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Simple ski waxing

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Just a quick confirmation, and perhaps some more I could do in terms of waxing my skis:

Ive got brand new SL skis, Ive put a lot of re yellow mix toko wax on there just for storage now. When the time comes, i'll scrape the excess off with something like a plexi-glass type blade, then run a brass bristle brush down it to clear up the structure.

Would this suffice, or should I go and really clean it out and do another waxing with a simlilar process? different process?

post #2 of 17
I would use a Nylon brush. I only use the a brush with brass in it (combi brush) to clean the bases before I wax. If it's going to be cold I'll follow up with a horse hair brush.

Fo most of us waxing is simple. There are those that race and do alot more to there skis. The idea for me is have agood glide without to much work. I use a low flouro wax, it cost more but gives a better glide.

Just think four months until Killington and Okemo open. Have a good 4th of July.
post #3 of 17

What you've done will indeed suffice. New wax being allowed to "rest" on the skis for a while is a good thing. A scrape and a brush and you're all set.

Another acceptable variation is the "hot scrape." Gently re-heat the skis and scrape the wax while it's warm. Some believe this cleans the base of impurities a little better, though I believe the jury is still out on this one.

A note on brushing - it is perhaps the most underrated step in ski preparation. You can't brush enough. World Cup DH skis are brushed for hours.

Though this should be obvious, skis should only be brushed tip-to-tail.
post #4 of 17
It all depends on how fanatic you are. Personally, I'd scrape the old wax off & skip the brushing before applying the new wax unless you are going to be skiing on real cold snow.
post #5 of 17
I'd use a nylon or bronze brush (Holmenkohl brushes are my personal favorites) instead of the bronze. For wax that soft, you just don't need a stiff brass brush.

I'd brush fairly lightly after scraping before layering on the next wax.

Then again, I usually wax my skis 10 times before they hit snow, then every ski day or so after that. It definitely cuts down on the number of times I have to have the base restructured to remove base burn.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Simple waxing procedures - budget home hot waxing?

Hi all,

Thanks again for the replies, I went with one of those plastic TOKO scrapers instead of the SSteel ones and then backed it up with a brushing. I have to say the difference between brushed and unbrushed is like day and night. I used a slightly stiff nylon brush for it as I found that a brass brush seemed to be taking too much wax off at a time for me.

I will be doing this process a few more times as I could see some spots that the shop didnt get enough wax into, which leads me to another matter - hot waxing at home.

Does anyone do this? and more importantly I would like to know if it can be accomplished with an old iron? I wouldnt just throw it on and do trial and error (scared of burning up the new skis) - I have a few electronic temp. sensors which I can rig up and get the exact iron temp. Has anyone got any iron temps for hot hi flouro waxing? tips? Or is this a step I should leave to the ski workshop?


post #7 of 17
Unless you are racing, why spend $ on high flouro waxes?
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
well I got the first wax for free. So I guess once I found out the price of the hi flouro sticks I would go for low ones.
post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by Jakub
... which leads me to another matter - hot waxing at home.

Does anyone do this?
Yes. Lots of people, I think.

and more importantly I would like to know if it can be accomplished with an old iron?
I use an old iron. Some people are opposed to this with varying degrees of adamancy. The main issue is whether it will adjust to a low enough temperature setting. Generally, you need to go to the "coolest" setting the iron has. If you've got the electronic sensors, you can test the temp., as well as how constant it is. The old-fashioned way is: if the wax smokes, it's too hot. This is okay, with hydrocarbon waxes in well-ventilated rooms, but don't do this with high fluoros!

Has anyone got any iron temps for hot hi flouro waxing? tips?
Look at the Tognar website, as well the website of whatever brand of wax you're using. The Tognar site has tons of tips.
post #10 of 17
Waxing a ski is waxing a ski. Basically, the reason old irons cause debate is the holes and temperature stability. An iron doesn't need to be terribly hot to hot wax, somtimes it only need to be around 140 degrees (too hot an iron can not only "burn" the base, it can seal the pores). Most clothing irons are simply too hot and the temperature fluctuates too much. Furthermore, the holes can hold rust, and you don't want rust particles getting into the pores of your base.

Basically, the biggest difference in flouro waxes is the application temp. But do you understand why/when you would want a hi-flouro wax? Hi-Flouro is extremly hydro-phobic, and is best for warmer weather/higher moisture content. Low flouro is better for a typical moist snow. CH waxes are typically the best bet all around, good hydrophobic properties and no flouro (burned flouro fumes can be very bad for you - substantially worse than wax burn-off) - but CH waxes do not typically like very wet snow.

