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How to do first wax on new skis?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Just received my first set of new skis (Atomic Metron M10s) and would like to do my own waxing. I have found a lot of info about waxing skis in a maintenance mode but not a lot of info on waxing a brand new set of skis. Could anyone provide some guidance on the steps I should take in preparing my skis for their first waxing and then applying the wax? Should I apply multiple coats? Any suggestions on type of wax?

If it helps, I don't race and my primary goal is to protect the skis and have a solid, general purpose wax. I weigh 240 lbs. and ski in the west (Washington state) on mostly groomed blue and some black runs. Thanks!
post #2 of 15
Welcome to Metron world.

New skis arrive at the store with plenty of graphite dust in the pores and with coarse microscopic hairs left on the base from the original grind. The factory wax is also for protection rather than performance. Warm, low melting point waxes perform an excellent clean & have great penetration in a new base. Even better are the specific waxes just for this purpose like Dominator Zoom Renew.


When my b5's were new I did 5 hot scrape cycles to 'load up' the base with wax to give protection & speed. In between each wax I gave the bases plenty of passes with a brass brush. For the 5th wax I used a very cold temperature wax & left it to cool a little so that the scaping action removed any remaining hairs. Then I waxed for use based upon the anticipated conditions.


Hope this helps.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it! I hadn't considered that a new base would be that contaminated but it makes sense.

You had said that "For the 5th wax I used a very cold temperature wax & left it to cool a little so that the scaping action removed any remaining hairs." Could you elaborate on your use of a very cold temperature wax for the fifth pass? Why a very cold temp wax vs. another wax?

Thanks again!
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAK
Why a very cold temp wax vs. another wax?
It cools faster so it traps the hairs that have floated up into the melt. It is very cohesive when cool, so the hairs stay trapped and get snapped off by the sharp almost-shattering action of the scraper.

spyderjon doesn't mention, but a thick, sharp, rigid scraper is vital for this step. Don't even bother with that thing uncle bob took out of a rental car.



PS spyderjon, have you ever been tempted to really test this, say by stretching some baize across two pieces of board, then wax one with CH02 and the other with CH10 and scrape?
post #5 of 15
Hot Scrape the ski 2 or 3 times.
Then its time to load up the ski with a base prep wax, use Holmenkol, swix or Raceservice one, I prefer Raceservice one sbc wax for this, supersoft.
I would wax with this 5 or more times, and let cool completely not hotscrape as was previously said in another message. Let ski cool at least 15 minutes between scraping, longer if posssible.
After 5 or so waxes its time to start putting harder and harder wax into the base.
Start with swix CH or LF 8, let cool at least 15 minutes again.
then go to CH or LF 7, and finally two applications of CH or LF 6, scrape while warm not hot! And this will help harden and protect the base.
After all this you can apply wax for the day.
Hope you enjoy working on your skis, it can be alot of fun!
Good luck
post #6 of 15
forgot to mention, Brush, brush after every waxing.
Wax brush, wax, brush, wax, brush!!!!!!
post #7 of 15
What I like to do for recreational skis:
1) Scrape the shop wax that the ski come with. Usually, it is junk and has a lot of dirt in it and I don't want to wax over that.
2) Once the ski is scraped, I usually put down a BIG, FAT coat of warm cheap wax (Toko worskhop or something similar) or of base renewer if I want to get fancy. The key here is to drip a lot of wax onto the ski because a new ski doesn't have wax in order to protect the base from the heat.
3) While the wax is still warm, I scrape all the wax from it, this is called hot-scraping. This will remove the dust and dirt that is left from the construction process. You need a very sharp scraper for this, so resharpen between passes. Don't strip the wax furiously, but scrape it with precision.
4) Repeat steps 2) and 3) four times.
5) Afterwards, pretty much all the fuzz is gone and if it isn't, skiing will take care of that (you're not racing so it doesn't really matter since the ski will be protected and ski fine nonetheless). The final step is waxing with a warm, penetrating wax (CH10) but waiting a few hours before scraping and then brushing with a brass brush until no more wax comes out of the base.
6) Repeat step 5 at least three times. The more you nourish the base, the faster it'll be and the better the protection. Six coats starts to be overkill for recreational skis, especially if you don't plan on skiing insane boilerplate.
7) Wax for the conditions you'll be skiing.

Notes:
- Be sure to use A LOT of wax when hot-scraping and waxing the first few times.
- Be sure that the wax doesn't smoke. Low heat goes hand in hand with new skis.

Have fun!
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
spyderjon, have you ever been tempted to really test this, say by stretching some baize across two pieces of board, then wax one with CH02 and the other with CH10 and scrape?
No I haven't. Thought of trying it on the dog though .

Katabch, And I thought I was detailed!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by spyderjon
No I haven't. Thought of trying it on the dog though .

Katabch, And I thought I was detailed!

LOL ,
I like to take care of my sticks.
A little OCD maybe bit the skis are happy and fast....
post #10 of 15
Don't flame me, but I clean off the bottom of new skis with a damp rag, wax them once with my usual all-temp Toko wax, and then ski on them. During the season, I wax every 1-2 days as needed, using hot-scrape or base cleaner every time. I have never gone into more detail with the waxing, or seen a demonstrated need to. For recreational skiing in the real world, I think most of us can get away with simpler waxing routines in most cases.

