OP here. On the edge tuning front, I've gone ahead and bought a gummi stone and two diamond stones.
However, I'd like to change my side edge to 3 degrees instead of the factory 1. I have picked out a fixed angle file guide for this purpose. Three questions:
1) I never realized there were so many different types of files. Do I need multiple files or will one do? If one, which one?
2) Do I need to buy a sidewall planer if I plan on changing my side edge angle? It's another expensive thing to add to the list and I don't want to buy it unless I need to. Any advice?
3) Do I need to buy a lubricant for the diamond stones? Which one is recommended?
If you're changing the angle from 1, a rougher file would be better. It can also help with the sidewall. After that though, you will only need a smooth file. You can use a smooth file and just work a little more when changing the angle if it's not too many pairs.
Alternatively you can use a "second cut" file all the time, like the ICECUT second cut. Probably the better choice. I do a lot of skis and I use the smooth file a lot (for racing, diamonds are not enough) and a rough file sometimes, before the diamonds.
2. for sidewall planning. eh tricky. Yes, sidewalk planners are nice tools. Highly recommended but also a bit weird the first time you use them. Not used often on the same pair. Used quite often when you have 10 pairs to do per weekend. You can make do with a file and a 6 degree edge guide if you have one. You could also add a spacer to the 3 degree and have the file at 6 degrees or more (a thin plastic spacer under the file).
The tricky bit is that normally you want a very aggressive panzer file for sidewall - it can clog a smooth file quickly and it's annoying.
That's why I was thinking it's best to have a shop set the 3 degree initially and then you just maintain it. It's not expensive and they should rip the sidewall for you as well.
3. mix 50/50 water and alcohol and spray on the diamond every couple passes. you can buy a small container with medicinal alcohol at any drug store. Dry the stone after use and wipe the edge with paper.
If you still plan to do it yourself initially, which is not in all honesty a big deal, I would:
- get a second cut file
- use the marker and get the edge to 3 degrees (mark the edge every 2-3 inches and file until marker rubbed off equally).
- jig the 3 degree edge to 6 degree with a small spacer under the file
- file some of the sidewall just under 3 degrees, just so the diamonds don't glide on it
- diamond the edge
- diamond the base lightly to deburr
The most important thing to do is to pay attention when you use the file, so your file doesn't slide off and scar the edge.