"Hi Kyle, this is Chad at Snow. I just started the skis, the side edge is at 3 degrees. When I started the belt grind, it looks like the edges are going to delam."
F@#ck. My concerns have been realized.
"Chad, I can be down there in 15 minutes to see what is going on."
"Ok, I'll be waiting. Just ask for me."
I jumped in the car and left the apartment, with a little bit of thought to what might be happening. Here is my thought process, pretty much in order:
- Regardless of what actually happened, I can't have any bad feelings towards the shop, these skis were essentially prototypes.
- What the hell caused the edges to pull out? How hot did they get? I bet it happened in the tips, as I stopped the edges about 3/4 way around.
- These skis are homemade, I don't expect any retribution. If they offer, my materials cost is less then $100.
I told him I'd wait out in the retail area; he told me to hang out and watch. After each pass, we checked the progress w/ a true bar, then he would make a change to the Grindright machine, explaining why each time (reduced the feed rate to grind more each pass, but reduced the feed pressure to reduce stress on edges). He got it to where I was more then happy, and then one more pass made them almost perfectly flat. He said he could do the stone grind, but that it may be pushing our luck, and there was still 1 high spot on 1 ski. I told him lets skip it, I've got a rilling bar that I can use for structure. We talked about their wax a bit (he said they change it every few days for temperature), but I reminded him that I still had to add structure; I would just wax them at home. He then ran them through to get a 1 degree on the base, which made the bases look even better, answering my stupid questions the entire time.
I signed off that the work had been done, and he sent me on my way. I figured what the hell, and asked "What kind of beer do you like?"
He chuckled, and said "Anything that's cold. We like beer back here."
"Will they say anything if I walk in with a six pack? You've been a huge help, staring with the phone call and then spending the time to go through everything with me, and letting me watch."
"No, but don't bother. Hell, you made your own skis, I think you deserve to watch me try to tune them."
I went and did my grocery shopping, and while there I picked up a six of Long Trail. On the drive back to the shop, I was thinking that while the service was great, the $40 for just a belt tune. I walked in, and Chad was talking with another employee, who saw me first and told him that he had a customer.
"Dude, I told you you were all set. You didn't have to do this."
I told him that he was a huge help, and very patient with me and my skis, so no big deal on my part. I was hesitant to bring up the cost of the tune, but did anyway, suggesting that all I really ended up with was a belt tune package, minus the wax. He said no problem, and turned to the other employee who was listening in, and told him what was actually done to the skis. This guy said no problem, and asked how a $10 store credit sounded.
Fine with me, that was exactly what I was going to suggest. I had to buy some socks anyway.
They set me up with exactly what I needed, were happy to do it, and had no issues with letting me into the tuning area. So, in conclusion, I think somehow I started a relationship with a shop.
Plus the cashier was kind of cute.
Positive rant over.