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when to wax off after wax on?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am new to tuning and have read most of the threads on the subject on this forum. I have also been to the Swix online school and have the video from Tognar. My question relates to the amount of time that the wax actually penetrates the base material after a hot wax. I have read somewhere that you should leave the wax on the ski overnight before scraping. Others say leave the wax on after hot waxing for 20 min or untill completely cool.("When wax is applied to the base and heated in, it blends into the amorphous freckles... sorta like sugar being mixed into hot coffee. Then, when the base and wax cool again, about half this wax is expelled from the amorphous freckles, like sugar recrystallizing in cold coffee. This is why waxed bases should be allowed to cool thoroughly before scraping and brushing excess wax off)" From Tognar web site.Has anyone seen any studies that actually have determined how long the base material "accepts" new wax? It seems that any longer time than that is not accomplishing anything with the exception of storrage protection. P.S. I imagine the answer is also dependant on the temp that the base gets to when hot waxing. The Tognar site says,HOT WAX WARNING
According to the folks at Toko race service, the optimum temperature to heat a base is to 130°C (266°F)...this allows maximum wax penetration. But be very careful, because at 140°C (284°F) you can burn a base. So if a softer universal wax melts at around 170 degrees F should you heat the iron to 266 or woll the soft wax begin to smoke(burn)?
Mark
post #2 of 22
The following link is to Dowinator Wax site that specifically answers the question in reference to Dominator wax:

http://www.dominatorwax.com/base-prep.html
post #3 of 22
Scrape when the wax has cooled to the same hardness as it was in a bar form before being melted on. The amount of wax left is based on how the ski will be used. For the recreational skier who wants the wax to remain as long as possible, a little bit of brushing takes most remaining post scrape wax out of the structure. For recreational racers, a bit more brushing with a variety of bristles takes even more off, but still leaves a tiny bit for those who race and inspect with the same ski. For one run racers, who inspect on a different pair of skis, cooling the skis to either ambient air temperature or snow temperature allows the base to shrink and expel a bit more wax. This wax can be brushed off with even more brushes of varying bristles.

Different hardnesses of wax melts at different temperatures. Its better to warm the iron up gradually until the desired wax just starts to melt. For underlays and general waxing, drip an adequate amount of wax onto the base and melt on. The iron is at optimal temperature when the the wax starts to harden about a second after the iron has left the area. Let all the wax harden for a minute or two and run the iron over again. Do this again. Let cool to scraping hardness. By allowing overnight cooling, you allow the wax to harden fully if indoors.

