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First attempt at waxing

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just picked up a deal on new skis and decided to learn how to wax them. I'll have them sharpened / tuned and waxed by a shop for the first time and then take over waxing and fine tuning with a small hand file afterwards for the season. From what I am gathering from reading the many informative posts I would generally need a few thrusts of the file from tips to tails to keep edges sharp enough, and then I could use base wax followed by a more temp sensitive wax as a final coat. (I bought a Swix product called Alpine Alpin White Lightning Base Wax which says to rub it on - there is a pad in the canister). I think I like the idea of rubbing it on and then going over it with an iron which I have yet to get - I presume this is like the crayoning that is mentioned. I am just visualizing that I would get a more even coverage and use less than trying to drip it on the ski bases off a warm iron and them flattening it out over the surface of the skis.

I am sure I will discover more when I actually do it the first couple of times; but does this sound like a reasonable plan? One thing I don't have an idea for though is how thick should the wax applications be when done after the final scraping? I am visualizing all the nooks and crannies are filled in and "structure" I think it was called - but how much more?

Thanks,
Tom
post #2 of 17
read: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=34227

rub on waxes are generally designed for recreational skiers who are too lazy to wax properly themselves or forget, they are not designed to be ironed in. They are good for daily use to protect the base wax for the first 2-3 runs. They work better if they are rubbed in with a cork pad.

Swix (and other companies) make a soft base prep wax, touch to iron, rub on base (crayoning), iron in.

Several coats (crayon, iron, cool (for several hours), scape and brush then do it all again) of base prep will really help a ski.

Temp specific wax goes on in the same way, again a couple of coats is better.

Scraping - there should be no obvious sign of wax on the base surface other than a sheen (ie bright and shiny) because your base is waxed rather than dull due to lack of wax.

Brush - at least one would help - to get the wax out of the structure.

Personally I would have a medium diamond stone rather than a file to maintain the edge between shop tunes as it will de-burr any minor damage. Files are for cutting, diamonds are for polishing. You want to be polishing leave the cutting to the shop (hopefully they are good) until you decide that you want to do the job yourself.

Good luck, and remember the more wax in the bases the better as then you are skiing on wax and not on the p-tex.
post #3 of 17
Living in D-town, I would recommend going to Edge Works and asking them these same questions.
Its a great shop with all the tuning gear and uber-knowledgeable staff.
When you walk in the door the first thing you see is tuning equipment not one piece suits.
post #4 of 17
I personally would not freehand the sharpening...get a guide to use with your file.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbarb View Post
I am just visualizing that I would get a more even coverage and use less than trying to drip it on the ski bases off a warm iron and them flattening it out over the surface of the skis.
Ought to work for that.

You lose, however, the self-cleaning property of dripped wax, where it floats and dissolves various slope pollutants/edgework schmutz, only to be scraped away after.

Quote:
One thing I don't have an idea for though is how thick should the wax applications be when done after the final scraping? I am visualizing all the nooks and crannies are filled in and "structure" I think it was called - but how much more?
Can of worms, this.

My preference would be to go with -less-, i.e. free the structure of loose surface wax.

And talk with the shop folk, by all means. No telling what you can learn.
post #6 of 17
crayon the wax on - touch it to the iron, rub on base, hold iron over base so it benefits from any drips. Iron until you are leaving a 4-6" trail of wet wax, scrape immediately if you are 'hot wax and scraping' to remove the gunk. There is always gunk on the bases - even if they are new from the shop. Hot wax and scrape until the wax is coming off clear/ clean. By crayoning you do the job just as well but use less wax (ie less waste).
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
tief schnee - I presume you mean D town = Denver? Could not find Edge Works in recent phone book or on line. Whereabouts in town? Many thanks, Tom
post #8 of 17
I would really encourage you to lose the file and buy a diamond stone or two to be used in a guide. Alpinord sells a 3-in one tool that works with a small file or stones, and would be a good maintenance tool.

