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how do i know if i've gone wrong?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i've read a lot of warnings about screwing up your skis, ruining your skis, etc. when tuning them. in the process of tuning (p-tex candle, sanding, waxing, sharpening edges, etc.): how can you screw them up? how can one tell if/when they are screwed up? and what steps does one take to specifically avoid screwing them up?
post #2 of 11
Bubble'd bases, too much work and remove too much material, Screw or drill through the bases.

Best bet is to go to the thrift store and get those 5 dollar old straight skis and practice practice practice before you do it on your good skis.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
yeah but, for example, what would cause a bubbled base? what's wrong w/ a bubbled base? why is a bubbled base bad? how do i know if i've removed too much material? how do you avoid removing too much material?
post #4 of 11
How do they ski? That should be the templet.
post #5 of 11
If you answered the phone and came back 10 minutes later to find your wax iron sitting on your base, that would be a sure sign.
post #6 of 11
usually stopping at one spot on your skis while waxing will do it. make sure there is was between the iron and the base and keep the iron moving. It should not be smoking and the wax should cool to a non liquid base in a few seconds. If it stays too much longer, then you probably are getting close to over heating the bases. (the exception I have found are Atomic's. For some reason even though I know they are not too hot, the wax seems to stay liquid for a long time) If the top skins (opposite of the base) is too hot to handle comfortably, you are definatly getting the bases too hot.

The bubbled bases would mean the material has been altered and will not glide as well as the original finish. Much like Ice cream that is melted and refrozen is not as good.
The change in the base goes all the way through so there is no real good way to repair.

As far as taking off too much material, If you make the base lower than the edges (railed not concave) the ski will not feel right on the hill. I do not know how to get the concave factory finish restored yet. anyone have an idea on this or is it just hand scraping with a metal scraper pressed in a little?

The removal of too much material is more a matter of how many times you can tune before you run out of edge or base material. Go slow and check your progress often.
post #7 of 11
First off, get yourself a book and the proper tools, and ask yourself this question: "do I have basic mechanical abilities? or do I usually screw things up when I try to fix things?" I your the later, take them in to th shop and forgetaboutit, except for deburring and waxing - which my 90 year old grandmother could do. But to answer your questions:
P-Tex candle: Kinda hard to screw up your skis if you do it correctly, unless you touch the tourch flame on you base : But no need to use p-tex candle anymore, they have iron on p-tex patches now.
Sanding: [img]redface.gif[/img] do not, I repeat, do not sand any part of your ski. The word sanding and skis should not be used in the same sentence, unless your makeing wooden skis [img]tongue.gif[/img] If your referring to the archaic process of belt sanding to flatten the bases, don't do it! Get yourself a base flattener or base plane.
How could you screw up your skis with a base plane? taking too much off, uneven pressure to one side, skipping and chewing up the base or edge. But don't be too scared, just pratice a little on an old pair until you get the hang of it. It takes a long time to take any significant base material off with it, so any one stroke is not going to screw up anything. Check often with true bar.
Waxing: hard to screw up here if you keep the iron moving and not too hot. If your wax is smoking like crazy, your iron is too hot.
Sharpening edges: You can screw up big time here if you bevel your edges wrong. For example, if you beveled your base edge to 3 degrees, then said oops; you would need to take a lot of base down to fix it.
post #8 of 11

I don't see anything wrong in using sandpaper to put a structure in the base. This is done by top technicians all over the world.
post #9 of 11
I concur on the sandpaper comment. Go look at the tips at Tognar or the book World class tuning. For removing base high spots I use my plane but if my rock ski edges are rougher than a file from tip to tail out comes the Silicon carbide sandpaper.
post #10 of 11
As said, you need to have some feel for how to do manual work. If you don't, leave it for shops, but find a good one. The good books are: World Class Ski Tuning by Michael Howden, Swix Alpine Ski Preparation; Tech Manual, and get a copy of Tognar Tool Works' catalog.(www.tognar.com)

Swix sections NewSkis Base Prep. and Race Day Prep are good.

Many good skis are coming from the factory ski ready. Find out what the company recommends for side and base bevels for your skis. Be a minimalist, don't file the whole edge when there is only a small ding. Base gouges don't need to be filled right away if they are shallow and away from the edge. Base repair "irons" used with P-tex "string" or tape have replaced drip candles for me. Again, don't go nuts. Read those books, read the tips in Tognar's catalog or website, start with the minimal set. Just hotwaxing will improve your skis general performance. Fix the little edge dings, get a feel for it... then go to bigger work.
post #11 of 11
Ok, I sit corrected on the sandpaper for base structure; just don't belt sand your skis to flatten the base.
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