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Edge tools & DIN question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is my first post, but I've been lurking for a little while. . . I'm a fairly new skier and I would like do do my own tuning and have a question or two. I've read the threads at:


I have a couple of specific questions to help me get started. First off, here is a little bit of info:

My skis: Volant Machete Sin 175cm
Bindings: Rossignol Axial 110 (DIN set to 6)
Me: 145 - 155 lbs (I vary a bit, so say about 150)

I have skied four times on these skis so far, once last season, and three this season (I royally screwed up my back before last season and it was too painful the one day I tried skiing). I had the bindings mounted at REI and I think they may have done some tuning other than setting the DIN, but I'm not sure, it was a while ago. I would consider myself an intermediate skier, but I go pretty much everywhere (inbounds) on the mountain and hit jumps and drops.

So, if I'm buying guide(s) for diamond stones (I have absolutely nothing at this point), is there a way to know what angle my skis currently have? Should I just buy the angles I want (I'm not sure what that is yet) and then take them to a shop and have them ground to those angle (base and side)? I was thinking that I would probably get 1 degree guides for both base and edge. Given the very limited information I've given, does that make sense?

My other question . . . Last time I went out I managed to pop off one of my skis twice, once on a pretty nasty mogul and another time just after landing off of a jump. Both times I felt like I caught an edge, but could have held on if my ski hadn't come off. Would it be wise to increase my DIN, or should I just try harder not to catch the edges? The time on the mogul was pretty hilarious, I did what I called the "superman" down the hill. Don't know why, but I put both arms out over my head and flew straight down the hill and landed on my chest, knocking the wind out of me (which I only realized when I tried to laugh)...

post #2 of 10
finding out the current angle is easy. color the edge with a pen, and run the guide w/file along. by how evenly the color is removed you can tell if you have the correct angle set.

i would suggest to get a 88deg. angle/file guide, a mill file, a pansar file (good for flattening p-tex base repairs, too) and a set of stones, or just one in the 200-300 grit range. then initially set the angle with the files and keep the edges sharp with the stone on a regular basis. file when necessary. 2deg side bevel works well for most conditions. a sharper edge won't make a difference in pow but will do so on harder stuff. guides for base edge are unnecessary. just polish the base edeg carefully with the stone.

the DIN thing: 6 is rather low. i weigh 160. i ski 7 for groomers when i want to minimize risk. for offpiste i go up to 8.5 or even 9. of course a smoother way of riding will keep skis on, too. i'd say you could crank up din to 7-8 if you are in good shape.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thanks for the info, that's exactly what I was looking for. If I adjust my DIN, is there anything special I need to worry about? This is to say, I've never set the DIN myself, is it just as simple as cranking it to the correct number and then locking it in place or something like that? Also, and this is probably a something stupid I could trivially look up, is the DIN progression relatively linear? Does a 7 in theory hold 7 times as well as a 1?

I ski on Mt. Hood mainly (so far that's the only mountain I've skied) and I don't think we really get powder, so having more grabbing power is appealing definitely. Any good online stores to buy tuning equipment, or do most folks prefer to support their local shops?

post #4 of 10
I would have them tuned to what you want. I keep my FB's at 1 and 1. I may have them ground and tuned before I go out west because the edges were in terrible shape when I got them. I got the impression that volant doesn't put a lot of love into their off the shelf tune... After you have them tuned, buy whatever you need.
post #5 of 10
As a self described intermediate, I would not recomend adjusting bindings, however, make sure nothing is in the way, a caught pant leg or snow pack can affect your forward pressure and cause the release issues you've described.

Also, I think the edges on Volants are typically 1 and 1, but that should be fine at your level of skiing. Something to keep in mind though, many manufacturers do not take much time tuning their skis before shipment. Personally, with new skis, I like to have a shop (just for sake of time) reset the base to flat (and verify this) and reset the side to 0. Then I can set my edges myself.

