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ski tuning advice

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi!
I ski about 20 days a year. (east coast)
I have my skis stone ground at the begining of each season.
I would like to sharpen and wax my skis myself.
Has anyone used the FK pocket tuner II or the professional multi tuner?

Or am I better off with a file and edge guide?

How often do I need to tune the base edge of my ski?
How difficult is it to tune the base edge?

Thanks for your help!

cjinc
post #2 of 24
I haven't used the 2 tools you mentioned, but certain multi tools work well. I use the Toko tool for base edge. For side edge, I use a file guide, and have different coarsenesses of files, depending on the condition of the edge. I always finish with a fine file, and then a diamond stone at the very end.

The base edge should only be filed when absolutely required. Most routine sharpening should be done on the side edge. Once the filing is complete on the side, use a diamond on the base edge to remove any fine burrs, and then use the diamond on the side edge.

I'll let you in on secret.... Stone grinding is to smoothen and structure the base. The edge still needs to be prepped afterwards to put the bevels back and polish out machining striations.
post #3 of 24
Based on the information you have given, (20 days a year, east coast, annual grind) I would recommend waxing every 3rd or 4th time out, filing the side edges every 5 or 6 times. Don't even touch the base edges, except lightly with a diamond stone to keep them smooth and free of burrs. Personally, I like a file with an edge guide for the side edges.
post #4 of 24
A stone grind at the start of the season is a good idea. Invest in a true bar and check the ski base for flatness when you get it back from the shop. Most of these shops(a good shop where racers take their skis) will create your base and side edge bevel for you after it comes off the stone (tell them what you like). You can also see the base bevel with your true bar as a little light will show under the bar when the edge is slightly lower than the base. You just won't know the exact number of degrees. If you buy a file guide for doing your side edges they come in different bevels. 1 deg.of bevel(or 89) is good for most skiers. I find 90 is fine for me. A racer may need them sharper. As for home sharpening - stick as much as possible to the side edge, and keep it light. If you have any rock damage on the edge and that's what you are trying to sharpen out or past, then you need to debur with a stone to remove the case hardened metal. Those burrs can wreck a good file in short order. Keep your stone nice and flat on the side edge as you work the burr. Hotwax the skis with an iron (careful not to burn the wax if you see any smoke the iron is too hot) as often as possible and scrape off all the excess wax with a plastic scraper. If you do any base edge filing you will just increase your edge bevel and it may not be uniform tip to tail.
post #5 of 24
I use Base of beast & side of beast. Once you set your and side edge bevels with a file, you should not be using a file after that only diamond stones. I have found Reliable Racing & SVST diamond files( Not DMT's diamond stones, they are junk) work best. SVST are much more abrasive and you get a more polished finish. Theyu have a naluminum backing and are completly covered on one side with diamind abrasive material!

Also no one has mentioned using a Gummi stone and or an Arkansas stone to remove the side and base burrs as a final step. Your diamond files/stones no matter how fine (and you only need 400 or 600 grit for Super G and Downhill skis) leave a burr on the edge.

Sounds to me like your grinding too often, tread lightly on the grinds, Chief, or you won't have much ski left. Unless you have major base gouges or really torn up edges you should be able to "renew" things with your diamonds!

Once you have set the base edge bevel you cannot decrease the amount of base edge bevel. So don't over do it. In other words if you do a 1 degree and decide you want a .5 or .7 you have to regrind the base on a machine. If you are at 1 degree and want a 1.5 degree you can add the .5 degree base bevel but also have to redo the side edge bevel. Side edges can be reduce or increased without a grind!

Over & out!

Cliff

PS I use SVST's secret Sauce and diamond file wet!

[ September 29, 2002, 06:32 PM: Message edited by: Atomicman ]
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Atomicman:
I use Base of beast & side of beast. Although I am considering changing to SVST (Sun Valley Ski Tools)base & side bevel tools Once you set your and side edge bevels with a file, you should not be using a file after that only diamond stones. I have found Reliable Racing & SVST diamond files( Not DMT's diamond stones, they are junk) work best. SVST are much more abrasive and you get a more polished finish. Theyu have a naluminum backing and are completly covered on one side with diamind abrasive material!

Also no one has mentioned using a Gummi stone and or an Arkansas stone to remove the side and base burrs as a final step. Your diamond files/stones no matter how fine (and you only need 400 or 600 grit for Super G and Downhill skis) leave a burr on the edge.

Sounds to me like your grinding too often, tread lightly on the grinds, Chief, or you won't have much ski left. Unless you have major base gouges or really torn up edges you should be able to "renew" things with your diamonds!

Once you have set the base edge bevel you cannot decrease the amount of base edge bevel. So don't over do it. In other words if you do a 1 degree and decide you want a .5 or .7 you have to regrind the base on a machine. If you are at 1 degree and want a 1.5 degree you can add the .5 degree base bevel but also have to redo the side edge bevel. Side edges can be reduce or increased without a grind!