As long as you wax, scrape and brush ( a little) regularily, your skis will perform better. For recreational skiing, don't sweat the small details which are critical for racing.
post #4 of 22
I maybe tossed off of here for this but here goes. I did some rec racing and spent a lot more time on tuning (mostly by hand) and waxing, corking, brushing, ect. I still like good edges and properly waxed skis, but I think that for the average skier freeskiing that is not that necessary to be so precice. If I am going to be skiing hard packed groomers or spring snow I will leave the wax on the skis and not scrape (heaven for bid) them. After 2-3 runs you can not tell the difference, even if you look at the bottom of the skis it is hard to tell. It is important to have good wax, bases structured, edges deburred and tuned when necessary. Past that there are only a couple of people on this site who could tell any difference.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobig
If I am going to be skiing hard packed groomers or spring snow I will leave the wax on the skis and not scrape (heaven for bid) them. After 2-3 runs you can not tell the difference, even if you look at the bottom of the skis it is hard to tell.
I would never go that route. If you don't expose the structure after waxing, you have no structure. If you just let friction wear your wax down even with the structure, you still have no structure.
post #6 of 22
The problem with not scraping is the wax gets brittle and tears out leaving no wax in areas. Think of grabbing a handful of hair and yanking. A good amount of root will come off.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betaracer
The problem with not scraping is the wax gets brittle and tears out leaving no wax in areas. Think of grabbing a handful of hair and yanking. A good amount of root will come off.
This was covered/debated in "skis sticking " a recent poached thread which turned into tuning 101. Thank you for dropping the bottom line here....scrape your skis to expose the structure and further elaborating a valid additional reason to scrape before skiing....thank you, thank you!
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobig
If I am going to be skiing hard packed groomers or spring snow I will leave the wax on the skis and not scrape (heaven for bid) them. After 2-3 runs you can not tell the difference, even if you look at the bottom of the skis it is hard to tell.
I also don´t think so.
Skiing on hardpack the way most skiers do e.g. not schussing but turning and if you really carve your turns you engage mostly the narrow part of the base at the edges. The remaining part of the base, especially in the middle, gets as much as 6 times less pressure (quoted from a book on skiing biomechanics).
Yu can´t get rid of the wax over most of the base that way and when going straight (flats, cattracks etc.) the remaining wax will slow you down.
Besides, as has been said, you won´t be able to use the benefits of the base structure.
post #9 of 22
I've had days when I did a pretty poor job of scraping and found that the wax was all gone by the end of the day anyway, and I've had other days when the wax was still on the ski and the structure still unexposed. One thing that is consistant though, when I use the right wax for the temperature and brush after scraping my skis go a lot faster.
post #10 of 22
I've also had experiences of being too lazy to scrape much of the wax off. It was a pain on flats, but was no issue at all when on the edge. The only problem would be if I am transition very slowly, I might be putting much of my weight on the base for a significant amount of time, where there would be a tendency for the skis to be grabby. So I just did the big fast carves until the excess wax worn off.
post #11 of 22
I try different things with wax on different days to see if makes a difference. Most of the time I lightly scrape extra wax after it has cooled a bit. Overnight, more wax is absorbed. Then I lightly brush til there is some structure. After 2 runs, the base looks like I brushed it a ton and polished it. The 3rd run is faster than the 1st two.

Different snow conditions and wax choice change how quickly the extra wax rubs off. I have tried skiing with very little scrapping and no brushing, & if the conditions are soft, the extra wax does not rub off quickly & it slows me down for many runs.

I am now of the opinion that applying the right wax in minimal fashion frequently is the best compromise of time & effort. Just a little scrapping & brushing takes you 80% of the way. If the first 2 runs are important, then work on the skis.
post #12 of 22
One additional tip, rub on the wax before you you iron it in. Hold your wax on your iron to soften it then rub it on the base.

4 advantages

1. You use much less wax then dripping it on

2. Much less to scrape off also

3. Much less of a mess to clean off your ski & otherwise.

4. The layer of wax already on the ski helps to insulate the base from damage due to too much heat.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
I would never go that route. If you don't expose the structure after waxing, you have no structure. If you just let friction wear your wax down even with the structure, you still have no structure.
Thats just not true. Perhaps you've never tried it. Not saying its a good thing to do, but unless we are talking about very cold waxes, the wax will come off in a couple runs, and the structure will be exposed. Unless, perhaps, you own skis that came from the factory with "wax pockets"...
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Thats just not true. Perhaps you've never tried it. Not saying its a good thing to do, but unless we are talking about very cold waxes, the wax will come off in a couple runs, and the structure will be exposed. Unless, perhaps, you own skis that came from the factory with "wax pockets"...
I'm saying that buried structure is the equivilant of no structure. How is this incorrect?
post #15 of 22
Because it won't be buried. Skiing even a couple of runs on skis without scraping them will literally rip the wax out of the base...
post #16 of 22
Ah, I see now...thanks...so not "no structure" but "no wax."
post #17 of 22

plexi vs slope wax scraping

At first, the difference between the action of scraping off wax with a plexi scraper and scraping off wax with snow while skiing doesn't seem that significant to me. It has defiantly been more fun and much easier to use the slopes to scrape off excess wax. Now I am far from an expert tuner, just a home tuner. However, when one scrapes with the plexi's edge is it really sharp enough to prevent cleaving* of the wax? (A larger piece of wax separating and thus ripping out wax from the base). If you run an unscraped waxed pair of skis flat down the slope the excess wax will scrape off. Your weight on the skis will help prevent wax cleaving.

The texture of your base will determine how easy it is for the wax to hold onto you skis. The more smooth the surface the easier it is for wax to cleave from the ski. That’s one reason why skis come with a texture pattern in their base. Its very slight, but always there. Many different texture patters that can be put on bases.

