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Can't get skis "sharp"

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
This will end up being a multi-part and tool specific question but here goes:

I have a Ski Visions Ski Sharp (and base flattner for that matter). I'd like to get my skis as sharp under foot as possible but am getting poor results so far with this tool (compared to other multi-type tools I've used from FK). I have the files, 180 grit ruby stones, and 600 grit polishing stones.

Every time I use the tool and then use either fingernail or tuning stick technique it seems like the ski is getting duller as compared to how it was previously regardless of condition.

Yes I'm pulling files the correct direction. I'm setting the tool at .5 base and 3 degree side bevel. I typically don't use the file insert on the base. The stones especially the 180 grits seem to clog up with material (black streak) in as little as 8 to 10 overlapping 10" strokes but I rotate and adjust their height as I'm working through the skis. I've tried light, medium, and way too much pressure while using the tool with equally bad results.

Thoughts anyone? I like my skis especially sharp (New England and enjoy ice actually) so I like to keep the burr on it although it comes off pretty quickly under normal skiing. I pretty much exclusively like to carve wide arcs or take slalom type quick sharp turns to give you some idea about my skiing type to the point of booting out of some skis.

I'm totally lost and frustrated. Any thoughts?

I thought I read that base + side bevels should create a 90 deg angle so additionally it makes me question if my .5/3 idea is working as I expect it to. Is this really an aggressive setting or is there even further one could go?
post #2 of 20
maybe you need a sidewall planar. if the sidewall is too high above the edge it may be keeping your files from cutting the metal at the correct angle, effectively dulling them.

I don't see how leaving the burr on would really make the edges sharper. Won't 'skiing it off' result in a jagged, somewhat dull edge?
post #3 of 20
The 90 degree "edge" comes only with 1 base and 1 side or 2 base and 2 side etc..... That is not done on the majority of skis.

Holmenkol and Swix sites have good information about how to tune.
I suggest to do it their way.
post #4 of 20
Sounds like you need to plane your sidewall away (that's most likely the black streak you're seeing). A shop will do it for you for around $20, or you can do it yourself (I actually use a very sharp woodworking chisel and work very carefully - others use a panzer file at like 7 degrees to do the job).

After that, set your edges with a file and then, for most of the rest of the season, just use your fine-grit stones for maintenance.

As for sharpness, edges (set at around 86 degrees) are not knives (set at around 15 degrees). Your edges should be polished and smooth and strong. This happens with the stones, not the file.

As was recommended above, get some detailed tuning info from a website. SVST has some youtube clips that I find helpful. You can get them here. Good luck and have fun!
post #5 of 20
What kind of skis and what edge material? Some are designed to stay "new" in terms of sharpness, but are very hard and hard to sharpen.

I am not familiar with your tool, but is there any way the angle of your file is changing?

Is your sidewall interfering?
post #6 of 20
FTR, here's the tool & instructions.




My first thought was side wall interference as well. You might consider removing the base edge stone and try using the file a few strokes on the side edge to cut edge and side wall. A steeper side wall angle would be better though while using only the ruby stone for the edges. See this Tuning Tip entry on Side Wall cutting. As Dan suggests, a lot of sharp tools can also cut the side wall, even your Ski Visions steel blade end:

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much everyone -- it does look like mostly a situation of the sidewall, I took another older tool I had that had a built in sidewall stripper and the sidewall went buzzing off.

I guess when I saw black on the stones I didn't think of sidewall as that typically comes off white. I'm new to stones vs files, as I've always just owned small pocket tools from SKS/FK that had file inserts. Can you "overdo" it with stones as well like you can with files, i.e. 30 strokes won't do anything except use up unnecessary edge or is it negligible and you can go ahead and do however many strokes you feel like without making your edge disappear?

The only follow up I have is, what constitutes sharp? From what I gather it means: .25-1 deg base bevel with 3+ deg side bevel (with higher being more aggressive). The comment about the 15 deg bevel on the side confused me too. Did you mean that 15 deg is something that is possible to achieve and ski on? or that 15 deg = what a normal knife would be sharpened at so 3-6 deg is as sharp as you'd want to get?

Can you tell I hate edge tuning? The shop used to only charge $10 to do it and then I'd do my own waxing (which I understand better and enjoy a lot more).

The quiver currently consists of:
Atomic Beta Ride 10.20 (B4)
Atomic Tweak ('05)
Atomic GS 11 (B4)
Solomon Equipe (forget exactly mid 90's straight ski)

Thanks again!
post #8 of 20
If your sidewalls are white and the material in your file is black then it is not your sidewall clogging your file.

but i don't believe any of the skis you mention are true sandwich vertical sidewall construction so how could your sidewall be white??? All your skis are cap construction.