Waxing feeds the ski base and can be relaxing. My preferred method with soft waxes is to crayon on the wax, work it in with an iron, then use a plastic scraper. Finishing with a brush leave very little noticeable wax on the surface, but keep in mind the bases absorb the wax and release it to the surface by friction. A thick coat of wax on the base is not very beneficial. The experiment with liquids and sprays last season showed these are very fast and protective treatments that are easy to apply and modify as conditions change. I was very impressed and liked these waxes as finish coats over solid base wax.
post #9 of 17
While great waxing is an art, decent waxing is simple and any method is better than nothing. Do it, and don't fret. (the only thing really bad you could do would be to take a really hot smoking iron to the bottoms) Dripping it on with an iron is about as easy as it gets, so don't get sucked in to thinking basic blocks of wax are hard to use.

Edge tuning is another matter. "a few thrusts of the file from tips to tails" is all it takes to really mess up your skis. Don't touch those skis with a file until you get a little hands on demonstration.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Everyone is warning about the "file" reference. I can see now I used a way to lax generic term in my description. This is actually very easy with not being encumbered with knowledge. I have a tool similar to the one Ciquerider mentioned.

It has a 90 degree fixed platform that a seats a small 2" or so file by a thumscrew- ("file" by appearance so I will have to check if it is really diamond); and it is supposed to be run along the edges against the ski periodically between major tunes to keep the edges straight and sharp. As I recall it said to run it only a couple times along the edges against the skis using the tool as a guide against the ski. I also have to check if it has adjustible bevels as I think I want to keep 2 degrees - I guess it would be destructive if it were not set to what the edges were tuned at initially at the shop. Thanks for all your replies. Tom
post #11 of 17
When starting out learning to sharpen edges, I think the progression should be from a fine or medium diamond initially, and then work back towards coarser stones and then files. Files are typically reserved for establishing the edge geometry (bevel angles) or really chewed up edges or for faster sharpening, but a coarse diamond can be used as well and is more forgiving, until you gain confidence, experience and basic skills. FYI, a super fine file is near a 100 grit diamond, AFAIK.

You also might want to avoid doing work on the base edges and only touch up, sharpen & polish the side edges. Cutting more into the base edges will cut into the bases.

Another very easy maintenance and sharpening approach is to use a low cost, dedicated DiaFace guide with 70mm Moonflexes (and lube). My 10 year old thinks he's a pro tuner because it was easy for him to sharpen and polish his edges with one and a series of diamonds.

With the Razor or other multi-tool, a fine diamond and a Sharpie, you can verify the edge angle on your skis from the shop. Cover sections of the side edge with the marker and with the tools set at the expected angle, you can see if the stone evenly removes the the thin marker film or not. If not, you can adjust the angle up or down, depending on the cut and dial in your side edge angle to match the shop or existing angle.

Heat by ironing should extend the durability of rub on waxes. Using a teflon sheet between the iron and base offers protection while ironing thin wax layers. Remember the wax is to go into the bases as an ultra thin layer, not on them. The scraping and brushing is to remove the excess from base and structure and polish. Just like waxing your vehicle, you are polishing to a nice sheen, smoothness and uniform thickness.

HTH
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbarb View Post
tief schnee - I presume you mean D town = Denver? Could not find Edge Works in recent phone book or on line. Whereabouts in town? Many thanks, Tom
860 Broadway, just south of the Garts Sports Castle. They go by the name Bicycle Doctor during the warm months so thatcould be why they are hard to get info on. When I lived in Denver I found them to be the best shop, hands down.

Here is their website.
post #13 of 17

First Waxing

Wholeheartedly agree with Newfydog. Waxing skis is not rocket science. One thing to make sure however. Do not stop your iron when hot waxing, keep it moving at all times whether it is hot or warm keep it moving. Tested Slidewright/Alpinord waxes last year and liked very much. As you go along direct any direct questions to him and you can't go wrong. Get a tool for your edge work don't free file you'll screw up the edge angles, side or base or both. Before you do any filing learn what degree base and side angle your ski's have/recommend and basically stick to that for beginning ski work. Good luck, have fun, slide fast.
post #14 of 17
Tbarb:

Another thing to keep in mind when using files or stones is to keep them wet when filing. I use a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and distilled water. I also keep a clean rag handy and wipe the edge after each pass. You will see the residue come off.
post #15 of 17
Why distilled?
post #16 of 17
Because we had a gallon of distilled water sitting around the house for weeks. Also figured it would be "cleaner" than tap water, perhaps an erroneous assumption. No chemistry basis for it.
post #17 of 17
No mineral deposits and salts with distilled water....overkill, perhaps, but definitely does not hurt.
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