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Clothing irons vs. dedicated waxing irons - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Anyone ever tried Swix F4 solid in a Hertel hot waxer?
If it melts it well, it sounds like it would be ideal for a ski house or club.
post #32 of 54
Hertel wets the roller better than Toko moly universal the one time I tried anything else. Didn't go so well, very thick and splotchy.
post #33 of 54
I use Holmenkol's waxxl with an old toko wax mouse. Bet combo I've used, even though the iron's intended for use with pre impregnated wax sheets what would only do 3/4's of my 187's.
To avoid the smokey wax, I switch the iron and leave it for 15 mins to settle temp wise.
post #34 of 54
sounds like a good combo. So true about the new wider longer skis - definitely a conspiracy with wax makers to sell more product!
post #35 of 54
I still use that big old clothes version for slathering storage wax on multiple pairs. The thermal mass means once you have it at the right temp (which it reaches much faster than my swix iron) it stays there.

No way would it use it for a high temp wax where precision is needed, but it is still a great tool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Add size, weight, portability and easier storage to the 'pros' list of a dedicated iron.



Blog entry link.
post #36 of 54
...have used my little travel iron for years... low setting, just enough to melt the wax. Trick is to keep the iron in motion to control the actual temperature on the ski. The iron rides on the wax, not ptex. If the wax stays melted on the ski for too long then I know it's too hot. Makes a difference to wax indoors or out. Have to get a little hotter outdoors. I have never burnt or bubbled my P-Tex.

My iron quit... almost bought a ski iron... then I fixed the cord. Back in business. I spend tons of money on tuning equipment, so money is not the issue. I just like the balance and feel of the travel iron. I like that I can span the 122mm width while sweeping it up and down the ski.

If I didn't have the travel iron.. I would buy a real ski wax iron in a second.... but I would want one that could cover the width of the ski.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Add size, weight, portability and easier storage to the 'pros' list of a dedicated iron.



Blog entry link.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
Terry,

Excellent!
I'm the proud owner of the iron on the right (thanks Terry) if that's what you are giving the thumbs up to. I filled the holes with JB Weld and smoothed it down real nice. I press my pants with it too for waterproofing.
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
I'm the proud owner of the iron on the right (thanks Terry) if that's what you are giving the thumbs up to. I filled the holes with JB Weld and smoothed it down real nice. I press my pants with it too for waterproofing.
Boy talk about mind made up don't confuse: me with facts! May I explain.

Terry is Alpinord(Alpinord said "Add size, weight, portability and easier storage to the 'pros' list of a dedicated iron") he meant the one on the left!:

Me, Atomicman, (Cliff) gave him the thumbs up in regard to the dedicated real ski iron on the left!

I would never use a clothes iron on my skis!

I have a digital 400W Swix iron that i have used for about 5 years! The new model is 550 Watts and has a better base plate!
post #39 of 54
Yeah, I was just kidding, Size, weight, portability and ease of storage seem to be pretty much all the same thing, or very closely related. Backcountry skiers who pack an iron on tours might be particularly interested in these advantages.


Terry obviously used that iron on skis before he sold it to me. I trust he would not have offered it for sale as a wax iron if it was going to mess up my skis. It's much better than the travel iron I was using before. I'm glad you have a better iron than me.
post #40 of 54
Oh, snap.
post #41 of 54
Wide temperature swings are unacceptable for my clothes! So I have a Rowenta. No way I'm getting ski wax on that thing.

In a related question, anybody use a respirator when working with wax?
post #42 of 54
My understanding is that if you stay with basic paraffin waxes (= no flouro) and have any meaningful ventilation you are OK. Esp if you don't overheat - hence one of the goodnesses of a good iron...

For most of us, the fancy stuff is overkill anyway IMO. Although I tend to slather on some Zardoz for ritual purposes.
post #43 of 54

Wax Iron vs Clothes Iron

What we are all about is providing a range of options and info to help all tuners decide what works best for their particular needs and price points; 'bronze, silver or gold' options, if you will. Hopefully, this approach will encourage others to pick up tools and learn to efficiently take care of their gear, maximize performance and usable life......which does save money, energy and reduces waste, while increasing the fun factor.

As a chronic DIYer, I have managed to perform a wide array of home construction/maintenance and sports maintenance tasks with less than ideal tools for a given task and the right and nice tool for the task. Often, you can 'get the job' done with a lessor or 'incorrect tool'......and, like not needing a ski for every condition, there is some satisfaction when using a less than ideal tool to perform a task just fine.....but the more you do of that same task, the nicer an appropriate tool makes the job easier, faster and more enjoyable, IMO, and could last indefinitely and clearly worth more than the initial difference in cost.

In my case, I contentedly used Telerod's iron for years, along with another one, moved to the Maplus arc wax iron and now clearly prefer and enjoy using the Maplus Electronic wax iron which is sweet. As with all our tools, I try to make sure to clearly understand the lessor grade tool's abilities and limits, BEFORE going to the nicest one in the group, so to define their overlapping abilities, pros and cons, through hands-on experience and testing, rather than simply theorizing.

