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Structure Brushing

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all;
Maybe I'm overthinking this thing, but here goes. I have several pairs in the quiver, (Metron, B2, Volkl 5 Star), and they're in very good shape. I regularly hot-wax and do my own edges. The bottoms are in great shape and they have never seen the shop for a grind.
After all my waxing and scraping I'm wondering if my structure, (still factory), may need refreshing. If so, what about using one of the steel hand brushes? Are these hard to use? Can I get a reasonably straight line?
I must admit I'm squeemish about messing with structure, as twice in the past I've had a tech, (who thought he knew better than I as to what I wanted), cut too deep a structure and really screw up my skis.: I'm very reluctant to let any shop touch them now.
Thanks everybody and have a great holiday!
post #2 of 9
A stiff brass or steel brush works easily and is very controllable by varying pressure and the number of strokes. Absolutely straight lines are not critical IMO. Snowboard structuring is actually recommended diagonally & criss-crossing by some. Varying grits of sandpaper on a steel scraper or block also can be used. A rilling tool also works with two structuring options. This image (from Base Repair page) is the aggressive/coarse side of the teeth.

Nords use a tool that presses the structure into the base versus the slight base removal approach common to the examples above and base grinding.

An added benefit of the steel or brass brush approach is the brush can also be used for freeing the structure after waxing with harder waxes.
post #3 of 9
I'd be carefull of exactly how stiff your steel brush is. Some steel brushes are very aggressive and could be too stiff. Some steel brushes are about medium stiff and are reccomended to use to open up the structure for daily waxing. Some are really stiff and could mess with your grind.

I just attended a clinic put on by our area Holmenkol Service guy. He recommended, and said the World Cup Techs do too, starting with Holmenkol's oval steel brush after scraping to open the texture before waxing. Homenkol's steel brush is much less aggressive than some other steel brushes I've seen. You do not want to bruise the structure with anything if you can avoid it.

New skis, or even a fresh grind, has a very coarse/New texture. That texture or structure has to be taken down or "broken in" a bit before the ski will turn or even run at it's best.

Still the most important thing brushing does before waxing is to clean out the old wax and oopen the texture so it will accept fresh wax at it's best.

Scrape it, brush it (some guys use 3 different progressive brushes to get it done right), clean it, wax it, scrape it and brush it. The most efficeint wax job is to get the wax into the base not on top of it. If you do not scrape/brush all the wax off the top of the base, the wax can chunk off the base while skiing and it pulls the underlying wax out of the structure with it creating slow spots that are very exposed to oxidation and contaminats. You do not want this to happen.

I think that most likely the most efficient, the fastest and the easiest way to clean the structure is with a brass roto brush. This is about a $120 investment not including the drill required. You can do it in 10 seconds with a brass roto brush. If you do it with lessening stiffness of brushes it can make your arm tired and take 3 to 4 minutes.
post #4 of 9
Flame, I agree with your post but I think CB was asking about adding additional structure, not how/why to cleaning out the existing structure.

CB, I use both the Swix & Holmnekol structure brushes (the Swix one being the more aggressive) to add structure & can vary the cut by pressure & no. of passes just as Alpinord says.

Alpinord, who makes that rilling bar of yours?
post #5 of 9
Spyderjon, I have to keep some secrets. (check your messages)

The Maplus brushes are sweet and we can't keep the new stiff brass brushes on the shelves. The bad boy 20cm roto steel will certainly take care of structuring and can be used for removing old paint from house siding.....
post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by spyderjon View Post
CB, I use both the Swix & Holmnekol structure brushes (the Swix one being the more aggressive) to add structure & can vary the cut by pressure & no. of passes just as Alpinord says.
The Swix is the oval one with laser-cut bristles? Have you noticed any loss of sharpness with use?
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 


Thanks all!
Yep, what I'm looking for is techniques for "refreshing" my factory structure, as I really don't need a grind. When I hot wax, I brush out with a brass brush followed by a nylon. I was concerned that with the scraping and brushing I was "erasing" my structure: . Experience has taught me that I really dislike a deep structure...I'm quite happy with the "factory" structure. (I probably shouldn't fix what ain't broke). All my skis still have a fine structure on them and I was wondering when was the appropriate time to hand-brush in a refreshment.
Thanks so much for the replies!!!
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
The Swix is the oval one with laser-cut bristles? Have you noticed any loss of sharpness with use?
Nope, it's the log thin rectangular one (approx 7" x 2") & it's pretty damned sharp as my fingers can testify. I've used it on approx 30 pairs of skis/boards so far & not noticed any blunting.
post #9 of 9
I think its really up to your discretion and the condition your skis are in. I used the steel brush to refresh the structure on my all mountain carvers after comparing them to some new skis I purchased and realized how little structure was left on them. Did a good enough job especially for non race skis, the resulting structure was fine and not too deep. I followed it with a metal scraper and scotch brite pad to remove any hairs that were generated.

Typical base prep for me:

Bronze brush
Copper brush
Nylon brush

When I use overlays I wax again after the nylon brushing, scrape, copper brush then nylon brush (horse hair brush for flouros).
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