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Stone Grinding vs. Skivisions Flattening - Page 2

post #31 of 84
The biggest question is why would you spend the time and money on such a hand tool when a quick stone grind may cost between 10-20 bucks and if done properly will be far more consistent, and to most people, better?
post #32 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
The biggest question is why would you spend the time and money on such a hand tool when a quick stone grind may cost between 10-20 bucks and if done properly will be far more consistent, and to most people, better?
Exactly!
post #33 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
Uh, SMJ, he was translating A-Mans post.: you are taking umbrage at the wrong folk!
Yup I think you're right, sorry about that.
post #34 of 84
Thread Starter 
However using the SkiVisions tool with the stone is a very useful thing. Not to flatten, but to smooth, clean out and restore the structure. I use it before waxing regularly, followed by a razor scraper and fiberlene to remove any loose ptex hairs it leaves.

Noodler, thanks for the great advice re:maintaining the stone's sharpness with a DMT!
post #35 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
The biggest question is why would you spend the time and money on such a hand tool when a quick stone grind may cost between 10-20 bucks and if done properly will be far more consistent, and to most people, better?
If you only have 1 or 2 pairs of skis then sure, stone grinds make much more sense, but if you have a fleet of skis then the costs can add up fast. I get grinds at the beginning of the season for my primo skis and use the SkiVisions tool to maintain the skis all season. I don't recommend using hand tools to get a ski that's in horrible condition back into spec.

Gotta keep everything in perspective, ya know?

BTW - I forgot to mention that a few times I have brought my skis in for a stone grind ONLY and have found upon picking them up that the shop hacks did a full tune on them (I don't use those shops any more). I haven't had that problem at Precision in Frisco though. Just something to watch out for. It seems that you need to be VERY specific that you only want the bottom grind when dropping off your skis.
post #36 of 84

Low spots

I just read the Tognar description of this base flattening tool.

I may be a born cynic, but....... how can "a hardened steel blade cleanly shave off high or low spots on p-tex bases"?

Shave off a low spot?

OK. OK. If I don't want one, I won't buy one.

I promise

I won't

;-)

CalG
post #37 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
If you only have 1 or 2 pairs of skis then sure, stone grinds make much more sense, but if you have a fleet of skis then the costs can add up fast. I get grinds at the beginning of the season for my primo skis and use the SkiVisions tool to maintain the skis all season. I don't recommend using hand tools to get a ski that's in horrible condition back into spec.

Gotta keep everything in perspective, ya know?

BTW - I forget to mention that a few times I have brought my skis in for a stone grind ONLY and have found upon picking them up that the shop hacks did a full tune on them (I don't use those shops any more). I haven't had that problem at Precision in Frisco though. Just something to watch out for. It seems that you need to be VERY specific that you only want the bottom grind when dropping off your skis.
I'm kind of in the same boat, we have a lot of skis. I've been looking at the SkiVisions tool to maintain the the inexpensive pairs of skis. The good skis would go to the shop for a stone grind. However, I'm not sure how well any of the local ski shops do stone grinds and structure. I had the XRC800s done bevore the season, and the shop did get the bases flat, but they got too much bevel on the bases and missed the side edge angle by a full degree. I think I'm just going to request a base grind and structure and do the rest by myself from now on. It's not like there is a high concentration of ski shops around here with highly competent ski techs.

Quote:
I may be a born cynic, but....... how can "a hardened steel blade cleanly shave off high or low spots on p-tex bases"?

Shave off a low spot?
That's like the carpenter who cut the board off twice and it was still too short.:
post #38 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by SrMike
I'm kind of in the same boat, we have a lot of skis. I've been looking at the SkiVisions tool to maintain the the inexpensive pairs of skis. The good skis would go to the shop for a stone grind. However, I'm not sure how well any of the local ski shops do stone grinds and structure. I had the XRC800s done bevore the season, and the shop did get the bases flat, but they got too much bevel on the bases and missed the side edge angle by a full degree. I think I'm just going to request a base grind and structure and do the rest by myself from now on. It's not like there is a high concentration of ski shops around here with highly competent ski techs.



