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Rotobrush 101 please

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi all;
I'm thinking of asking the Santa-wife for a rotobrush for Christmas.What do I want? What type of drill should I use, rpm, etc?

I have all the tuning gear, SVST, iron, brass brushes, bench, vise, Dominator wax, (and many others), etc. I just want to make brushing easier. I'm not racing, just a person who likes good performance from my equipment and I truly enjoy working on our skis.
Thanks!!
post #2 of 24
A brass, hard horsehair & soft nylon for brushes will cover most tasks. They come in 10, 14 or 20 cm lengths. By getting a 20 cm shaft, you can put on (2) 10 cm brushes to expedite things further. Adding a roto cork for liquids, sprays and fiber tex and steel later might be on next year's list.



Then there are quick grip handles that come off and are independent of the chuck versus handles that require disengagement from the chuck. SVST has proprietary shaft which is shaped like a circle flattened on opposing ends. Others and more common are hexagonal and brushes can be interchanged easier with the handles and shafts by other manufacturers.

Not sure about any real concerns on rpms, but a cordless, reversible, variable speed drill with hand chuck is ideal.

HTH
post #3 of 24
I bought a Red Creek boxed set like this:

http://www.redcreek.se/products.asp?...=4&ssp=6&id=69

The box has extra holes for when your collection of brushes expands (brass, steel, horsehair etc.) but the coarse and fine nylon brushes are a good starting point.

So far I've been using a cheap, run-of-the-handyman-mill cordless 14.4V Black & Decker drill. RPM is low (750'ish) compared to Red Creek's recommendations (1500-2000) but its handier than the stonking great Bosch hammerdrill and works just fine,

Between 'fibrelene-ing' off excess wax and roto-brushing I can see my amount of scraping diminishing greatly this season.
post #4 of 24
My understanding is that the brass brush shouldn't be used above 600 rpm. (I can't remember where I read this.)
I use an electric drill with this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=43060

to reduce the speed when using the brass brush.

I do several pairs of skis at a time and I was changing batteries too frequently with the cordless drill.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickk9 View Post
My understanding is that the brass brush shouldn't be used above 600 rpm. (I can't remember where I read this.)
I use an electric drill with this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=43060

to reduce the speed when using the brass brush.

I do several pairs of skis at a time and I was changing batteries too frequently with the cordless drill.
Couldn't you just use a variable speed drill?
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickk9 View Post
I use an electric drill with this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=43060

to reduce the speed when using the brass brush.
Would this guy work for temperature control on a soldering iron?

I just use the finger control on the drill. A power drill works well for several as long as you use good cord management. Overhead is best. The cordless for fewer skis/boards, simplicity & portability.
post #7 of 24
I find that I pretty much just use the brass (or is it bronze?) brush.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickk9 View Post
My understanding is that the brass brush shouldn't be used above 600 rpm. (I can't remember where I read this.)
I use an electric drill with this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=43060

to reduce the speed when using the brass brush.

I do several pairs of skis at a time and I was changing batteries too frequently with the cordless drill.
it is normally brass/horsehair and it is 800 RPM. printed right on the brush!
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
Couldn't you just use a variable speed drill?
YEP~~~
post #10 of 24
Would this defeat the purpose?

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.B. View Post
Hi all;
I'm thinking of asking the Santa-wife for a rotobrush for Christmas.What do I want? What type of drill should I use, rpm, etc?

I have all the tuning gear, SVST, iron, brass brushes, bench, vise, Dominator wax, (and many others), etc. I just want to make brushing easier. I'm not racing, just a person who likes good performance from my equipment and I truly enjoy working on our skis.
Thanks!!
This is from my tuning tips section of my website:

NOTES ON ROTOBRUSHING: Don't use excessive drill speeds or downward pressure. This will create excessive heat and smear wax rather than brush it. Most cordless drills max out ar 1,200 rpm, but standard drills go up to 2,500 rpm. Us the sound of the drill to judge the speed.
  • Brass Roto-Brush: Use back and forth at a medium pace with light pressure at 800 rpm, with two final strokes tip to tail.
  • Nylon Roto-Brush: Use back and forth at a medium pace with medium pressure at 2,500 rpm, with two final strokes tip to tail.
  • Horsehair Roto-Brush: Use back and forth at a medium pace with light pressure at 2,500 rpm, with two final strokes tip to tail.
  • Roto-Cork: Use back and forth at a quick pace with very light pressure at 800 rpm, finish with hand corking. Due to the extreme heat generated by friction minimize the time the cork is in contact with the base.
post #12 of 24
OK, so I've considered rotobrushing for a few years - but why?

Is it to:

a) make the job go faster?
b) make the job easier?
c) make the results better?

I don't really mind my scrape, brush, brush routine - kind of good exercise. I need convincing.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
OK, so I've considered rotobrushing for a few years - but why?

