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Clear p-tex - How to eliminate black drippings

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Is there any way to eliminate the black drippings from a clear p-tex candle onto a clear base?

I'd never used clear p-tex before but try as I might I couldn't eliminate some black residue from dripping into the hole. I know it's just cosmetic, and I'm not really too bent about it, but I'd like to learn from my mistakes and do a better job next time.

Thanks.
post #2 of 20
I have heard that keeping the candle in roatation and keeping the flame small and blue helps.. I dont know how to do either of that but I am planning on trying this over the weekend ..
post #3 of 20
According to the tuning tips database on tognar.com , if you hold the candle only .25 inches above the ski it will limit if not eliminate the black drippings.
post #4 of 20
I believe using a "p-tex iron" (similar to a soldering iron) rather than burning the p-tex is helpful.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
I have heard that keeping the candle in roatation and keeping the flame small and blue helps.. I dont know how to do either of that but I am planning on trying this over the weekend ..
Correct, that and the 1/4" away -or less- tip.

What that also means is that you're holding a metal scraper in your off hand, rotating the candle and scraping off the black drips, then bringing both scraper and ptex next to the repair so the candle is never more than 1/4" away from -a- surface.

Then don't breathe on it or it will gutter again.


PS Clear Ptex becomes pretty easy after a bit. Yellow is HARD to get clean. Use a gun.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Correct, that and the 1/4" away -or less- tip.

What that also means is that you're holding a metal scraper in your off hand, rotating the candle and scraping off the black drips, then bringing both scraper and ptex next to the repair so the candle is never more than 1/4" away from -a- surface.

Then don't breathe on it or it will gutter again.


PS Clear Ptex becomes pretty easy after a bit. Yellow is HARD to get clean. Use a gun.
The rotating on the scraper is my trick too.

As far as not breathing in it, you should inhale it not exhale on it?
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips.
I continually rotated the candle and kept it close to the base, but not 1/4" close.

I'll do better next time.
post #8 of 20
From FAQ's on my site:
Quote:
What is the best way to keep a p-tex candle from dripping carbon onto ski bases?.
Light the candle, then holding a steel scraper to the lit portion wait for all the carbon to drip onto the scraper prior to placing the candle along the base to fill in the gap.

Common sense with the candle will prevail. Holding the candle at a 45 degree angle and rotating the lit portion against the metal scraper works just fine to get rid of the carbon. This is applicable to clear material and is done more for aesthetic reasons. No difference between using a metal scraper or other handy surface (preferably metal) so you don't set anything alight. Using p-tex is a 'quick fix'. You will want to get a base welded or patched if there's major damage.
Check out the Dripping Napalm thread for other ideas. For around $10 you can get an economical, low temp craft/woodburning soldering iron (at Walmart) for melting ptex or base welding materials for an easier option and more durable repair. I haven't tried our Pro Fix iron yet with clear ptex regarding any carbon, but I do know it's easier, more controllable and much longer lasting, if not indefinitely. If you can afford a gun, it's easier still.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
From FAQ's on my site:


Check out the Dripping Napalm thread for other ideas. For around $10 you can get an economical, low temp craft/woodburning soldering iron (at Walmart) for melting ptex or base welding materials for an easier option and more durable repair. I haven't tried our Pro Fix iron yet with clear ptex regarding any carbon, but I do know it's easier, more controllable and much longer lasting, if not indefinitely. If you can afford a gun, it's easier still.
That'll be in my next order. Last year, when I first started tuning my skis, I didn't need any p tex because we had so much snow. This year is a different story.

Thanks for those diamond stones. They're working out great.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
I have heard that keeping the candle in roatation and keeping the flame small and blue helps.. I dont know how to do either of that but I am planning on trying this over the weekend ..
Using a metal scraper or even a scrap of sheet metal as your scratch pad makes it easier in other words hold the lit ptex candle close to your scratch pad until the flame loses all its yellow tint and to get rid of the carbon black caused by the flame you can simply scrape the lit end lightly against the edge of the scratch pad. Now move the scratch pad & lit ptex candle closer to your prepped gouge and keep the flame small and blue and the candle close to the gouge and drip that melting ptex into the gouge. There ya go.
post #11 of 20
Clear p-tex is a bitch to learn how to do well. At work we have a mini butane torch, and an easy way to make it work was to just blast the ptex with the butane torch and drips clear no matter what, but that wastes butane like crazy.

Now that I've got the technique I can do a 12 or 15 inch long gouge without leaving a black mark, but one will slip in there once in a while.

You need a piece of metal or plastic to drip on while you get going, which you should have if you are p-texing. I use the really thing stuff, like 1/8" on a spool, so not sure if this works on the bigger candles meant for guns.

Light it up, drip it over the metal. If you hold it vertical the heat will go right up the ptex and soften it so it burns faster. Hold it like 3 inchs above the metal, until it is burning really fast and dripping quickly.

Lower it until it is about a 1/2" or less from the metal. It should go from dripping to basically connecting to the metal. It is still on fire but the flame moves from on the ptex stick to down where it is connecting to the ski. There is no drip at all, the stick is more melting and pouring. Now move it off the metal and continue at this height to the area you want to fill. Black stuff will still come down, but since it is pouring it will puddle, and the black stuff floats on top or out. I like to hold it like a pen, with the hand sliding across the plastic and it pouring behind me as I go.

