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Cheap vices for the new tuner ...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
When first gearing up to tune your own skis there is a lot of gear to buy but nothing more expensive than a good vice. If you are looking to start but do not have the cash for a vice then consider buying a flat file, an edge angle, a stone (diamond stone preferably) any cheap iron (ski wax iron not necessary), a plastic scraper and some universal wax. Cost of all of above is uner $100.

Nothing can be done well without a vice to hold the skis. Simplest solution if you tune with skis on edge why not a work bench vice with a cloth to protect the skis. Simple and probably already in your workshop.

However for waxing and base up repair & tuning work a small modification is required. As most skis are capped and there is not much to grab with a standard bench vise (and it is hard on the skis anyway) you can simply trace your boot sole on a 1x3 inch piece of strapping from local lumber yard and cut out with a jigsaw. Then pop that in the binding as you would a ski boot and grab the wood with the vise. You can further modify your workbench with supports for front and back ent of skis - 2x4 end up usually works for this (mount them with the 2" width along the skis so files don't drag). You can modify the cutout of wood with shims to approximate heel height, etc but not really necessary and if lucky you may find an adjustable boot sole that some ski vice systems have used. This gets brakes out of the way as well. Very nice setup for base up tuning (and cheap! - except for buying a house)

I have modified both my home and chalet work benches to use this system and have cutouts for most boot soles in my house. I also have the adjustable boot sole. We also have Toko World Cup vices for when travelling or when the side edge tuning with ski edge up is important but I prefer to tune base up as I have done it that way for 30 years. Also gives a better chance to inspect the bases and do any minor repairs. Great for base waxing and scraping as well as it holds the ski very firmly.

Toko World Cup vice $230 CDN. 3" bench vice $10-$20CDN. 1x3 strapping $2.5 for 8 feet.

If using a normal iron rather than ski iron then you can buy a cheapo new one for $13CDN. Caution is to adjust heat just to the point where the wax is melting and not much above. Then mark the setting on the iron with a permanent marker. Don't use on a dress shirt afterwards and be careful not to use too hot a setting as it can harm your skis. Also do not worry too much about the steam holes on the bottom of the iron unless you are switching waxes a lot.

Hope this helps for anyone who has need of a bench vice but is too cheap to buy one...

post #2 of 9


The cutout sounds like a brilliant idea. I think I'll try that out next weekend, thanks.
post #3 of 9
I'd like to add: You can get an old school iron at a flea market or yard sale for dirt cheap usually... This avoids the steam holes and can be considerably cheaper.

As far as marking the position, I just leave the iron on and plug it in and unplug it.
post #4 of 9

They have the best prices.

Can't believe everyone doesn't know about them.
post #5 of 9
Tognar good.


post #6 of 9

I find that these two places usually have the lowest prices for the top end tuning gear.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
Tognar good.


Thanks for the link. Good price on the MoonFlex diamonds, I'll add this link to my favorites.
post #8 of 9
Price is even better with Epic Supporter discount

post #9 of 9
Thanks for the plugs, guys. I guess I'll extend the Epic Supporter Discount to the end of the month (it was ending today).

I can't imagine a simpler, faster, more versatile and more cost effective 'vise' than the the T4B lasso clamp, either by itself, with your own supports or other vises you own, or with the Cinch or CordLoc vises. It doesn't care how wide, the shape of the side walls or the binding type. I've been messing around with some variations of the basic concept and can easily secure two alpine/tele boards or up to 4 nordic skis. I'll never use a conventional vise again.

Here's a page showing the lasso & Cinch in action.
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