FWIW, here's the Wax Iron vs Clothes Iron from our Waxing, Tuning & Repair tips entry:

Quote:
The clothes iron has always been used as a low cost method for melting and applying wax to ski & snowboard bases. An amusing irony regarding tools versus gear, is that many skiers will go to great lengths and expense to purchase performance 'tools' for their feet, and great lengths to spend very little for 2nd and 3rd rate tools for their hands to take care of their expensive gear, trashed day in and day out. I've been no different, but once you use a nice tool, irons a case in point, and realize it'll do a better job, in less time, it's hard to go back.

-If it's only about cost, a conventional iron will work OK, but requires extra time, steps and attention to making sure the holes don't retain old wax. While still warm, use a lint free towel to draw out wax and do it a again when you fire up for the next waxing.
-Wrapping with tin foil or filling the holes with JB Weld and smoothing is an option for some.
-If it doesn't have an accurate thermostat, you'll be guessing. If it's smoking, it's too hot.
-Likely end game going cheap is it'll end up in the land fill and you'll buy a better one later.
-Fiber pads work great for cleaning iron bases

-Better is a conventionally shaped iron without the holes, with an accurate thermostat, but still has an edge.

-Best is an iron with an "Arc" shaped iron plate which allows wax to flow to the center of the iron reducing waste and overflow with an accurate thermostat and a thick sole plate to retain consistent heat and evenly distribute wax.

Different waxes have different temperature requirements and work best when applied with recommended temperature settings.
.Many feel using a clothes iron is a Really Bad Idea, whether it's a new or old iron. Basically, you really have no idea what temperature you're getting, so you risk either burning the bases or not getting enough heat to get the desired wax saturation. Additionally, a clothes iron has a much broader temperature swing whereas a dedicated wax iron as much tighter temperature tolerances. You're paying hundreds of $$$ for skis...why subject them to a cheap iron?

It can also be not hot enough and be as effective if you are too conservative guessing the temperature. Defeats the purpose somewhat if not getting complete liquefaction and flow.

Can you accurately (or care enough) to set the temperatures in this range for instance:
-We recommend the following iron temperatures to melt Maplus ski or snowboard waxes:
-120°C: Universal;
-130°C: (Soft – Soft Graphite)Racing Base, (P1-P2-P3) Hot;
-140°C: (P1-P2-P3) Med;
-150°C: (P1-P2-P3) Cold;
-160°C: (Hard – Hard Graphite)Racing Base, P4.
If used improperly, the waxing iron can damage the ski or snowboard construction.

One method gauge iron temperature is whether or not the wax smokes when touched to the iron. Generally, if it’s smoking, it’s too hot for the wax and possibly the base. Never let the iron sit for any length of time on the base and keep it moving. Using a teflon sheet between iron and base helps to protect the base. Using a lint free fiber towel between base and iron can also provide some protection and draw off excess was to reduce scraping.
post #44 of 54
I use a respirator and a bathroom type vent fan when waxing. I use a Swix World Cup iron and it works very well. Better temp. control than the clothes iron I used to use.
post #45 of 54
Don't forget the autoshut off or the switch location. The switch always get me. Since the iron probably wasn't designed to be used upside down to melt ski wax, I end up always hitting the off button....then 40 seconds later wondering why my iron isn't dripping.

Cliffs: I need a real iron.
post #46 of 54
Bought an nice brand new Wahlgreen sale special clothes iron for $8.99 a few years back. Works great. Got the setting dialed in for melting the wax nice and evenly on the ski base. No worries.
post #47 of 54
They say that if the wax smokes, it's too hot. Can it be too hot even if it doesn't smoke? I'm wondering if an overcooked wax job contributed to the base delamination on one of my pairs of skis. I've been very careful ever since, but I feel like I'm not getting it hot enough now, because my last couple of wax jobs seemed to wear off along the edges before the day was over. As I pass the iron over the ski, it leaves about an inch or two wide band of liquid wax behind it. If the top sheet feels too warm (how warm is too warm anyway?), I set that ski aside and work on the other and come back to it after it has a chance to cool down.

I use a Wal Mart special that automatically shuts off after about 15 minutes
post #48 of 54
Outta all the waxes I've used, the Holmenkol gives ya a cracking headache after. Pass the cocodamols! :-)
post #49 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndub View Post
Outta all the waxes I've used, the Holmenkol gives ya a cracking headache after. Pass the cocodamols! :-)
Nice!

Just had a look on pubmed:

Lung damage in connection with with ski waxing: no abstract available

Acute effects of ski waxing on pulmonary function: an open-label clinical trial finding no changes in pulmonary function in connection with unventilated hydrocarbon wax use. Wonder how they recruited subjects for this one. Free beer?

