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Graphite in wax, why?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
A few years ago Mike Desantis (skidoc on this board, and a former World Cup tuner) told me to use Dominator Zoom w/Graphite. This for all around use in the East.

Since then I've kept both the regular zoom and the graphite as my primary waxes except in warm weather.

What's your take on the use of Graphite? I believe he said it was for older manmade snow, but Dominator on their website says for new snow.
post #2 of 32
Love the stuff.

I can justify it as a dry lubricant for when there is no free water, or water formed under pressure. Also to mitigate triboelectric charging. Also to insulate bases from over-temped irons.

Does it really work that way? I don't know.

Ask "Why not all graphite, all the time"?

Clogging? Money? Cosmetics?

Is there a certain minimum surface thickness to graphite wax layers so that thinner non-graphite wax layers can be faster?
post #3 of 32
Graphite works as an anti-static. It helps,

1) when snow is old (eg. dirty, oil from lifts and snowmobiles, tree sap and other junk),
2) crystals are abrasive (eg. new or man made snow),
3) when the graphite particles included in many graphite bases have fallen out through base wear.

Why not all the time? Graphite particles take up some of the space between P-Tex molecules (the so called pores) where wax would normally go. Too much of a good thing isn't good. Where "static cling" in snow conditions is not a concern then non-graphite wax works better.

Graphite impregnated sintered bases on brand new skis have only a small proportion of graphite in them to begin with. They don't need much, if any, more when new.

Graphite wax doesn't contain that much graphite, anyway. But graphite wax on new skis with graphite bases can actually slow the skis down (a little).

Graphite wax makes a good base conditioning wax for skis at the end of the season or for prepping skis at the beginning of the next season Note: graphite wax will stain clear bases but it is still a good conditioner.

Does all this matter? It does to racers and the difference is noticeable to many non-racers in the appropriate conditions. But of greater importance most of the time is having the correct temp. range wax on your skis. Some people ignore waxing at all :and still manage to have fun.
post #4 of 32
A few more points...

Graphite is good as the top layer of wax in dirty snow because its anti-static properties repel dirt. Same reason in moist snow because dirt is on the surface. I suggest it as a first layer in dry snow because here the anti-static action is more important in the ski base.

As you say there isn't much graphite in wax, so I don't think clogging the base pores is an issue to worry much about.

I recommend molybdenum (aka, Moly) over graphie because it has the anti-static properties of graphite but is much faster. Moly has a coefficient of friction near that of fluoro, so you get some speed out of it too. I have several non-racer customers that really enjoy it.
post #5 of 32
Graphite wax is especially desirable during the very very cold nights you get out east...in the west those conditions are extremely rare. I remember growing up as kid back east where we would race mid week at night, the air temp was easily -20C and your skis would not move on the snow from the static eletricty.....we never had graphite wax then, but we had newspapers....so we would rub the newspapers on the bases just before our run...the graphite in the ink would work like a charm...only last about 1.5 runs thou....
post #6 of 32
Dr. D, ever worked with BNhex?
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
A few more points...
I recommend molybdenum (aka, Moly) over graphie
Zoom with graphite is good stuff. It is a great base conditioner. For actual skiing Toko Moly is my personal preference, as well.
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Graphite wax is especially desirable during the very very cold nights you get out east...in the west those conditions are extremely rare. I remember growing up as kid back east where we would race mid week at night, the air temp was easily -20C and your skis would not move on the snow from the static eletricty.....we never had graphite wax then, but we had newspapers....so we would rub the newspapers on the bases just before our run...the graphite in the ink would work like a charm...only last about 1.5 runs thou....
Now you should rub your cereal box on your skis, there is fluoro in those inks.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
Dr. D, ever worked with BNhex?
Sorry, I haven't. What do you know about it?
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
Sorry, I haven't. What do you know about it?
In ski context or in heat sink grease context?

In ski context it ought to give a non-water based lubrication and improved heat coupling from waxing iron to bases. No electrostatic benefit.

I don't know if there's a way to use the self-aligning property; that would be rather slick
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
Moly has a coefficient of friction near that of fluoro, so you get some speed out of it too. I have several non-racer customers that really enjoy it.
It is Moly disulfide, no?

Do you know roughly how much is in the Moly waxes?
post #12 of 32
I know exactly how much is in the the wax I make, but I can't tell, I am bound by the
post #13 of 32
LOL, sorry for the dumb question, I forgot you make this stuff.

I have the feeling that I should have been using graphite or moly a lot more than I have, I'll have to remember that next time I order wax.
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
... I forgot you make this stuff...
Oops. So did I. Sorry I mentioned my preference for a competitor's Moly. I wasn't aware that anyone other than them made it.
When I next order some, I'll try yours.
post #15 of 32
I was able to watch the waxing and testing of a pair of XC skis which scored a silver medal at a world cup race in Italy. The tech described it as "sort of a commercial wax, but with moly" Seems to work.
post #16 of 32
A question for Dr. D.
DUPONT makes a high performance flouro lubricant named KRYTOX. Would mixing a quantity of KRYTOX lubricant with regular hydrocarbon wax produce anything resembeling a fluoro wax ski wax?
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
I was able to watch the waxing and testing of a pair of XC skis which scored a silver medal at a world cup race in Italy. The tech described it as "sort of a commercial wax, but with moly" Seems to work.
My wax also had success in Italy at the Torino Olympics. The quote below refers to the use of my Moly Hybrid wax. The famous snowboarder Palmer used it to make the team (only to later be injured and have to drop out unfortunately). The quote below is from racewax testimonials.

