuning.  When I get a new ski, that the first thing I do is fix it up right.  You mention skates.  Imagine a blade that was not "true", not straight.  How do you think it's going to handle?  A ski on hard icy snow is the same thing.  The truer the edge, the better.

 

Then again all this depends on your level of skiing.  The better you get, the more you get back from a precision hand tune.  Also to progress at a faster pace, knowing your skis are properly hand tuned to the hilt will help one tremendously.  A crappy tune can hold one back by miles as well.

 

The choice is an individual choice.  If you don't ski much and just go for some fun, and you have fun, well..........then don't worry about any of this.

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefortrees View Post
 
Quote:


As a fellow Northern Virginian, I can say it is well worth it to wax your skis vs taking them to a shop. It is almost impossible to mess up and easy to overthink! Doesn't sound like you need the milliseconds of extra speed like Bode Miller, and you are just out for a good time like most of us.

 

[snip]


Stand in silence and admire skis while finishing brew.

I learned to wax outdoors.  The one advantage of living in the southeast is that it's quite possible to have a nice warm day on a weekend in the fall to wax skis.  Got my start in the driveway of a local friend who loves to wax, tune, and even mount bindings.

 

I know that it costs a bit more at Massanutten to get a hot wax done by hand instead of a machine wax.  My understanding is that a hot wax lasts longer.  Skiing on man made snow tends to mean waxing is needed more often than if lucky enough to ski on natural snow most of the time.  I mostly wax my skis at home.  But I don't stress if I'm on a ski trip and decide to leave my skis at a shop for waxing when I'm done skiing for the day.

post #35 of 39

I have a whole toolbox full of files, stones and base flatteners, but the only thing I use now is a Skivisions edge tool. I rarely use a file, but I use coarse and fine stones on the edges almost every day.  When I can't keep them sharp that way, they go into the shop for a base grind. When I ski in the West, I just use a coarse stone to take out the nicks in the edges. If I lived in Utah, I'd throw my edge tools away.

You should look for the Skivisions videos. That will show you a simple maintenance plan that works well enough.

I don't hot wax anymore.  I gave it up because cleaning up after scraping was too hard.  I never brushed the wax out either, so that's probably why I never made the World Cup.

Now I just use use Swix liquid wax every day.  Stoning the edges and liquid wax takes about 2 minutes. On warm days I carry the liquid wax in my pocket and wax at lunch time.  All my friends hot wax, scrape and brush at least 6 times a week, but they always want to borrow my liquid wax on hot days.  YMMV.

 

BK 

post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamster on skis View Post
 

Folks -- for those of us not so familiar with the procedure, could anyone explain in some detail exactly how to wax skis (a crash course on choosing the right wax would also be useful).

 

Also -- is there a simple way for dummies to sharpen the edges? Without setting up a big shop? But also without a risk of ruining the skis? 

 

Jacques' videos above don't look that simple -- looks like you need quite a bit of equipment, and you need to understand what you are doing.

 

I'm fine with bringing the skis to a  shop for a professional tune in the beginning of a season, and maybe mid-season, too.  But I don't want to run to a shop after every 3-4-5 days of skiing,

and I'm wondering if there's something easy the rest of us can handle on their own.

 

Or should a newbie just leave this tuning thing to more dedicated folks? (I'm a fairly decent recreational skier who skis maybe 20 days a year.)

 

Jacques does a very thorough professional ski tune. I don't.

 

I get a shop to sharpen my edges at 1* base and 2* side edge which for me works great on the mostly soft snow that I get to ski in western Canada. I then maintain the edges myself mostly using a diamond stone in a tuning tool set at 2* (or 88* which is the same degrees off 90* as 2* is off 0*) to touch up the side edge, leaving the base edge alone. If I hit a rock, which is rare where I ski, I use a file to take off more material and might need to work on the base edge as well. A soft gummy on the edges after the above touch up deals with any minute burrs from sharpening.

 

For waxing I use a old steam iron purchased from a second hand store. Some of these struggle to maintain a constant temp. My Black and Decker travel iron works great though. I run 2 beads of melted wax dripping off the iron onto the ski and then iron it in, let the ski cool and then do a bit of scraping with a plastic scrapper. To avoid making a mess in my ski chalet/5thwheel trailer I do my scraping outside. Any wax that does not get completely scrapped off will get scrapped by the snowpack.