That's like the carpenter who cut the board off twice and it was still too short.:
I only have a a base grind & structure done & do the rest myself.

As far as the expense goes. if you had 20 pair of skis and had all of them ground at the begining of the season that would only be $400.00 to maintain your investment of lets say $16,000.00 sounds pretty cheap to me.

If shop did a full tune when you asked for just a base grind, my suspicion is you were not very clear on what you wanted done exactly.

Flat filing your base edge with a big 10" coarse file to try to keep them level as you flatten your base is not a good thing. (Noodler).

A proper machine base grind is the only way to go.

I know most of you don't have 20 pair of skis so in my example above if you had even 8 pair (still probably too many) and the were $800 each, worth $6400.00 you would spend $160 to have them professionally ground once a season.

Expensive? Hardly! You goofing up your base with a mickey mouse tool and grinding the bejeebers out of your base edge? Now that is expensive!
post #39 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
Just something to watch out for. It seems that you need to be VERY specific that you only want the bottom grind when dropping off your skis.
Very true, many shops are not very good at this kind of communication.
post #40 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
I only have a a base grind & structure done & do the rest myself.

As far as the expense goes. if you had 20 pair of skis and had all of them ground at the begining of the season that would only be $400.00 to maintain your investment of lets say $16,000.00 sounds pretty cheap to me.

If shop did a full tune when you asked for just a base grind, my suspicion is you were not very clear on what you wanted done exactly.

Flat filing your base edge with a big 10" coarse file to try to keep them level as you flatten your base is not a good thing. (Noodler).

A proper machine base grind is the only way to go.

I know most of you don't have 20 pair of skis so in my example above if you had even 8 pair (still probably too many) and the were $800 each, worth $6400.00 you would spend $160 to have them professionally ground once a season.

Expensive? Hardly! You goofing up your base with a mickey mouse tool and grinding the bejeebers out of your base edge? Now that is expensive!
If I had 20 pairs of skis all worth $800, then that is what I would do. It's more like a $500 pr, a $800 pr, a $99 pr (wife) and 2 $89 pairs (kids). The 3 inexpensive pairs we got at at ski swap that put a fresh tune and wax on the skis. All 3 skis are railed, badly I might add and, after the hot wax wore off, the I found bases were burnt. At $35 a pop for a base grind and structure, I'm not sure it's worth it. I'm planning to replace the kids skis next season anyway, so I'm having trouble justifying spending a lot of money on these skis.

My $500 pair got a fresh tune, 1 base, 3 side at the beginning of the season. The $800 skis are new and the bases are perfect, just did a light hand tune to check the base bavels and tuned the side edges to 3 degrees. After I got all my tuning tools I found the bases were indeed flat and the base angles were right on; however the edge angles were a degree short. At least I know where I can get a good base grind.

The wife's and kids' skis came from another shop. All I can figure is they ran a bunch of skis through and didn't dress the wheel frequently enough to keep it flat. In the meantime, I a 10' MB file and elbow grease will work just fine. Ya' don't put a Porsche tune-up on a Yugo

I've thought about getting the SkiVisions tool, but, if I am going to eventually replace the only skis I would use it on, can I justify the expense of buying it. The cost of the tool equals 2 base grinds and structures. OTOH, it might be a good tool to have for when you can't get the skis to the shop and you want to change the structure. : I'm still thinking about it.
post #41 of 84
Thread Starter 
Again I have to add that using the tool to replace a stone grind is not the only thing it's good for. I'll still get stone grinds, but I really like running that tool with the stone on it over my skis to just clean off the skis and restore the structure. Not to flatten them. I use it a few passes during every hand tune I do.
post #42 of 84
Word of caution: be very demanding on who you allow to work on your skis. When I was new to skiing I bought a new pair of Atomics and they mounted the bindings for me. When I went to pick them up the guy says "and I did a free tuneup for you." All proud and glowing. From the first day I couldn't understand why the skis would grab and hook like crazy. Then I found out about the 1/3 edge angle and concave base that the guy had belt sanded off my new skis.
post #43 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryel
Word of caution: be very demanding on who you allow to work on your skis. When I was new to skiing I bought a new pair of Atomics and they mounted the bindings for me. When I went to pick them up the guy says "and I did a free tuneup for you." All proud and glowing. From the first day I couldn't understand why the skis would grab and hook like crazy. Then I found out about the 1/3 edge angle and concave base that the guy had belt sanded off my new skis.
I didn't endorse a belt sander. Belt sander is older technology and truly requires a skillful operator.