Over & out!

Cliff

PS I use SVST's secret Sauce and diamond file wet!
post #7 of 24
SVST has absolutely the best tuning tools available.
post #8 of 24
A lot of good advice here from a lot of knowledgable skiers. Leave the base edge alone unless absolutely necessary. I find the multituner to be the most user friendly of the beveling tools.Though it can be set up to do the base edge I only use it for side edge work. My favorite tool for on slope touch-up and burr removal is called a diamond burr stick(diamond on one side and gummi on the other).You can deburr, sharpen, and polish with this one tool.Always work flush to the base and square to the edge. Always wet your diamond stones if you want them to last.You can use the heat from your palm to melt snow into your diamond when deburring on slope. Not only are DMT diamonds junk to begin with but they advise you to use them dry which is like running your car without oil.
post #9 of 24
One additional important point! Don't detune the tips & tails of your shape skis like we used to do with the old skis. Leave them sharp tip to tail! If your tips are "Grabby", you want to gradually and lightly increase the base bevel until the ski hooks up smoothly. I do a light 1.5 degree on our Atomic race skis from contact point to about the "M" on the ATOMIC graphic on the tip of last year's 10.22 & 9.12 or 9.16 and feather it into a 1 degree on the rest of the ski. I do a 1 degree on the entire base edge & then add the increased bevel in the tip only!

Over & out!

Cliff

[ September 30, 2002, 09:35 AM: Message edited by: Atomicman ]
post #10 of 24
Atomicman,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you also have to be careful stone grinding some of the Atomics because they have a concavity at the tip (measured side wall to sidewall) that is designed in. You don't want to grind this out.
post #11 of 24
I have only a couple of things to add. First, use a stone to remove burrs BEFORE you file. Burrs can easily be hareder than even good quality files. Also, get a sidewall planer to remove the sidewall material above the edge. A file will not cut that soft plastic, and as a result you won't get an accurate edge angle no matter what type of tool use use. I used to file my base edges also, but I found I eventually ended up with high, convex bases, so I stay away from them now.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by BetaRacer:
I haven't used the 2 tools you mentioned, but certain multi tools work well. I use the Toko tool for base edge. For side edge, I use a file guide, and have different coarsenesses of files, depending on the condition of the edge. I always finish with a fine file, and then a diamond stone at the very end.

The base edge should only be filed when absolutely required. Most routine sharpening should be done on the side edge. Once the filing is complete on the side, use a diamond on the base edge to remove any fine burrs, and then use the diamond on the side edge.

I'll let you in on secret.... Stone grinding is to smoothen and structure the base. The edge still needs to be prepped afterwards to put the bevels back and polish out machining striations.
What are the different files that you use and how?
Where can I purchase them?

Thanks for the tip!

cjinc

[ September 30, 2002, 11:20 AM: Message edited by: cjinc ]
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Atomicman:
I use Base of beast & side of beast. Once you set your and side edge bevels with a file, you should not be using a file after that only diamond stones. I have found Reliable Racing & SVST diamond files( Not DMT's diamond stones, they are junk) work best. SVST are much more abrasive and you get a more polished finish. Theyu have a naluminum backing and are completly covered on one side with diamind abrasive material!

Also no one has mentioned using a Gummi stone and or an Arkansas stone to remove the side and base burrs as a final step. Your diamond files/stones no matter how fine (and you only need 400 or 600 grit for Super G and Downhill skis) leave a burr on the edge.

Sounds to me like your grinding too often, tread lightly on the grinds, Chief, or you won't have much ski left. Unless you have major base gouges or really torn up edges you should be able to "renew" things with your diamonds!

Once you have set the base edge bevel you cannot decrease the amount of base edge bevel. So don't over do it. In other words if you do a 1 degree and decide you want a .5 or .7 you have to regrind the base on a machine. If you are at 1 degree and want a 1.5 degree you can add the .5 degree base bevel but also have to redo the side edge bevel. Side edges can be reduce or increased without a grind!

Over & out!

Cliff

PS I use SVST's secret Sauce and diamond file wet!
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Atomicman:
I use Base of beast & side of beast. Once you set your and side edge bevels with a file, you should not be using a file after that only diamond stones. I have found Reliable Racing & SVST diamond files( Not DMT's diamond stones, they are junk) work best. SVST are much more abrasive and you get a more polished finish. Theyu have a naluminum backing and are completly covered on one side with diamind abrasive material!

Also no one has mentioned using a Gummi stone and or an Arkansas stone to remove the side and base burrs as a final step. Your diamond files/stones no matter how fine (and you only need 400 or 600 grit for Super G and Downhill skis) leave a burr on the edge.

