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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Waxing - should it really be so hard?
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Waxing - should it really be so hard?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I have read a few forums on waxing, something I am about to get into after years of not paying enough attention to this.  Most seem to be a contest between, in one corner, the purists and in the other corner the young bucks who are going to avoid the endless ironing in of waxes, etc.

Ok, I get it:  iron in the right wax to build up the base and then use whatever over the top, depending on the snow conditions you are going to ski in.

 

Question 1:  WHY bother to use an iron which (messy and inaccurate) which requires scraping when you can use an industrial heat gun (not a hair dryer!!)?  I have done this before and it spreads the wax around really well.  Wax also melts really well on ski bases in 35C summer temperatures and needs nothing more than gravity to spread it.  

 

Question 2:  Will wax applied using the sun and/or a heat gun penetrate the base sufficiently well?

 

Experts......I am hoping to see a lifetime of experience in tuning come out here.  Theory versus applied science.  All sensible suggestions greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 22

I theory the heat gun should work. But I have a old iron that works great. Why change now. I've been DIY since about 2000'.

 

Get a roto-brush, makes brushing much easier and faster. Been using the same brushes forever.

 

I also have a work bench set up, so I do the edge's, then wax as needed, go upstairs have diner or whatever and come back down, scrap off most of the wax, rub the roto-brush up down the ski a few time, then go tip to tail, down the right side, then left side, then down the center.

 

Put them by the backdoor for the next morning.

 

Its that simple.

post #3 of 22

The wax needs to be in the pores of the base material and removed from the surface.  Heat gets it into the base.  Iron, hot box, infrared lights, friction from rubbing with a cork, maybe a heat gun.  Too much heat damages the base.  Slower heating may get the wax into the base pores better.  Use what works for you.

post #4 of 22

I'd be afraid of the heatgun ruining my ski, but if it works for you, go for it.

post #5 of 22
I don't consider the traditional methods to be difficult.
post #6 of 22
Check some of the old threads regarding waxing with heat guns. While it could be done, heat guns an easily reach 1000f where as iron are usually bellow 200f, you can damage your ski easily.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

Check some of the old threads regarding waxing with heat guns. While it could be done, heat guns an easily reach 1000f where as iron are usually bellow 200f, you can damage your ski easily.

I think it is difficult to damage a ski with a heat gun. I tried it out after reading the thread you mentioned and it really works. In fact, I now only take a heat gun while on vacation eschewing ironing the wax. Heat control at the "high" setting is easy. Just move the heat gun slightly closer or farther from the base until it melts the wax optimally. One advantage is that the wax is rubbed on so there is almost nothing to scrape off. Just melt it in, wipe with a towel, brush if you want, and you are good to go. I would obviously use this method for maintenance waxing, not for setting the initial coats into a base.

 

Ironing on wax isn't difficult, but while on vacation scraping off the wax is problematic since getting it onto a condo or hotel room carpet isn't a good idea. When you crayon/rub on the wax and use a heat gun to melt it in, there is almost zero mess. Getting back to the OP, this is an easy method.

 

I skied only a few hours today, but the bases of the skis I used still look great. Yes, the wax penetrates.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Some great information from the combined wisdom of trial and error.

I have used the heat gun for the last couple of years but never take it skiing as that is an overseas trip every year.  Have not managed to burn the skis yet but I only hold the iron in one place long enough to melt the wax and even then run it back and forth....same as my wife uses her hair dryer. :)  The ski does end up very warm and I had wondered if this might be affecting the construction.  Not sure there.  The thing I like about the heat gun is that you can rub the wax on very thin and then melt it and spread it around with the air blast.  Whilst I will buy an iron if I have to I wonder if one can get a nice even coat of wax ironing.  If you have to scrape the ski then that might suggest that irons might have a hit and miss action. 

Also, the heat gun does not reach 1000 F.  That is the melting point of some soft metals and approaching others.

In the end I have no idea of how to go.  Hence the post.  Maybe I need to buy an iron, try it and compare.....but why reinvent the wheel if something is effective.  I was wondering if others in the community had been there.   Anybody have the links(s) of the thread which discuss heat guns?  Thanks.

post #9 of 22
Google Wagner heat gun as a simple example. 750 and 1000f are fairly standard ranges. I use a heat gun on a regular basis at work for heat shrink tubing and fully understand them. As a general recommendation don't.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

Google Wagner heat gun as a simple example. 750 and 1000f are fairly standard ranges. I use a heat gun on a regular basis at work for heat shrink tubing and fully understand them. As a general recommendation don't.


I agree.  A heat gun is a very dangerous proposition.  Heat is heat, but if you can easily get the base way to hot way quick. 

If you care to watch my series on deburing and waxing you can start here with part one of four.   The ski is one of the fattest skis made.  It is a Tele-board.  It makes a great subject for heat distribution and the time it takes.  Getting wax into a sintered base is more about time than heat.  Sure, you need some heat, but best results come with time.

 

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.  I'll watch the video but have come around to the iron way of thinking.  Although my current Volkl Kendos have had both a summer sun and a heat gun treatment for 2 years I don't want to ruin such a nice set of skis by a moment of inattention.  

Maybe using the gun to soften up cold temperature waxes will be the only use left for it.

Have a nice Christmas all.  Cheers.

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubledeckfan View Post
 

Thanks guys.  I'll watch the video but have come around to the iron way of thinking.  Although my current Volkl Kendos have had both a summer sun and a heat gun treatment for 2 years I don't want to ruin such a nice set of skis by a moment of inattention.  

