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Tuning & Maintenance Kit - Am I Missing Anything?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi guys... I've started to put together a tuning & maintenance kit, and I'd like your feedback on whether or not I'm missing anything.

So far, this is what I have:

Cheap clothes iron - no steam mode for this one.
Toko System 3 Red/Yellow
Kuu Nylon Brush
Kuu Plexi Scraper 6mm
Kuu Gummi Stone
RC Sports Pocket Tuner (88/89 degree adjustments)
Swix Pro 500 vise
building myself a workbench...

Is there anything obvious I'm missing? This will be for light tuning, mostly, and waxing. The stone grinds and base beveling I will leave to the pro shop (once a season) and I will maintain the skis for the rest of the time.
post #2 of 17
From our tuning blog:

Quote:
Determining what capabilities or level of tuning you are after will help decide on tuning or other tools. What level tuner are you and want to be; Leisure/Casual, Performance or Serious?.


If you looked at building a tool kit whether it's files, diamonds guides, brushes, waxes, etc as you looked at building your quiver of skis, you wouldn't necessarily get everything you can to start. There are simply too many variables to grasp without time and experience, cost and other considerations. As with skis and other gear, you can always buy more and there are various grades or calibers of tools. For the recreational skier and tuner, getting every one of the finest tools may be overkill and an unnecessary expense. But if you appreciate fine tools, and start out purchasing them, it's hard to go back to lessor caliber as you become spoiled.


For the 'all mountain' capabilities for main files & diamonds which you can build on, we suggest:

1) bastard or 2nd cut file-for edge sharpening, beveling and setting edge geometry, coupled with guide. The coarser the file, the faster the cut and filings stream off easier.

2) panzer/body file-for removal of side wall (edge off-set), quick removal of edge when establishing edge geometry or removing excess base material. Also great for plexi scraper sharpening.

3) 200 & 400 grit diamond-for de-burring, maintenance sharpening, finishing and polishing edge

4) aluminum oxide stone-inexpensive 'beater' stone for knocking down case/work hardened edges, de-burring, knife sharpening, misc tasks

5) gummy stone-de-burring and rust removal

6) base and side edge combination guide-used to secure files, diamonds and stones accurately to set edge geometry (bevel angles: base 1° & side 3°-typically) and can be used for maintenance sharpening with diamonds or stones.
HTH
post #3 of 17

Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post
Hi guys... I've started to put together a tuning & maintenance kit, and I'd like your feedback on whether or not I'm missing anything.

So far, this is what I have:

Cheap clothes iron - no steam mode for this one.
Toko System 3 Red/Yellow
Kuu Nylon Brush
Kuu Plexi Scraper 6mm
Kuu Gummi Stone
RC Sports Pocket Tuner (88/89 degree adjustments)
Swix Pro 500 vise
building myself a workbench...

Is there anything obvious I'm missing? This will be for light tuning, mostly, and waxing. The stone grinds and base beveling I will leave to the pro shop (once a season) and I will maintain the skis for the rest of the time.
Good starter kit. Some other basics; cork to rub in wax, horsehair brush to structure the wax job, Base tool for perfect 1 degree base. #10 bastard file to take off the bad stuff on your edges before you fine tune them. Wax remover (paint thinner works). I use Slidewrights Universal and Cold for hot wax jobs and their spray on same waxes for trips.
post #4 of 17
Something like this SKS Edge Trick to carry in your pocket and take of rock burrs from the ski edges during the day.


I prefer file guides that use a real file or stone rather than the tuner devices that use a small piece of file or stone.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Terry! Not sure if I want to invest quite that much yet... That's a lot of files and other stuff to get. I've been buying used when I can, to save $ for lift tickets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Good starter kit. Some other basics; cork to rub in wax, horsehair brush to structure the wax job, Base tool for perfect 1 degree base. #10 bastard file to take off the bad stuff on your edges before you fine tune them. Wax remover (paint thinner works). I use Slidewrights Universal and Cold for hot wax jobs and their spray on same waxes for trips.
I was told that I don't need cork by the shop guy for the System 3 wax, which is what I'm likely to stick with, just a nylon brush for structuring... can it be any kind of cork or does it have to be the ski-specific cork? And can I use a Kiwi horsehair brush? It's the one that usually polish/dust shoes with.

This file is ok? Wintersteiger Mill Bastard File. Or can I use one from Home Depot instead?