Is it to:

a) make the job go faster?
b) make the job easier?
c) make the results better?

I don't really mind my scrape, brush, brush routine - kind of good exercise. I need convincing.


I use mine if I am in a hurry to do multiple pairs of skis, but I still like to do them by hand. I even bought a whole new set of oval brushes this year. It is a bit easier and faster IMO, but no better a job.
post #14 of 24
SMJ, I's say 'all of the above and then some'.

The job goes MUCH faster with far less effort. Also, you can scrape far less and pull out the brass brush to quickly and easily remove the final few scrapes. Keeping an eye on sheen helps to achieve a uniform wax thickness and polish.

The roto brushes also expedite base cleaning, wax removal and refreshing structure.
post #15 of 24
How do you guys tell the drill speed? It sounds like plug in drills are better for this job. I will be roto brushing for the first time relatively soon, but I am very proficient with regular brush use and am excited to see the differences.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.B. View Post
Hi all;
I'm thinking of asking the Santa-wife for a rotobrush for Christmas.What do I want? What type of drill should I use, rpm, etc?
Don't ask. PLEAD!! Give her Terry's (Alpinords) E-mail and do what he recommends. You will not be sorry.

I won't go into any of the technical stuff as there are plenty of folks who know much more than I.

I can easily say this. You will REALLY like these. Trust me.

All the Best,
Ken
post #17 of 24
I roto-brush from tail to tip with brush rotating towards the tip. Brushed up wax is not brushed into the base again and again. Just me being weird. Going skiing now.
post #18 of 24
I have the SVST roto brush set up. Very high quality. As a previous poster noted, the brushes only work on a SVST handle. RaceWerks carries the line.

Why roto brush? There is really no other reason then it saves time and is fun to do! We are a racing family and I prepped 8 pairs of skis yesterday.

You should still scrape as usual. Sharpen your scraper often - makes scraping go much faster.

Brass/Horsehair combo - great for deep cleaning
Horsehair (short) - wax removal
Black Nylon 10mm - finishing/polishing
The velcro drum with fibertex pads works great to polish bases after stone grinding or deep cleaning with brass/horsehair. Be careful not to dull the edges with this.

Many in racing eschew roto brushing. Some are just purists. You can probably be more exacting with a hand brush, however after a while you can get good with a roto. Static build up is always a concern, hence the horsehair to minimize. Also, use a spray bottle (an old cleaning/disinfectant pump spray bottle as long as it is first thoroughly rinsed out) and spray water on before each pass with the roto brush. I use the spray bottle when polishing edges as well - works good and a lot cheaper than the "secrect sauce" you can buy.

Merry Christmas and have fun!
post #19 of 24
Hint, secret sauce is 50/50 water and denatured alcohol. A qt can is like $4.00 at Home Depot.

Once you use a rotor brush, you'll never go back.
post #20 of 24
My polish vodka from 1990 was cheaper than $4.00/quart Tastes crap but works with a diamond stone.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Another question...which way should the rotobrush rotate; toward me or away? Seems like the easy answer is away, but I really am not sure.
Thanks!
post #22 of 24
By rotating away the dust moves down the ski or snowboard and away from you. By placing a trash container at the end you can collect a lot of the scrapings and some brushing dust.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
it is normally brass/horsehair and it is 800 RPM. printed right on the brush!
Actually, I use the Maplus Rotobrass brush which does not have the speed on the brush. The recommended speed is 500 rpm with a final 3-4 second pass at 1500-2000 rpm.
I guess what I was thinking was what you are quoting for a brass/horsehair brush in which I was mistaken by quoting 600 vs. 800 rpm.
post #24 of 24
As per the label on the Swix roto-brush package:

How to use:

1. A drill with rotation speed approx 1000 to 2000 rpm is recommended.
2. The Roto-brush can be used in either direction, from tip to tail or tail to tip, as long as the rotation direction throws the excess wax towards the tail.
3. Do not hold the Roto-brush in one place. Maintain steady movement with medium pressure.
4. Keep Roto-brush flush against the ski base and avoid any tilting or swinging motions.
5. Beginners should use lower RPM and gradually increase as you become more experienced with roto-brushing.

This is for a nylon brush- as others have noted the rotation speed recommended may need to vary. Better as noted above to be on the low side than the high side and do it wrong or risk damaging your ski base if you are not experienced.

I have found that many standard cordless drills are low on the max RPM's required- most are somewhere around 800 RPM max, but will work for occasional and briefer needs. If you want the higher speeds, then dual speed models are one option to consider. Corded drills usually are higher rated RPM's, but the cord does add an extra hassle while working at the bench. If you are the type that takes the roto-brush with you to the mountain then cordless is pretty the only way to go. Also check out the higher end Hammer drills if you want higher powered cordless drills.
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