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P-Tex help

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am using clear P-tex to try to fill in some gouges in my base. I have a soldering pencil set to 500 degrees F and I use it to melt the P-tex ribbon and fill in the gouge. Then I use a sharp steel scraper to scrape off the excess and it doesn't leave a nice smooth finish like I expect. It pulls some of the P-tex out of the gouge and leaves some in it etc. It basically ends up looking very rough. What am I doing wrong. I have burnished and edge on the scraper, I hold it about 30 degrees from vertical and pull it toward me tip to tail. Like this:

dir. scraper
<----- \

Is the temperature ok? Is the hole/gouge too shallow to try to fill? Should I wait a while to let the P-tex cool or should I scrape immediately after filling? Thanks for ANY suggestions.
post #2 of 12
Is it a core shot ? otherwise make sure all is very clean and let the p-tex set for a while (depends on your ambiant temp.) I let them set for an hour + , but then again I have other things to do.
post #3 of 12

I might be living in the dark ages : , but I believe you should light the P-Tex candle with a match. If you have one, a propane torch works great. The trick (it comes with experience) is in keeping the black, sooty by-product out of your repair area. Roll the burning candle between your thumb and fingers - letting the soot drip on a non-flammable surface or another part of the ski, if need be - until you have a clean burn. You will likely need to repeat this step several times.

I know it sounds terribly obvious, but DO NOT burn yourself with the hot/burning P-Tex! : There's nothing quite like the burn from a molten piece of plastic.

Hold the burning candle close to repair area and overlap the drips until the repaired area is completely covered. Allow to cool and scrap as you had described. A deep gouge may require more than one application. A core-shot should be repaired with a base-weld by your local shop.

I hope this helps. And if I'm wrong, I'm positive there will be plenty of other posts that point out the error of my ways.

Best of luck [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am not using a P-tex candle. I am using the P-tex string so I have to use a base repair iron to melt it. Maybe I should just try the candle instead.
post #5 of 12
How warm is your base before you start the repair?
If you are doing this in a very cold room, you may find that the P-tex won't stick to the base. You could try gently heating the area around the damage with a wax iron.

The other thing I would check is your P-Tex string. Did you buy it to use with an iron? I normally take a few inches of black P-Tex "string" with me on a trip if I need to make an emergency repair. I just light up the end with a cigarette lighter, and make a quick fix. (follow IG's instructions, particularly the one about avoiding burns - I'm sure a few of us could compare P-Tex scars!)

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, this string was meant to be used with an iron. I went that route because it was supposed to work better than the drip candles.
post #7 of 12
Another possible reason you are having problems is the way you are using the metal scraper. If you angle it towards you and then pull it towards you: <--- \ then you are trying to squeeze the solid p-tex out of the gouge. Try using it the other way around: <--- / this way you will be able to use the sharp edge of the scraper to shave the excess p-tex until it is level with the base. The first method, <--- \, is like spreading butter on bread...the second, <--- / , can be compared to the way your razor works when you are shaving.
I hope this helps. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 12
Sounds like you're doing most things right, Lemmy. When P-tex pulls out, as you described, it could be any of the following:

1. You didn't wait long enough for it to cool.

2. Your skis were not warm enough when you applied the P-tex.

3. Your ski was not sufficiently clean.

4. You didn't heat the ribbon/string hot enough.

5. You didn't press the P-tex sufficiently into the groove.

6. If it's a deep core-shot, or against the metal edge, you need to use a different kind of P-tex, with an adhesive in it.

7. Your scraper is not sharp enough. This is most likely--I've seen few people who really keep their scrapers sharp. You should use a thick steel scraper, and sharpen it on a diamond stone often. To sharpen it, hold it at a precise right angle to the stone and sharpen only the edge--not the sides. I touch up the edges of my scraper every time I use it, sometimes twice. A good sharp scraper will scrape a thin layer with almost no pressure.

8. You're using the wrong kind of P-tex. It doesn't sound like this is the case for you, though. The P-tex candles that are meant to be lit and dripped contain a percentage of wax, and are not nearly as hard or long-lasting as the pure polyethylene sticks meant for base repair guns, or the string and ribbon meant for use with a repair iron.

Those are some of the common problems. Or it could be something else! Hope this helps...

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ December 29, 2002, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #9 of 12
Go to www.tognar.com and order their free catalog. The catalog has some good instructions for maintaining ski edges and bases.

Personally, I use Tognar's low-cost P-Tex gizmo that looks like a cheap soldiering iron. I also use their P-Tex string. I have tried the purer P-Tex made for P-Tex guns but found it too hard to work with.

I always clean the gouge first with citrus cleaner and make sure the skis have been indoors long enough to reach room temperature. After I fill the gouge by melting P-Tex string into it I try to smooth the repair as best possible. I let the repair cool then use a single-edge razor in a holder to cut off the excess P-Tex. Next I use a mill bastard file to smooth the repair. This gets the repair smooth enough for me. Some fanatics I know use fine grained sand paper to smooth the repair even further.
post #10 of 12
Read this thread and said to myself: "Ah, what the hell, just do it." Went over to www.tognar.com and ordered the base repair iron and a roll of black ptex and a roll of clear. I've been melting the candles and the last meltjob was just not satisfactory for my XScreams. I mean, it's been good enough for the kids' boards but for my sweethearts, I need top shelf, know what I mean?
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips everyone. I think my problems were that I wasn't waiting long enough for the P-tex to cool and that my scraper wasn't sharp enough.
post #12 of 12
lemmy, The advantage of using an iron and real ptex is the repair is as good as your base. Whereas drip stuff has wax in it to allow it to melt at a lower temp and the repair isn't as hard so will wear over time. Using an iron is in a whole different league from the drippers. Personnely have never used a scrapper on my repairs with my iron, well maybe once or twice I tried. Have only used my plane since. A scrapper would have to be very sharp and take some time. If using a scrapper make sure you have very little excess. Might try some fine sandpaper to take off most of the excess.
Its much harder to get a smooth job with a iron unless use copolymer, which is used for coreshots, but its about as hard as the drip stuff when your done.
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