I get my skis flat ground on a fully automated computerized machine. Base grind , no bevels, flat with structured base of my choice only.
post #44 of 84
Very good advice-
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
Somehow I missed this post when it started over a year and a half ago!

I'm going to agree that nothing can compare to a great stone grind, BUT the SkiVisions base flattener is an excellent tool and like all tools it works only as well as the "nut" that's driving it. I've learned that the key to getting good results with it is to take very good care of the steel bar and stones. I've found that my old DMT diamond files are perfect for this maintenance work.

After every 2-3 passes of the SkiVisions tool I use a medium DMT file to keep a sharp square edge on the bar/stone - this work is done while the bar/stone is still IN THE TOOL. This is a quick process to keep the bar/stone clean and true. I also periodically check the bar/stone with my true bar to ensure that the "cutting" edge is perfectly flat.

Here's the next key to using it for base flattening (and it's mentioned on Tognar's web site) - the steel bar cannot (and should not) be used to sharpen the base edges. In fact if the steel bar is hitting the base edges it's going to put burrs and nicks into the bar (that's really bad if you run the burred/nicked bar down the ski!). If the bar is hitting edges you need to grab your 10" regular file and do some flat filing to get the edges back down to the base. By alternating between the SkiVisions Base Flattener and the 10" file (I like the 10" because it's big and thick and much more difficult to bend) you can flatten a base fairly well.

Another quick tip - check all of your regular files, diamond files, and stones with your true bar to make sure they are flat. Never go near your skis with old worn out tools that haven't been checked out and regularly maintained.
post #45 of 84
The one thing that hasn't be mentioned is post repair clean up. Now drip ptex , as its so soft, can be cleaned up with a sharp metal scraper but if you use a ptex iron and real ptex there is no way a metal scapper will to the job.
post #46 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougw
The one thing that hasn't be mentioned is post repair clean up. Now drip ptex , as its so soft, can be cleaned up with a sharp metal scraper but if you use a ptex iron and real ptex there is no way a metal scapper will to the job.
And that is why God invented the Panser file and wet-belt machine.
post #47 of 84

Question to AtomicMan:

 

Have you ever personally used a stone grinder?  And do you own any skis that are allowed to venture off-piste?

post #48 of 84

I just called the Start Haus in Truckee (the only truly race-tune oriented shop in North Tahoe), and they charge $40 for just a grind.  A full tune is around $90 (more if you want the royal treatment).

 

This season, my skis and my boys skis will need some level of repair of rock damage every week.  At minimum $120 a week, that is going to hurt.  This assumes that I do the p-tex repair and bevel the edges and wax the skis.

 

Hand repair is not going to get the skis perfect, but it will get them a lot better than doing nothing, and I can save $1000 over the season.

post #49 of 84
Zombie thread.
post #50 of 84

AlpineBoy,

 

Nice use of the search function. :)

 

If you were to have your skis ground every week to obtain perfect skis, you'd use up all the material in the base and edges. Hand repairs including p-texing and stoning the edges should work well to keep your skis in decent shape and let you have the skis much longer before you have them ground to nothing.

 

It sounds like carrying a stone in your pocket might be a good idea for the conditions. If you hit something and it creates a burr on your edge you will notice it. Just use the pocket stone to remove the burr and return the edge to moderately smooth condition and proceed with your skiing day. A knife is also handy for removing extraneous p-tex from gouges where the p-tex is still attached to the ski but creating a surface that drags and/or causes the ski to want to go in a direction other than is desired.

 

MR

post #51 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineBoy View Post
 

Question to AtomicMan:

 

Have you ever personally used a stone grinder?  And do you own any skis that are allowed to venture off-piste?

