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Got Wood?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Anybody know where I can find directions on how to make wooden skis? I need a summer project, so I've decided to make myself some powder specific wooden skis, or rather "hybrid" skis with P-tex bases and metal edges and wood for everything else.

They'll probably be different than any skis ever made before, but I could still use tips and whatnot.

I've already decided on the dimensions (fitted to my body, skiing style and purpose; powder only).

Shovel: 98mm
Waist: 75mm
Tail: 83mm

Length: 190cm

I'm gonna have a maple top for cosmetic purposes, but I need ideas on lighter wood for the core, and some tips on laminating and shaping the wood.

any ideas?
post #2 of 21
I believe Igneous skis were solid maple core.

Poplar would be a good choce to hold shape, but laminated spruce would be the hands down lightest/snappiest choice.

Lam up a block of wood, then cut away everything that isn't a ski!

Sounds like fun. Keep me posted

CalG
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by CalG:
I believe Igneous skis were solid maple core.

Poplar would be a good choce to hold shape, but laminated spruce would be the hands down lightest/snappiest choice.

Lam up a block of wood, then cut away everything that isn't a ski!

Sounds like fun. Keep me posted

CalG
the only problem I see with laminating a block of wood, is that I'd have a problem with making a ski with camber. I want an honest to God modern ski, just made with old meterials.

I could maybe soak that laminated block to bend it... BUT... would the glue hold? Is there a glue I can use that is non-water soluble?
post #4 of 21
The camber is "cut" into the block., not bent into a straight blank. If you were going to make an old style "bent ash" ski, you would be thinking on the lines of a steam box and press forms. YOU ARE NOT THINKING ON THESE LINES>

Think... big block of wood and a sharp blade in the band saw!

Plastic resin glue is water proof. available at any wood working supply.

Fancy glue and vacuum bag to bond the p=tex I would say. Have you got a line on metal edges?

CalG
post #5 of 21
1. Use spruce for the core (you need spruce veneer).

2. Use hardwood for the top and bottom layer(s)(again you need veneer).

3. Build a mould the shape of your final ski, include camber, or reverse camber, and top shaping and tip and tail up lift (cheat and use an existing ski as a template, draw the ski outline and then use a bandsaw to cut it out. Use a large enough and strong enough piece of wood 4x4 or bigger.

4. Make a top form for the mold which fits the form exactly as you need (remember the center of the ski will need to be made of more laminates than the tip and tail - you may want to forgoe this in your first ski and use it as a learning platform).

If you use a 4x6 or 6x6 you can make the top and bottom of the form at the same time. Just cut out the template and you have both pieces.

5. You will need waterproof wood glue lots of it.

6. You will need lead shot or something flexible and heavy to weight the ski in the mold.

7. Cut the veneer into appropriate sized and lengthed pieces (dont worry about the actual side cut or shaping at this time you will final shape the skis on a band saw and rotary sanding table). Remember you must have the grain running atleast 90 degrees ofset to gain max strength on every other piece.

8. Soak the laminate in very hot water or steam it in a steam vault (make one out of wood), till the veneer is very pliable (you may be able to omit this step if you can get actual 1/8 or 1/4 veneer, but if thicker you will need to soak to bend).

9. Place the flexible veneer into the mold in order and place the top on and weight with the bags of lead shot.

10. Wait till the material dries (a couple of days).

11. Disassemble the mold and veneer when dry and glue up the wood and place back into the mold, and reweight.

Here is the real problem with this technique. You need substancial pressure to make this process work and I doubt you will be able to do so with static pressure of lead weight. You may be able to generate the pressure you need if you were to use hydraulic rams like auto bottle jacks placed on side in a small concrete room where you could squeeze the mold against two room walls but they would have to both be concrete or you will knock down one or both walls.

12. Use the bandsaw to cut out the sidecut and tip and tail shapes you have decided upon.

13. Bolt on bindings and wax the skiis.

14. Go skiing.

Alt:

15. Screw on real edges. If you dont want a Ptex base you will need to route the area and screw the edges into the routed base. Use epoxy to fill the screw grove. Wax the skis and go skiing.

16. Buy Ptex sheet and glue onto wood ski - this I have no advice on. But I suspect you will need an epoxy which will hold to plastic.

Thoughts:

You will likely need a bit of metal in the ski under the binding area to provide adaquate strength for binding mounting.

You will want a wider underfoot platform for additional float if you are making a powder ski. Just scale everything so your dimensions match.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Each pair is made from matched wood layers, selected so that the grain matches perfectly in each layer of each member of a pair. Lacroix also employs an unusual "cookie cutter" technique during manufacture, in which circles of the next to top layer of wood are cut and the pieces are then rotated 45 degrees from the grain, alternating left/right for the length of the ski. This gives the skis superior torsional rigidity. -- www.techsupportforskiers.com review of Lacroix wood skis
Do some research into how Lecroix is building their all-wood skis. Apparently, they are suppose to be really great to ski on (which they should be considering the price).
post #7 of 21
If you used pretty thin veneers (1/16th may be too thick maybe a little less) you could use vacuum bagging for the laminating. For glue you should probably go with a West system epoxy or it's equivalent.

I remember the Volkl P20's I used to ski on had a poplar core. I saw one in a store once (the core that is) it was solid poplar, bent in the shape of the camber and had tons of little holes in it for? the epoxy/polyester resin to penetrate through. At the time Volkl was supposed to use only very special trees from "their own forest" that had exactly the characteristics they wanted.