When starting out tuning your own skis, remember that base and side bevels are different, and I would get a 1 degree base bevel guide, a 1 and 2 degree side bevel guide and a few files (to make sure at least on is flat - often times they are slightly bend or warped from storage). Beyond that, Diamond stones will come into play the most if your edge gets tempered by hitting a rock (the friction causes heat which causes the steel to harden and will cause the file to skip). Diamond stones will cut right through the hardened steel before filing. Diamonds and Ceramics can be used to finish and polish the edge as well (used with the guides), and don't forget to get a Gummi stone to remove the burr from the edge (any time you sharpen your edge you are creating a burr, this is what you feel with your finger, and what will typically cut you if you get a cut from the edge).

However, I would recomend learning to wax your skis first, before tuning the edges, because you will want to wax after you do your edge work.
post #6 of 10
Dath, where on Hood have you skied? I'm going to be moving back up there. I've only skied Meadows - are any of the others worth trying?
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Greg - thanks for the info. I was wondering how much care is taken at the factory with the initial tuning. . .

Manus - Are you suggesting I don't change the DIN myself since I am an intermediate, or that I don't have it increased at all because I'm an intermediate? I would assume the second and was hesitant to do it, which is why I asked. Definitely I'll be learning how to wax them. I'm just trying to figure out what all I will need and how much everything is going to cost. I'm going to need to both tune and wax them, so I may as well figure it all out.

gyro - I've skied at Timberline Lodge, Ski Bowl, and Mt. Hood Meadows. I think that Meadows is probably the best, but if I were night skiing, I'd definitely lean toward Ski Bowl as they have a lot of open runs at night. Unfortunately Ski Bowl is the lowest on the mountain (I think they're base at something like 4000 ft), so they don't always have the best snow or much of it, but when they do, I think it's worthwhile. I also like some of the groomed jumps at Ski Bowl better than Meadows as they will have a jump and then a nice landing area, unlike Meadows where they will have a few bumps in a row that I still haven't figured out how to catch air off of without landing on the next or killing yourself. Timberline isn't bad, but a friend of mine said that it is kind of boring. I think that's probably the best description for it, but I still like it okay, but haven't been everywhere there myself as it's where I learned and I was sticking to blue slopes mainly on my first few days. I've heard that Mt. Bachelor is really the best in this area. I'm going there this weekend for a few days of skiing. Supposed to have better snow and a ton of area to ski on.

post #8 of 10
I was implying that as an intermediate, a 6 DIN should be fine, allowing to release when you need and still able to hold you sufficiently to the ski.

If you are looking to learn to tune, I would not bother with the complete investment just yet. Utilize shops nearby to take some of the headaches away. I would have a shop grind (stone typically) your skis back to flat (can save a lot of time, and prevent a lot of screw ups when you're learning to tune - just bring a true bar when you pick up the skis to verify they're flat).

If you want to know what you'll need, first you need to know what bevels you want to put, there are a couple lists of factory on here, so a little digging and you'll get your answer. But you'll need a vice setup, base bevel guide, side bevel guide, file(s), clamps (get em at a hardware store and save a buck or two each), and a gummi stone (at a minimum) to tune your edges. Diamond stones and ceramics can be purchased too, but they tend to be more costly. For waxing you'll need (no holes and good temp control), a plexi scraper, brush or scotchbrite (at a minimum) and there is a lot of info on here about step by step to tuning.

Personally, I like the selection of tuning supplies at www.reliableracing.com, however, they are not always the cheapest.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Okay, that makes sense and is what I thought, just wanted to check. I agree with the logic and think that a 6 DIN is probably fine for me, I just was a bit annoyed that I took a face plant that I probably wouldn't have if I had the DIN bumped up a bit. Guess I should work on my technique a bit more to help with that. . .

As for the equipment, thanks. I'll check out the website you suggested. I had a pretty good idea of what I need to get, more I was wondering about the angles and any specific kinds (brands or styles) of guides/brushes/other tools or whatnot I should lean toward or away from.

post #10 of 10
I would be leery of advice on where to set your bindings over the internet especially when you are not offering your boot sole length. Although you may be low any advice on what someone else uses is totally irrelevant if you don't know how boot sole length compares. Anyone who offers the advice without first asking quite likely should not be offering the advice at all.

Before you crank DIN you might want to first be sure you are cleaning your boot soles thoroughly before clicking in, your forward pressure setting is correct, your toe height is correct if applicable and toe wings are adjusted is applicable. Also check that your boots are not overly worn down at contact points and free of deformities.
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