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New Tools for Old School

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Since it looks like I may have to get more serious about my tuning I would like some advice.

For quite a while I have been using an old Olin 90 degree file guide. I also use emory paper that I wood glue to pieces of 1 inch pine and squash in a wood vice. I also have an Arkansas stone, and have been known to use sandpaper.

I would like 3 things.

1) 2, maybe 3 diamond files. Suggestions on grits, and brands?
2) File guide(s) Should I go for an adjustable one or 2-3 fixed guides? What angles and brands are good?
3) One book on tuning new model skis.
post #2 of 20
SVST makes great stuff, but at home, I just use a multi-angle edge bevel:

and a Black, Blue, and Red DMT Diamond Stones - 2.75" size. They're cheap, so buying a new set every year or two is no big deal. If money was no question, I'd use Moonflex. Far better. I don't do base edges - I save that for the "pros" (okay - their machine...) when I get the bases ground. Sometime I will buy a set of fixed angle file guides, but for the last 20 years, I've been getting good results with the multi-angle tools. Some people hate them (cuz they're cheap and not necessarily 100% accurate), but I'm not super picky, and they have always worked for me.

Book? I don't need no stinking book...
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
The reason I would like a book is that I would like to vary my edge angles from tip to boot to tail. Not sure how this would effect a supershaped ski.

I also have some pretty wide skis by mid-atlantic standards. I want to make sure I have optimum edge hold on ice.
post #4 of 20
SVST has a Tuning DVD worth considering.

Multi-tools will do the job for most skiers, offer several other options, help with learning and experimenting, will always have some use in a tool kit or could be the heart of it for many and are a good bang for the buck. Dedicated guides are very nice to use and may be more desirable, depending on your criteria, and will cost more up front.

DMTs wear much faster than other diamonds, but are an option initial, but after buying them twice, you may be wishful of getting better quality diamonds up front. I think that a 200 & 400 are your minimal diamonds for basic tuning needs. Adding a 100 for faster cutting is nice to have and a 600 or higher for the more discerning could be considered later.
post #5 of 20
I like to keep things simple. Yearly I have a shop do a base stone grind and shape the edges to 1° base and 3° sides with their ceramic disc machine. After that, I use a stone to take off any burrs, and a 3° file guide and a very high quality hard chrome 6" or 8" file. I'd pick Terry's $14 guide and $10 or $15 file, and $6 stone.

In my wet-snow climate I use 1° base bevel. You might ask some racers or expert skiers what works best in your area. I let the shop's machines handle this. I don't know if varying the side edge bevel is current practice, or was something tried a few years back with no great difference in results.
post #6 of 20
Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo View Post
The reason I would like a book is that I would like to vary my edge angles from tip to boot to tail. Not sure how this would effect a supershaped ski.
Depends on the length and flex.

Did -not- work on my gen-1 RX8s, either with the stock plate or with a Vist race plate, made for a very schizoid ski that couldn't be counted on in highly varying snow consistency. Like dust on crust bumps with piles of softer slough in between.

Use it on your bump skis (flexy, tips not wider than 110mm or so) at first. I have a pair of Merlin-era Olin DTSLs that are 1/3 underfoot to 1/1 at the shovel, took me days to mark the sections, minutes to do and hours to smooth out. Not really worth it, imho.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
It sounds like I should stay away from varying angles.

Well, I still would like a reference for tuning. I would rather have a book since I do my tuning in the unheated garage or shop.

I was leaning toward the Maplus multi angle.

Moonflex diamonds in 200, 400, and 600. Discount for a purchase of 3. Sound OK? I figure anything coarser I can just knock off with a file. Should I go with the 70mm or 100mm? Not sure if they are compatible with the Maplus multi above.

Should I go for a base angle guide? These seem to be all fixed degree. 0.5? Is the Beast OK?

Or should I go with the Skiman?
post #8 of 20
Do you have the Toko and Swix manuals? They are available as free .pdf downloads, for your printing pleasure, though the shop-printed ones have better pictures.

Get all of them, including the Nordic ones, and read them through, see what you can use and adapt.
post #9 of 20
Here's a recent thread on base bevelers

Here's the link to the SVST Tuning DVD
if you decide to go that route. (Laptops are great and versatile for portable PDF & video reference options.....FWIW).

Both he Razor, and to a lesser extent, the Xact also allow for base edge work. The SkiMan Pro Sharp is for multiple side edge angles and holds both 70mm & 100mm, along with the included and other short files. One might argue that a 70mm is better for tighter radius skis, but you get more surface area/buck & longevity for the 100mm diamonds.

