EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Does anyone think adding $400 worth of tuning kit is extravagant??
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Does anyone think adding $400 worth of tuning kit is extravagant??

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have a pretty good tuning kit but there are some other things I would like to either make my life easier or give me better kit to help tune friends' skis. I was thinking of adding the following: Maplus 100mm diamond file set (all grades) - should make polishing edges faster 89' Side edge guide (for friends' skis) 87' side edge guide (for race skis) Variable base edge guide (so I can do 0.5 and 0.75 for race skis and 1.5 for friends who like to edge that lazily) Metal scraper - do not have one and plastic can only achieve so much Thought I would try one of the new abrasive rubbers (must be good for polishing the edge even further?) Maplus soft brass brush Side edge cutter - are these really necessary? I will hold out for a table and better vice set up until I get back to the US in Nov. Any thoughts or advice appreciated.
post #2 of 26
You came to the right place if you are seeking a thumbs up. Of course you need at least $400 in tuning gear!
post #3 of 26
$400 is just getting you warmed up.

I'd suggest considering the T4B Razor multi-tool in lieu of the two angle guides, base beveler & sidewall cutter. You may be pleasantly surprised that it'll provide very adequate accuracy, durability and versatility. With a 'you can always buy more, and will', perspective, you can add the other tools when and if you find short comings. plus the Razor can serve as an additional tool. Sometimes it's nicer having more than one guide with the same angle with different stones or files to speed up the task by reducing the swapping of stones. by setting the side angle to 6° (or so) and using a panzer or very course file, you can back file the sidewalls. (Here's the Razor Instructions PDF.) The T4B Xact & Maplus/SkiMan Pro Sharp are also options for side angles and sidewalls.

I'd recommend the aluminum or stainless steel faced metal guides before the roller guides. I haven't had any ptex wear issues as I keep the bases wiped off. Base tape is also a desired option for the more discerning.

A soft brass brush is a versatile and highly used brush by many. Some people swear by the abrasive rubbers, but I personally haven't noticed a substantial difference using a finer diamond and finishing with an arkansas stone.

YMMV
post #4 of 26
Tools are your friend. God knows how much I've spent. Just be careful what you buy, cause if you're like me you'll end up getting the "better one" later on and then have extra stuff to either sell, or wish you hadn't bought.
post #5 of 26
just checked my records and in the first 2-3 years of tuning I spent over $1,200. :
post #6 of 26
I am not a high tech / high performance person, if you are the same you may wish to be more conservative. I think the average person can do well spending less than $200 (I am not counting a bench or vise) and this can last a long time.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
no I am from the school of buying the most precise tool possible for each job as that way I tend to buy one high quality tool that lasts. I do not tend to lose them as I do not loan them - if someone wants to tune their skis they can come to my place and use my bench whilst I sit there and watch (nice way of saying supervise). Also if the tools are the best I can afford then I can only blame myself (for the tune) or my skiing - not the skis or the tuning equipment. It is also quite calming to know that I have great skis with an excellent tune on my feet when I go out for a day's skiing. I have been amazed by how many people who 'know how to tune their own skis' do not know what a hot wax and scrape is or what temperature the ski needs to get to in order to absorb the wax etc etc. I think that I really do need the precision that the additional equipment will afford and the reduced effort that a proper tune will take will make it worth it. Does anyone have more than 6 brushes and if so what and what are you using them for?
post #8 of 26
A resounding yes. I thought it was nuts to spend as much on tuning supplies as a good set of skis, but as I started to tune my own skis I realized I need it all and then some. But I would say, I have made some purchases that I have yet to use. So really sort out your gear carefully. There are countless threads on what to get but..oh what the hell here is my basic complete kit picks:

Brush set
Iron
P-tex sticks for repairs
Vise
Plexi scraper
Plexi sharpener
Metal Scraper
Side wall cutter
3 grades of diamond files
1 metal file
1 super fine clear arkansas polishing stone
Cutting/polishing lubricating fluid
Side bevel guide (and shims if tuning various bevels)
Base bevel guide
Assorted waxes and overlays (if racing)
Fiberlene paper
Brake retainers

I think this will put you at around the $500 mark, more or less depending on the quality level and name brand of the tools you buy.

You can add more to this list but I think this is enough to tune well the majority of skis

Then you'll want to build a hot box..........
post #9 of 26
I've been tuning skis for 40 years. $10 a year is pretty cheap.

