> ...it doesn't have a firmly established melting point; at lower temperatures, it flows slowly like a glacier. ...
In addition to the supposed deeper permeation of wax, another presumed advantage of a high quality (ie, thermostatically controlled) hot box is that it puts less mechanical stress on the skis - all the layers of the ski are at the same temprature, so there is no differential thermal expansion which could in principle cause ill effects. The usual danger from a hot box is that the operator doesn't want to wait long enough for it to slowly do its thing, so he cranks up the temp, and then you get into the realm of doing structural damage to the ski.
IMO, if done correctly, waxing in the usual way (ie, with an iron) works just fine. Unfortunately, its also prone to operator error, perhaps a bit more than a temp controlled hot box, but the latter takes longer, uses more space, etc. Ya payz yer money and u takes yur chances with both methods.
Tom / PM
[ April 15, 2003, 10:27 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]