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Atomic Tuning Woes- this is long...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am in the process of preparing for the Level 3 PSIA exam. I live in N.C., and just got back from a clinic in West Virginia. Coverage was fair, I found a lot of rocks, and my two new pairs of Atomics- 11.20 and 9.20 were pretty badly burred nearly from end to end on each edge.

So, my plan was to just use a diamond stone and knock the burrs down, and save the serious tune for later.

I have two one-degree base edge bevel guides: a base Beast, and a Toko machined aluminum one (it's red). I found after i brushed all the old wax out, when using either guide I could cut the base near the edge, but not the edge. I can understand overcutting with the Beast into the base if both edge and base were being cut together, but not with the Toko, since it has a plate for both ends of the file to rest on. (I do use light pressure on the file). So, short story long, I cant polish the base edge with these guides, and I'm too wimpy and inexperienced to just wing-it with the stone free hand.

So first question- what do I know about the base shape given what the file did? I think it means the base is high near the edge, since I could NOT cut edge while cutting base.

OK, onward. To the side edge. I have a Side-of-Beast tuner with 1,2,and 3 degree bevel plates. With the factory edge finish (all the disk finish still there) and the 3 degree plate, the diamond stone only cuts on the TOP portion of the side edge, not near the edge-corner at the bottom of the side edge. Sooo, I tried a Toko side edge guide at 87 degrees, still same result- didn't cut the whole edge, only the TOP.

Here's where I really screwed up. Rather that spend a LOT of time filing to get a new 3* side established, I decided to have a friend in the ski area shop polish the sides and bases with the Wintersteiger (It's a sander-pretty new). After ONE base pass on a "clean belt", we colored the whole side edge in, adjusted the side edger angle until the color came off uniformly, and went at it with a couple light passes. Incidentally, the side edge angle didn't change, cause the bevel tools (I tried a third 3*) still only polished the top of the edge with a stone. We lightly ran a gummi down the length at 45* to cut off the burr, detuned only past the contact points, and I figured what the heck- I'll see how they ski. I did think to try the base bevel guides again- still couldnt cut edge- only base. Same process for both pairs of skis.

Result:

Both pairs are a nightmare now. Do OK in soft snow, but the instant they find firm stuff they are grabby as hell. Actually, edge-locked is the reality.

Maybe they are TOO sharp? I thought after the burr came off, sharp was good. Maybe the burr's not off?

If the base edge was not beveled enough I could maybe expect this result. But the base bevel tools are telling me the edge is OVER beveled (I think).

Here's my thought for a fix. Stone grind, and do the edges by hand with the appropriate guides. If you are thinking that the guides must be wrong, I think that's a good thought, except there are now a whole bunch of guides that all do the same thing, so I don't think that's it.

Problem. If I go for the stone-grind, and assuming the stone is flat : I hear that some Atomics come cupped (concave) at the tip and tail. How does the tech know to stop grinding? Should a stone grinding machine be able to "flatten" the cupped ski with pressure enough to structure the whole width of the ski without meat-eating the whole edge off?

What I'm imagining is the shape of the bottom of my skis kinda like the tops: high near the edges, and low in the middle. A possibility?

In N.C., the shops are not necessarily used to dealing with people who have specific expectations. Really, if the ski ski's well, I don't really care. The only BIG problem is that I'd like to be able to use my side-Beast with a stone for regular maintenance, so I nead a precise side angle. And i'd like to not have to be edge-locked...

Bottom line, they don't ski at all like they did from the wrapper, and I can't figure what needs to be done. Your thoughts are appreciated. And if one of them is to find a non-idiot to deal with this, it's not an option. You can email me directly if you prefer.

Thanks in advance...

-Matt
post #2 of 4
skis too sharp?! bah, humbug [img]smile.gif[/img] I would suggest that you find a shop with a good wintersteiger machine and have them ground... they'll have pressure on the topsheets as the skis go over the belt so the skis will be pressed flat... as far as I know, Atomics dont require their own stone-grinding technique. if you get them stone ground and they are perfectly flat (!), you should be able to see what's up with your side edges; until you have them ground, it's silly for you to play with the side edge bevel because that relies on the base being flat (if the base isnt flat your side edge beveler will be completely inaccurate-- remember, it rests on your base). so, I would have them ground flat, and then put your own bevels on there. you'll make it [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #3 of 4
Hi Matt...

Kind of random to talk to you this way when I see you out at the mountain so often, but I just remembered something and I wanted to tell you before I forgot [img]smile.gif[/img]

I had my 9.22's (before they got jacked) tuned on a nice Wintersteiger automated stone/edge finisher wollygog machine in Whistler. When I got them back they skied like crap. Grabby as all get out. Kind of like they needed more detuning or something. An Atomic rep up there told me to polish the fool out of them with a diamond stone progression. Problem solved. Apparently the little horizontal ridges left by the file (or the coarse belt that was on the Wintersteiger) make them real hooky. If you need the sidewall planing rig I have I am there every night this week.

Also, in talking to my ex-racer roomate, he says edge bevel is supposed to be relative to the base, so if the base is a little out of flat, it's ok for the edge to be also so long as it corresponds. The Atomic factory tune is supposedly this way, varying with the base.

While I know neither one of these helps your immediate situation, I thought I would mention it. Don't really know what to tell you about the base edge being wierd. I will look at my 11.20s tomorrow and see if my base edge is wierd also.

Best of luck,
Phillip
post #4 of 4
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