NO, I have never used a stone grinder and yes I have and had have a bunch of off-piste skis!

post #52 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineBoy View Post
 

I just called the Start Haus in Truckee (the only truly race-tune oriented shop in North Tahoe), and they charge $40 for just a grind.  A full tune is around $90 (more if you want the royal treatment).

 

This season, my skis and my boys skis will need some level of repair of rock damage every week.  At minimum $120 a week, that is going to hurt.  This assumes that I do the p-tex repair and bevel the edges and wax the skis.

 

Hand repair is not going to get the skis perfect, but it will get them a lot better than doing nothing, and I can save $1000 over the season.

I did not have my Atomic D2 Race GS  ksis stone ground until this season and they have 2 full seasons on them. 

 

you only need to stone grind skis when the base bevel gets over 1 degree or you sustain major base or base edge damage that cannot be adequately filed out!

 

You are misunderstanding the purpose and frequency of a stone grind. 

 

Once your base bevel is set and polished, all maintainace is done on the side edges and then brushing and waxing. 

 

Additionally, race skis that are freshly ground are SLOW! The grind removes all wax in the base and you must build wax back up as well as knock down the structure. 

 

If there are that many rocks, get some rock skis! Some rock damage can never be repaired even with a stone grind! ( I have seen deep divits in an edge from rock impact as well as sidewalls blown out and edges  dented and unfixable and unskiable)

post #53 of 84

I have been using the SkiVisions base flattening tool for 2 seasons now and would like to report on what I have found. Let me start with this statement:

 

What SkiMD has posted on this thread I have found through my own efforts and experience to be very true, namely it is very hard to find a shop that can do a stone grind with 0 base bevels properly. I live near SkiMD and he is the only one I have found (out of 3 or 4 shops I tried) that can do it in my area.

 

Every other shop has done a pair of my skis and told me everything came out fine and when I get them home I measure the skis and the ptex is flat and structured, and the base bevel is all over the place, not 0. (0.25 - 3.0 degrees) The edges were not flattened properly, if at all.

 

Ptex is pretty easy to get flat (the SkiVisions tool works well for that), but getting edges and Ptex flat at 0 degrees is very, very hard to do. Can be almost impossible to do by hand.

 

All my skis were over base beveled by a shop (ranged from 1-3 degrees) and the skis were sliding out or hooking like crazy. I was pretty upset, because prior, I did a hand tune on my favorite pair and they skied pretty well, took them to the shop figuring they will ski even better when done, and they were a disaster when I got them out on the slopes again. I started researching (this site is great for that) and learned how to measure base bevels and flatness (true bar and feeler gauges for my budget, I like Atomicman's expensive device a lot).

 

So, how a ski deviates from flat determines what tools and machines will work and what won't. Even an expensive stone grinding machine is only as good as the person operating it and their knowledge of how to use it. This is what sets SkiMD apart from the crowd, he has essentially the same machines as a lot of shops, but he knows what is needed and has figured out how to get the results out of his machines. He is worth what he charges for his work (stone grinds to flat are $40-50, full tunes about $95) because of his knowledge and experience gets the proper results, you can measure his skis and prove it to yourself, like I did, or a lot of people just ski them and can feel the difference.

 

Back to the SkiVisioins tool. It is good for taking down Ptex on base high (convex) skis. It may take a lot of passes, but it works. It also does "linear" structure quite well. I use it on everything except my race skis. I alternate the steel bar and a stone to remove Ptex and get a ski flat. I have found the steel bar to NOT cut the edges very well. Right now, it doesn't cut at all, but I may need to sharpen my steel bar to get it to start cutting again. So taking a base bevel to 0 degrees is not possible with this tool. ( they sell another that is better at this)

 

A final bit of knowledge to pass on, I have found that mill bastard files will not take down edges if you have a flat or high base. The amount of Ptex that has to come off along with the edge is too much for the file. It also clogs immediately, and then rides high on the bottom. If you think you are taking edge off on a flat or base high ski, you are really bending the file and getting edge and adding base bevel to your skis. On edge high skis, where the file does not contact much Ptex, it will work to take off edge. Once the edge comes down to the level of the Ptex, it will stop working, which is OK because you now have your edge and Ptex flat at the same level. The only tool I have found that can take off Ptex and edge at the same time is a Panzar file. They are tricky to use and can gouge a ski bottom really easy. I will use it on older skis, but my new skis go to Mike if the base bevel it too high and the Ptex and edge needs to come off to get back to a 0.5 - 1.0 deg base bevel.