A bad tune can make a $500 pair of skis worthless.

How much is your time worth? One hour with good stuff is worth three hours with crap.

umm....let me think of some more

nah, just buy it no need to justify that sort of thing here.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have the following in my tuning bag: Iron Ski man vice Swix 1' base guide Swix 88 side edge guide Fk Multi guide (edge & side) which only holds 70mm stones Swix bastard file Swix second cut file Swix fine file DMT 70 mm diamond stones (course/ med/ fine/ extra-fine) P-tex sticks butane torch & lighter Fk scraper & true bar 2 x plastic scrapers Toko scraper sharpener Soft Steel brush Soft Brash brush Natural fibre brush Horsehair brush Soft nylon brush (overlays) nylon polish brush (overlays) natural cork with felt pad (overlays) waxing sheets fibrelene grey gummi stone brake retainers waxes various (Swix/ Dominator/ Solda) Solda F-15 fluoro wax Solda F-31 fluoro wax Solda Overlays I would like to add: 89' side edge guide (friends skis) 87' side edge guide (race skis) Ski man variable base guide or 0.5 and 0.75 fixed guides Metal scraper Side wall cutter Maplus 100mm diamond files (course/ med/ fine/ extra fine) Polishing rubber - fine
post #11 of 26
RR & AR, you might consider bumping up your base repair tools to bring them in par with your other tools. (Welding vs Ptex candles.)

As Nefwydog says, your time is a real consideration when considering (or rationalizing) the purchasing of tools as is quality, life span, performance level and 'capability empowerment'.....and economics. If you can eke how better performance and longer life spans of your gear, they easily pay for themselves.

(AR, I hope you will be receiving some form of compensation if you take care of your friend's skis with your tools and time. )

Regarding brushes, I have a full set of manual brushes (because I can) and do find them each nice to have, but I could get by fine with 3 or 4. Stiff metal for aggressive cleaning, structure refreshing and additions (post bass repairs), hard & very hard wax like the Maplus RB hard. Soft nylon for general purposes and polishing. Hard horsehair for general structure freeing. Stiff brass for warm and hard waxes and wax removal. Soft brass as a frequent use for structure freeing brush. Hard nylon as another universal brush option for polishing and brushing down bases. I also have a dedicated 4" x 1 1/2" stiff nylon brush that sits in my stand, bristles up, for quick, easy & frequent stone and file cleaning and other cleaning tasks.

Thought the ovals are definitely nicer and faster than the rectangular brushes, I clearly prefer my roto brushes as they save enormous amounts of time and effort, provide great results, and offer a broad range of capability with a few brushes and variable pressure and drill speeds: nylon, stiff HH & brass, along with a cork.

For many though, a low cost approach to purchasing tools and gradually adding to your kit as you gain experience and mojo, is very practical. Starting out with tools that provide multiple capabilities and options (ie multi-bevel guides), until you get a clearer understanding, needs and goals, without busting the budget is part of the learning curve and process.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
I already do something like that except I use the butane torch to heat the p-tex to a putty consistancy (hence no carbon), roll it into the warm (warmed with iron) scratch, work it in with my FK scraper/ true bar. I then iron it in with the waxing iron over a waxing sheet. I then lightly shave any large surplus with a craft razor and then let it all cool. I then lightly plane the area with my FK scraper, buff with sand paper, structure with riller bar (fine) and brush with steel brush. I then let the repair set completely and then wax as per normal.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew R View Post
I already do something like that except I use the butane torch to heat the p-tex to a putty consistancy (hence no carbon), roll it into the warm (warmed with iron) scratch, work it in with my FK scraper/ true bar. I then iron it in with the waxing iron over a waxing sheet. I then lightly shave any large surplus with a craft razor and then let it all cool. I then lightly plane the area with my FK scraper, buff with sand paper, structure with riller bar (fine) and brush with steel brush. I then let the repair set completely and then wax as per normal.
How's the durability working out with this method?
post #14 of 26
Go for it! and then keep on going!
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Durability is excellent but I have ordered some of that welding stuff from you anyway. I am trying to keep the kit to a minimum whilst I am in NZ but intend to have the complete workshop once I get back to and settled in Colorado.
post #16 of 26

base edge bevels

You list sounds pretty good, but I'd go with individual guides for the base edge bevel. You want to spend your time tuning the skis, and not messing with the adjustment on the base bevel - even 30 seconds to switch over is a lot of time when you are doing a bunch of skis - and you don't want to make a mistake and put a 1 degree bevel on your slalom skis. I have 8 sets that I maintain pretty much every week, mixed racing and rec. The diamond files are pricey, but great to use.

