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An Alterntive To Stone Grinding A Ski Base You Can Do At Home

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Please, before you comment, watch and listen to the whole video.  Yes, it is long, but the understanding is in the talk that never stops.  Some of you may have seen this already.  Some of you may have only watched some portions to form your opinions.  This work requires some practice for sure, but you can do it.  It's much harder than going to a shop for a base grind, but you may find the end results to glide very well.  This method should not raise much if any visual hairs with zero plastic creep.  If you do see some micro hair, and you must look over the base in just the right light to see those ( they may appear as dust ) , then some work with some fiber pads should remove those best as possible.  It also can mean you have not scraped enough yet and the base plastic is still in the dried out layers.  Hairs are not good ever as if you use a overly hot iron as many do, they will further seal the base.  Also hairs are generally what makes a base looked grey and burned. Although I don't show this, another final step can be to use the edges of polishing stones wet to further mellow the structure highs if wanted.  This is similar to the ski flatting tool and stones that are sold under some name I can't remember now.

 

Take care and good home tuning times to you all, Jacques

 

post #2 of 24

Ski Visions base flattener I think is the tool your talking about.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
 

Ski Visions base flattener I think is the tool your talking about.


Yes!  That's the one.  I use these type of stones wet to do the same sort of thing.

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 

Please, before you comment, watch and listen to the whole video.  Yes, it is long, but the understanding is in the talk that never stops.  Some of you may have seen this already.  Some of you may have only watched some portions to form your opinions.  This work requires some practice for sure, but you can do it.  It's much harder than going to a shop for a base grind, but you may find the end results to glide very well.  This method should not raise much if any visual hairs with zero plastic creep.  If you do see some micro hair, and you must look over the base in just the right light to see those ( they may appear as dust ) , then some work with some fiber pads should remove those best as possible.  It also can mean you have not scraped enough yet and the base plastic is still in the dried out layers.  Hairs are not good ever as if you use a overly hot iron as many do, they will further seal the base.  Also hairs are generally what makes a base looked grey and burned. Although I don't show this, another final step can be to use the edges of polishing stones wet to further mellow the structure highs if wanted.  This is similar to the ski flatting tool and stones that are sold under some name I can't remember now.

 

Take care and good home tuning times to you all, Jacques

 

Thanks, good video on renewing bases

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

^ Thanks Pete.  Admittedly a re-written post for the same video.  Good for those who like to do it all by hand at "home".  

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 

^ Thanks Pete.  Admittedly a re-written post for the same video.  Good for those who like to do it all by hand at "home".  

 

I am a 2 hour drive to get to a ski shop so do almost everything at home.

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 

^ Thanks Pete.  Admittedly a re-written post for the same video.  Good for those who like to do it all by hand at "home".  

 

I am a 2 hour drive to get to a ski shop so do almost everything at home.


I have several shops fairly close by, yet I enjoy the satisfaction I get from doing all my ski work by myself at home in my shop cave.  I have had skis stone ground with fancy structures, yet have found they don't glide any better than what I do with a scraper as I did in the video.

A few seasons ago I got a pair of new Armada skis.  The had one hell of a stone ground structure in them.  They were so slow I could not believe it.  They were a powder type ski too.  I could not understand such a deep grind for a powder ski.  They were even slow under average groomer conditions of wetter snows.  Sure, I could have had a shop do some passes on a stone to reduce the structure, but I chose to just scrape them down with a sharp steel scraper.  It was a ton of work for sure.  Very hard bases.  After the work the skis were so much faster.  It was like night and day.  Even after scraping a pile of plastic off of them one can still see the engineered structure in them, it's just way more mellow now.

Anyway, I have done this many times on old and rocked out skis with excellent results as far as glide goes.  I have had some that have gotten slightly checked visually after doing this for the fourth time or so on the same pair, but the checking is minute and the glide and performance seemed not to be diminished at all.  It actually looked a bit like any grind with breaks in it,  So I say don't get to worried if that happens sometimes.  I have learned that once the scraper hits the steel edge the edge cannot be burred or it will cause checking.  If I feel that, I stop, and work the inside of the edge where it meets the plastic with some stones before I continue the scraping.  Then I usually work the base edge angles again with stones after I feel I am done scraping.

Here's to those who just want to do it at home.  :beercheer:

post #8 of 24

Putting this video into practice was a real breakthrough for me, Jacques. Still is.   Thanks.

 

It is close to what I used to do years ago in my teens and twenties but had forgotten.  

 

Setting a new burr on the scraper edge when needed has been one of the keys, for me.  


Edited by ski otter - 11/7/15 at 1:36pm
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post
 

Putting this video into practice was a real breakthrough for me, Jacques. Still is.   Thanks.

 

It is close to what I used to do years ago in my teens and twenties but had forgotten.  

 

Setting a new burr on the scrapper edge when needed has been one of the keys, for me.  


You are stokin' now!  Thanks.  Really, if it's done like I showed the skis will run quite well in most conditions. 

