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Scraping Wax and Seeing Some Black or Grey

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Since we keep talking about tuning I figure I will post alot.

I usually wax using a wax bar, a cork, or Ray's Way roller to heat the wax into the base. I then brush it with a horsehair.

If I hotwax ,which isn't too often, I use a Swix iron and CH7 for all around use. I then use a white or blue Swix brush and finish with the horsehair. I only hotwax if the base is looking pretty grey after one day of skiing.

Sometimes when I scrape off the wax I see some light black or grey in the wax that is coming off.

Does this mean that some of the base is burnt, I cut some P-Tex hairs, or it may just be dirt?

I put two lines of wax up and down the ski from contact point to contact point with a little more on the tip to help start it.

I then very gently melt the wax on the tip and gently and quickly move the iron back and forth to melt the wax evenly without leaving it linger in one place.

I don't think it's possible I am burning the base since I use a decent amount of wax and move the iron very quickly with no pressure.
post #2 of 15

it's probably dirt, which probably means that you are not cleaning it enough and also your probably scraping to much.
post #3 of 15
I used to have that happen to my atomics, what kind of skis are you on?

I think its a combination of have the temp on the iron too high and scraping wayyy to much.

oh and stick with hot wax kid
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have Atomics.

The iron is set at one temp and the wax doesn't snoke so I don't think it's that.

I only do one or two passes when I scrape so maybe it is dirt.
post #5 of 15
Are you cleaning and drying your bases properly before waxing? You gotta clean em and dry em properly man! Get a citrus cleaner and sipe over THOUROUGHLY then wipe over with soft dry cloth until CLEAN. If you not waxing, run a cloth over them at the end of each day anyway to dry them off and get the majority of crud off. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #6 of 15
I second the no chemical cleaners statement. You either have dirty bases or you are carbonizing wax. To figure it out use the hot scrape method three times then wax and scrape cold. If your last scraping has grey or black in it you are carbonizing wax and need to reduce the iron temperature.

The Swix digital read out iron is the best investment I've made. I now know I'm not carbonizing wax. With high fluoro waxes it can make a difference to your health.

post #7 of 15
I said it in my original post, but will specifically reiterate - CITRUS BASED CLEANERS ONLY. Wipe on, wipe off. Very easy, Grasshopper [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
As soon as I get home or back to the ski condo I wipe the skis down and get all of the moisture off the ski.

I do not think the wax is carbonizing so it must be dirt or hairs.

I used to use the citrus base cleaners but I did notice the bases drying out alot faster and getting burned faster.
post #9 of 15
would you guys like to describe in detail the process of hot scraping skis. I use citrus cleaner, and my skis get burned fairly easy, but I always blame that on the fact that I am just using a bar of shop wax.

post #10 of 15
Used base cleaners a few times, I just wax, scrape and brass brush to clean anymore. Citrus based cleaners are nice if you run out of Margarita mix. Other than that, don't see much use for them. Scalce, wouldn't fret about what you are seeing.
Would use a brass/bronze (you know, shiny not silver colored) brush between waxing. Another way to check how hot things are getting is feel your skis topskin towards the tip and tail (where things are thinner). You don't ever want things to get HOT. Never thought much of thermostats and dials on irons. In a cold setting (winter garage) settings would be different than in a heated basement. Best to be conservative. Just waxing regularly is the ticket.
Best general manual for waxing/tuning is Swix Alpine Manual
which can be had from most online tool houses and alot of ski shops. It is about $4.
post #11 of 15
Hot scrape: Apply hot wax. Immediately scrape. Follow with brass brush (I have one brass brush that I use specifically for this purpose. Repeat until there is no dirt in the scraped wax. I use the hydrocarbon version of the fluoro wax I will be using later for hot scraping.

Softer waxes work better for hot scraping but you have to wax a few more times with your temperature specific wax to get the soft wax out when it is inappropriate for your conditions/ temperature. The more frequently you hot scrape/clean your bases the fewer hot scrapes you have to do each time you clean your bases.

Why hot scrape instead of using chemical based cleaners - including citrus based cleaners? They all dry out your bases - citrus not as bad as petroleum. Hot scraping does not dry out your bases. Big deal, once cleaned you immediately tune then wax right? Not really, tuning will remove more of a dried base than one that is not dried. Even if you don't tune the wax does not absorb as well into a dried base and the cleaning agent impedes adherance of the wax to the base. These days if I need an agent to get late season grease out of my bases I use a citrus cleaner followed by 3 hot scrapes before tuning.

post #12 of 15
Like John J said, I don't use any base cleaners or wax removers. Hey the idea is to keep the wax there.

To hot scrape, use a yellow or high snow temp wax. Drip it on and wax the ski as normal, being careful to "get the tip and tail warm on the top skin". While the wax is still warm, cooled about a minute or two, then scrape it off. We would do this on the race skis all the time, but for most of us just do it when it looks like the base needs it.

To be honest with you, I don't think I have ever done it on my skis. If I get a little grease spot I'll use a bit cleaner.

I will sometimes use a combo brush before I wax, but only if I see something I don't like on the bases. I use a all temp wax like Dominators Hyper Zoom.
post #13 of 15
I think its best to avoid using ANY of the chemical cleaners for your bases. Its a very fast way to dry out your bases which can lead to baseburn. Clean them by using the Hot Scrape technique. Then make sure and buff them with a green scotch brite pad to remove the base material fuzz. This fuzz might be the black or grey you are seeing. After buffing, then you want to wax and brush. I do this two or three times between each time I go skiing. The more you wax your skis the faster they become!
You might also need to have the bases restructured so that they can hold more wax. When they are "burned" -that sort of greying fuzzy look- the poores can sometimes be seeled preventing your wax from permeating the bases. Take them to your local shop and have them stone ground.
post #14 of 15
Beware, many citrus cleaners also contain petroleum. Check the contents label before you buy. Hot scraping is better unless your skis have really picked up a lot of grunge which usually happens in the late spring when there hasn't been any new snow for a while.
post #15 of 15
As to dirt in the wax scrapings, not unusual. Aarhead did hit on something in his post.

I have done the follwoing, and it seems to work well for me.

After cleaning your bases, use a cheaper all purpose wax,apply it then immediately scrape, while it is still hot. This additional waxing step will help remove even more dirt. If the scrapped wax has a lot of grey in it,clean your bases again, apply more hot wax and scrape again. By the end of the second round, your scrapings should be free of grey, then clean the bases again to get all of the previous wax out, and now it is finally time to apply the "good stuff."

This works especially well during spring ski season. As the snow melts, the concenrations of dirt, ski groomer hydralic fluid, and whatever other impurities are in the snow, by default, concentrate, and the bases pick up even more junk that needs to be cleaned out.
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