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Mounting My Own Bindings?

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
Okay I know this is a big taboo in the skiing world and anyone who tries it is immediately shunned but I've started doing it anyways because I really like to understand how things work and I figure I'll just take it really slow and if I get uncomfortable I'll stop.

So the point I'm at, is that I spent 3 hours last night drilling the holes in my new 2005 Salomon Scream Ltd Skis ($96 on eBay) for my 2005 Salomon S710 Axe bindings ($20.50 on eBay). I was extremely careful and spent the vast majority of that 3 hours period quadruple checking everything. The result is that my holes are the right depth (9mm) and exactly in the right spots...my digital caliper says they're all less than 1/4 millimeter off.

My next move (tonight) will be to lightly bevel the holes so I get rid of the plastic lip which I'm comfortable with. After that though I have a couple questions:

1 - I downloaded the 06/07 official Salomon shop guide for binding mounting and they recommend tapping the holes. Is this necessary? I have a tap and die set but I'm not sure if I have something that course. My skis appears to have about 4mm of harder plastic as a top layer and then below that is a fairly soft foam core.

2 - After the holes are beveled and maybe tapped, the next step is screwing in the bolts in which lies my main question. I'm going to use some Elmers white glue to seal the holes but I don't know how tight to screw the screws. Obviously stripping a hole would be a very bad thing but so would making them too loose. Can anyone attempt to describe how easy it is to strip these holes? Do I want to crank the screws pretty tight...ie. almost as tight as I can? or just get them snug/tight? I have a torque wrench if anyone has the correct spec.

Thanks a lot for your comments!
Dan
post #2 of 90
Why is it taboo to mount your own bindings?

I assume this is what you mean by "it" as referenced in your first paragraph.
post #3 of 90
Moving to gear.
post #4 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandydan View Post
Okay I know this is a big taboo in the skiing world and anyone who tries it is immediately shunned but I've started doing it anyways because I really like to understand how things work and I figure I'll just take it really slow and if I get uncomfortable I'll stop.
---snip
Dan
Nah, no one will shun you. Stoneing, disembowel-ment, draw and quarter pillory---all possibilities--- but we won't shun you -- we will need you to still be here to take the next wave of abuse!:
post #5 of 90

mounting

This is less uncommon in the telemark world. I have mounted telemark bindings, though if I can get a shop to do it, that is better.

A couple of thoughts.

Tapping ensures that the topsheet hole is aligned properly and is as tight as possible. In theory, putting the screw in can tap the hole, but sometimes it gets tapped sideways and winds up not being as strong as it should.

I would have qualms about using white glue, which is not waterproof. On my old wooden XC skis, I have used epoxy filler when re-mounting bindings.
post #6 of 90
You can probably get away without tapping the holes if you want, particularly on Salomon skis. If you have a wood core and thicker metal topsheet it would be more important.
For the future, you should buy some binding tools. They sell most everything you need at www.tognar.com

Get a 4.1 and a 3.6 bit, a tap, and a Pozidrive screwdriver. I have no idea what the torque would be, but you can usually get them pretty tight.

(do you think +/- 1/4 mm is going to be close enough???)
post #7 of 90
I've mounted bindings plenty of times and I'm not as technically minded as many other on this board. I use silicon sealant in the holes. I don't tap. If you are drilling/screwing into solid metal, then definately tap, but you are probably going through a thin top layer of metal and layers of laminate and I don't believe tapping will do anything for you. I just tighten the screws as much as I can and have never had a problem with stripping.
post #8 of 90
I mount my own bindings, too. I do tap skis with a metal top sheet but the advice about getting the tap straight is important. As far as how tight to make the screws, I use my left hand (I'm right handed) and get them about as tight as I can without straining. A long time ago I did strip one hole using my stronger hand.

Good luck and make sure you know how to set the forward pressure and toe height on your S710s.
post #9 of 90
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies...I guess mounting your own bindings isn't as taboo as I thought. The site that I got the 'how-to' from had numerous threads where all the responses were 'just pay the $30'...otherwise horrible things will happen like drilling through the bottom of the ski or like winding up with your bindings will be on sideways. Anyways...