I'd get a 100 grit before the 600 grit as the 100 is like a super fine file, but possible more 'forgiving' and will allow faster cutting than the 200. IMO, the 600 is finer than most of us mortals will notice, but is nice to have.

post #10 of 20
I just bought a line of tools from SVST and they are great to work with, couple of different base bevel guides as well as edge bevels. They have a base conditioner wax that kicks butt on bringing old skis back to life. I also bought the Pro Edge Bevel Guide for checking edge and base bevel :::, Lots of cash but man is it handy .

btw...I just started a home based ski repair so thats the reason for the line up of tools. SVST was the name that kept coming up for tools after quite a bit of research.

Do you have a link for the Swix .pdf manuals? I have a old Swix multitool that I carry around but I have lost the manual for the settings. It has colored pegs for different edge and base settings and I have been unable to find a link for the form.
post #11 of 20

Now that I've used my Xact multi-tool...

... to tune several pairs of skis, I still like it but have found a few things that are less than perfect.

The edge filing grip is excellent, but the base filing side is not very secure. The ridge of material that the stone is braced against isn't thick enough to give a good clamp.

The knob you turn to clamp the stone/file is a little small, especially if your fingers are wet from lubricating or cleaning your stone.

Other than that, it does a good job. If I was doing it over again, I might still get the same tool, but I might consider the T4B Razor or the FK or Swix multitools instead.
post #12 of 20
I would get a fixed edge file guide in 2 or 3 degree. The SVST are great, but the ones from are great at $20 each. Get a small spring clamp and file from your local hardware store.

For diamond files I would purchase moonflex, and get red (200) if you have only 1, 100 (black) as your second, and yellow as your third.

A lot of times for touch up after a couple days of skiing, you can just start with the black moonstone.

For base bevels, generally just set them and touch up with a fine stone. I like the base beast as an inexpensive option ($20), though the SVST is gret, if 4x the cost.
post #13 of 20
Originally Posted by Johnnys Zoo View Post
It sounds like I should stay away from varying angles.
Oh, it's fun to play and that's what rock skis are for.

I think the Olins are going to go from 1/3 underfoot to 2/2 at the ends by the end of the season.
post #14 of 20
Originally Posted by Plot View Post
I would get a fixed edge file guide in 2 or 3 degree. The SVST are great, but the ones from are great at $20 each. Get a small spring clamp and file from your local hardware store.
SVST also makes a multi-side bevel kit (4 angles) with shims for almost the cost of two guides. You could also buy a 2°/92° guide and a 1° shim. I'm liking their integral clamp option over spring clamps more and more, though the spring clamps are faster and easier for swapping diamonds and files.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

Not sure what tools to get yet. I will need something pretty quick. Look what happened at Snow(rain)shoe today. How is the best way to shave that heaved up area down?
post #16 of 20
Ouch!....I hate it when that happens.

I'd try a panzer, coarse file and/or sharp scraper to knock down the high spots. Even a razor blade may be useful. Here's some ideas on our Base Repair page.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Some questions. Not sure whether to post here or your site.

The welding iron, do you just sell the tip? I have a soldering iron with screw out tips.
The Tools for Boards Razor 3in1, is it in stock now?
The 100 Grit Moonflex, can it be used for polishing?
How do you do the discount?
post #18 of 20
On this Base Repair thread I showed some other tips and irons. If I recall, an iron in the 15 to 30 watt range works as it's not too hot. Any tip will probably work to melt the repair material, but a flatter one is best. The tips for these irons are held in with an allen set screw, not threaded, and are not available separately.

Razors are in stock.

I'd characterize the 100 grit as more of a cutting stone, though it does 'polish' compared to a fine file, and would work OK if you want to hold off on the others. A 400 or higher is better for polishing, IMO.

Discount code is listed in the Supporter's Lounge
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
You confused me with the 'light file' comment above. I interpreted this as 'fine abrasive' I thought this was backward. I'd call them all files myself. OK I'll get the order together tonight. Thanks.
post #20 of 20
A super fine metal file, which has uniform cutting teeth aligned in parallel, still cuts and streams the metal like coarser files. A random abrasive pattern like sandpaper and diamond 'files' or 'stones', does not stream the filings but abrades or 'polishes'. Depending on the grit size you can say it either 'mini-cuts' or polishes like natural or synthetic stones.

Here's a look a diamonds and a Moonflex close-up:

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