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Deburring question

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Could someone knowledgable with ski tuning inform me whether deburring (after skiing as opposed to after filing) is better done freehand with a coarse stone or with a bevel guide? Thanks.
post #2 of 14
A bevel guide is certainly a good idea. If you're using a coarse diamond stone for example using a bevel guide will do it consistently on the edge. Also if you don't use a guide and you let the stone find the burrs, you may end up with an angle that will dull the edge. It doesn't take much to dull an edge, remember even a gummi stone can do that, so if your diamond or arkansas stone tilts too much into the point of the edge it will dull it.

My daily routine is to use a medium diamond stone (unless the burrs are really bad in which case I'll use a coarse one first) on my base and side edges with a bevel guide - then wax the skis. It's incredible how much smoother the edge gets after just a minute or two of doing this.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
That is my routine too, (and my thinking as well) but I have seen demonstrations where the tuner just freehands the stone over the burred area back & forth a few times to knock down the burrs, then polishes with progressively finer grit stones.

Any other thoughts?
post #4 of 14


I use a 70 mm blue diamond with 5 layers of duct tape wrapped around one end. That sets the bevel at approx. 1 degree, so I can feel comfortable using it freehand on the base edge.

post #5 of 14
correct me if I am wrong here, but when I was fiddling with figuring out sole grining angles on my boots, I was told that 1 layer of duct tape was approximately equal to .5 degrees (about the same as a business card).
post #6 of 14
5 layers of duct tape is way more than 1*
post #7 of 14
Waxman is entirely correct but doesn't explain why.

5 layers of duct tape might tilt a ski boot 1* because the ski boot lug is 70mm wide. Is the grinding surface of your diamond stone 70mm away from the tape?

Manus, that doesn't sound correct unless you're using military duck tape. See this thread:

The table posted on reads thus:
Originally Posted by "Sean MacLennan"
mil  8   9   10   11   12   13
I would roughly categorize the duct tape as follows.

# 8-9 mil is nasty utility grade
# 10-11 mil is contractor/industrial grade
# 12-13 mil is military grade
post #8 of 14

1 degree

If you do the trig, you will find that 4 to 5 layers of 9 mil duct tape will set a 70 mm stone at an approx. 1 degree angle.

Image shown below is exaggerated.
post #9 of 14
Just freehand the stones when on mountain. I have an old medium grit Swix one that I carry all the time and a rough stone for major edge damage.

If you can't keep a stone flat against the base edge then you need practice.

The chance of you dulling the edge is pretty slim as the stone would have to be balancing on the edge and stay like that consistently. It may happen by accident but not down the entire length of the ski. Just put more pressure towards the inside of the base edge instead of towards the outside and use your fore finger as a guide up the sidewall of the ski.

Messing with the base edge too much or uneccessarily, even with a guide, will cause you to increase the bevel if you put too much pressure on it to make edge contact.

The side edge is a different story. It is hard to freehand on the side even while the ski is in a vice, forget about on mountain on a picnic table.

On Mountain I would leave the side edge alone unless you have some serious hits that would effect your edgehold while carving or possibly ripping your jacket when transporting the skis.
post #10 of 14


I agree with Scalce. I originally used the duct tape on the stone to get a feel for what 1 degree would be, this being new to me this year. I have since taken the tape off and use the stone freehand, on the base only.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
How about the side edge? I have seen people do this freehand on the side edge as well, i.e. in their shop before sharpening or polishing their edges. Sounds like trouble to me especially if you haven't yet developed a feel for it.
post #12 of 14
If you are at home then a side edge guide is a must.

There is no way that you could put the proper pressure and maintain a consistent angle by freehanding the side. At least not compared to using a guide.

If they are just knocking down burrs freehand before filing with a guide then I could see that.

Also using a gummi stone freehand is not incommon when removing burrs from sharpening.

But I have never seen someone freehand a file or rough grit diamond stone on a side edge while in a shop.
post #13 of 14

Before sharpening

The reason tuners deburr the side edge in the shop prior to sharpening is to remove any case hardened burrs that would have an adverse effect on the file. But on the mountain, I think the general advice is to just deburr the base edge.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that was what I meant in my original post: to knock down the hardened burrs before sharpening.
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