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Base Flattening

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm interested in finding out how many of you flatten your own bases, and if you do, what brand tool you use?

Also, what are you general opinions about do-it-yourself flattening?
post #2 of 18
Think we may be on in the wrong forum but I do everything but flatten my bases. Into the shop for one good machine flattening and stucture at the first of the year and the rest I do all season. Like to get off to a good start.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Couldn't decided if it should go in the Ski Gear Forum, or here, but I figured this was more along the lines of a general discussion than a gear one. I do the same right now, but after a terrible snow year last year my skis took a lot of deep gashes. Some of them really raised hell with my bases by clumping the p-tex and raising my bases in a few places. (i know that rhymes by the way). I figure if I can practice on my rock ski and get them flattened out, a flattening tool might be a wise investment for the future.
post #4 of 18
I let the shop flatten and structure the bases. It's fairly inexpensive and more consistent than I am. I'll work on my edges throughout the season.
post #5 of 18
Get a good ski tuning book or race tuning video. there's too much to go into here, but very satisfying to work over a pair of skis. Hand flattening can be a lot of work unless it is kept up on.

Some of the tools would be, a metal scraper (for the lumps), surform(if the metal scraper can't handle the lumps), A truebar/straightedge, a big & stiff mill-bastard file scotch-brite.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I already do everything else to my skis, I'm simply inquiring on base flattening. Metal scrapers only work to point, then they are useless for cutting through p-tex, except for drip candle p-tex. I have used a small knife in the past for the bigger lumps, but I have to be extremely careful.
post #7 of 18
Has anyone used the base flattener tool from Tognar? If so does it work very well?
post #8 of 18
Are you talking about the "Skivisions Base Flattening & Structure Tool" in Tognar for $69.95? I've been eyeing that up myself. I also do everthing except flatten and structure the bases. You read the description in the catalogue and think "piece of cake," but you'd think more people would do their own bases if it was that easy?
post #9 of 18
Mary, It`s pretty tough to do the base well. The shop can do a more accurate job. You would need a true bar and a file. I get the base done twice a year--at start and mid season. I also have a ceramic edge done. Every evening I deburr the sides with a hand tool. This seems to keep the cutting to a minimun. Works for me. I do keep the equip. waxed. The deburring works to keep the edges keen. You would be surprised how well tuned equip keeps your performance tuned.
post #10 of 18
I've got one of the SkiVisions flattening tool. It works. Has a serrated edge for rough work and non serrated for the rest of the time. I also like the stones that will cut, not just press, structure into the base.

Make sure and get a true bar!!!!
post #11 of 18
I would let a good shop do the base flattening and structuring. I find it is not worth the time and effort to try to do it myself. That is about the only part of ski tuning where a good machine that is operated by the RIGHT PERSON can do a better job than I am.
When you go to a shop make sure they got right equipment. You are looking for stone grinding machine, if all they got is a sandbelt, take your business elsewhere. It is very easy for someone inexperienced to ruin your skis. Tell a person at the shop that you want a #11 or #9 cross-hatch pattern put on your base, see if there is any spark of recognition of what you are talking about.

Good luck

post #12 of 18
I use my skivisions base flattner mostly on my fleet of rock skis that I don't want to spend to much money on. It works pretty well but does leave the base very hairy, you have to go over them with scotchbrite and fibertex pads. It does work very well for taking off excess p-tex.
I still take my best skis to a pro if they need to be stone ground. The finish is faster than anything that I can do at home.
post #13 of 18
Irul and Shred, thanks for the info.

Donaldj, I have had the exact same thoughts. Yes it is the one you mentioned. Most of the tuning tools I have purchased work pretty good.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
The base flattener from Tognar is the one I've been eyeing too. Thanks for the info Shredhead and irul.
post #15 of 18
I have been using the SkiVisions base flattener from Tognar for 5 years or so. It works quite well, but it is pricey and the bar shaped replacement blades are expensive. You can sharpen the cutting edges on the bar with a stone which comes with the tool when it becomes dull, but you need to be careful to keep the blade straight. I can get equally good base flattening results using a good scraper and various files, although it takes a bit more time. Either way, if I work at it I can produce a flatter base than I've seen with many stone grinding jobs. Flattening the base by hand is time consuming, but because it is a slow process you're not likely to ruin your skis. I tend not to trust the stone grinding process at most shops. An inexperienced operator can do a lot of damage in very little time.

My favorite way to use the Tognar tool is to make a few passes with the structure stone every few ski days to keep the base flat (assuming that it tends to become convex - ie: base high).
post #16 of 18
I have also used the SkiVision tool for several years and have had very good results. One word of caution, practice on something other than your favorite pair until you get the hang of it. It can skip and create a real mess if you do it wrong. As with most tools, files included, let the tool do the work.
post #17 of 18
It's good to hear that some have had good results from the skivisions tool. I certainly wouldn't recommend it. I think for most people it's a disaster waiting to be unleashed. It's more likely to produce a horror show than a nice base. I don't get the structure tool either. It just can't compare to a quality shop stone grind. Save the 70$ and use it for a good shop to flatten a few bases. Actually, I'll sell you mine in the closet....
post #18 of 18
I have to agree w/ Tog. There really is no way to achieve a flat base by any hand technique. Every method of hand flattening is subject to our inability to apply even pressure as well as not having a flat point of reference. (I think most of these methods reference off the edge and if you have a warped base, you probably have warped edges to some degree too). It's that a bad base grind can ruin skis faster than anything else, but if you can find a good, reliable shop...that's about the only way to end up w/ a truely flat based ski.
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