 

Sorry for a rambley thread without a whole lot of explanation, hopefully everyone can follow what I say. I will try to describe what I found more clearly another day when I have more time.

post #54 of 84
I have been using the ski vision base tools for years now. Prior to waxing, which is every 3 or 4 ski days. I use the tool with the file in it to take off any high spots, then switch over to the tool with the Medium rube stone to remove the Ptex that is high, this normally takes a few passes may be up to 10 tip to tail. You'll a change in the color on a black base. Use the brass brush to clean off the rube stone.

In all these years I have never gotten the Ptex perfectly flat to the metal edge.

Next I take a flat file in the 1* steel guide and pull it down the one base edge and up the other base edge to make sure there are no sticking up burrs that could scratch the irons bottom. No force on the file just push it.

Then I do the side edges, If I feel the need for more edge hold I clamp a small piec of Panzer file to my steel 93* edge guide with a 100 grit moonflex clamped behind it to hold it at a nice angle to the metal. Then pull it down the edge. Then remove the Panzer file, make sure the moonflex is lubed again and do a few, may be 4 passes up/down the side edge, dry that edge with a old cotton towel, then flip the ski around and do the other edge.

Then I drip on the Dominator Hyper-zoom and wax it in,

After the wax cools, scrap and use my rotor brushes to polish off most of the wax. Nylon brush for warm snow, horsehair brush for cold snow, cold snow is single digits in F.

Notice I don't remove the old wax or worry about how clean the wax is that was on the ski. If its very cold I'll add some cold snow wax in. These skis skied great the other weekend at -20F and last weekend at +35F same wax.

The fast skis have the most wax in them. My 3y/o 90 ski days Kendos have never been to a shop. They ski great and it's hard for people to out glide me. I demoed 2014 Kendos a few weeks back, they feel the same as mine, great edge hold, quick edge to edge.

Oh yea, you don't need perfect bases, the Kendos have a few gouges and nicks in the Ptex.


AlpineBoy, if your doing that much damage to your skis, you should not be in the woods. That's how my friends and I think.
post #55 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

I have been using the ski vision base tools for years now. Prior to waxing, which is every 3 or 4 ski days. I use the tool with the file in it to take off any high spots, then switch over to the tool with the Medium rube stone to remove the Ptex that is high, this normally takes a few passes may be up to 10 tip to tail. You'll a change in the color on a black base. Use the brass brush to clean off the rube stone.

In all these years I have never gotten the Ptex perfectly flat to the metal edge.

Next I take a flat file in the 1* steel guide and pull it down the one base edge and up the other base edge to make sure there are no sticking up burrs that could scratch the irons bottom. No force on the file just push it.

Then I do the side edges, If I feel the need for more edge hold I clamp a small piec of Panzer file to my steel 93* edge guide with a 100 grit moonflex clamped behind it to hold it at a nice angle to the metal. Then pull it down the edge. Then remove the Panzer file, make sure the moonflex is lubed again and do a few, may be 4 passes up/down the side edge, dry that edge with a old cotton towel, then flip the ski around and do the other edge.

Then I drip on the Dominator Hyper-zoom and wax it in,

After the wax cools, scrap and use my rotor brushes to polish off most of the wax. Nylon brush for warm snow, horsehair brush for cold snow, cold snow is single digits in F.

Notice I don't remove the old wax or worry about how clean the wax is that was on the ski. If its very cold I'll add some cold snow wax in. These skis skied great the other weekend at -20F and last weekend at +35F same wax.

The fast skis have the most wax in them. My 3y/o 90 ski days Kendos have never been to a shop. They ski great and it's hard for people to out glide me. I demoed 2014 Kendos a few weeks back, they feel the same as mine, great edge hold, quick edge to edge.

Oh yea, you don't need perfect bases, the Kendos have a few gouges and nicks in the Ptex.


AlpineBoy, if your doing that much damage to your skis, you should not be in the woods. That's how my friends and I think.