Sounds to me like your grinding too often, tread lightly on the grinds, Chief, or you won't have much ski left. Unless you have major base gouges or really torn up edges you should be able to "renew" things with your diamonds!

Once you have set the base edge bevel you cannot decrease the amount of base edge bevel. So don't over do it. In other words if you do a 1 degree and decide you want a .5 or .7 you have to regrind the base on a machine. If you are at 1 degree and want a 1.5 degree you can add the .5 degree base bevel but also have to redo the side edge bevel. Side edges can be reduce or increased without a grind!

Over & out!

Cliff

PS I use SVST's secret Sauce and diamond file wet!
After filing my side edge what grits diamond stone should I use for rec. skiing?
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Alaska Mike:
I prefer using file guides over multi-angle tools when tuning my race skis, although I use the multi-angle tools on my recreational skis. Some multi-angle tools can vary greatly in accuracy from use to use, since the edge angle is set by a small screw. Others use a series of wedges, which I find to be much more consistent. Whatever you use, let the file do the work- don't press down.

As has been mentioned, use relatively fine files to maintain your edges. If you do a quick sharpening every couple of ski days, you'll be able to use less-aggressive files. Detune the tails with a gummi stone.

Skip the annual base-grind unless you get a lot of base damage. Have the shop set up you side and base edges once, and then avoid the grinder after that unless absolutely necessary.

Make friends with a good ski tech and get them to teach you how to maintain your skis. You can read a million books on ski tuning, but you can learn a lot more by seeing someone do it firsthand. REI and other sports retailers often have clinics to show you the basics. The Swix alpine ski prep guide is also a good reference.

Keep your tool kit simple, but buy good quality tools. The Swix mid-line wax iron has a double-thick base and holds heat better than the economy iron. I use primarily bronze and nylon brushes for basic waxing. You can't brush your bases too much. Unless you're racing, stick to hydrocarbon waxes. The more you wax and brush your skis, the more wax the bases will retain.

It's really easy to go all gearhead when it comes to tuning, but a few basic skills are all that is required to make fast skis. I stopped by to talk with the tech that tunes for the US Ski Team as he was prepping skis for their camp in Chile. I watched as he prepped some Super G skis- working carefully and double-checking everything. No fancy machines, no really high-tech gizmos, just patiently working with basic tools to turn out a superior ski. Keep that in mind when you're looking through catalogs.
I had my skis hand tuned last winter and was able to watch and learn.
The performance of the skis was fantastic!

How and when do I use the bronze and nylon brushes?
Can you recomend what to buy (ther are so many different types!)

Thanks

cjinc
post #16 of 24
I prefer using file guides over multi-angle tools when tuning my race skis, although I use the multi-angle tools on my recreational skis. Some multi-angle tools can vary greatly in accuracy from use to use, since the edge angle is set by a small screw. Others use a series of wedges, which I find to be much more consistent. Whatever you use, let the file do the work- don't press down.

As has been mentioned, use relatively fine files to maintain your edges. If you do a quick sharpening every couple of ski days, you'll be able to use less-aggressive files. Detune the tails with a gummi stone.

Skip the annual base-grind unless you get a lot of base damage. Have the shop set up you side and base edges once, and then avoid the grinder after that unless absolutely necessary.

Make friends with a good ski tech and get them to teach you how to maintain your skis. You can read a million books on ski tuning, but you can learn a lot more by seeing someone do it firsthand. REI and other sports retailers often have clinics to show you the basics. The Swix alpine ski prep guide is also a good reference.

Keep your tool kit simple, but buy good quality tools. The Swix mid-line wax iron has a double-thick base and holds heat better than the economy iron. I use primarily bronze and nylon brushes for basic waxing. You can't brush your bases too much. Unless you're racing, stick to hydrocarbon waxes. The more you wax and brush your skis, the more wax the bases will retain.

It's really easy to go all gearhead when it comes to tuning, but a few basic skills are all that is required to make fast skis. I stopped by to talk with the tech that tunes for the US Ski Team as he was prepping skis for their camp in Chile. I watched as he prepped some Super G skis- working carefully and double-checking everything. No fancy machines, no really high-tech gizmos, just patiently working with basic tools to turn out a superior ski. Keep that in mind when you're looking through catalogs.
post #17 of 24
Cjinc,

The brushes are used in base prep. After filing or structuring the base, use a scotch-brite (green scouring pads) to remove the fine hairs of p-tex material that remain. Work tip to tail. Hairs will remain. Use the brass brush to continue cleaning the base to ensure the pores/structuring in the base are clean for the coming hot-wax. After waxing, cooling, scraping use the nylon brush as a final stage to remove excess wax from the structure marks.
post #18 of 24
I use the bronze brush as a general-purpose brush, especially when working with colder (harder) waxes. The nylon brushes I mainly use for cleaning and softer wax removal. For flouro treatments I use a horsehair brush or cork, depending on the medium. Work from tip to tail (don't brush sideways), and don't worry that you're removing too much wax by brushing. Like I said, you can't brush too much. Depending on hown abrasive the snow is, I may skip brushing after scraping on my free skiing skis because the snow will do it for me in a short amount of time. I use a nylon (not Brillo) pot scrubber like you can get at the supermarket to remove wax from the edges. Then again, a couple runs usually removes that as well.