The more you do it the better you get at it. 

Sure it takes time, but it is always a good time for me.  Besides a good hand work out!

Keep a un-sharp smooth steel scraper to scrape wax other than the one you use to do this work.  I have two steel scrapers each of three different sizes and keep one each sharp and one not sharp.

 

Be good!
 

 

post #10 of 24

Thanks. I think you said you used heating duct steel sheet for your scrapers, cut at the supplier's.  Varied, larger sizes like those would be handy.   I only have the stock ski shop metal scraper, about 6".   I'll have to look into places to get the longer.  Can't recall where you got your sheet, but must have it in notes.  Probably just a local sheet metal supplier.  

 

I too enjoy the process, and am maybe improving each time, seems like!  

 

Had one failure, but otherwise I've reclaimed a bunch of great old ski swap skis that others discarded, especially an old pair of Stockli XXLs and of Kastle FX 84s for cheap that some folks must have thought were finished.  Hah! They are my favorite versatile frontside chargers and packed snow bump skis respectively.

 

Great work and great video, thanks again! 

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post
 

Thanks. I think you said you used heating duct steel sheet for your scrapers, cut at the supplier's.  Varied, larger sizes like those would be handy.   I only have the stock ski shop metal scraper, about 6".   I'll have to look into places to get the longer.  Can't recall where you got your sheet, but must have it in notes.  Probably just a local sheet metal supplier.  

 

I too enjoy the process, and am maybe improving each time, seems like!  

 

Had one failure, but otherwise I've reclaimed a bunch of great old ski swap skis that others discarded, especially an old pair of Stockli XXLs and of Kastle FX 84s for cheap that some folks must have thought were finished.  Hah! They are my favorite versatile frontside chargers and packed snow bump skis respectively.

 

Great work and great video, thanks again! 


Yes!  Some old ones still have life!  

Yes, I had my large scrapers cut from stainless steel.  Can't remember but about 1/8th inch thick.  Hard to sharpen, but they hold an edge well.  The Stainless is really a hard grade.

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well, I'll be a monkeys uncle.  Looks like I have some consensus here!  Although I don't use the sandpaper much. I hate the way it can make a lot of hair.

post #13 of 24

Does the Ski Vision Base Flattener does the same thing as the metal scraper (plus adds structure)?  Pete

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post
 

Does the Ski Vision Base Flattener does the same thing as the metal scraper (plus adds structure)?  Pete


Yes.

 

I use the tool with the file first, then I'll pull a 1/2" square HSS (high speed steel) machining bar down the bases followed by the tool with M rube stone. Then verify the base edge has no high spots with a 100 grit moonflex in a 1* steel base guide, then verify my edges are 3* with a moonflex, then take a file tot he edge in the 3* steel guide if I feel the need followed by 4 runs up/down the edge with a 200 moonflex in the 3* steel guide. SOmetimes I'll follow that with a 400 and 600.

 

Then wax, that happens about every 3-5 ski days depending on the snow surface.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post
 

Does the Ski Vision Base Flattener does the same thing as the metal scraper (plus adds structure)?  Pete


The stone will not chatter when it hits a burred edge.  It will smooth it to a degree.  The stones wear fast though when used on steel.  I don't use the tool, but they are fine.  Sometimes I use these free hand.

post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post
 

Does the Ski Vision Base Flattener does the same thing as the metal scraper (plus adds structure)?  Pete


Yes.

 

I use the tool with the file first, then I'll pull a 1/2" square HSS (high speed steel) machining bar down the bases followed by the tool with M rube stone. Then verify the base edge has no high spots with a 100 grit moonflex in a 1* steel base guide, then verify my edges are 3* with a moonflex, then take a file tot he edge in the 3* steel guide if I feel the need followed by 4 runs up/down the edge with a 200 moonflex in the 3* steel guide. SOmetimes I'll follow that with a 400 and 600.

 

Then wax, that happens about every 3-5 ski days depending on the snow surface.


Max, could be a bit of over kill, but i like it.  Hand work.  Don't always need to stone grind!

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 


Max, could be a bit of over kill, but i like it.  Hand work.  Don't always need to stone grind!


Like we have been saying for years, touch up the edges after every ski day. If you keep up with it, it doesn't take much time to have great edges.

 

It just feels so great to have such responsive skis and know I did it myself.

 

It really isn't that hard to do when you have the right tools. But you know that.

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
 


Max, could be a bit of over kill, but i like it.  Hand work.  Don't always need to stone grind!


Like we have been saying for years, touch up the edges after every ski day. If you keep up with it, it doesn't take much time to have great edges.

 

It just feels so great to have such responsive skis and know I did it myself.

 

It really isn't that hard to do when you have the right tools. But you know that.


Right on!  When you do it yourself!

post #19 of 24

Here is a question I've not taken efforts to investigate.  Perhaps some who have gone before have considered and will share.

 

What effect does "flat filing" bases and edges have on edge base angle.  That is,  can one reduce the base bevel through the application of a file that contacts both edges simultaneously?