Hole Size:
About the hole size, I'm a little confused here because the how-to I have (http://www.forskiers.com/articles/8.asp ) says to use a 4.5mm drill bit or a 3/16" bit (which = 4.71mm) I checked this with the screws that came with my bindings and that seemed to be the right size but I used an 11/64 bit (4.3mm) just to be safe. Then later I downloaded the official Salomon guide and that said to use a 3.6mm bit or a 4.1mm bit if I run into metal (which didn't happen). I can't see a 3.6mm hole being big enough for my screws so I'm not sure what the deal is. Anyways, I guess this is a non-issue because I've already drilled 4.3mm holes and they seem to be (if anything) small, so I should be fine.

Tapping:
I guess I won't do this...my skis appear to have 3-4 mm of hard plastic and then the core is just foam which looks pretty wimpy.

Sealing:
The how-to that I have says not to use epoxy with foam core skis because it can eat away at the foam. It says to use white glue because that will seal out the water (supposedly) but I do have some silicone sealant handy too that I use for engine rebuilds so I guess I'll use that instead.

Torquing/Stripping/Tightening
Okay it sounds like I can crank them down firmly...I'm just a little concerned because the soft foam core looks like it would strip out in heartbeat since it's just soft foam so the only layer the screws are going to bite into is the top 3-4mm of harder plastic.
post #10 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hep4186 View Post
I use my left hand (I'm right handed) and get them about as tight as I can without straining. A long time ago I did strip one hole using my stronger hand.
Sounds like a good idea...I'll do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hep4186 View Post
Good luck and make sure you know how to set the forward pressure and toe height on your S710s.
I have no idea...I know how to slide the rear binding forward/backward and set the DIN but that's it. My "How-To" mentioned something about setting this but I didn't see any other adjustments on the bindings...maybe I need to look closer.
post #11 of 90
I mounted my Lp's last night. They were already drilled. I think I stripped one of the holes, but only one, in the heel piece. I'm I in serious trouble here?

Second, I didn't use any glue. I used to play around with my race skis a lot back in the day (mainly taking lifters off and adding them depending on what rules governed the even in terms of standheight.) When I would do this I would usually never re-glue the holes and I never had a problems.

Should I unmount them and re-mount with glue?
post #12 of 90
Basics:

Binding screws are self tapping and will cut their own threads into whatever core material is there.

Tapping is necessary on metal top sheets as it can prevent the hole from mushrooming or topsheet from fracturing. Not necessary on plastic top sheets.

3.6mm is correct and at 4.3mm for a non metal ski, you are dangerously close to not having enough material for the screw threads to form. Tighten very carefully.

Yellow wood glue is a good sealant. Silicone may be OK too but may be too thick to get much to flow around the threads.

No epoxy on a foam core!!!!!

SJ
post #13 of 90
For a foam core ski, you should use the 3.6 x 9 mm bitl and not tap. The 4.3 hole may be fine, but its bigger than recommended. Any waterproof glue will work, a lot of folks use the Gorilla Glue, or buy the Holmenkol glue from Tognar. With hand tightening, you would be very hard pressed to strip the screw holes.
post #14 of 90
Thread Starter 
Okay so my holes are 0.7mm too big which means my radius is large by 0.35mm. I imagine these screws have about 2mm of bite per radius (total guess) so hopefully I still have about 3/4 of the bite left.

So in summary I'll:
- Not Tap
- Tighten carefully...I'll use the 'left handed' method
- Use Elmers Wood Glue to Seal
- Make sure the bindings are flush to the ski so there's no slop.

Thanks for all the tips...I feel a lot better about this (other than my holes being too big).
post #15 of 90
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any tips on setting the forward pressure or toe height?

