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what does grinding bases do?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
what does grinding bases do?

post #2 of 6
are you refering to a stone grind or a belt grind?

Stone grind puts a structure back into the base. If you look at a brand new pair of ski bases, you should be able to see a crosshatch pattern. Over time, that goes away due to wear and tear and stuff. So, the machine puts a structure on a huge stone, an you run the ski over that. The pattern that was on the stone is "etched" onto the ski. The structure creates a "channel" type thing i believe, and this allows water to flow while skiing to make the skiing smoother [img]smile.gif[/img]

belt grind just removes a layer of the base to flatten the bottoms out. This is followed by a stone grind to put a structure back into the base [img]smile.gif[/img]

Hope this was what you were looking for!

post #3 of 6
As Mello stated, gringing the bases can serve several purposes. Through use and abuse the ski base can become convex, like skiing on spoons, or concave (railed edges) which makes turning difficult. Grinding the bases is used to flatten the ski. Benefit is that grinding also flattens any high p-tex repair spots and can take out other dings in the base making the ski much smoother and therefore faster. Dings in the edges are also smoothed out.

Structuring is added by the stone, this acts like the tread in a rain tire, reducing the vacume of the micorscopic water beadlets on the base of the ski again helping the ski turn and move more easily.

But, the base is not that thick so don't overgrind. A stone grinder is expensive and so many shops use a power sander which can do more harm than good, case hardening the edges etc. Find a shop with a good reputation if you're contemplating base work. I try to stick with hand filing my bases. Flat filing is a lot of work but you don't do it that often.
post #4 of 6
I've never even heard of a power sander being used...is it literally something made by like..black & decker to sand down hardwood floors quick and stuff?

post #5 of 6
Yeah, I've witness a sport store using a bench mounted belt sander. Accompanied by an operator who doesn't understand, or doesn't care what he's doing to the skiis (no, not me). Any equipment in the wrong hands can ruin skiis, but the belt sander's can wreck the skiis before you know there's a problem.
The point is talk to the people doing the work before they practice on your equipment!
post #6 of 6
A stone grinder is used to both flatten a base and put structure in it. On a manual machine the structure is achieved by the operator running a diamond tipped tool across the wheel to cut small grooves in it. As well as varying these “grooves”, the operator can generally vary the lateral rate (the rate at which the ski moves left and right across the stone as it feeds through it), the feed rate, and the stone speed. As a result it does take quite a skilled operator to do a good grind.

Stone grinding machines, even the most basic, are quite expensive, so many shops may only use a belt. Personally I wouldn’t dream of putting my skis anywhere near a belt.

You can get more information on stone grinders by going to http://www.wintersteiger.com/ there you see some amazing robotic tuners. A friend went to a Wintersteiger demonstration in Europe where they took an old, but otherwise good, ski and purposely incorrectly programmed the machine. Went in ok, came out without any base left at all! Good for the “wow” factor, but generally the more automated the machine, the less reliant it is on a skilled operator (they can also do all sorts of fancy structure patterns). Moral of the story, find yourself somebody who can do a really good grind (and they can be difficult to find) and worship them

One final thing. In addition to removing base material, which is only finite, you also remove the layer of wax contained within it. Assuming no damage, and with the appropriate structure for similar snow conditions, a ski will get faster with use due to the absorption of wax within the base, and the removal of micro P-Tex hairs each time you scrape. Once you do a grind you go back to square one.


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