I think the softness / hardness of the wax will mostly determine weather or not the wax cleaves. If the wax is soft or relatively warm it will not hold together enough to rip itself out of the base. In contrast, if the wax is very hard and or cold it will be more likely to hold together and rip more wax out of the base. So here is one point for scraping, snow will lower the temperature of the wax and increase its ability to hold together and thus cleave. Further, the type of wax, lower or higher temperature, will also affect the likeliness of wax cleaving from the base. Interesting.

Another point for scraping the ski. Flexing an unscraped waxed ski when it is cold will also increase the likeliness of the wax cleaving from the ski. Moreover, if the flex of the ski doesn’t match the flex of the unscraped sheet of cold wax, the wax will cleave from the ski.

Don’t over do it, the amount of excess wax applied to the base will affect the cleaving of wax from the ski’s base. To explain, the thicker the wax coat the more easily it is for harder snow to dig into the wax and rip larger sections of wax from the base, thereby cleaving wax from the base.

Skiing off the wax does seem to be wax wasteful and detuning. I ski for fun and recreation. I don’t always have time to scrape off my wax. I often let the slopes and gravity scrape my skis. So, I am loosing more wax than I want to if the afore wax logic holds. To minimize wax loss on those lazy slope scraping days I guess I can use a softer wax and be careful to not apply an excessive amount wax to the ski.

What do you think?

*[Note: Cleave – Verb, Mineralogy. To split or separate, especially along a natural line of division.]
post #18 of 22
Wax sort of seasons the base by soaking in. Try this: Fill an old pre-Lexan Nalgene bottle with gin. Leave for a week. Drink all the gin in one night. The next morning rinse the bottle, fill with water and go on a hike. When hot, thirsty, and headachy, take a sip fron the bottle.....you'll see just how much foreign material a seemingly impermiable plastic can absorb.

My point is that how one scrapes and brushes is not that important after a few runs---it is what the base absorbs that is.
post #19 of 22
When you don't scrape after waxing your skis are very base high. Makes them wander and makes it much more difficult to get to an edge. You must ski with much more angulation to get on edge.

Additionally, skis with all that wax on them are slower. Racers try to scrape and brush out every last bit of wax that they can.

The wax rarely skis off evenly. Most of the pressure on your ski is under foot. You end up with more wax on the tips & tails particulrly with the wider shovels and tails that are often concave.

Don't be so lazy, just scrape & brush or be lazy like me and scrape & Rotobrush!
post #20 of 22
If you leave the wax unscraped/unbrushed in the spring when skiing on typically dirty snow your bases catch much more dirt which makes them even slower.
In some other thread I reported about servicing skis in an European test conducted in a ski dome with extremely dirty (because old and seldom regenerated) snow.
(Otoh, someone might say the wax serves as a protective coating preventing some dirt from penetrating the base? Even if so this would be at the cost of such a loss of gliding properties that it´s unthinkable in racing or training.)
post #21 of 22
My variation on Atomicman's approach is to rub the wax onto a heated ski base and then iron it out. I don't put so much wax onto the ski that there's anything significant to scrape off unless I'm applying a cheap universal or parafin for cleaning purposes. I just finish with a thorough brushing. I try to use temperature-apporpriate waxes. Only the hardest waxes (for really cold temperatures) won't rub on well. I'm going to try Atomicman's heat the wax on the iron before rubbing it onto the ski for cold wax.
post #22 of 22
I normally wax, and then scrape off right before I ski (could be days later, or months later if over the summer). Follow up the scrape with a light lengthwise buff using a soft scotch-brite pad.

That said, I have skied without scraping off the wax, and it takes but a few minutes for the snow to buff the base. Probably not as good as a hand scrape/buff, but I really can't tell the difference in the first few runs. If it's a powder day, the base texture is almost immaterial. And if it's hard pack, it usually takes me a run or two to get into full carving form anyway (heck, I don't normally crank my boots down until the 2nd or 3rd run anyhow).

I used to wax according to temp and meticulously maintain the bases. Since I relaxed my prep, I can't say I have noticed any adverse effects. For racing, it's definitely more important.

Craig
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