I know that I shouldn't be skiing at all right now, considering the fact that even the one top to bottom run at Alpine Meadows with snow-making has rocks in it.  But just now I left my son at a race, and he said to me he wanted to going skiing (not race) because the snow was so good.  I sort of felt like blowing off work, because Sunday I found a steep chute that could be hiked to that had about 1000' vertical of soft smooth snow that was clean of rocks.  But getting to that chute was not so clean.  Anyway, I could not resist, and did about 6 laps.  It was by far the best day of the season so far.

 

I am way off topic, but I came to this thread because I am interested in the Ski Vision tools.  The information above is quite helpful.

post #56 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

NO, I have never used a stone grinder and yes I have and had have a bunch of off-piste skis!

I apologize;  I am sure that question sounded rude.  I am just asking, because of a couple things.  I have run over a thousand pair of skis through a stone grinder, and I was taught how the tune skis by the Rossi race rep at summer camp in Mammoth before stone grinders were invented.

 

First of all, new skis are often concave only in the front part of the ski.  It is very difficult to vary the pressure on a stone grinder such that one flattens the front part of the ski without needlessly grinding away the rest of the ski.  So a hand tool is suitable to remedy this situation. Then, if necessary, a final pass on the stone grinder will give a consistent structure to the base.

 

Secondly, if you are skiing more than just groomers at somewhere like Squaw Valley, you are likely to hit rocks. The last few years even groomers were not safe.  Being used to skiing on skis that are tuned reasonably well, I make a concerted effort to avoid rocks, but I balance this effort with my desire to ski soft, smooth, steep lines.  So, if one is to enjoy all that the resorts have to offer, he will need some material removed from his skis (both side and base edges) several times during the season.  If I have to bring the skis into the shop every time that I want to do this, it gets rather pricey and sometimes inconvenient.

 

The SkiVision tools seem to be a good tool for mid-season maintenance, and I am thinking of buying them.

post #57 of 84

I suggest you buy the tools and not worry about the low spot in the bases from the manufacture. I think you have figured that out already. Like I said 90 day's of skiing and never been to a shop.

post #58 of 84

I've read through alot of great information on this important forum. I call it important as it affects us all (tech's/rats, recreational, and racers). It comes to us trying to save a little money, get a bit more involved, protecting our investment in equipment, win races and most especially - getting exactly what we think we're getting. 

     On the tech side of things, there is nothing a machine can do better than a tech by hand. Nothing. Period. The reason for this is that all machines are designed to speed up and simplify a process; so it can be repeated quickly and without a ton of involved and expensive training. These are machines that cost as much as your very above average TWO suv's. But if they are religiously calibrated, cleaned and maintained, they reproduce excellent results in a fraction of hands on time. That said there is an inherent flaw - heat. 3000 to 7800 rpm of a spinning stone with a contact area roughly a quarter of an inch at a time transfers a great deal of heat. Much of this has been mitigated in the last 8 to 10 years with larger diameter hollow stones which dissipate heat more quickly and improved liquid cooling. But, as soon as you have got the machine "perfect" each proceeding tune will be incrementally less effective than the last until the next calibration.

     Ski bases are made with a porous material so it can accept wax which reduces surface tension and allows for a faster base by way of a wear off material which can be chosen and prepped for specific conditions. Heat closes these pores and does not eliminate the 'hairs' but actually melts then into the surface. Add in just a bit too much downward pressure and the ones that are not filled by this process are actually deformed into a myriad of funny shapes which are, unfortunately, not uniform along the length of the base. This leaves areas on the base that are unable to accept wax and others which are unable to present it to the snow surface in consistent manner.

      This is the reason why racers, most especially ones that make their living at it, seldom (if ever) machine their ski's. The very reason people speak of world cup tuners with such reverence and world cuppers are willing to pay the top techs quite handsomely. In fact,

every ski academy I am aware of specifically teaches their students how to hand tune their ski's. 