Also, how important is it that my boot is perfectly centered? Right now the mark on my boot is about 1-2 mm ahead of the mark on the ski which I figure is pretty darn good but if I do need to re-mount them someday is moving it up forward/backwards 5-10 mm bad? And which is the lesser evil, forward or backward?
post #16 of 90
710's do not have a toe height adjustment.
post #17 of 90
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
710's do not have a toe height adjustment.
Thanks....what about the forward pressure? Is that just set by sliding the rear binding forward/backward until the gap between the bindings is just right so the boot fits perfectly?
post #18 of 90
Thread Starter 
Also, I knew this when I bought them but my S710's have a 75mm brake and these skis are 80mm is the waste and probably closer to the mid 80's where the brake goes. Should I buy the right brake or is bending these out an option? And if I bend em, should I just bend em or should I heat em up with a torch or something first? Thanks!
post #19 of 90
Stripping a screw is easier than it sounds. Acording to most binding manufacturers, you should tighten the screws to 4 newton meters using a torque limiting screw driver.

That said if you tighten the screws untill the binding is flush with the ski you should be ok.

The brakes should be ok to be bent, but I recomend instaling it to the ski before you bend it. The pieces of the binding that the brake attach to help to keep it from bending in the wrong place. Then I have had luck placeing one thumb on 90 degree bend in the brake and pulling evenly on both sides of the brake. After it is installed you should be able to place the ski on a floor or work bench and press the ski flat to the floor. Then release the ski and the brake alone should be able to raise the ski about 3/4 of an inch. If the brake can not raise the ski it is not working correctly and may need to be replaced.
post #20 of 90
Having done it several different ways in the past, I always tap now, regardless of the ski construction (btw, it's a #12AB tap -- Tognars has them). The benefits of tapping are:

--

1) no puckering of the topsheet, which you will get when hand-threading a screw into a hole. With a tapped hole, you end up with a teeny burr around the hole that can be shaved off with a wood chisel.

Regarding the pucker: common problem is the ski topsheet puckering up when you tighten the binding screws down, which prevents the binding from sitting flat on the ski. One way to get around this is to use a binding bit with a shoulder that countersinks the topsheet, or use a countersink after drilling with a regular bit. Unfortunately, these both take off a little of the topsheet to offset the pucker effect. I have always been a bit wary of this, especially on skis without a metal layer -- to me the more topsheet material for the screws to bite into, the better.

2) exact control when screwing in the screws. Start with a counterclockwise turn until the screw clicks into the tapped threads. Then go clockwise to thread into the hole (it will go easy -- like a machine screw, but snugger). When you feel resistance, the screw is down all the way. At that point, give a gentle 1/8 to 1/4 turn to snug it up and STOP. You're done.

If you've ever wrestled binding screws in a plain untapped hole, you know they go in tight and sometimes it's hard to know when to stop. In those cases, it's easy to over-tighten and strip, especially if you're also fighting a top sheet pucker. Do not try to flatten the pucker by overtightening the screws -- the hole will strip first.

3) if the ski has metal layers, hand-threading a screw in can pull the metal layer apart from the core as the threads bite into the metal. Tapping eliminates this potential issue.

--

I use waterproof wood glue in the holes, to lube the screws going in and seal the holes.
post #21 of 90
[quote=dandydan;650337]Okay so my holes are 0.7mm too big which means my radius is large by 0.35mm. I imagine these screws have about 2mm of bite per radius (total guess) so hopefully I still have about 3/4 of the bite left.
quote]

theoretically. I would personally be frightened of holes that big. it will now be even easier for your screw to sink off center or even crooked, leaving you with much more than .35mm of lost bite in perhaps very vulnerable spots.

I would go with the strongest glue possible that won't eat your core like an epoxy will.

Actually, I would consider a riser-plate to bipass those holes. But that's my paranoid self.

If you mount those holes, don't sink your first screw to the bottom before all have been placed. I would recommend tightening each screw one turn at a time in a star-sequence (think tire lugs) to ensure that your screws don't dive off the the side in those large holes.
post #22 of 90

forward of center

"Also, how important is it that my boot is perfectly centered? Right now the mark on my boot is about 1-2 mm ahead of the mark on the ski which I figure is pretty darn good... "

Not only can you relax that you are off by that much (little), it may be to your advantage, and you may prefer it even further (I'm purposefully cheating up 1-2 CM, vs. 1-2 mm... and I'm sure others go more). Conventional wisdom seems to be that moving forward progressively favors initiation of turns, while moving back of center helps skidding at higher speeds. Most commentaries that I have seen favor a slight forward mount. You will find much more sophisticated analyses by searching threads, including this one:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=21005

