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To grind or not to grind (again)É

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hope you can shed some light on this.

Some folks say, don't touch the factory grind.

Others say, grind once at the beginning of the season and then only refresh with a steel brush/

Others say, grind once the first time in a skiis life and never grind again.

Others say, regrind when the conditions change substantially.

What say you? What is best practise, for folks who do not have multiple sets of skiis?


post #2 of 6
Never heard most of the sayings you relayed, so maybe you are looking for more advanced advice than me.

Anyway, I only have the bases ground when the base is messed up and needs to have some ptex dripped in (like rock gouges) or loses it texture (or maybe if it gets burned and doesn't seem to absorb wax).
post #3 of 6
Many like to grind when the ski is new to set a flat base so they know where they are at. Most companies can provide new skis that don't warp during shipping. Check it with a true-bar, if you have reason to grind, go ahead.

In reality, I only grind after my edges/bases have enough damage to them to justify bringing my running surface to flat again. Core shots, major rock burrs on edges, etc, really clean up nicely after a grind.

In my 30 seasons, I have never actually had a concave or convex base that required an innitial flattening. I have a new pair of nordies that got a fair share of burrs on them this winter. I plan on grinding them next year, but only after "early" season is over and we have sufficient coverage on the ground. I see little point to grinding them this summer to get them all cherry for early/rock season.
post #4 of 6
If the base is flat, you can usually go with the factory grind. Most structures are good to very good these days depending on the manufacturer.

If you want to set the base bevel to something less than factory spec you will need a grind (eg 1 degree factory spec to .5 personal preference).

If you do a lot of spring skiing, you can benefit from a coarser base structure. It will channel water better.

If you ski a lot and on hard or new or man-made snow, sooner or later you'll notice that the skis will become railed because P-tex wears faster than steel edges. A grind to bring the base flat again, makes sense. This will happen to all skis sooner or later. However, skiing typically in soft or old or natural snow usually means much later even if you ski a lot.

If the skis bases or edges are badly dinged up, base repairs followed by a grind will make the ski look like new again.

A few caveats:

A stonegrind will usually remove all of the wax you may have worked so hard to get impregnated in the ski bases.

A stonegrind leaves oil and debris in the base (just like it comes from the factory). After a grind you need to do a new ski prep, if you care about such things.

How flat is flat? There are whole threads devoted to that subject here. Since skis made today are mostly much wider at the tips and tails than before, a manufacturing consequence is that they can often come from the factory somewhat concave in those areas. Getting them totally flat may be impractical from the point of view of having to take down a lot of edge material in the process.

If getting skis totally flat doesn't seem practicable, getting them flat 1/3 of the way in from each edge at the tips and tails seems to be fine with many people. The skis should be flat elsewhere along their length.

A steel brush works pretty well to refresh or open up a structure that otherwise is not in need of a grind.

Finally, if you are going to get a stone grind go to a reputable shop, preferably one that does a lot of racing skis and has a reputation to protect. There is a lot a variation in how well machines are maintained and the skill of the operators using them.
post #5 of 6
I reflatten the bases myself... start with about 120 grit sandpaper, wrap it tightly around a bastard file and sand it down evenly... Then scrape with a PLASTIC scraper, then sand with 220 grit, then scrape with the scraper again. it's probably not the most accurate way to do it, though. Your edges pretty much dictate how much will be taken off. If your edges are even, it'll work fine... Heck, you could even mark your edges with sharpie to make sure your base edge is 100% flat when you are done, with no bevel...

I did a tune on all 3 sets of my skis after the season ended (Yep.. it's all over here in WV...) I did the sanding and scraping thing, then I set base bevels, and polished the edges... then I hot waxed with parafin... just for summer storage. Before the season starts next year, I'll put some universal wax on them.

The skis all look great... Even my teaching/beater skis that had been run through mud, rocks, branches, been skied over, etc... There was only one small gouge that it still obvious, and it was a deep one... Other than that all 3 pairs of skis look good as new... Not to mention that my Salomons now have a much flatter base than when new...

My one concern with this process was with the sanding then scraping to remove the hairs.... I was afraid it may 'clog' the bases... but they seemed to accept the wax, so in the end.. no problems whatsoever.

It may not be as quick, easy, or accurate as a stonegrind, but it seemed to do a fine job and I probably removed a lot less base than a stonegrind would.
post #6 of 6
Good on ya Hydrogen. Though not the same as a base grind, it's really pretty straight forward to 'flatten' your bases yourself; as long as you pay attention and use common sense. I'd be very surprised that the majority of skiers out there could tell the difference between the imperfections of doing it by hand versus a machine grind. You can also do it at your convenience. Plus you can learn to easily adjust structure depending on conditions....and it complements doing your own base repairs....and keeps you 'connected' with your boards.

After sanding, you might consider following with a steel or hard brass brush and fiber pad to unclog and smooth, some light base cleaner and hot scrape.

Excellent insights Lostboy.
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