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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Do you use a sidewall planer for recreational skis?
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Do you use a sidewall planer for recreational skis?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Just recieved my copy of a new tuning dvd:Ski Tuning Tips & Tricks Instructional DVD (1009) .

The video seems to indicate that before doing any edge work you should use a sidewall planer. I have been doing my own tuning maint for a few years and have never used a sidewall planer. I am a recreational skier. So I was wondering, Am I neglecting an important part of my tuning by not using the planer? Also is there a reliable method to determine if your skis' sidewalls need to be planed?:
post #2 of 10
Yes, and yes.

The reliable method is noting whether or not your file is cutting plastic and epoxy as well as steel. If it is, you need to plane sidewall. Depending on the skis, you may want to use a real sidewall tool, a panzer at a dramatic angle (5-7 degrees), some combo of both, or even a wet belt edger again at a dramatic angle.

A well prepared sidewall will make your tuning efforts much more consistent and easier in the long run.
post #3 of 10
SVST's perspective is to use a carbide bit as well. They offer a multi-radius bit to accommodate all sidewalls and is pretty pricey. I don't think you need to spend the money on a sidewall planer unless you really know you want it or need it. Back filing with a coarse or panzer file works well in a side edge guide and a 5 or 6° angle (the panzer is what Justin finishes the sidewall after using the cutter ikn the DVD, followed by 220 grit sandpaper). After cutting you definitely want the sidewalls to be smooth like the edges.

(Edit: I found it interesting that he used a panzer file to set edge geometry......could be dangerous unless you are confident with 'the tuner's chainsaw' and cutting your edge. It seem that if one did cut the side edge with the panzer, it'd also take the sidewall with it....)

You'll know you need to cut the sidewall back when your stones and files get gunked up with material other than metal. Just ease back the sidewall, just into the upper part of the edge where the sidewall meets the edge.

Sidewall cutter detail:

post #4 of 10
I never got them sharp until I invested in the sidewall planer. It's a really good tool. Unfortunately both expensive, and necessary.

In certain applications, I will free-hand the panzer file above the edge. eg. Juncion of Dynastar autodrive tip and sidewall, and extremities of the ski, where the sidewall planer does not work as well....
post #5 of 10
I use my planer when the file begin to get gunked up.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
So it seems a sidewall planer or as Terry suggests a file with 5 or 6 degree side angle guide is usefull IF when filing or cutting with a stone you are getting sidewall on your tools ie GUNKED UP. Can I infer from that, that if you are not cutting sidewall you can wait to do the sidewall planer/filing thing?
post #7 of 10
You'll know when it's necessary. Don't cut the sidewall until you have to, IMO.

I forgot to mention a tip from epl, was to wedge a dime between the file and guide to increase the angle as another approach to sidewall cutting if you don't have a planer or steep enough guide.
post #8 of 10
On cap Atomics I prefer the pansar method. I have yet to use either on magnesium topcaps, but I look forward to it.
post #9 of 10
I feel like I get the best bang for my buck with a pansar at a few degrees more acute than the side bevel. For recreational skis you can definitely get away with it.
post #10 of 10
Got one last (NZ) season - makes a big difference in reduced tuning time and edge polish once it is done. Stops the plastic clogging up your stones/ files as well. I am a bit of an obsessive/compulsive tuner and I have only had to do each pair of skis once (with side wall plane). Expensive, used occasionally but worth investing in one for the ski tool box.
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