The other thing that jumped off the page at me was freaking 8-10 strokes ???? Something is definetly haywire.

I will say if your Atomic Gs11 are the ski your are battling, the Aerospeed in the cap is really tough to trim away adjacent to the edge.

Do yourself and your skis a huge favor and invest in a separate real high quality base bevel guide and a high quality side edge bevel guide from Terry at www.slidewright.com

I mean for god sake you are working on hundreds of $$$ worth of skis. Why would you risk pooching them up with a cheap ass all-in-one tool like that!

AM I missing something here????
post #9 of 20
+ Use a toothbrush to clean the stones off and put new cutting fluid on, don't just repeat 8-10 strokes with the clog on there.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
"The other thing that jumped off the page at me was freaking 8-10 strokes ???? Something is definetly haywire. "
as in way too many, or way too little?

Yea the sidewall when I trimmed it tended to expose a white material underneath. All 3 skis upon further inspection had way too much sidewall material. I did a little experiment in filing my rock skis without sidewall removal at 3deg, then did it again after aggressively triming the sidewall with the steel blade suggested above (ski visions base flatner blade which I happen to have)

The odd part which is throwing me for a loop is that two were very recently fully tuned with a wintersteiger machine so I'm at a loss of why the sidewall was so exposed. Do does machines not touch the sidewalls as much?
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagan View Post
"The other thing that jumped off the page at me was freaking 8-10 strokes ???? Something is definetly haywire. "
as in way too many, or way too little?

Yea the sidewall when I trimmed it tended to expose a white material underneath. All 3 skis upon further inspection had way too much sidewall material. I did a little experiment in filing my rock skis without sidewall removal at 3deg, then did it again after aggressively triming the sidewall with the steel blade suggested above (ski visions base flatner blade which I happen to have)

The odd part which is throwing me for a loop is that two were very recently fully tuned with a wintersteiger machine so I'm at a loss of why the sidewall was so exposed. Do does machines not touch the sidewalls as much?
As in way too many!
post #12 of 20
I've got one of those Ski Visions tools, and I find it very ineffective. The stones are too small, among other problems. The black streaks are likely steel, and it doesn't take much to clog those stones.

As Alpinord said, get a good guide and good stones or diamonds. I like 3° sides and 0.7 or 1° bottom bevel. You're doing the right thing with just a fine stone on the bottoms to remove any pushed up nicks. Leave the bottoms for the stone grinder and ceramic disc edge machines.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
As Alpinord said, get a good guide and good stones or diamonds.
That was me!
post #14 of 20
I have a ski-visions tool, and found the best way to clean the files is to use compressed air. Toothbrushes, steel brushes, and mom's vacuum cleaner were all slower and less effective in clearing the file teeth.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the advice -- I'm ditching the ski visions stuff and starting my kit over this year. Thanks again!
post #16 of 20

never mind your tuning kit.   What skis are you tuning?

post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

Atomic Tweak, Beta Ride, GS11, and now Snoop

post #18 of 20

For the suggestion of cutting fluid , go to http://skivisions.us/1693.html, most of the way down under "Some Technical Stuff" it says they are to be used dry. This one http://skivisions.us/15866.html covers Stone/Steel Maintenance.

 

Alpinord,

 

I've been reading about the Ski Visions Ski Sharp and have been debating getting one, how would you compare/rate this against the other tools in this category, like the Toko or FK? I haven't seen very many reviews here or anywhere else. Also, on the SlideWright site what does the choice None for the Ski Sharp mean and how is the ceramic stone different from the ruby fine?

 

Spacecase

 

 

 

 

post #19 of 20

Thanks for the links.  I'll be using the emery cloth method to revive my ruby stones.

 

Not having used other tools, I can't vouch for much other than I get good results from my Ski-sharp tool.

post #20 of 20

Spacecase,

The SkiSharp has been around for 20 years or better and does have quite a fan base. Like any of the tools, once you get used to how it works, it becomes more natural.

 

Mark (SkiVisions) has found some other stones than the recent past and has phased out the gummies. I'm in the process of revise these areas on our site, and short on time at the moment,  but basically the SkiSharp works well with the file, coarse green, ruby and ceramic (fine polishing) as multi-guide for base. The fact that you can cut both base and side edges may be more convenient, but I think tends to make tuners think that cutting base edge while really all you should focus on the side edge for general maintenance, can cause over base beveling if not careful. So don't use the base edge cutting unless you know you need to.

 

Additionally, the same stones are now available in 4"/100mm lengths and are excellent alternatives to diamonds and will fit in most guides (other than proprietary ones like FK's). They can be redressed using the sand paper approach or 100x diamond files and can last indefinitely. We will have the new 'stone kits' (ruby & ceramic) with tuning sticks on the site this week.

 

 

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