I like Toko waxes because they're easily found around in Vancouver, and I already have their Express Line liquid wax & applicator combination for trips - I wax each night in preparation for the next day.

What do you recommend for the base bevel tool? I'm not sure which one to pick, and what the difference between a base and side bevel is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Something like this SKS Edge Trick to carry in your pocket and take of rock burrs from the ski edges during the day.


I prefer file guides that use a real file or stone rather than the tuner devices that use a small piece of file or stone.
The tuner I have is this guy. I'll probably leave it in the car and pull it out only if I have to during the day.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post
I was told that I don't need cork by the shop guy for the System 3 wax, which is what I'm likely to stick with, just a nylon brush for structuring... can it be any kind of cork or does it have to be the ski-specific cork? And can I use a Kiwi horsehair brush? It's the one that usually polish/dust shoes with.

This file is ok? Wintersteiger Mill Bastard File. Or can I use one from Home Depot instead?

I like Toko waxes because they're easily found around in Vancouver, and I already have their Express Line liquid wax & applicator combination for trips - I wax each night in preparation for the next day.

What do you recommend for the base bevel tool? I'm not sure which one to pick, and what the difference between a base and side bevel is.

The tuner I have is this guy. I'll probably leave it in the car and pull it out only if I have to during the day.
Corks are only necessary if you are using fluro. The system 3 is just simple hydrocarbon wax and doesn't absolutely need it. However I cork after any type of waxing. If you do end up buying a cork, you'll always want to remember to have two separate corks. One for hydrocarbons and one for fluros.

Don't cheap on a file, they are very important.

The difference between base bevel and side bevel is that a base bevel puts more base on the snow and helps you engage a turn. A side bevel holds the turn and helps get the ski up on edge. They are very important for hard snow or ice.

As for base beveling. Unless you are a racer, then 99% of all other skiers use a 89 (1) degree base bevel. You'll find there is bit of choice as to side bevel. Alot of skis come with an 88 (2) and a lot keep them that way. I for one (and there are many more like me) prefer an 87 (3) side bevel.

I'm not a big fan of edge tools that aren't adjustable (the one you have). I've found this Swix Edger Comp Tool as more then adequate. You may be able to find it cheaper at other places.

Hope this helps
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...45524442627958

Does this work for side sharpening only or also for base beveling?

Thanks for the explanation, Blizzboy.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=253437430 2882912&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442627958

Does this work for side sharpening only or also for base beveling?

Thanks for the explanation, Blizzboy.

You're welcome. Side edge only, however it will produce a very fine side edge at that! Yeah I looked into that tool but I went with the edger comp because it did both. That is one damn good price for it though. Most places sell that tool for around $50 US. At $43 CAN that's like $35 US! I'd hop on that but its probably like $20 bucks to ship it to the states.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283 View Post
You're welcome. Side edge only, however it will produce a very fine side edge at that! Yeah I looked into that tool but I went with the edger comp because it did both. That is one damn good price for it though. Most places sell that tool for around $50 US. At $43 CAN that's like $35 US! I'd hop on that but its probably like $20 bucks to ship it to the states.
I'm rather annoyed, because I can't find it in Canada and REI wants $16 to ship it over here. The selection of tools here suck. I'm going to try and check with the local shops and see if they have anything available...

Base/Side Edge Bevel II - I think I saw this in a local store - a verdict? What's the difference between that one and Base/Side Edge Bevel Multitool?
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283 View Post
Don't cheap on a file, they are very important.
Yep. Cheap files get dull sooner, and that is soooo frustrating. Forget about any hardware store file. It'll dull before you get the first ski done. By the way, never pull the file backwards against the set of its teeth...push with the tang in your right hand or pull it with the tang in your left hand, then lift it off the steel for the return stroke.

Anyone know how the steel edge can be so hard and still flexible? Generally hard steels are brittle and flexible steels aren't hard.
post #11 of 17
I see that you are a supporter.

Alpinord offers a discount, and already has some of the best prices around. Plus he's just a great guy and really helpful.

http://www.slidewright.com/
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
By the way, never pull the file backwards against the set of its teeth...push with the tang in your right hand or pull it with the tang in your left hand, then lift it off the steel for the return stroke.
Hijack/dumb Q:

What's the best way to determine the set of the teeth? I have a couple files that are marked with an arrow so that's easy but some others where it's not marked and I can't see it clearly because the teeth are so small -- even with my reading glasses on.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
Hijack/dumb Q:

What's the best way to determine the set of the teeth? I have a couple files that are marked with an arrow so that's easy but some others where it's not marked and I can't see it clearly because the teeth are so small -- even with my reading glasses on.

