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Reasonably Priced Tuning Equipment

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
First of all I need some ski vices. I have a pair that were given to me by a friend, but they simply clamp the endges of the ski (one at the tip, one at the tail) and do a terrible job of holding it. I'd like to find a better option without spending too much cash.

I'd also like to pick up some equipment to do some basic edge work. I have a pair of Monster I.M. 72s that I skied on last season, and probably could do with a tune up. I'm a complete rookie, and don't intend on doing anything overly technical.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Josh
post #2 of 16
Take a look here for good prices on most tuning tools and supplies.
post #3 of 16
Or here for vises. If you do not have basic tuning and waxing tools, the T4B Kit is an excellent value and basic set-up:



(20% off for EpicSki Supporters through November)
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
I can't help but think that a lot of this stuff is way overpriced. $37.95 for a wire basket?

How well does the Pro 500 vice work? It's a cool concept, but does it hold the ski firmly?
post #5 of 16
Wire basket?

The Pro500 has been distributed and sold globally since '93 and is T4Bs most popular vise (if that tells you anything). That said, it's definitely a personal choice. I think it's an excellent vise and with an additional boot, you can swap out and secure skis very quickly and easily.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah there is a Swix wire basket listed on one of those sites.

Do the combination base/edge guides do a good job, or is it a better idea to get separate guides?

Also, which diamond stones would be best to get out of the 4 options. I'm looking at the DMT ones...is the black (cutting) stone really necessary?

Thanks
Josh
post #7 of 16
Artech is where I like to go as a one-stop-shop kinda place. They carry great stuff at reasonable prices. Its a family owned operation and George the owner has been very good to deal with when I've talked with him.

www.artechski.com
post #8 of 16
All the shops suggested above are good places for equipment and advice from good people. I hope you find the time to browse racewax.com as well and that my family-owned business will do its best to match prices at any of these sites.

(and I even have a family picture on our "About Us" page )
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh784 View Post
Yeah there is a Swix wire basket listed on one of those sites.

Do the combination base/edge guides do a good job, or is it a better idea to get separate guides?

Also, which diamond stones would be best to get out of the 4 options. I'm looking at the DMT ones...is the black (cutting) stone really necessary?
Combo guides are a good choice, especially if you are just getting started doing your own tuning, plus when traveling you can bring fewer tools. Many will accept any size files or diamonds in their clamps. So as you build your kit, get more experience and discover your preferences, you can add stones, files & tools. You might start with just the medium diamond and add finer and coarser stones later, if you want to save a few bucks starting out. You can always buy more later. If you find yourself tuning a lot, and that swapping from base to side bevels are getting a little old, then it's time to get a dedicated base or side bevel guide.
HTH
post #10 of 16
Having used both the Swix Pro 500 and the Ski Vice, I prefer the Ski Vice hands-down over the Pro 500. In fact I have taken down the team’s 500 down to set up the Ski Vice. It is especially nice if you have multiple skis to do, no boot to snap in and out for each ski. Just set the ski on the ends, clamp the mid section and go.

For tools I would also look at www.race-werks.com, they primarily carry the Sun Valley Ski Tools line (personal favorite, though expensive), some of which Tognar has also (designated by SVT). The ski-man stuff is very nice for a cheaper price.

For the diamond stones I would start with the black and blue ones, the black will be necessary if you have some hardening of the edges due to rocks hitting the edge, or you hitting the rock. With the edge hardened a file will "skip" over that section and not sharpen it, the black DMT will knock down the damage and will expose the softer metal in the hardened area so a file will cut through.

The Blue DMT is used for smoothing away files marks and general edge touch-ups. The red and green are more for polishing the edge, this will leave a smoother edge that takes a bit longer to wear down, but is it worth the extra time polishing the edge (it up to you)? On my rec skis I've rarely used the red and green stones.

For edge and base tuning, a combo-guide is the easiest to use but realize that if you begin to continually tune you skis separate guides offer more flexibly and precision. Again its up to you on how much you want to spend now, how much in the future, and how much you will get into tuning your skis.
post #11 of 16
A few other parameters to consider for weeding through all of the choices for tuning tools, vises, wax, etc, is that it is like any other commodity; ie electronics, power tools, gear, etc. There are different, needs, levels of quality, different frequencies of skiing, conditions, levels of abuse, personal tendencies, time considerations, biases and taste, among others.

The basic level tuning tools and vises will probably be more than adequate for a large percentage of DIYers, unacceptable to the elite and a mixed bag for the rest. There is nothing like using a fine tool or driving a fine car, but there is a wide range of options that are designed to meet different needs, quality levels and price points. Something for everyone and their budget.

The most important thing is that you are taking the initiative to start somewhere and take care of your gear. The other way to 'justify' additional tooling up expense, is that the better you take care of your gear the longer it will perform better, possibly putting off an upgrade a season or two and saving you that higher expense.
post #12 of 16
The Race Place in Bend, Oregon is another good source of tuning gear. They created the BEAST line of tuning tools that work well and are affordable as tuning stuff goes.http://www.ski-racing.com/

I've used their ski vice for three years and it is very durable.

They are updating their website but they just mailed out their new 06-07 catalog.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy View Post
The Race Place in Bend, Oregon is another good source of tuning gear. They created the BEAST line of tuning tools that work well and are affordable as tuning stuff goes.http://www.ski-racing.com/ I've used their ski vice for three years and it is very durable.
They are updating their website but they just mailed out their new 06-07 catalog.
I sell the Beast vice set in the UK. Apart from it's durability IMO it's the easiest & fastest to use on the market & holds my Sugar Daddy's rock steady.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
All the shops suggested above are good places for equipment and advice from good people. I hope you find the time to browse racewax.com as well and that my family-owned business will do its best to match prices at any of these sites.

(and I even have a family picture on our "About Us" page )
A happy customer here to vouch that Dr. D is generous with his time and advice, ships fast, and seems to offer competitive prices (as well as a discount to epicski supporters). And ships FAST.
post #15 of 16
I have a Montana GM-U I will let go cheap. It was about $8,000 new, $800.00, must be picked up in Vermont.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
I have a Montana GM-U I will let go cheap. It was about $8,000 new, $800.00, must be picked up in Vermont.
Damn, I wish I still lived in MA and had a job where I could drop 800, I'd be all over that.

Personally, I've found reliable racing to have some of the best selections of products, and if you wait for sales, you can get some great deals.
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