 

Considerations I have made relate to file flex due to hand (thumb) position, and the fact that p-tex base material doesn't cut with a file worth a crap!

 

I have "roughed out" bases, and edges using a flat backed vixen file, but have not found the method efficient.  I suppose I could modify expectations!  ;-)

post #20 of 24

I think it's been said, to get them back to truly flat will take you a lot of time. Pay the man.

 

I can tell you it takes a while to just get the P-tex flat if they haven't been done in a while. In fact I'd say I've never gotten my P-tex near perfectly flat.

 

You don't need perfect bases for the ski to respond well.

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 

Here is a question I've not taken efforts to investigate.  Perhaps some who have gone before have considered and will share.

 

What effect does "flat filing" bases and edges have on edge base angle.  That is,  can one reduce the base bevel through the application of a file that contacts both edges simultaneously?

 

Considerations I have made relate to file flex due to hand (thumb) position, and the fact that p-tex base material doesn't cut with a file worth a crap!

 

I have "roughed out" bases, and edges using a flat backed vixen file, but have not found the method efficient.  I suppose I could modify expectations!  ;-)


That would depend on if the ski was railed or not.  A pansar file might be your best bet here. If you really want to flatten the entire ski to include the edges go for a stone grind and I would say good luck on that one.  One might use sandpaper too as it will eventually take down the edges as well.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 

Here is a question I've not taken efforts to investigate.  Perhaps some who have gone before have considered and will share.

 

What effect does "flat filing" bases and edges have on edge base angle.  That is,  can one reduce the base bevel through the application of a file that contacts both edges simultaneously?

 

Considerations I have made relate to file flex due to hand (thumb) position, and the fact that p-tex base material doesn't cut with a file worth a crap!

 

I have "roughed out" bases, and edges using a flat backed vixen file, but have not found the method efficient.  I suppose I could modify expectations!  ;-)

One of the best techs I know, decades working full time in a top shop, a guy I ski with and trade skis on the slope with, uses first his shop stone grinder and then a file on his base, to get his near-final base texture and base edge angles.  So he's not using a coarse file or panzer, I gather (as long as the ski isn't rail high), only a long, standard medium file with relatively fine ridges, though I've never pressed him more closely for exact details.  He says that with experience, he's learned the feel of flexing the file properly to get base bevels exactly where he wants them for recreational skiing, varied depending on the ski and its use.  He shakes his head and says it's faster and more accurate than standard edge tools, for him.  Often, he doesn't go for a single base bevel angle but slightly tapers it to fit the ski and use - something like the tapered results wanted by top racers these days.  And he'll often make the base edge bevel flat underfoot, tapering it a bit towards the tip and tail (for a quicker, more immediate response that's still a little forgiving).

 

Back in the ice ages, many people used to do this his way, including me, I dimly recall.  

 

I've been on his skis, ones he's prepped, and they ski and feel pretty much exactly like my own best work using dedicated base and side angle tools routinely; and, now and then when called for, both Jacques' base scraping techniques and the Ski Visions tools.  


Edited by ski otter - 2/26/16 at 11:24am
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post
 

Here is a question I've not taken efforts to investigate.  Perhaps some who have gone before have considered and will share.

 

What effect does "flat filing" bases and edges have on edge base angle.  That is,  can one reduce the base bevel through the application of a file that contacts both edges simultaneously?

 

Considerations I have made relate to file flex due to hand (thumb) position, and the fact that p-tex base material doesn't cut with a file worth a crap!

 

I have "roughed out" bases, and edges using a flat backed vixen file, but have not found the method efficient.  I suppose I could modify expectations!  ;-)

One of the best techs I know, decades working full time in a top shop, a guy I ski with and trade skis on the slope with, uses first his shop stone grinder and then a file on his base, to get his near-final base texture and base edge angles.  So he's not using a coarse file or panzer, I gather (as long as the ski isn't rail high), only a long, standard medium file with relatively fine ridges, though I've never pressed him more closely for exact details.  He says that with experience, he's learned the feel of flexing the file properly to get base bevels exactly where he wants them for recreational skiing, varied depending on the ski and its use.  He shakes his head and says it's faster and more accurate than standard edge tools, for him.  Often, he doesn't go for a single base bevel angle but slightly tapers it to fit the ski and use - something like the tapered results wanted by top racers these days.  And he'll often make the base edge bevel flat underfoot, tapering it a bit towards the tip and tail (for a quicker, more immediate response that's still a little forgiving).

 

Back in the ice ages, many people used to do this his way, including me, I dimly recall.  

 

I've been on his skis, ones he's prepped, and they ski and feel pretty much exactly like my own best work using dedicated base and side angle tools routinely; and, now and then when called for, both Jacques' base scraping techniques and the Ski Visions tools.  


Nice story!  I like it.  I as many others used to wrap tape around a file for bevels on the base.  If it works for you, no need to fix it!

post #24 of 24

All of my ski files are taped.  ;-)

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