Pulmonary injury after ski wax inhalation exposure: Fluro wax inhalation injury.

Acute deterioration of the CO diffusion capacity following exposure to ski-wax vapors: An hour's exposure to hot fluro wax causes burning eyes, sore throat, and affects pulmonary function.

And my personal favorite...

Pulmonary damage caused by ski waxing: fluoro wax caused pulmonary edema, via a wax-contaminated cigarette!!

Note also that hot hydrocarbons can form all manner of potentially toxic aromatics (i.e. benzene) that enter the body readily through the lungs or skin.

Bottom line: would absolutely recommend good ventilation and a respirator for fluoro waxes, respirator probably not a bad idea for hydrocarbon wax. And gloves. And, you know, don't get ski wax on your cigarettes!
post #50 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post
Note also that hot hydrocarbons can form all manner of potentially toxic aromatics (i.e. benzene) that enter the body readily through the lungs or skin.
No way benzene is formed from hot hydrocarbons.
post #51 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
No way benzene is formed from hot hydrocarbons.
Yes, you're absolutely right. I misspoke. The benzene isn't formed, its already there, as a contaminant. Benzene is detectable in food-grade wax. I suspect it's also present in "ski-grade" wax as well. Heating wax will volatilize the benzene, which can then be inhaled.

When hydrocarbons undergo combustion, they form a number of stable, toxic intermediates, which can include formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. In complete combustion, they go on to react with O2 and form CO2. However, it is possible these intermediates may be more likely to persist if the wax is heated to high temperatures but not completely burned.

Soot particles (from burnt wax) are precisely the right size to go deep into the lungs. Soot has the structure of sheets of carbon molecules linked in a hexagon (like chicken wire) wrapped up in a ball - a perfect structure for trapping toxins.*

Is any of this clinically significant? Don't know. How does the risk compare to, say, driving up an icy mountain road? Don't know. Do I want to inhale the stuff? Er...not particularly!



* References for this paragraph and the one above are found in a book called Fire (H. Rossotti, 1993, Oxford University Press), which my husband (then a PhD candidate in chemical engineering) bought when I stumped him with the question, "What is fire? What is a flame, really? Explain." It's a pretty good book actually, complete with a detailed analysis of bunsen burner flames.
post #52 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post
Yes, you're absolutely right. I misspoke. The benzene isn't formed, its already there, as a contaminant. Benzene is detectable in food-grade wax. I suspect it's also present in "ski-grade" wax as well. Heating wax will volatilize the benzene, which can then be inhaled.

When hydrocarbons undergo combustion, they form a number of stable, toxic intermediates, which can include formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. In complete combustion, they go on to react with O2 and form CO2. However, it is possible these intermediates may be more likely to persist if the wax is heated to high temperatures but not completely burned.

Soot particles (from burnt wax) are precisely the right size to go deep into the lungs. Soot has the structure of sheets of carbon molecules linked in a hexagon (like chicken wire) wrapped up in a ball - a perfect structure for trapping toxins.*

Is any of this clinically significant? Don't know. How does the risk compare to, say, driving up an icy mountain road? Don't know. Do I want to inhale the stuff? Er...not particularly!
benzene is ubiquitous in the environment, i doubt a little bit extra from melted ski wax is going make a difference.

if ski wax is as hazardous as you make it out to be, i'd hate to see what candles could do to a person.
post #53 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
benzene is ubiquitous in the environment, i doubt a little bit extra from melted ski wax is going make a difference.

if ski wax is as hazardous as you make it out to be, i'd hate to see what candles could do to a person.
1) Excellent point. Unlike ski wax that is merely heated to the point of changing from liquid to gas phase, candle wax is literally burned. This produces all of the combustion products cited above, unlike wax application. Also, perfumed candles have complex aromatics in them and in this case you are not only inhaling them, but also the combustion products of the perfume. Candle wax is typically low grade, very impure material that is likely to contain lots of impurities that you end up breathing.

A great example of how low-level trace impurities kill you are cigarettes. The leaves of tobacco contain trace amounts of radioactive elements that are naturally present in soil. A smoker inhales these and they are deposited on the lung tissue surface. These trace radioactive elements release alpha particle radiation, an extremely short range but highly damaging type of radiation. The radiation causes mutations that come back to kill you 10-20 years later.

2) Lots of people (including myself) are drawn to all natural products and not the synthetic versions of the products. But all natural products must be used with the same level of caution and scrutiny. There are numerous cases where the all natural product was the cause of illness because of the unknown collection of impurities that are carried along with it. Moreover, this suite of impurities would be very dependent on the product's source and production lot number. I would suspect that low grade food and candle waxes are much more likely to contain a volatile impurity like benzene, and a higher melting point synthetic ski wax in which the manufacturing process has chemically separated the wax into specific chemical components may contain less (and since you don't burn it with a flame or eat it, are less of a risk).
post #54 of 54
Bummer:

Better take the cocodamols before then


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