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Waxing with a heat gun?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ive been waxing my skis after every day of skiing with some swix "super f4" stuff that rubs on with a sponge. I want to use some regular hardwax i have laying around and wanted to know if it was ok to use a heat gun to apply it. Id use it to melt the wax and drip it all over the ski and then kind of pull/spread the melted wax over the base with a scraper... Then id let it cool, scrape off the excess with a scraper and buff out with a cloth as normal. Would this be ok?
post #2 of 14
IMHO, better a ski (carefully!) warmed up with a heat gun than a completely cold one.
I also tried to use the gun that way but prior to regular ironing or rubbing.

To let the wax drip and not iron it seems to be a futile operation. It uses up a lot of wax but practically none gets inside the base.
It would be different with the finishing rub-on solid wax like Swix FC-S.
When extremely cold the heat gun is a useful multipurpose thing but it has to be used very carefully.
post #3 of 14
Trimming toes nails with a 9mm glock? Can probably be done.......but.
post #4 of 14
Ya, um, NO.

Sure, you may be able to melt the wax and spread it around, but it won't be absorbed into the base which is the whole point of waxing. Just go buy a cheap iron. The older and dirtier the better.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a pretty shitty iron that would work fine, but am nervous about burning the ski, so I wanted to avoid using it... Do you just use the lowest setting the iron has? How long can any portion of the ski be covered by the iron before it burns?
post #6 of 14
It is easy to set the heat with an iron. Just start out with medium heat and gradually increase it until it gets to a temp that melts the wax enough to smear it around. If the wax starts to smoke, it is way too hot but probably not hot enough to hurt the p-tex.

post #7 of 14
My vote is for an iron too. I'd be worried about hot spots with a heat gun.
post #8 of 14
Moving the gun at a safe distance you don´t burn anything.
I have waxed lots of skis with a normal iron and never did any damage to the bases. The consistency of the wax tells you when it is as it should be.
I´ve been using the standard Swix iron for years and it´s naturally better.
post #9 of 14
It just occurred to me how a heat gun could be used.

If I want to do a "hot scrape" I'll first iron on the cleaning wax.

Then, to ensure that the wax remains liquid from tip to tail, prior to the scrape, don't you think a heat gun would be the perfect tool?
post #10 of 14
I use a heat gun to "scrape" waxless xc skis. That is, I iron it on and use a rag and a heat gun to get it off. Works pretty well to get wax into the base and clean the excess out of the scales. I use the low setting.
post #11 of 14
One advantage of a wax iron is that the edges are turned up, so it does not try to chip the wax you have dripped on the ski when you use the iron to smooth it out. Reliable Racing Supply (www.reliableracing.com) has a Swix iron for $59.
post #12 of 14
I think it´s sufficient to finish ironing one ski and start scraping immediately after you put down the iron.
That way I can´t see the reason for taking the gun and starting the heating of what already is hot.
To heat the base before the application of an rub-on wax or to heat the wax some before rubbing it in with cork or some polisher could be good.
The gun is a perfect source of heat if you need it fast and intensive:
- to warm up the shoes, toes, gloves, fingers, car locks etc.
I always have a small heir dryer in the car. It does the same, more slowly but in a less drastic way.
post #13 of 14
So what ... you have a heat gun and just have to figure out something to use it for?

My thoughts:

- As noted, it doesn't seem like it would work as well as an iron, because the iron nicely heats the base.

- For the hot scrape, I suppose it's kind of nice to keep the wax liquid right up until it's scraped, but it's hardly essential. If it hardens a little, the gunk you're getting off the base is suspended in it. In the normal time it takes to put down an iron and pick up a scraper, the wax stays at least gummy-ish anyway.

- Over the years, I've probably used at least a dozen different "standard clothes" irons to wax. So far as I remember, they almost all needed to be set at their coolest setting, or close. For some, even that's too hot, and smokes the wax. Lately, I've been using a small cheap ski-specific wax iron, which has the advantage of a temperature range that extends lower and is more constant (also a little nicer shape, plus it's smaller and easier to travel with). Clothes irons (most of them, anwya) work also, and have the advantage of being even cheaper (free, if you've got one you're not using for clothes).
post #14 of 14
Do yourself a favor and visit your local Salvation Army / Goodwill store and you'll likely find an old iron without steam vent holes, and a nice big & heavy sole (i.e. big heat sink so the iron won't cool down as you wax the ski just like the wax specific irons) ... for about $2.99.

The older irons are also much lower wattage than new ones (like the wax specific irons), which means you have a broader range for melting wax without smoking it.

Take the savings and buy more wax.

My current iron is a "brand new never used" GE travel iron, circa 1960, only 650 Watts, and a sole that weighs more than any new top of the line iron ... that I paid $1.65 for (1/2 off sale at the Goodwill store!!).

For reference the cheapest of cheap new irons you'll find today have at least 110 watts of wax smoking power.
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