Regardless of where you mount, samurai may have best advice with the riser plate (provided your bindings aren't already up so high that you end up standing on a ladder).
post #23 of 90
Thread Starter 
I got my bindings mounted last night and for the most part it was successful. I picked up some gorilla glue as recommended by someone since I figured that stuff expands 3-4x so that might help fill my slighly large holes a bit (hopefully this glue doesn't eat my core). I dripped a couple drops into each of the three front binding screw holes and proceeded to start screwing the front bindings down which is when I realized my first mistake. When I was drilling the holes the day before, the front screw was sticking out on a tonque which seemed kinda flimsy to me but I didn't realize that it was supposed to slide back into the binding until this moment. Thankfully I had this epiphany before I had tightened the bindings down so I just quickly drilled a new (and smaller - 3.6mm) hole about 15mm behind the existing one. Then I tightened the screw in this, slid the binding forward and did the back two...other than the extra hole things went good. I repeated the same process for the other ski and then mounted the rear bindings which went smoothly...I was able to torque them down solidly without stripping any. As well, the Gorilla glue that was oozing out of the holes might sorta glue my bindings to the ski to take a little stress off the screws. I'm hoping to test these skis out locally before I head out west for a week in late February to make sure thing are okay.

About the 'riser plate', my bindings are the S710 Axe bindings which already raise me up 10mm so adding a riser plate doesn't seem ideal. If these holes do strip out I'll re-drill smaller 3.6mm holes about 10 mm forward since I prefer easier turning over high speed stability. I'm a bit of a hack and I ski with very skilled aggresive skiers in tight, steep terrain so I'd rather survive than be the first one down. There are still a few outstanding issues though which are:

Extra Holes:
Each ski has one extra hole in front of the front binding (about 10mm in front). Prior to realizing my drilling mistake I put a few drops of gorilla glue in these holes which over the next few hours foamed up and pretty much filled them. Can I leave these holes since they are plugged by the waterproof Gorilla glue or should I drill out the glue and glue the proper plugs in? It's also possible that I may need to use these holes at a later date if my current holes rip out or whatever and I need to move the bindings up.

Forward Pressure:
It's my understanding that this is just determined by how close the front and rear bindings are together...ie. if they are too far apart my boot won't be tight but if they are too close then there will be added stress on my bindings from jamming the boot in there. My S710 Axe bindings appear to be adjustable only in the sense that I can slide the rear binding forward or backwards to any one of about 10 preset spots (it clicks). My main concern here is that I might make it too tight and add stress to my bindings. Is there really any way to tell this? When I click the boot in, it clicks in fine but there is very little gap on either end so it seems either my boot is just right or maybe it's too tight. There doesn't seem to really be a way to measure the stress on the bindings so does anyone have any tips or thoughts here?

Bending Brakes:
I tried to do this last night with some vice-grips but that steel sure is hard to bend. I may have to clamp it in a vice or use a torch to heat (w/o melting the plastic somehow). I could mount the brake on the ski and then pull outwards but I'm concerned that something else might get damaged since the rest of the brake is mostly plastic and the 2 halves of the actual brake are not one piece of metal but rather seperate ones so I'd hate to rip them out or damage the plastic. These brakes are really close to fitting my skis. The skis are about 81mm where the brakes go and the brakes are about 78mm so if I can bend each side out by about 3-4mm then I'll have about 2mm of clearance on either side.

Thanks a lot for all the help you guys have provide...I really appreciate it.
post #24 of 90
No, Thank you.

This has been a great thread, keep us informed as you start skiing on these.
post #25 of 90
"My main concern here is that I might make it too tight and add stress to my bindings. Is there really any way to tell this?"

Am sure the pros here will give you more precise answer, but forward pressure is about more than the tradeoff between stress on bindings versus holding your boot in place. I don't know the specifics of your binding mechanics, but my understanding is that correct amount of forward pressure is necessary for front release mechanism to work properly... i.e., your toe piece wants that pressure to function.... and that "correct" is a fairly narrow range.