Really hard to describe, but its the right way to do it. Basically, get as low as you can without putting out the flame. THere are no longer drips, but the ptex becomes molten and pours out in one long run. THe carbon floats on top and when youscrape it, it comes right off.
post #12 of 20

Do you know WHY you get carbon in the ptex?

Before you can eliminate the carbon from the PTEX drip, you must understand why it forms.

The very thing which allows the candle to burn is also its greatest problem. WAX. The average PTEX candle is impregnated with wax so it will burn. Pure PTEX will not burn, but will melt nicely if a continuous heat source is maintained.

When you light the PTEX candle, the amount of oxygen determines the heat of the flame. The more oxygen, the brighter the flame, and the more carbon build up will occur. When you hold the candle tip very close to a surface, such as a metal scraper (as has been advised earlier) the amount of oxygen is reduced, causing the flame to burn cleaner, with a small blue flame. While the candle is burning, rotate the candle while rubbing the side of the melting zone on the scraper. This will remove most, if not all of the carbon.

When you drip this candle into the gouge, it does not bond cleanly, because of the wax. And those welds that do hold may gradually wear away, as the wax impregnated PTEX is much softer than pure PTEX.

A trick I learned many years ago is to, after filling the hole, come along with a lighter, and reheat the weld material. While it is in (or near) liquid form, take that same metal scraper and an insulator, like a cork, and press down on the weld with as much pressure as you can develop. Remember to put your hand on the cork, on top of the scraper, or the heat will come right through the scraper and burn you. Hold this for about a minute, and not only will you have a stronger bond, it will also be cleaner/ smoother. This reduces the amount of time it will take to make it uniform with the rest of the base.

So- as you can begin to understand, pure PTEX is much more preferable to the burning candle type. It holds better, is easier to work with, and lasts longer.

Some may think it a splurge item in a tuning kit, but an extrusion gun and some pure PTEX sticks can be had for under $100. If you think that is expensive, look at the repair work you can do on your $1000 skis! And your friends skis... (think many beers or possibly even a little cash...

Given the inconsistent seasons being had around the country this year, I think a PTEX gun would be a very wise investment! And you can get both clear and black PTEX for the gun.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramshackle View Post
Using a metal scraper or even a scrap of sheet metal as your scratch pad makes it easier in other words hold the lit ptex candle close to your scratch pad until the flame loses all its yellow tint and to get rid of the carbon black caused by the flame you can simply scrape the lit end lightly against the edge of the scratch pad. Now move the scratch pad & lit ptex candle closer to your prepped gouge and keep the flame small and blue and the candle close to the gouge and drip that melting ptex into the gouge. There ya go.
Keeping the candle as close to vertical as possible will keep the flame from burning higher on the candle and the flame smaller. Also use the scraper to scrape off the burnt outside of the burning rotating candle.
post #14 of 20
Besides all the good advice so far one thing I've noticed is if I light the ptex with a torch as opposed to a match or lighter it seems to put less carbon on it to start with and is easier to keep clean.
post #15 of 20
Anyone notice that the amount of wax/carbon glop (and the stick softness) varies between brands? Some of the, uh, 'recreational aftermarket' ones are almost unusable.

Anyone notice that the shape of the tip when quenched can make subsequent re-lights easier and cleaner (tapered) or messier (round glob)?
post #16 of 20
P-texing is all in the wrist the more you do it the better you get. Took me 2 attempts before i could get the drippings clear (if you got a pair of rock skis to practice on... great).

1. Use a propane torch (can get one at walmart for 15$) to light the p-tex. (prevents carbon build up durring the lighting).
2. After lighting You try to create a drip tip by rolling the lit candle with your fingers (should go from round to a small tip kinda like a cone).
3.Then before you apply drips to your base angle the p-tex upward to alow the burnt/carboned p-tex to follow away from the tip. Do this with a rolling motion...you may have to catch some drippings on a metal scraper or watever so have it hanndy. You gotta be quick here
4. Drip p-tex on gouged surface (don't be afraid to touch the tip of the candle to the base occationaly...alows the p-tex to flow into the grove beter). If its a long gouge/scatch use step 3 frequently to "clear the drips" and keep moving along.
5. Whatch the flame try to keep it small.

This is what works well for me...
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Anyone notice that the shape of the tip when quenched can make subsequent re-lights easier and cleaner (tapered) or messier (round glob)?
When the tip is a tapered glob relights are easier and preventing carbon build up is also easier.
post #18 of 20
If you have the super mini butane torch (like 1/4" - 1/2" long flame, 1/16" diameter) you can just blast the p-tex with the torch the whole time, and it comes out clear and quickly. It eats up butane and ptex but you end up with no carbon on there at all, and it bonds very well. Almost none of it rips out when you run it over a stone grind, where as dripping doesn't bond well at all.
post #19 of 20
I have to agree the mini torch does work well and its more of a BFI method which makes it easier (Brute Force)...however if you have got the nack for dripping it will work just as well.
post #20 of 20

the bottom line....

I think the bottom line here is simple-

Dripping ptex from a candle does not work as well as using pure ptex.

Dripping does not bond completely, and is not the exact same material as pure ptex. Therefore, it does not accept wax the same as the rest of the ski either. Granted, extrusion ptex is different in structure from scintered ptex, so there will still be so difference.

But pure ptex, in either form, is preferable to candle type (wax impregnated) ptex.
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