I don't think you want to bandsaw a core out of a solid piece as the grain will not follow the curve. Having the grain follow the curve (as in laminating or steam bending) will make it much stronger and springier.

Oh yeah, about that shape...maybe a little bigger tip and tail?

There was an article once in ski or skiing about making your own skis. I'd say it was probably around '95 -'98.

[ May 05, 2003, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Tog ]
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Tog:
Oh yeah, about that shape...maybe a little bigger tip and tail?
heehee... no way Jose. I wont go bigger on the tip out of principal because that would mean triple digits (no longer even close to a straight ski), and I CAN'T go bigger on the tail because my knees can't handle a big tail. The bigger the tail is the less easily it releases from a turn. I tore the medial meniscus(sp?) in my right knee playing football in high school and if the tail isn't as narrow as possible I have a lot of pain at the end of the day. So yes, I'm not JUST a stick in the mud about straight skis. I can't do the whole trendy thing for health reasons. That's part of why I want light wood powder skis, because I know they'll be easier on my bad knee.

By the way thanks for all the advice folks. Keep it coming.

I've decided on a maple top, and either hickory or poplar for the core (hickory is the classic, but may not perform as well), but I'm open to suggestions for other woods if you think they might be snappier. I wonder what wood was used in the "Elan CR 6.2 CF Sport". My dad has a pair of those mounted with 3-pin telemark bindings and they float in powder like nothing else I've seen, other than the silly looking randonee skis that are like a foot wide (water skiing anyone?).

The exact dimensions aren't cut in stone but I know that I won't go any wider. I might actually cut the tail down a bit. The length is definitely cut in stone. I know I need to go shorter for powder, both from advice and experience, so instead of my usual 207cm I've cut it WAY down to 190cm, especially since I'll be mounting tele bindings on them.

So keep the tips planing (I mean coming)
post #9 of 21
Quote:
I tore the medial meniscus(sp?) in my right knee playing football in high school and if the tail isn't as narrow as possible I have a lot of pain at the end of the day.
mm, super sidecuts shouldn't really affect your kneemuch as long as you stay in a reasonable dimension. I've done the meniscus plus had two acl repairs. I think for knee safety shorter skis are better (like <= 170).
post #10 of 21
Chop down a tree and start whittling with a knife, you goddamn Luddite.
post #11 of 21
Years ago my father made a guitar and the biggest challenge was bending the wood for the sides. The technique he used was similar to the one Maddog described.

He built a form that was used to bend the wood after it was steamed. He nailed wire brads on both sides of the form about an inch below the curve and about an inch apart. Now working from one end to the other he hooked a rubber band on the wire brad over the steamed wood and onto the other wire brad. If you use this method make sure you get some high strength rubber bands. The wood for the quitar was thinner but the curves are much more severe so I think the forces would be similar to that of your ski.
post #12 of 21
Have you checked out Powder Flower skis? These are finnish sites but he makes custom boards, skis, pretty much everything out of wood. I met this guy once. He´s designed the most badass board out there. A 201 Swallowtail. And his skis are not much out of the league. He knows everything about wood, about what qualities different woods have etc. etc. I´m sure he´d be glad to help you out. You can always mail him at the "palaute ja kysymykset" section. He makes full custom skis also.
post #13 of 21
arbor makes some pretty sweet wood snowboards-they have some construction details on their site-http://www.arborsports.com/
post #14 of 21
as for weighting the laminating process, If you have access to the other tools (band saw, etc) for cutting a 4x6 or 6x6 then you probably have access to enough clamps to just clamp the 2 halfs of the form together. Any shop that does lots of woodwork know's the axiom "you can never have too many clamps"
post #15 of 21
Wood workers live by these three lines.

"The good craftsman knows how to cover his mistakes"

"You need to leave room for the glue."

and

"You can NEVER have too many clamps!"

Regards

CalG
post #16 of 21
does driftwood count?? cause I've got a lot of wood in these here pants [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #17 of 21
I wonder where you can buy metal edges and ptex? I would say forming very thin veneers over a mold and gluing them together under pressure is the way to go. Hydraulic jacks can provide tremendous pressure. If you were able to form a top mold with which to clamp the pieces between, this would help distribute the pressure along the whole ski. I think you want to look into how you can obtain or make very thin and uniform veneers. I seem to recall there are "planers" on the market that are really slicers. This may be the way to go but probably not cheap. Cutting the sidecut may be accomplished best with a router. This way you could set up a "fence" of the right curvature to guide the router.

Sounds like fun!

[ May 07, 2003, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: arcadie ]
post #18 of 21
I've got an old Sugarbush gondola I'm making a mini-helicopter out of..I rigged it with a Briggs&Stratton lawn mower engine and a home-made prop, but I can't seem to get the friggin thing to fly - has anyone tried this?

post #19 of 21
A mini-sub might be a better use for it.
post #20 of 21
DaveV, is this a town contest? Or you just upholding the town name?
From: Braintree, MA USA
post #21 of 21
By Dave V.
Quote:
I've got an old Sugarbush gondola I'm making a mini-helicopter out of..I rigged it with a Briggs&Stratton lawn mower engine and a home-made prop, but I can't seem to get the friggin thing to fly - has anyone tried this?
Dave V, I can see from the photograph what the problem is: You need to mount the propeller ON to the fusalage. Preferably on the top.

Good luck with your project. [img]smile.gif[/img]

P.S. It might also be a good idea to attach a tail.
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