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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Setting edge angles for a newer racer. I need some help.
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Setting edge angles for a newer racer. I need some help.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I started waxing and sharpening my race skis this past season. What I never did (because I worry that I might screw it up), is get my angles down. I race GS and slalom, and I know that they are two different angles, and I do have skis for each discipline. My question for you guys is will I screw up my skis if I try, or really hate the angle? I was only using one of the orange pocket tuners (I know most of you guys hate them.). What tools do I need to do this properly? I would rather do it myself, as opposed to taking it to a shop. I usually just use diamond stones for sharpening, so I'm not sure what files I would need. Any help is you guys can give would be great. Thanks. John.

post #2 of 10

John, you are going to need some fixed angle guides.  You need a bench and a three point vice.   You will need some files as well.  If you resharpen the side edges frequently diamond stones should be fine.  You are going to want to sharpen frequently for racing. 

Most Juniors will use for SL a .5 base and a 2 to 3 side.  For GS they are usually a 1 base and a 2 to 3 side.

Once one is at a higher level they may for SL use no more than a .5 base and a 3 to 4 side.  For GS they use the same.

There are many makers of fixed angel guides.  Some like one maker and others like another maker. 

I use BEAST tuning tools and like them just fine.  You can check them out at their website and order from there or use the phone.

They are very helpful, so calling is a good way to get your questions answered.

I use there stuff, yet have no connection with them at all other than a happy user.

 

Here is their link.  http://www.the-raceplace.com/Ski-Tuning-Equipment-s/36.htm

 

Other than that just search the net for ski tuning tools.  You will find everything you need.   Good luck.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Jacques,

 

Thanks so much for the great info. I appreciate it!

post #4 of 10

Make sure when you get a fixed side bevel guide, get one with a stainless steel wear plate. It holds up a lot better and it's only a few more bucks. You can get a solid S/S unit but that's a lot more money. 

post #5 of 10

John, make a start by focusing on setting your side edges.  Just stick with a 3 degree for both slalom and GS, this is probably the most effective all round for both and means you only need one side edge guide. If you hate it, train harder till you like it...:D .     And if you really hate it and are unable to ski it (extreeeeemly unlikely!!) easy to change it back to a lower angle (but again, why??? :D)  Also as you start out it is more difficult to really screw up big time on the side edge and, even if you do,  it can be recovered much more easily with a file and a diamond without having to get a pro grind.  

 

Now for the base, at this stage - Leave it alone!   If it has been set professionally at the start of the season, and it is OK for you, dont touch it unless it is damaged!   Most common mistake for newbie tuners is to keep working on the case edge and suddenly your .5 is now 1 or your 1 is  now 2.    

 

Oh, and another dirty little secret that will have all the professional tuners up in arms..:popcorn....unless you have serious issues with your current base angles, leave them as is and go to the 3 on the side edge and see how that works.  Save the money for a grind until you decide you do want to go to a smaller base angle.  

 

For reference I normally run with .5/3 on GS and .5/3 or .5/4 on slalom and .75/3 or 1/3 on speed skis


Edited by ScotsSkier - 11/10/15 at 9:38pm
post #6 of 10

What @ScotsSkier said. If you are a noob to ice skiing (which all racing is) maybe keep a 1/3 for both GS and SL for now. Save a base grind to go to .5/3 on your SL skis when you get used to skiing gates on ice. Or leave them be at factory spec.

 

The 1/3 is a little less grip and by that a bit more forgiving and friendly than a .5/3, easier for beginners. By beginners I mean beginning racers, which are already "experts" in other eyes.

 

Cheers,

razie

post #7 of 10

What ScotSkier said.  If it works don't mess with it.  If you need something a bit more aggressive, do the sides first.  later reduce the base if needed (best done when you actually need a base grind).

 

Personally I like 0.5/4 on everything but my SL are 0.7/3 from a set from Scotskier so right now since the handle so sweet they ain't being touched until needed.  (BTW thanks SS).

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much everyone! This will help me out tremendously. I very much appreciate all of your feedback.

post #9 of 10

The files need to be made for ski edges.  Regular hardware store files aren't hard enough and will soon dull.  The hardware stores sell toothbrush sized brass or stainless wire brushes.  These are good to clean the file teeth.  Only file one direction.  With the file tang in your right hand, push the file away from you cutting metal away.  Or, put the tang in your left hand and pull the file toward you (draw filing).  Don't rub the teeth on the steel the other direction--it'll dull the file.  Always use the angle guide.  Usually a 6" file as adequate, and cheaper so you feel OK about replacing it when it's dull.

 

Take as little material off the edges as you can to get your job done.  The edges and the base are the life of the ski.  When they're filed or ground away, the ski is dead.

 

A tip is to darken the edges with a felt tip marker, then file or stone only until the ink is gone.  You've probably removed just the right amount of metal, and you can see if you've missed any spots.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

The files need to be made for ski edges.  Regular hardware store files aren't hard enough and will soon dull.  The hardware stores sell toothbrush sized brass or stainless wire brushes.  These are good to clean the file teeth.  Only file one direction.  With the file tang in your right hand, push the file away from you cutting metal away.  Or, put the tang in your left hand and pull the file toward you (draw filing).  Don't rub the teeth on the steel the other direction--it'll dull the file.  Always use the angle guide.  Usually a 6" file as adequate, and cheaper so you feel OK about replacing it when it's dull.

 

Take as little material off the edges as you can to get your job done.  The edges and the base are the life of the ski.  When they're filed or ground away, the ski is dead.

 

A tip is to darken the edges with a felt tip marker, then file or stone only until the ink is gone.  You've probably removed just the right amount of metal, and you can see if you've missed any spots.


A ski tech rep once told me that the edges on many skis are made of a steel that test at a 50 hardness on the Rockwell scale and that the hardest edge is only a 60 hardness on the Rockwell scale.  I have not heard of anything different since.  Flat filling could be done with a 12 inch double cut AKA "Bastard File" rated for those hardness levels.  A 10 inch file would work on old straight skis.  When I was taught to sharpen a ski it was to start at the tip and work towards the tail  "Draw File" was the technique to use.  You should get a file cleaning brush to clean out the shavings so the flies teeth do not load up and clog which will reduce the effectiveness of the file.  I agree that you should not slide the file back in the opposite direction pick it up and place it back down on the ski before drawing it toward you again.  If you are unfamiliar with the "Draw Filing" technique get a book on metal working.  

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Setting edge angles for a newer racer. I need some help.