Maybe using the gun to soften up cold temperature waxes will be the only use left for it.

Have a nice Christmas all.  Cheers.


You have a nice Christmas too!  If the bases have been overheated it may be too late as far as wax absorption goes. 

The video series is really long, but when you have time it may help you out a lot.

post #13 of 22

With cold temp waxes you probably will have a hard time crayoning enough on to do the job. The iron helps spread the wax around-obviously you want to put the iron on the wax drips to start.

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyV View Post
 

With cold temp waxes you probably will have a hard time crayoning enough on to do the job. The iron helps spread the wax around-obviously you want to put the iron on the wax drips to start.


Hi Johnny.  I'm not sure what your comment is in reference to.  I'll leave it alone unless you want banter from me. 

post #15 of 22
I thought DDFan was going to use the heat gun to warm up cold waxes so they would crayon more easily.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'll certainly watch the entire clip and likely I'll become a purist kicking and screaming all the way. :jedi:

 

In the meantime I pulled out my heat gun, a Makita HL500 with 2 temperature settings:  350C and 540C.  I am not sure if these temperatures are the element temperature or the temperature of the exiting air.  I suspect that they are the element temperature and that the air blast is much much less.

 

Whilst the melting point of polyethylene is 135C it occurred to me that you'd probably only ever manage to cook it if you held the gun on the same spot for some time and let the heat build up.  My gut feeling is that heating up larger areas 'should' work so I went hunting and came up with the following link:

 

http://www.sentex.net/~mwandel/winter/snowboard_waxing.html

 

The pertinent part is right near the end where the guy puts his technique into context stating "A note of caution: It is possible to melt the base of the snowboard with a heat gun. But this does require the highest setting, and holding the heat gun directly over the same spot for 10 seconds".

 

I also had a look at a couple of Swix irons and they had heating elements between 500C and 850C but output at the base was only between 100C and 150C.

 

As somebody said above it is possible. I'll probably buy an iron at end of season but still not sure that Plan B is not the better option.  It's always the choice between conventional wisdom (it works so why reinvent the wheel) and building a better mousetrap (out with the old, in with the new).  Skiing has enough challenges without worrying about waxing. :D  But then who wants to have a learner fly past you on the catwalks..............

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

Yeah.  Its a bit hard to see the micro structure I guess.  Good point Jacques.

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Hi Johnny.  I'm not sure what your comment is in reference to.  I'll leave it alone unless you want banter from me.

 

Quote:
I thought DDFan was going to use the heat gun to warm up cold waxes so they would crayon more easily.

 

Sorry, misinterpretation of the original post. I thought DDF was trying to crayon on the wax cold then heat it with the heat gun to get it into the base. We all know how hard cold temp wax is so crayoning is tough.

 

I may try his tip of heating the wax with the gun and crayoning it on before I use the iron. No need for cold wax so far here in the sub-tropical east though...................

post #19 of 22

It's not hard. Drip wax, iron in, cool, scrape and brush out. I like to use an iron because it heats evenly and it spreads wax more evenly. Iron the shovel to the contact point then one long pull to the tail. Wax is laid on nice and even tip to tail. There is a sweet spot in the speed where you get good distribution edge to edge and don't see the keys through the base.

 

To touch on the waxing skis in the condo. Some condo complexes have a bench for guests to use. I've seen them in or near the laundry or in the locker room, but if you have a good wax job on your skis before you leave home, you shouldn't need a full wax job during an average trip. Crayoning it on, a quick pass of the iron and a brush should suffice while staying in the condo if you have prepared your gear before departing home.

post #20 of 22

When you transport your skis via car....  get a cargo box.  Then you don't need to worry about "environmental" contaminants when you're driving, compared to a traditional ski holder.  Then you can skip the whole step of waxing when you get to the condo.

post #21 of 22

Come on guys....FIBERLENE SHEETS!!!

 

Crayon wax, iron in, make last pass with a fiberlene sheet. (1 sheet does 2 skis)  Absorbs a great amount of excess wax and leaves a perfectly even coat protects base from excess heat!

 

Scrape (not much to scrape now!  ...roto, you're done. 

 

The wax is temp sensitive. Is to be applied at a specific Iron Temp.  Dominator 120C./250F. 

 

Save yourself a ton of time and guesswork and money

 

 

Dominator All-Temp Waxes!  

 

Zoom Dominator’s Zoom is a great all temperature, everyday hydrocarbon hot wax that won’t break the bank. Using fluorinated waxes everyday will clog the pores of a sintered base, so if your day on the hill doesn’t call for competition waxes, Zoom recreational wax will have you covered. The Dominator's Zoom Wax's 100 g (3.5 oz) size is also convenient for traveling>

  • Ideal for temperature of 14°F (-10°C) and warmer
  • Designed for recreational skiing and riding
  • Can also effectively be used for hot-scrape cleaning, and travel/storage

 

or Race Zoom!  You only need to decide New Snow or Old Snow!

 

And don't forget to start with Dominator Renew, Renew G or Renew Race! RBase conditioner.

 

 

http://www.dominatorwax.com/products#glide-wax

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanscrazydaisy View Post

When you transport your skis via car....  get a cargo box.  Then you don't need to worry about "environmental" contaminants when you're driving, compared to a traditional ski holder.  Then you can skip the whole step of waxing when you get to the condo.

I worry less about those on my bases as they wash off on the first run or two, but in my bindings it's a whole different issue nonono2.gif So no outside mounted exposed skis for me. Even the ski bag lets it seep in.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Waxing - should it really be so hard?