A skyver for cutting out the sidewalls and a true edge bar are handy too. A base flattener comes in handy too.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
C1er: thanks I have ordered them - I had the FK multi as an intro to tuning when I was just teaching myself how to tune and was not sure that I would qualify to work as an instructor when I left the Army.

Now that I have 3 sets of skis (plus the wife's skis) and end up tuning for mates who have not much of an idea (they normally ski 1/1 hence buying an 89 side edge) I have a fixed guide (Swix roller 88') for my skis and I am getting an extra 88 so I have to change stones less and an 89 for mates and an 87 for racing.

I have skiied .5/87 previously and it was a bit extreme but I think I will probably try 0.75/87 for GS racing (not interested in Slalom - too much fast twitch muscle involved).

If I end up getting serious about GS racing (well semi serious) then I will end up with two pairs of GS skis no doubt so I will spend more time tuning than I do now.

I totally agree that once you are commited to good tuning then fixed guides are definitely the way to go.
post #18 of 26
I know this is slightly off thread, but when I set my base edges at .5 I took a bit of base off in the process, not much but noticeable on the file - how bad is this???
post #19 of 26

Base Bevel angle

Here's one discussion w/some info that might help answer your question.

Sounds like you either changed your base bevel to shallower or simply cut deeper w/the same angle. A purist would say to get a base grind....I'd try it out first and scrape or sand it down if I noticed anything while skiing.

YMMV

HTH
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsJohn View Post
I know this is slightly off thread, but when I set my base edges at .5 I took a bit of base off in the process, not much but noticeable on the file - how bad is this???
http://www.holmenkol.us/myadmin/data...ge%20macro.pdf
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
Man, thats alot of bevels on one ski...does anyone actually do that?
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
Man, thats alot of bevels on one ski...does anyone actually do that?
Yes they do, but that was not the point of my post. I posted this to show the improper bevel extending into the base material shown in the 2nd image on the left.

I think the multi base bevel approach could have some real merit. I find .5 to be too demanding in the tip area with a very abrupt hookup and a bit unpredictable . Going from more bevel to less would create a very progressive "hook-up".

One of the ex-ski racer's in our areaI know well would tune her skis this way. But it would have to be more bevel towards the ends and less underfoot as shown. going the other way. Less in the tip & tail and more underfoot would be a disaster.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
Yes they do, but that was not the point of my post. I posted this to show the improper bevel extending into the base material shown in the 2nd image on the left.

I think the multi base bevel approach could have some real merit. I find .5 to be too demanding in the tip area with a very abrupt hookup and a bit unpredictable . Going from more bevel to less would create a very progressive "hook-up".

One of the ex-ski racer's in our area I know well would tune her skis this way. But it would have to be more bevel towards the ends and less underfoot as shown. going the other way. Less in the tip & tail and more underfoot would be a disaster.
I meant to say one of the ex US Ski team members
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
My 04 Stockli Laser SCs were delivered to me like that:
0.5 base, 0.7 tip and tail (3-4") and 87 side.

That is what one is paying for with the 'hand tune' prices for race tunes. The time that it take to do this accurately and hand finish (ie free hand) the progression into the edges so that the ski comes on edge completely smoothly.

They were still fairly turny but the hook up was merely incredibly fast rather than brutal.

My skiing has got a lot better since then so I am pretty sure that I can handle the 0.7 (1 tip and tail)/ 87 side that I intend to put on my GS skis.The 1 will allow a normal engagement and release, the 0.7/ 87 will give me a supershape edge that will carve across race piste 'snow' without having to worry about it not gripping and the 0.7 underfoot will give me more margin when feathering the edge than 0.5 does.
post #25 of 26
Hmmm....maybe I should experiment.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am sure that there are lots of people out there that know how to do the tune but you could email Lou Rosenfeld at Lous Skiing Performance Centre as I know he knows how to mark up the ski for this type of tune and could probably offer better technical advice. I think he is on this forum sometimes but I cannot remember his Epic handle.

I have no intention of doing it to my own skis until I have watched the race tech at a very good local shop do it several times.

Lous: http://www.lous.ca/
email: info@lous.ca
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Does anyone think adding $400 worth of tuning kit is extravagant??