Willi Wiltz (wax guru for Tommy Moe) worked with the lengendary snowboarder Shaun Palmer in his 2006 Olympic bid, here is what Willi wrote about RaceWax:
It seems as though you are on to something! Tested both the Hybrid and the MicroFiber overlay here in Austria and found they worked extremely well, and went with it in the World Cup. Shaun Palmer was second and I wanted to let you know that you were a big part of our results.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsule View Post
A question for Dr. D.
DUPONT makes a high performance flouro lubricant named KRYTOX. Would mixing a quantity of KRYTOX lubricant with regular hydrocarbon wax produce anything resembeling a fluoro wax ski wax?
From what I read it may not mix but I could be wrong - you have some? - I'll try it for you.

Basically it is or is a component of ZARDOZ NOTwax. You can read on their site about use with wax. Be careful though some of their tuning recommendations make me cringe.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Graphite wax is especially desirable during the very very cold nights you get out east...in the west those conditions are extremely rare. I remember growing up as kid back east where we would race mid week at night, the air temp was easily -20C and your skis would not move on the snow from the static eletricty.....we never had graphite wax then, but we had newspapers....so we would rub the newspapers on the bases just before our run...the graphite in the ink would work like a charm...only last about 1.5 runs thou....
At -20 it's not just the static that makes the skis slow, the snow crystals become exceptionally sharp and grippy. I expect that graphite, being a very hard substance, would help prevent that grip more than the wax itself can.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy View Post
Graphite wax makes a good base conditioning wax for skis at the end of the season or for prepping skis at the beginning of the next season Note: graphite wax will stain clear bases but it is still a good conditioner.
Is there any downside to graphite wax on clear bases other than the staining? (does it do any actual damage?) I bought dominator graphite to use as my everyday wax, and the front ~16" of my bases are clear. I don't want to damage my skis, but I don't really care if the white bases are turned gray if it's just a cosmetic thing.

I've seen posts talking about using a harder wax on the edges underfoot when you're on man-made snow. Is there any reason to alter that plan with graphite wax? Specifically, I'm thinking about buying some Swix CH3 to put on top of the dominator.
post #21 of 32
Thread Starter 
I don't have real staining problems with the Dom Graphite Zoom on white bases. If you scrape and brush well, it really seems fine and doesn't turn the bases grey for me.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post
I've seen posts talking about using a harder wax on the edges underfoot when you're on man-made snow. Is there any reason to alter that plan with graphite wax? Specifically, I'm thinking about buying some Swix CH3 to put on top of the dominator.
Don't burn the dominator when you're putting on the CH3.

Clean the iron before you change temps, too.
post #23 of 32
Here are the instructions as they appear on tognar's site:
Quote:
Sprinkle some of this ultrahard powder wax on your base (or at least along both edges) just before hotwaxing with your wax of the day...then iron both waxes in together. It helps protect the base in very cold and abrasive (icy, manmade, frozen spring) snow against base burn and can help increase wax durability. Use the hydrocarbon powder for temperatures -26* to 12*F (-32* to -12*C)...and the lo-fluoro powder for -25* to 14*F (-32* to -10*C).
I figured this meant I didn't need to increase the temp.
post #24 of 32
You don't, but you'll be tempted to unless there is very little of the powder.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick29 View Post
Is there any downside to graphite wax on clear bases other than the staining? (does it do any actual damage?) I bought dominator graphite to use as my everyday wax, and the front ~16" of my bases are clear. I don't want to damage my skis, but I don't really care if the white bases are turned gray if it's just a cosmetic thing.

I've seen posts talking about using a harder wax on the edges underfoot when you're on man-made snow. Is there any reason to alter that plan with graphite wax? Specifically, I'm thinking about buying some Swix CH3 to put on top of the dominator.
No downside. Actually, almost any color wax will stain clear bases. Some colored waxes like red and black are just more noticeable. "Tint" might be a better word.

In the case of Dominator Graphite or Toko Moly which I'm familiar with, the clear base becomes grayish especially in the grooves in the base from the base grind from the factory or your local shop. You can get some/most of it out (depending how much there is) by hot scraping your bases with regular parrafin that you can buy at the supermarket.

Your plan makes sense. Since the iron will be set very hot to melt the CH 3 keep the iron in contact with the base no more than is neccesary to melt the wax and tap down on it with the iron first so that the particles are not swept away from the back and forth ironing motion. I apply CH #3 along the entire edge from contact point to contact point and use a straight edge to line the CH 3 up evenly near the edges.
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I don't have real staining problems with the Dom Graphite Zoom on white bases. If you scrape and brush well, it really seems fine and doesn't turn the bases grey for me.
How gray is gray is the question, I guess. They won't turn battleship gray or worse but if the wax is well impregnated, the color residue remains even after scraping and brushing. At least that's my experience. It really is supposed to be there in the base as opposed to on top of the base. The clear front portions of most of my ski's bases mainly sport a permanent CH-7 purple tint.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy View Post
if the wax is well impregnated, the color residue remains even after scraping and brushing. At least that's my experience. It really is supposed to be there in the base as opposed to on top of the base. The clear front portions of most of my ski's bases mainly sport a permanent CH-7 purple tint.
Yes!

Staining is not a problem. It is a mark of success in getting wax into the base.

Old skis with lots of waxings can be the fastest. Thats what all these hotboxes are trying to achieve.
post #28 of 32
Check out Bode's new Heads, the front clear portion is all tinted in red, especially at the very tip, where they dont put as much work into the bases.
post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 
I do have purple and maroon staining on one pair of Fischers where they are white near the tips.

I don't find the Dom Zoom Graphite to stain much, perhaps I'm not getting it impregnated enough? Or maybe I just don't notice how grey they really are.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I don't find the Dom Zoom Graphite to stain much, perhaps I'm not getting it impregnated enough? Or maybe I just don't notice how grey they really are.
I think in my case, my bases are probably staying gray because of my inexperience and not scraping well enough.
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