Technique-wise, the only time techinique changes is when applying additives, such as pure-flouro powders. But I won't even both mentioning how to do it because it can cause serious damage if done wrong, and how many people actually have spent the money on pure flouro additives?

Even if you got hi-flouro wax for free, it may not be your best bet for wax. Do some research and read up about different wax types, you'd be amazed, but sometimes an $8 bar of wax is better to use than a $50 Hi-Flouro bar, price does not necessariliy directly translate to quality.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Manus, all sounds cool, Im skiing in Australia, so its fairly wet compared to elsewhere. But i'll probably stick to the standard wax for price and saftey. I was wondering about the home waxing as my local ski shop is 30km away but Im only going for one more hot wax then Im going with the liquid/paste waxes.

Thanks again.
post #12 of 17
you might want to consider some of the solid rub on and polish waxes versus the paste/liquid simply based on durability. A lot of paste/liquid quick waxes, while the improvement is often dramatic, the benefits do not usually last all that long (especially in a wet snow), however I have heard that some of the paste/liquid polymers held up surprising well (the only one that comes to mind is Zardoz NotWax I think is the name).

but, honestly, it might be worth spending a little money to get a cheap ski iron (I've found em for about $20 USD before) and some all purpose low-flouro (for the wet days) and some all purpose non-flouro CH (or HC - feeling dyslexic today). That way, you might invest around $40 USD (give or take) and you can maintain em all year.

A simple waxing tip for people just learning to wax/tune is to "crayon" the wax onto the base when waxing (make sure the bases are clean though) and then run an iron over it, scrape, brush, done. A good cleaner/stripper usually cleans up the base pretty well, but you have to make sure it dries. The other alternative is to get some prep-wax (its pretty cheap), and that you would drip onto the dirty base, heat it up (running the iron on the ski) and have a scraper trailing your iron so its scraping the old, and prep-wax, as well as "floating" the dirt/sap/oils or anything else that might be in the old wax.

For not too much money and time it is possible to maintain your own skis, and the benefits are great. Nothing like skiing on a ski that is waxed every time it hits the snow.
post #13 of 17
Hot waxing is pretty painless, and not very expensive.

The cost for the wax is less than $1 per wax job (US dollars, and US-marked prices, throughout this post). Depending on the wax, it can be a lot less than $1. Cheapest is just to use plain-old parrafin, which is sold in grocery stores (in the US anyway). Various manufacturers have a universal or back-shop wax that's not much more expensive. If you want to go to temperature-specific waxes, you can make do with a bar of yellow and a bar of red. Or you could go with the Dominator Zoom training wax. A lot of choices, none very expensive.

The iron can cost nothing (if you use an old clothes iron you don't need for clothes anymore) or something like $50 or $100 (if you want a ski-specific iron). That's still not much, considering the price of skis and lift tickets, and the fact that the iron will last almost for ever.

Scrapers go for a few bucks. A nylon brush (which you could do without, if you're so inclined) runs around $10-$15.
post #14 of 17
I picked up an SKS ski iron for $20-25, along with some Dominator Zoom wax, a Toko scraper, and a nylon (I think) brush from Artech last winter and it's been sufficient for my needs so far.


I was very happy with my order from Artech.

Tognar seems like a good site also, but I haven't used them. http://www.tognar.com/
post #15 of 17
While on the subject of waxing, I was wondering what kind of setup people have and where it is located. I just moved into a house and need to decide on the garage or the basement for my tuning venue. Granted the garage will get pretty cold in the winter, but I'm not sure if I want the issue with fumes in the basement (or breathing the possible radon gas that may or may not be down there). I'll be building some sort of Home Depot sourced wood table, and will probably finish the top with one of those precut countertops (they're cheap). To keep the scraping mess in check, I was thinking about getting a cheap bedliner for a pickup and standing on that. So when I'm finished scraping, I'll brush what remains on the table onto the bedliner, which can be tipped on a corner and emptied into the trash. Any ideas?
post #16 of 17
The garage sounds OK: make sure you have good lighting.

Dripping PTex may melt bedliners. It scrapes right off cold lino, though.
post #17 of 17
I live in a small apartment, so I have to tune my skis in the kitchen. I put a quilted mover's pad over the counter and sink. The bindings drop into the sink, and I put a block under the tip and tail. I can touch up the edges and wax pretty easily. It's easier to scrape the wax if the GF is at work. When I'm done, I fold up the pad and take it outside to shake it out. I actually like working in the kitchen, which is a more pleasant environment than the basement of my last house.

If I ever have room for a workbench again, I would cut a 6" diameter hole in the top, put a trash can under it, and sweep the wax into the hole.
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