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How sharp edges for SL?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I keep slippin and a slidin in the gates and especially on ice and on hard slippery surface. Im sharpening my edges from tip to tail @ 87deg before every race and practise. I know its mostly about technique but would it make a lot of difference if I swiched to 86deg?
post #2 of 17
I had the same problem on icy courses last year. I found it helpful to polish the edges with a series of stones. So first set the bevels with a file, 1 degree base and 3 degree side. Then a series of diamond files #200 and #400 and then stones to #600 and then ceramic stones. Finish with a pass of the gummi stone to de-burr and I've found the edge truly sharp.

Are you on a slalom ski which is fairly stiff torsionally?
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
I keep slippin and a slidin in the gates and especially on ice and on hard slippery surface. Im sharpening my edges from tip to tail @ 87deg before every race and practise. I know its mostly about technique but would it make a lot of difference if I swiched to 86deg?
Yup. There was quite a bit of talk last summer at Hood by the NorAm kids that were helping out with coaching about that very issue. They strongly advised 4 degrees sides - 94 degree SVST will do it real nice for ya

http://www.race-werks.com/product.php?prod_num=90001500

- Fossil
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
TAMski, Im on Blizzard Magnesium SL. Swithed from Head iSL RD last year. Wow, you use a lot of stones and stuff. I basicly just file the side of the edge untill its sharp and thats it. I have a blue diamond file but I hardly ever use it.

Flying Fossil, is a 4 deg side same as 86? How does that relate to 94?
post #5 of 17
The file merely sets the angle, and removes a TON of material while doing do. The sharpness comes from proper use of the stones. I find a rather large difference.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
The file merely sets the angle, and removes a TON of material while doing do. The sharpness comes from proper use of the stones. I find a rather large difference.
When do you use a stone, and when do you use a diamond file?
post #7 of 17
don't mind me, I'm just seconding the stones. If I use a file, it is after deburring the heat-tempered rock knicks with my corse diamond. Then I file, lightly... then I use the corse again... then the fine diamond... and finally a gummy stone massage that doesn't spill over the edge. I run the gummy flush so it doesn't take off any edge. I can literally see the reflective qualities of the edge magnify after using a gummy.

that's if I file, I usually just buff a few swipes of corse diamond... then fine diamond... then gummy.

my jet fuels are at 1 and 3, and they don't slip on bullet proof. On the contrary, I call them tanks on speed skates and they honestly scare the piss out of me by how well they hold on blue ice at 60.

a quiver of stones will change your life. However, be warned; your skis may become faster than you.

If your fingernails don't have scrape-damage, your skis aren't sharp enough.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for your very good input. Im going to go and buy new hardware asap. Are there any good links to sites with edge tuning?
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richr View Post
When do you use a stone, and when do you use a diamond file?
I just use 3 DMT diamond files: Black, Blue, and Red. (There is a green at 1200 grit, I don't use.)

As I understand it, stones are for the higher grits of 1000++.

I suppose that the reason to choose a stone is that the stone would have a longer life than the diamond file, since diamonds fall off.
post #10 of 17
I will agree! The file SHAPES the edge, while the stones SHARPEN and POLISH the edge.

Another factor is whether you use a 1 degree bottom bevel, or a .5 degree bottom bevel. I prefer the .5 (TOKO makes a nice, easy to use guide for that....)
post #11 of 17
Once you go 0.5, you'll never go back!
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok boyz, I dont know with what base bevel my Blizzard Magnesium SL skis came with. I have not done anything to the bases other than waxed, scraped and brushed. On occation I have used a blue diamond file to smoothen them out but I have done that by hand.

Questions:
- how do I set my skis up for a 0.5 base bevel, do I need to take them to a shop or can I do it by hand?
- do I need to swap my 87deg side wall angle for 86deg?
- do I need a base bevel tool for the diamond files?
post #13 of 17
Here is what I can tell you, mostly from reading the forum and asking my own questions.


Questions:
- how do I set my skis up for a 0.5 base bevel, do I need to take them to a shop or can I do it by hand?

Stonegrind to flatten base, then either the shop can set a .5 bevel or you can do it yourself with a guide, file and stones
.
- do I need to swap my 87deg side wall angle for 86deg?

No, the side angle is referenced to the base of the ski, not the base edge angle. An 87 degree guide will put a 3 degree edge bevel on any ski.

- do I need a base bevel tool for the diamond files?

Not 100% sure what you mean here. For setting the initial bevel, yes. After the base bevel is established, it is frequently recomended that no further sharpening or polishing be done, as this would gradually create a base high situation.