This is the point I expect even the DIY supporters to steer you toward a shop for confirmation of forward pressure and torque settings, now that bindings mounted (in answer to "is there any way to tell this?").

In the meantime, type "forward pressure" in the search box at top of page... there's a lot more to this.
post #26 of 90
Dandy:
The full instructions for adjusting forward pressure are here. You will have to download an acrobat file from my hosting site (500 kb):
http://www.orbitfiles.com/download/id1190164786

The entire Salomon Technicians Manual is here 9 MB:
http://www.orbitfiles.com/download/id1099466083

Let me know if you have a problem downloading
post #27 of 90
Thread Starter 
Great! That first link is very good. It's my understanding that my S710 bindings do not have 'toe height' adjustment or 'toe cup width' adjustment so I only need to worry about the forward pressure adjustment which I should be able to dial in with that first link. Thanks a lot!

I'll (hopefully) dial that in tonight and then all that's left is possibly plugging those 2 holes and bending the brakes a few mm and then I'm ready for a test day at the slopes.
post #28 of 90
I think these manuals have a lot to offer a consumer in the routine care and adjustment of their bindings. With the understanding that consumer mounted bindings are not indemnified by the manufacturer, its still useful to know the process and to be able to recognize when things are right and wrong.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandydan View Post
Forward Pressure:
It's my understanding that this is just determined by how close the front and rear bindings are together...ie. if they are too far apart my boot won't be tight but if they are too close then there will be added stress on my bindings from jamming the boot in there. My S710 Axe bindings appear to be adjustable only in the sense that I can slide the rear binding forward or backwards to any one of about 10 preset spots (it clicks). My main concern here is that I might make it too tight and add stress to my bindings. Is there really any way to tell this? When I click the boot in, it clicks in fine but there is very little gap on either end so it seems either my boot is just right or maybe it's too tight. There doesn't seem to really be a way to measure the stress on the bindings so does anyone have any tips or thoughts here?
I can't see Cirqueriders link from work, so I'll just tell you what I know, in case his link doesn't explain it.
Salomon bindings have some sort of forward presure indicator. I forget which one the 710 has, but there's 2 types.
One type has a window on the side, and when the boot is inserted, it moves a metal tab inside that window. if the tab is anywhere inside the window, you're forward pressure is correct.
The other type is with a mark on the housing of the binding. This could be a triangle indicator, or it could be the end of the housing itself. When the binding is inserted, the metal adjusting bar on the heelpiece (the bar you lift to get the adjustment) stays put, and the housing moves back. on that adjusting bar are a series of marks. If that indicator moves so that it points within the marked area, you're forward pressure is correct. It's clear in my mind, hope it helps.


Quote:
Bending Brakes:
I tried to do this last night with some vice-grips but that steel sure is hard to bend. I may have to clamp it in a vice or use a torch to heat (w/o melting the plastic somehow). I could mount the brake on the ski and then pull outwards but I'm concerned that something else might get damaged since the rest of the brake is mostly plastic and the 2 halves of the actual brake are not one piece of metal but rather seperate ones so I'd hate to rip them out or damage the plastic. These brakes are really close to fitting my skis. The skis are about 81mm where the brakes go and the brakes are about 78mm so if I can bend each side out by about 3-4mm then I'll have about 2mm of clearance on either side.
Quote:
Thanks a lot for all the help you guys have provide...I really appreciate it.
I've found that mounting the brake onto the binding makes it easiest to bend. If it's that small of a difference, it should be fairly easy. I use a broken aluminum pole as leverage. Just put the pole over the brake up to the bend, and pull. You probably will have to wiggle a bit to get the ski pole onto the brake past the ski edge, and I do one side at a time.
post #30 of 90
I've found correct forward pressure helps keep the toe from pre releasing, not enough and you pre release. Also put the boot in the binding and with both hands pull, bend both brake arms simultaneously.The boot helps keep the brake"s plastic from breaking.Since you only need a few mm's no need to dissasemble the brake with the vice method.
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