      For the rest of us, think of it in simpler terms, with a little elbow grease, care and practice you'll also get a few extra seasons out of your ski's vs. machine tuning them. It is very difficult to control the amount of material that comes off on a machine, only the best are able and still give an effective result. So in my mind, there are two types of people; the ones that don't care enough to worry about these things and just go out and have a good time sliding around on the snow, and the ones that have had that taste of what a properly tuned ski feels and performs like and are hooked. 

      Oh, and the third. Me. I've worked in five well known shops near Jackson, Park City, Killington, Stratton and Okemo. Raced since four and pushing 45. Skiing is expensive enough and with two kids and a wonderfully active wife, I save money where I can. So my personal advice, to take or leave - Spend whatever it takes to get your boots perfectly fitted by a professional and then learn to tune your own ski's. I think you'll be more appreciative on the hill and better enjoy our great sport. 

post #59 of 84

All this "perfect" flat is a bunch of hogwash!

post #60 of 84

Sorry MajRich, but this is simply untrue. There is no way you can produce repeatable results by hand flattening / structuring skis, and I guarantee you cannot match the level of polish while maintaining the consistency and sharpness that I can with my machines.

 

Stone grinding is generally done in the 250-800 rpm range, with blanking and finish grinding performed at the lower levels of that range.  I've never seen a stone grinder that could spin anywhere close to 7800 rpms. Some of the automated machines will dress at higher rpms, but still only really in the 2-3000 rpm range, and this is not when grinding skis, just stone dressing.

 

As for feed pressure, modern machines with pneumatically controlled downward force can generally be set to essentially float, where they are only passing the ski over the stone. That said, there is an appropriate amount of force depending on the ski, that will produce fiber free, perfectly flat skis, with a repeatable structure, and no damage to the skis ability to hold wax.

 

Also, grinding emulsion can be cooled with a reservoir chiller to roughly 4 degrees celcius in order to keep the stone cool while cutting, making for the fastest bases as an end result.

 

If stone grinding was so abusive to the ski base, then why are all skis stone ground from the factory, and national teams carting stone grinders around the world to big events incase they need to change up a grind before a race?

 

With regards to edges, you will never be able to file an edge as consistently as a snowglide or protek edge tuner. I've hand tuned thousands of skis, and I can pull a file and read a consistent 3 on my SVST bevel meter at any point along the edge, but after just one pass with the edge grinder I can see all my inconsistencies. Granted they are in the measure of .01-.2 degrees, but they are there. The athletes that skis the edges from the machine prefer them, and can feel the difference. These machines are also widely used on the world cup. I encourage you to check out Verdonk Racing for a list of top WC techs using these machines.

 

My Reichmann DTS-U which does cost as much as 2 SUV's as you put it, will put a better polish on both the base and side edges than you can ever hope to duplicate by hand. The base edge in particular is absolutely amazing, and leaves me in awe every time I see a ski come off the machine. The side edge is standard ceramic disc technology, and is infinitely variable, but only really accurate to +/- 0.2 degrees when measured from tip to tail.

 

To say that serious racers seldom if ever machine there skis, is equally ridiculous. If you have a set of great skis from the factory, they already went through all the processes mentioned above at the factory, contradictory to all this grumble about how machines are bad for skis. If they came from the factory with a bad grind, and bad bevels, as is often the case, then they go to a reputable shop with modern machinery to be setup properly. From this point forward if they are taken care of they shouldn't need to see a machine again anytime soon, but if they do, with the right tech and machines, it will be beneficial.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MajRich View Post

 

     On the tech side of things, there is nothing a machine can do better than a tech by hand. Nothing. Period. The reason for this is that all machines are designed to speed up and simplify a process; so it can be repeated quickly and without a ton of involved and expensive training. These are machines that cost as much as your very above average TWO suv's. But if they are religiously calibrated, cleaned and maintained, they reproduce excellent results in a fraction of hands on time. That said there is an inherent flaw - heat. 3000 to 7800 rpm of a spinning stone with a contact area roughly a quarter of an inch at a time transfers a great deal of heat. Much of this has been mitigated in the last 8 to 10 years with larger diameter hollow stones which dissipate heat more quickly and improved liquid cooling. But, as soon as you have got the machine "perfect" each proceeding tune will be incrementally less effective than the last until the next calibration.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Stone Grinding vs. Skivisions Flattening