While I do respect the OCD procedures of the serious guys and admire a good wax job as they do, my skis seem to be doing fine with the simpler wax approach. For the kind of skiing I do, edge sharpness and angle is the most important. Given that I'm skiing hard on manmade snow, rocks, dirt, etc... the important thing is to have a good coat of wax on the skis everytime I go out. Sadly, I think a more detailed wax job would probably not be noticeable to me. My skis already have more glide/speed than I need....
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Everyone,

Thanks so much for the input, I really appreciate it. I am pretty picky about things (thus my desire to do this myself) so the "OCD procedures" certainly appeal... and it is reassuring to know that I am not the only one out there that is this, ah, demanding.

I called around today to see how much local places would charge for an "OCD special"... several actually laughed! It looks like I can get a single scrape hot wax and that is about it, so I am going to have to become a do-it-yourselfer. One place said if I paid for multiple wax jobs they would do a multiple hot scrape job, but I suspect the guy was thinking "I will charge this nut-job for three wax jobs and do only one, he will never know the difference". Maybe I am being cynical but that was the feeling I got.

If I could ask a couple more questions:

1) Is there a place for sanding the base in the prep process, or is scraping the way to go? Seems like scraping would be cleaner (no chance of grit getting into the base) but I see a number of places that sell sandpaper and sanding pads... am I missing something?

2) Is a metal scraper OK or should I use a plexiglass one? Being a woodworker, I already have some metal scrapers handy.

3) When brushing the wax, should I use a brass brush? It seems like the brass would be harder than the material the base is made of, do I need to worry about scoring the base? Do I brush lightly or firmly? How do I know when I have brushed enough?

Thanks again for the time and patience... I am learning a lot!
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAK
...If I could ask a couple more questions:

1) Is there a place for sanding the base in the prep process, or is scraping the way to go? Seems like scraping would be cleaner (no chance of grit getting into the base) but I see a number of places that sell sandpaper and sanding pads... am I missing something?

2) Is a metal scraper OK or should I use a plexiglass one? Being a woodworker, I already have some metal scrapers handy.

3) When brushing the wax, should I use a brass brush? It seems like the brass would be harder than the material the base is made of, do I need to worry about scoring the base? Do I brush lightly or firmly? How do I know when I have brushed enough?

Thanks again for the time and patience... I am learning a lot!
1). Sandpaper is not needed for base prep. In fact, it tends to create more P-Tex micro-hairs that should then be removed. I use a non-abrasive type fiber pad like a Omni-Prep pad after brushing. The brush removes excess wax from the valleys of the base structure, the pad removes excess wax from the peaks that the scraper doesn't get. Some use regular scotchbrite pads and some argue against that practice as also creating micro-hairs.

2) Metal scraper?: :
Since you are a woodworker you may be skilled enough to use one safely. However, they have a bad habit of leaving horizontal gouges in ski bases. They are usually used to scrape excess P-tex from base repairs.
Most folks use a sharp plastic scraper. You can keep the scraper sharp by buying one of several tools for that purpose or by sanding using a fine grit piece of sandpaper on a flat surface, or with a file held perpendicular to your scraper. Keeping your plastic scraper sharp makes doing the job much more efficient.

3) There are steel, copper, brass, bronze, horsehair and nylon brushes as well as various combinations thereof. Basically, a steel brush further opens up the base structure an issue which mostly racers are concerned with unless you are really anal about your ski prep. It can also be used to "refresh a structure that may get worn down though heavy duty use during the season. The other metal brushes are mostly a matter of choice. Bronze or Bronze/horsehair brushes are probably the most popular and used to brush harder cold weather waxes. Nylon is the common choice for warm weather waxes. You can dispense with the steel brush unless you race or really anal about base prep.

This is just my approach to answering your questions. Swix has a booklet that covers new ski prep as well as regular waxing and edge tuning. In addition, if you search the Epic forums using "new ski prep" or "new base prep" you will find a lot more information on the subject.

You will find that there are various new ski prep approaches. At the end of the day, it is all about filling the spaces between P-tex molecules (the so-called "pores") with as much wax as possible while eliminating excess wax and other sources of friction like micro-hairs, grit, dust, and oil that are common by-products of the manufacturing process and present even on brand new skis.
post #13 of 15
You dont need to sand, and stick to a plastic SHARP scraper.
Brush wise, get at least a nylon brush, and if you can a combo brash/horsehair brush.
Use the brass brush for use on the skis prior to any waxing. (removes most oxidation)
Apply wax, then if the wax is hard start with the brash brush lightly, and then move to the nylon.
Brush tip to tail in single motion, no back and forth.
10 passes per wax application.
I know this sounds anal, but if you get into it and sounds like you are, its very enjoyable and satisfying with the end result.
Good luck.
Swix has great wax prep streaming vid on its site, check it out all free.
post #14 of 15
I sell a DVD on ski prep if you want visuals.

.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219
Don't flame me, but I clean off the bottom of new skis with a damp rag, wax them once with my usual all-temp Toko wax, and then ski on them. During the season, I wax every 1-2 days as needed, using hot-scrape or base cleaner every time. I have never gone into more detail with the waxing, or seen a demonstrated need to. For recreational skiing in the real world, I think most of us can get away with simpler waxing routines in most cases.

While I do respect the OCD procedures of the serious guys and admire a good wax job as they do, my skis seem to be doing fine with the simpler wax approach. For the kind of skiing I do, edge sharpness and angle is the most important. Given that I'm skiing hard on manmade snow, rocks, dirt, etc... the important thing is to have a good coat of wax on the skis everytime I go out. Sadly, I think a more detailed wax job would probably not be noticeable to me. My skis already have more glide/speed than I need....
Before you get into studying how best to wax your skis, WAX!!!!!
I made a mistake of waiting too long (skiing twice on my new skis!!: ), and my skis have base burns. So, I'd go with Skier219 first.
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