I really like having ski vices, but you can get away without them. They just make working with the skis that much easier.

I detune the tails of my freeskiing skis, since I don't carve every turn when I'm out having fun. My race skis are sharp front to rear. Personal preference.
post #19 of 24
i know this has been said. but you must be carefull when working with edges. Dont take to much off. the metal you see is all you get. you cant put it back on. so go easy, AND DONT MESS WITH THE BASE EDGE. one filing of that should be all you need, then maintain it with a diamond or ceramic stone.

oh yeah...nobody mentioned ceramic stones. ive been using them for 2 years, they are awesome. I've never had my edges any smoother...
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by 9.12 skier:
i know this has been said. but you must be carefull when working with edges. Dont take to much off. the metal you see is all you get. you cant put it back on. so go easy, AND DONT MESS WITH THE BASE EDGE. one filing of that should be all you need, then maintain it with a diamond or ceramic stone.

oh yeah...nobody mentioned ceramic stones. ive been using them for 2 years, they are awesome. I've never had my edges any smoother...
What types of ceramic stones do you use?
Do they come in different grits?
Whats a good brand and where can I purchase them?

Thanks

cjinc
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by cjinc:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Atomicman:
I use Base of beast & side of beast. Once you set your and side edge bevels with a file, you should not be using a file after that only diamond stones. I have found Reliable Racing & SVST diamond files( Not DMT's diamond stones, they are junk) work best. SVST are much more abrasive and you get a more polished finish. Theyu have a naluminum backing and are completly covered on one side with diamind abrasive material!

Also no one has mentioned using a Gummi stone and or an Arkansas stone to remove the side and base burrs as a final step. Your diamond files/stones no matter how fine (and you only need 400 or 600 grit for Super G and Downhill skis) leave a burr on the edge.

Sounds to me like your grinding too often, tread lightly on the grinds, Chief, or you won't have much ski left. Unless you have major base gouges or really torn up edges you should be able to "renew" things with your diamonds!

Once you have set the base edge bevel you cannot decrease the amount of base edge bevel. So don't over do it. In other words if you do a 1 degree and decide you want a .5 or .7 you have to regrind the base on a machine. If you are at 1 degree and want a 1.5 degree you can add the .5 degree base bevel but also have to redo the side edge bevel. Side edges can be reduce or increased without a grind!

Over & out!

Cliff

PS I use SVST's secret Sauce and diamond file wet!
After filing my side edge what grits diamond stone should I use for rec. skiing?</font>[/quote]I use a 220 & a sometimes a 320.and But I think the 220 and then a gummi stone to deburr works fine for freeskiing. If you want to go crazy, you can use a 220, a 320 a 400 & a 600. I only do that on my sons Race Super G's & Downhill's

Try reliable Racing's diamond File or SVST's Try to stay away from DMT Stones!
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by TAMSki:
Atomicman,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you also have to be careful stone grinding some of the Atomics because they have a concavity at the tip (measured side wall to sidewall) that is designed in. You don't want to grind this out.
It is almost impossible to grind it out if you think about it. To grind the entire base of the ski to that low point, I doubt you would have any edge left.

I have been to Scott Holmer's shop in Bend, Oregon. He invented the Beast line of tuning tools. His son is a very successful downhiller from Mt. Bachelor. I think there is a lot of myth about the concavity of Atomic's related to it being intentional because of the Beta construction and when weighting the ski it flattens out. I think it is BULL! Anyway Scott looked at all of our Atomic's. He said as long as the ski is flat about 15-20mm inside of each base edge, the skis will ski fine. he suggested more base edge bevel in the tip to cure any "Grabby" tip issues. It worked!
Over & out1,

Cliff
post #23 of 24
All posts here... very good advice. Phantom has a good idea... 1┬░bevel for base and side edge is good for most skiers.

Remember that wax belongs IN the base not on it.
www.lacyslatherworks.com and hit the link Bob's Ski page. You'll find good waxing instructions and also the bevels on skis as they came from the factory. There are probably many procedures to wax but the one I use has gotten incredible reviews from my customers. (and you don't need $150 a can waxes!)
post #24 of 24
I like my tuner!

cjinc, go to SwissCarve.com and click on Stockli Stuff.
Check out the tuner they have there. Is that what you are talking about? It does three things, de-burrs, relieves sidewalls and files. I got mine late this summer, works great.
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