I'm pretty sure what I have said is true, if not I'm confident that it will be set straight.
post #14 of 17
IF the skis are already set at a 1 degree base bevel, they will need to be stoneground.... If they have no base bevel at all, then you can do it yourself with an appropriate file guide.
post #15 of 17
Your Blizzards will have c, ome with a 1 degree base. Most equipment can be ordered from: http://www.reliableracing.com/skituning.cfm?c=w

To answer your questions in order:

Base grind to flat and then set a 0.5 (or 0.75 - as the leap to 0.5 is quite scary), also get the right structure (probably fine to medium-fine for the conditions you describe - any good shop will know local conditions and advise you) at the same time. A full race tune will set you up to start with. As you have had a base grind you should ask them to multiple wax or hot box the skis afterwards to really get the wax back into the bases.

I personally would go 0.75/ 87 to start with as you find a huge difference with a properly finished edge:

Order of work (once you have dulled the shop hand finished race tune by skiing on the skis):

1. Touch up Base Edges lightly with fine file (Swix/ Valorbe) using fixed base guide (Swix/SVST etc).

2. Touch up side edges lightly with fine file (Swix/ Vallorbe) using fixed side edge guide (SWIX/ SVST etc)

3. Polish base edges with diamond stones (medium/ fine and extra fine) progessively. I use Vallorbe but DMT should be as good.

4. Polish side edges with diamond stones (medium/ fine and extra fine) progessively. A final polish with a gummy block (held flat to polish the edge not across the edge to dull it). If you have gone with 0.5 base then I suggest de-tuning the first and last 3-4 inches of the edges with 4-5 gentle passes of the gummi block.

5. Brush dirt out of base structure with brass brush. Polish dust/ debris off ski with lint free cloth.

6. Hot wax base until the warm wax strapes off clean (normally 2-3 times depending on how dirty/ wet snow has been recently).

7. Whilst warm, crayon on base glide wax (touch to iron then rub onto base - uses less wax to get an even coat) and iron in. Let ski rest to cool and allow base to absorb wax.

8. Repeat with other ski.

9. Scrape cold skis.

10. Crayon on race wax and any additives (read wax/ additive instructions). For example I am using a cold HC wax (Swix) at the moment but that is for cold, dry Colorado snow. Because we have had some sunny conditions I crayon in some low flouro wax (a more general range) as this helps repel water and dirt from wet snow. Iron this in (note that the base is warm enough when the topsheet of the tips and tails is warm to touch).

11. Leave skis to cool completely.

12. Scrape excess wax off cold skis, brush final excess off with Natural Fibre brush, brush out structure with Horsehair brush, wipe ski down with polish cloth (note you should do this at every brush stage to remove dust/ debris).

13. Rub on and cork in any final race glide layers (read instructions) - this is something that you leave to race day when you know exact final conditions.

If you are taking this much care then you should invest in some base covers (or get a sewing minded friend/ wife to make you some out of a soft lint free cloth) and use a minimum of four dry ski straps.

I use this process with all my skis with the exception of the race wax and additives as I like a ski that glides well and turns well. For general skiing I use 1 degree base and 88 side which I find holds on almost everything at almost every kind of speed.

Obviously you will need a good bench and a good vice set up - also being clean tidy and methodical helps, so a tool box or a shelf above your ebnch is a good idea. Finally you can spend too much money on an iron - I found a good 1000W dual voltage Rowenta travel iron in Target for $28.

Stick with the best quality items you can afford as unless you are tuning lots of skis almost nothing will wear out very quickly so you can justify the cost against what you are saving using shops.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
Ok boyz, I dont know with what base bevel my Blizzard Magnesium SL skis came with. Questions:
- how do I set my skis up for a 0.5 base bevel, do I need to take them to a shop or can I do it by hand?
- do I need to swap my 87deg side wall angle for 86deg?
- do I need a base bevel tool for the diamond files?
My 07 Blizz Mag SLs came mostly .5 whereas the 07 Blizzard Mag GS came mostly 1. The mostly refers to that factory bevel which I had to clean up some to get them completely true So be sure and check them before you get them ground as you might not need to. Use SVST tools with all files, stones AluOx or diamond. SVST base tool "Final Cut" works real good and does not take off more than you asked for. Pro side tool has the stainless steel plate. There is a full stainless model but that is for the Zargees crowd .

I gradually brought my SLs to .7 + a tick more in the forebody and to 4 degree on the sides. Point five was too aggessive on a grippy snowpack for me. Both Buzzards came with Vist Speedloks - a nice feature .

Another thing that really helps with hard snow is the boot cant : .

- Fossil
post #17 of 17
not to sound rude... but unless your a serious racer... you dont need a 4 degree. most collegiate racers are on a 3 degree. its not always the skis fault. i had this problem for a solid year before i finally got the clue that it was ME and my lower body that was the issue. when i finally corrected it... the skis did what they were supposed to.
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