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Dumb Waxing Questions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Skied many years, but never done my own tuning/waxing...tried doing a search and read the FAQ sticky, but still have a few questions-
1. How do you drip the wax onto the ski? lighter, match, something else to make it liquid?
2. Using a conventional iron, how do you spread it out? Specifically, do you place a piece of paper or some other material between the wax and iron? If not, any tips to avoid messing up a regular household iron with lots of holes for steam?
3. Is the rub on, warm with hair dryer method viable for summer storage?

FWIW, I skied my last day of the year Saturday and am just looking to get a good protective coating on for off season storage. I have some Dakine Warm "Red" (looks orange) nitrous wax for above 28 F that I was planning on using (as opposed to the rub on, but fluorinated Swix Glide Wax that I was told could dry out the bases). I have no tools other than stuff you find in a regular kitchen and was hoping to avoid buying anything before going back to the States next month.

Thanks,
Matt
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
Skied many years, but never done my own tuning/waxing...tried doing a search and read the FAQ sticky, but still have a few questions-
1. How do you drip the wax onto the ski? lighter, match, something else to make it liquid?
2. Using a conventional iron, how do you spread it out? Specifically, do you place a piece of paper or some other material between the wax and iron? If not, any tips to avoid messing up a regular household iron with lots of holes for steam?
3. Is the rub on, warm with hair dryer method viable for summer storage?

FWIW, I skied my last day of the year Saturday and am just looking to get a good protective coating on for off season storage. I have some Dakine Warm "Red" (looks orange) nitrous wax for above 28 F that I was planning on using (as opposed to the rub on, but fluorinated Swix Glide Wax that I was told could dry out the bases). I have no tools other than stuff you find in a regular kitchen and was hoping to avoid buying anything before going back to the States next month.

Thanks,
Matt
Take a piece of tin foil and cover the bottom of the iron with it (you may want to use 2 layers just in case). Be careful because if the wax gets through the foil, the iron WILL be ruined and you will need to buy a new one (it happened to me once). Heat up the iron (turn the steam setting off) and find the lowest temperature that will still melt the wax. Make sure the wax isn't smoking. Hold the wax against the iron and hold the iron at an angle so that the wax can drop onto the ski. Spread the wax out by moving the iron quickly in circular motions (keep the iron moving quickly, and use light pressure). Once all the wax is spread out, take the iron and move from tip to tail in a slow manner (like a zamboni on ice). Keep the iron moving. You should have a trail of melted wax that begins to solidify a few inches after the iron passes over it. If all you want to do is wax for summer storage, you are now done at this point. Next year, you will have to find a way to scrape the wax off though.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
Skied many years, but never done my own tuning/waxing...tried doing a search and read the FAQ sticky, but still have a few questions-
1. How do you drip the wax onto the ski? lighter, match, something else to make it liquid?
2. Using a conventional iron, how do you spread it out? Specifically, do you place a piece of paper or some other material between the wax and iron? If not, any tips to avoid messing up a regular household iron with lots of holes for steam?
3. Is the rub on, warm with hair dryer method viable for summer storage?

FWIW, I skied my last day of the year Saturday and am just looking to get a good protective coating on for off season storage. I have some Dakine Warm "Red" (looks orange) nitrous wax for above 28 F that I was planning on using (as opposed to the rub on, but fluorinated Swix Glide Wax that I was told could dry out the bases). I have no tools other than stuff you find in a regular kitchen and was hoping to avoid buying anything before going back to the States next month.

Thanks,
Matt
These and many related topics and procedures are found in our waxing & tuning 'blog' and help pages.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin View Post
Take a piece of tin foil and cover the bottom of the iron with it (you may want to use 2 layers just in case). Be careful because if the wax gets through the foil, the iron WILL be ruined and you will need to buy a new one
Or alternately, go to any garage sale, thrift store, re-use center, etc. and buy an old iron for two bucks. It's now your dedicated ski iron; dispense with the foil and don't worry about ruining it. Non-steam irons are preferred, since they don't have the holes in the bottom.
post #5 of 17
Edges can cut foil fast.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin View Post
Take a piece of tin foil and cover the bottom of the iron with it (you may want to use 2 layers just in case). Be careful because if the wax gets through the foil, the iron WILL be ruined and you will need to buy a new one (it happened to me once).
To clarify, the iron will be ruined for ironing clothes. It will be fine for waxing skis still. I've never tried the tinfoil method, I'd think that comprex is right, that the foil could be torn really easily, foil's not the strongest material. An old used iron is by far your easiest solution, IMO. It'll be cheap and you won't have to worry about ruining your normal iron.
post #7 of 17
Ski wax irons can be found cheap ($30), you will probably eventually get one, save yourself some time and money, det the right iron for the job.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post
To clarify, the iron will be ruined for ironing clothes. It will be fine for waxing skis still. I've never tried the tinfoil method, I'd think that comprex is right, that the foil could be torn really easily, foil's not the strongest material. An old used iron is by far your easiest solution, IMO. It'll be cheap and you won't have to worry about ruining your normal iron.
Actually, the iron will be ruined for anything. Once wax gets into the holes, it gets stuck in the iron itself and starts to smoke--at least that's what happenned to me. I got tired of sucking in wax smoke, so I ditched it. You're right--the foil is easy to break. But I did manage to wax my skis successfully a few times before it happenned.
post #9 of 17
I am having a storewide discount sale this month and with the discount the iron is less than $30. What you want in an iron is 800+ watts and a thick sole plate with no holes. They will be $35-$37 next year; the price went up for me this year.