 

Since my ski chalet is a 5th wheel trailer I don't have a shop or bench. Instead I use a T-shaped thing (purchased from a snowboard shop) that clamps to a table and holds a ski in place by friction. This supports one end of the ski and the other end rests on the back of a bench seat.


Case in point.  One does not always need a super high-end tune.  Super polished edges may not be necessary.   Main thing is the edges are true from having a consistent base and side edge bevels.  Often times machines don't provide that, but still many will find it acceptable to themselves.

post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamster on skis View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

For your  question on edges for dummies I echo DanoT

 

 

1)  Wear the factory edges until you need the full tune that includes grinding and setting edges (not just deburring).

 

2) Get to a good shop and have them do a tune that includes setting the edges.  Be sure you know what they set it to.

 

3) From there just maintain side edges.  You can just get a edge tool online or in the ski shop that comes with  diamond stone.  If you buy it from the shop, and they aren't busy, ask them quickly how to use it.   This is not to fully reset your edges, because you wanted a tool for dummies, so is not so aggressive that you can mess it up.  This is maintenance to knock off any sideburrs that accumulates over each ski day and keep the edge sharp.

 

http://www.racewax.com/c-19-multi-angle-edge-tools.aspx

 

 

IF you want to use (3) between (1) and (2) go for it.  


I think this is useful, it makes sense & seems easy enough not to overwhelm a "beginner". (Except that for using (3) between (1) and (2), you'd have to know what the factory edges are set to, right?)

 

Jacques -- no trollin' intended, and the videos are good, even if just to marvel at a professional. But you have to understand that some of your audience are at an entirely different level,  

completely clue-less and tool-less.

 

I totally get that.  Small steps.  Everyone who wants to do their own work usually starts small and grows from there.  We all start from the same square.  My video goals were to create the most comprehensive learning videos I could.  That's why they are so long.  Also I realize that not everyone skins a cat the same way.  For folks like me who ski over 130 days or so per season and have lots of skis it pays to get all the stuff and really learn how to do it.  It surely can become a huge part of the joy of skiiing once you get into it and reap the benefits.

 

Now go make sure your irons are tuned!

 

post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

 

There are a couple techniques, but consider that the multitool might not be exact anyway so it's not going to be perfect and all of this is an exercise in compromises.  The only way to be really sure of perfect is to use the same tool to set the edge that you're using to do the maintenance work.  But close enough is fine.

 

You can use a sharpie and make marks to cover the top and bottom edge, and then run the tool over it.  If you see that only the top marks disappear vs the bottom marks disappear, you can use that to help you dial in the right angle to match.

 

In reality, the multitools using diamond stones aren't that aggressive, and you're only doing edgework to just remove the edge burr.

 

So for example, say your skis are really 1degree, and you first setup the multitool to 3degrees, and you work the tool until you feel it's gliding smoothly, but you can tell with your fingernail (or with a paper towel that the burr is still there and catching.  Then obviously the stone is hitting the topedge first, and you got to reduce it's settings to actually knock the burr off.

 

 The few strokes you took at 3degrees with a diamond stone, aren't going to be that agressive that it really reset the edge,  It only messed up the top edge a few strokes which is no big deal.


Thank you! This is truly eye-opening to me.

post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamster on skis View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

 

There are a couple techniques, but consider that the multitool might not be exact anyway so it's not going to be perfect and all of this is an exercise in compromises.  The only way to be really sure of perfect is to use the same tool to set the edge that you're using to do the maintenance work.  But close enough is fine.

 

You can use a sharpie and make marks to cover the top and bottom edge, and then run the tool over it.  If you see that only the top marks disappear vs the bottom marks disappear, you can use that to help you dial in the right angle to match.

 

In reality, the multitools using diamond stones aren't that aggressive, and you're only doing edgework to just remove the edge burr.

 

So for example, say your skis are really 1degree, and you first setup the multitool to 3degrees, and you work the tool until you feel it's gliding smoothly, but you can tell with your fingernail (or with a paper towel that the burr is still there and catching.  Then obviously the stone is hitting the topedge first, and you got to reduce it's settings to actually knock the burr off.

 

 The few strokes you took at 3degrees with a diamond stone, aren't going to be that agressive that it really reset the edge,  It only messed up the top edge a few strokes which is no big deal.


Thank you! This is truly eye-opening to me.


Although I don't believe in "Multi-Tools"  this is solid advice.  Only thing he fails to mention is the edge he refers to is the side edge.  Not to be confused with the base edge.

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