Always push away from the tang.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
Always push away from the tang.
Wow, my question was even dumber than I thought. But I can do dumber:

What about files that have no tang? I think they have one end with no teeth that's clearly the base -- always push away from that?
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
Wow, my question was even dumber than I thought. But I can do dumber:

What about files that have no tang? I think they have one end with no teeth that's clearly the base -- always push away from that?
Tougher question but I would have to guess yes.
post #16 of 17
A couple of other things. Brushes don't "structure the wax job" they are used to *remove* wax from the structure so it can do its job and allow water to escape. (The exception is a steel brush which can be used to refresh base structure). Softer brushes may be used to polish the base. The more you brush, the faster your skis will be.

A nylon brush is a good all-around brush. If you really care about fast bases, you may want to acquire a more agressive brush like brass and/or bronze. Horsehair probably isn't necessary for you; you would typically only have one if you were doing flouros (it's a first brush for flouros). Otherwise, it would be used as a 3rd or 4th brush (for polishing), but unless you are a high level racer doing speed events, you would never brush that much.

Don't buy files from Home Depot. The material used in ski edges is far harder than your typical hw store file is rated for.

Also, be careful with your iron. The problem w/ clothes irons is that there can be large temperature variances around a given temp setting. So don't assume that just because your setting is X you won't burn your base. Ultimately, you may want a real wax iron. Meanhwile, be careful and always keep your iron moving...

Also, as Alpinord pointed out, you need a ceramic stone and a couple of diamond stones. The stones are necessary to remove the case hardening that occurs when you zing an edge on a rock. Trying to file that off will just dull your files.

More importantly, stones are useful for polishing your edges. Regular polishing will keep your edges sharper longer so you don't have to constantly file (which removes edge material). Only use ceramic stones on your base edges (diamond stones are too agressive and can mess with your bevel). You'll really want file guides to use with stones.

You'll also want to pick up a steel scraper and a few p-tex sticks for doing minor base repairs.

If you can't swing a panzer file or a side-wall scyver at the moment, you can use the tang of the file to scrape away side-walls.

Finally, you need something to use as a ski-brake retainer. A lot of shops use what are effectively just extra-strong rubber bands. If you ask at your local shop, they might just give you a set.

Oh yeah, stay away from wax removers if you can. They will dry out your bases (requiring many wax cycles before you put them back on the snow again). If you have to use one, use the recommended remover for your system; i.e. Toko should have one. A alternative approach to cleaning bases is to hot scrape. Wax in a very soft was (like the equivalent of Swix CH 10) and then scrape it off immediately (while it is still liquid). Repeat. This is the prefererred way for cleaning ski bases.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Yep. Cheap files get dull sooner, and that is soooo frustrating. Forget about any hardware store file. It'll dull before you get the first ski done. By the way, never pull the file backwards against the set of its teeth...push with the tang in your right hand or pull it with the tang in your left hand, then lift it off the steel for the return stroke.

Anyone know how the steel edge can be so hard and still flexible? Generally hard steels are brittle and flexible steels aren't hard.
You should never push a file only pull it towards you from tip to tail and tail to tip when you flip the ski around.

Additionally you should use the finest toothed file you can find for base beveling and the highest quality file you can find. Mnay cheap hardware store files are not flat. You must have a flat file. You absolutely must only apply pressure directly over the edge when base beveling. never bend the fil. the shortest file you can find and finest tooth that still spans the ski is what you need.

Short (100mm or 4 inch) files are preferable for side edge beveling.

thank you geoffda for the wax brush explantion!

If you put a 2 or 3 degree side edge on your skis you need a sidewall planer. You will get sidewall material jamed intoyour files and daimond stones and will not get a true 2 or 3 degree side edge bevel if you do not cut the sidewall back. Although geofdda's suggestion of the tang is innovative, you risk damaging your edges and would not have much control and may even gouge up your top edge or sidewalls!

You need a 2 or 3 inch paint brush. Use it to clean your base off and your base tool between each pass when working on your edges. Otherwise small edge filings can get under your tool you will gouge your base.

I also always use base tape whenever working on my side edges. I like the Holmenkol wide tape. 1 strip from tip to tail is all that is needed to protect the base, but i still sweep the ski and tools with the paint brush between each pass.
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