post #10 of 17
A 1500W transformer will cost as much as a 220V wax iron, and weigh a fair bit more if you were to pack it in the luggage; at 50Hz a 1000W transformer or less is going to get too silly-hot from eddy current losses to be practicable for skis.

Seriously, MEfree30, I think your best option is to crayon on the glide wax nice and thick and just plain leave it at that until you travel and get a 110V iron onto it.
post #11 of 17

Wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
Skied many years, but never done my own tuning/waxing...tried doing a search and read the FAQ sticky, but still have a few questions-
1. How do you drip the wax onto the ski? lighter, match, something else to make it liquid?
2. Using a conventional iron, how do you spread it out? Specifically, do you place a piece of paper or some other material between the wax and iron? If not, any tips to avoid messing up a regular household iron with lots of holes for steam?
3. Is the rub on, warm with hair dryer method viable for summer storage?

FWIW, I skied my last day of the year Saturday and am just looking to get a good protective coating on for off season storage. I have some Dakine Warm "Red" (looks orange) nitrous wax for above 28 F that I was planning on using (as opposed to the rub on, but fluorinated Swix Glide Wax that I was told could dry out the bases). I have no tools other than stuff you find in a regular kitchen and was hoping to avoid buying anything before going back to the States next month.

Thanks,
Matt
Matt, to answer your questions. Hold the wax against the iron and drip it onto the base, then iron the wax onto the base. Keep the iron moving, no stopping allowed. this was you will prevent melting bubbling the P trex base even if you have the iron a little too hot. I used a little travel iron I bought when in Berlin in l961, it gave up the ghost last year and I bought one as depicted above, the specific ski iron is a loot better than a conventional iron, you can do circular movements.

Forget the hair dryer use, just hot wax your skis and do not scrape for summer storage. As suggested buy a old used iron for this if $ is a problem, no aluminum foil just use the iron base. Make sure the iron base is clean no dirt etc.

Maybe the most important factor is how much wax you take off after ironing, brushing the base after waxing will also give you some structure which can be important depending on how you like your skis to slide etc.
post #12 of 17
Go to Target, buy travel iron, has folding handle, do not worry about the holes. Nice thick plate, 1200W dual voltage 110/220 just turn the dial. Cheaper, lighter, more compact and more versatile than any waxing iron until you get into the $300 computerised temp sensor jobbies that even the WC techs don't use.
post #13 of 17
C'mon, that deal from DoctorD is pretty reasonable for a dedicated iron.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFSki View Post
C'mon, that deal from DoctorD is pretty reasonable for a dedicated iron.
I can guarantee you it will never be cheaper than $29.69 for a new iron - ever.

Next year they will be over $20 wholesale.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions...I tried the tin foil method with 2 layers after mrzinwin's post and it went ok...first layer got a few tears, but no wax through to the iron. Not sure if it is the highest quality wax job, but should be fine for summer storage.

I fly from France back to the States next month and had an iron in the apartment we have been renting, so this seemed like the easiest solution...when I get settled down I will pick up a dedicated ski iron along with some other maintenance gear.

Regrds,
Matt
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin View Post
Actually, the iron will be ruined for anything. Once wax gets into the holes, it gets stuck in the iron itself and starts to smoke--at least that's what happenned to me. I got tired of sucking in wax smoke, so I ditched it. You're right--the foil is easy to break. But I did manage to wax my skis successfully a few times before it happenned.
I used a household iron with holes for years before I finally picked up a real waxing iron, and never got wax inside inside it so that it smoked. A real waxing iron with better temperature control definitely makes things a lot easier though. I'm glad I made the switch.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions...I tried the tin foil method with 2 layers after mrzinwin's post and it went ok...first layer got a few tears, but no wax through to the iron. Not sure if it is the highest quality wax job, but should be fine for summer storage.

I fly from France back to the States next month and had an iron in the apartment we have been renting, so this seemed like the easiest solution...when I get settled down I will pick up a dedicated ski iron along with some other maintenance gear.

Regrds,
Matt
I'm glad it worked out for you. I now have a wintersteiger iron, and so my days of "ghetto ironing" are over. It is one of the best ski investments I've made, along with my plastic scraper, nylon brush, and brillo pad--all you need for a decent tune. The only downside to all this is having my friends complain that I'm constantly passing them on the flats.
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