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P-tex application

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
After replying to Lucky's "tools" message I realized I'd like some specific tool information. Currently I apply p-tex from a ribbon, using an iron. It really takes time to fill in holes and seems hard to apply evenly.

What do you all use for p-tex application and could you give me a description of what you think the advantages and disadvantages are? I know from the past that there are some great techs who frequent these forums.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 20, 2001 08:38 AM: Message edited 1 time, by BobT ]</font>
post #2 of 13
P-tex typically will not go into the hole evenly, I use a p-tex gun inthe shop and it makes the repairs fairly flat. If you are having major inconsistencies (can't spell) in the p-tex it's self you may be having a temp issue, the material should flow evenly and consistently. Build up the repair and move slowly to allow the base to heat up a bit and bond to the repair, after letting it cool (30min-1hr) scrape the excess off, I use a vixen file.
post #3 of 13
I keych the ptex on fire, let it go out, and then let the ptex drip. Is that ok?
post #4 of 13
kb1dqh: The problem with flames is you get carbon bits in the P-tex, and, even more important, you tend to not heat up the surrounding P-tex so that the plastic is all welded together. Most drip fills will pull out eventually.
post #5 of 13
I use a butane torch and the long string like p-tex. You can get it from Spirakut.

Practice on some old skis if you can.

Light the torch and put the p-tex in the flame. When it starts to melt, move over the repair and keep the flame on it. The flame should be about 1 1/2" to 2" above the base of the ski. DO NOT let the flame touch the base. The flame should go across the base horizontally. The p-tex will be on fire as it falls into the repair. Always keep the p-tex in the flame. The p-tex should go out when it lands on the base. Do not let the melted p-tex lay on the base burning. Blow it out. Let it build up a bump over the repair area. After it dries and cools, use a sureform tool to plane in flat. Finish base structure with 320 grit silicon carbide sandpaper wrapped around a square cut hardwood stick. Wax as desired.

Temperature is critical for a good repair. Lighting a p-tex candle and letting it drip is no where near hot enough. That's why it forms the carbon deposits.

With a little practice, you can use the above method with the clear/white p-tex on a white ski base and there will be no black carbon in the repair area.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. Glad to see you folks are still around. I know there were others. When I said iron I meant base repair iron. The reason I've been using ribbon is because I thought I read that it was the hardest material for the repair. I've heard that the candles are the softest and as Kneale pointed out dripping them leaves flaws in the repair. Spyder, when you use the gun do you use the stix only or do you just use it to heat with? Also does the gun do a good job of heating the base without overheating it? Arby, the string is new to me but I see it in Tognar. Says it's harder and more durable but do you know that comparison with the ribbon? I think that using the torch effectively would allow you to melt the material and heat the base for adhesion but it sure seems like it would be easy the screw up the base if you didn't know what you were doing.
post #7 of 13
Here are the 4 most popular methods of base repair in order of durability

1. Drip candles &/or ribbon
2. Base material extrusion from a heat gun
3. Base weld - thermoplastic welder (usually shops only)
4. Base patch - again shops only usually & the only method that actually uses identical material as ski/snowboard sintered bases.

Candles are fine for small repairs - reduce carbon by placing a metal scraper on the base near the wound, light the candle & hold it very close the the metal scraper @ about a 45 degree angle while spinning it in your fingers, slowly..eventually you'll achieve a blue flame..this is when you move the dripping candle over the wound letting it drip in (while maintaining a blue flame) to make the repair..drip p-tex about 1/4 - 1/2 inch beyone the damaged area to anchor the material & feather it into your base when planing

Extruder guns use candles as well but they're composed if a different material. The tips on these guns allow heating of the base for better bonds & smooth, even repairs. Careful though, you can cause some damage if your inexperienced w/ this. Usually for superficial damage that hasn't hit your core.

3. Base welds use a hot air, thermoplastic welder & 3 or 5 mm weld wire. Again, different material & a more permanent repair. Best for narrow, long core shots.

4. Base patches require epoxy/sintered base material patching of a repair area that has been cut out in a specific shape to match the patch shape. Would not recommend doing this at home. Reserved for shop repairs of wide core shots.

Note - if you buy crappy repair material, no matter how good you are at doing it, you'll never achieve a proper repair.
post #8 of 13
BobT, you don't want to use a torch to heat the base of the ski. NO WAY. The torch is for melting the p-tex only. You need to keep the torch close to the base so the p-tex stays hot as it falls into the repair. If the p-tex stays hot, it will stick. Make sure the repair area is clean. I use citrus solvent to clean the area first.
I don't know what composition the ribbon is, but I assume it's good stuff.
post #9 of 13
The gun looks like a glue gun, just alot hotter, you have a flat area of about an inch square to work with, if you start at one end of the damaged area and slowly move across the scar the base will heat up and sufficiently bond to the p-tex.
P-tex candles are good for on the mtn quick repairs, but not good enough for a permenant repair, they are composed of p-tex but also a bit of wax so they will melt at a lower temp.
As for lighting the tex with a torch... I have done this but it takes practice and patience to get it right, usually done when I did not have access to my gun.
these types of repairs are for minor gouges scrapes, for more serious repairs, as mentioned above get a base patch. It will be expensive but will hold and last alot longer, and if done well you probbably won't even be able to see it. If you want to know how a base patch is done look up repairs in the search engine on this board, I have written it out a few times.
post #10 of 13
I use a gun, but before I "borrowed" it, I used to use the iron in P-tex powder from Toko. It comes in a can like parmesian cheese. It worked really well for small repairs, probably just as well as the gun, but it took longer. If you don't want to spring for a gun, it is certainly a step above the candle.
post #11 of 13
BobT, the string fro Tognar is great, especially when you have metal to bind to (either core shot or along edge). It holds better/longer for me than the ribbon has.

I still use drip candles a lot, mainly due to an ego thing I believe. It takes a lot of practice to get the candles carbon free and hard to give up once you master the skill.

The gun I like for those repairs just short of needing a base patch/weld. The p-tex is harder and lasts longer. However an expensive setup for at home use.

I guess for at home users, the easier, less risky, less expensive route for me would be:

1. String
2. Ribbon
3. Candles
4. Gun

However, if you do have some expedable cash flow, go with the gun for home repair, and a string/ribbon combo for trip repairs. That help you out any?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the info. Arby: I realize that you wouldn't want to hit the base with the flame but I thought that with many applications the warming of the base before the ptex was actually applied was supposed o help the ptex seal. I thought that was the trick; to warm it up and melt the ptex in without getting the base so hot as to damage it. I have a lot to learn but I do enjoy doing as much of my own work as possible. Also, does anyone use those ptex rollers and does it help?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 27, 2001 02:11 PM: Message edited 1 time, by BobT ]</font>
post #13 of 13
The Ptex roller is awesome but is it worth $79.95?? Dunno about that.

It's usually reserved for base extruder gun repairs of large wounds.

Makes the bond stronger by forcing out air bubbles and impressing the molten material into irregularities.

I know many who achieve close to the same effect with a metal scraper.

Teflon coating's kinda cool though [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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