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Caution - Swix Base Bevel Tools are possibly way off??

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Just for kicks I thought I would play with my new digital inclinometer (http://www.bealltool.com/products/measuring/tiltbox.php) and thought I would see how accurate the Swix base bevel tools are. To make the measurement :

 

- Placed my true bar in the Swix tool in place of the file (because it is flat, not tapered like a file)

- I placed the inclinometer on the base and zero'd the reading to take a measurement relative to the base

- I then placed the inclinometer on the true bar which was in place in the tool on the ski base.

 

In each case the angle formed by the true bar in the Swix Bevel tools was off by at least a factor of 2. The 0.5 tool measure just over 1 degree, the 0.75 tool measure at 1.55 degrees, and the 1 tool measure in at a whooping 2.55 degrees.

 

Can someone help out here (Terry??). Is my methodology wrong, or are these tools really that crappy?

 

I am surprised that they would be off by 100%. The tools are rarely used and it cannot be attributed to tool wear.

post #2 of 18

I'm no math expert, but I find it hard to believe Swix would produce a knowingly bad base guide.

 

I know there some trig involve in figuring out the proper angle.

 

IMO as long as you have one of the metal base guides and only use that one on your skis and don't change brands of tools and your happy with your skis. Don't sweat the small stuff. This is not rocket science.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

I'm no math expert, but I find it hard to believe Swix would produce a knowingly bad base guide.

 

I know there some trig involve in figuring out the proper angle.

 

IMO as long as you have one of the metal base guides and only use that one on your skis and don't change brands of tools and your happy with your skis. Don't sweat the small stuff. This is not rocket science.

 

 

That's the beauty of the digital inclinometer - no math involved (although it is fairly straightforward in any event). I also find it hard to believe that they would be so far off. Had it been -+ 0.05 or even 0.1 degree then no big deal, but to be off that much defies logic. Does it really matter is open to debate, but I also feel that I did not get what I paid for.

 

Hopefully someone can confirm one way or the other, what I believe to have found.

post #4 of 18

Have you measured the angle of your base bevel ? Does the Swix tool give you the X degree bevel your looking for ?

 

I have a metal base bevel tool I have been using for years, I have never questioned it. I use it with a 200 grit moonflex

post #5 of 18

Give us some more details on the swix base bevel tool please.

post #6 of 18

You did this test, you should be confident in what you've found.  I have no problem believing these Swix tools could be quite inaccurate...they are pretty rough.

 

Are you sure the skis you are testing this with are flat and have base bevels cut to at least 1 degree?  Are you sure that you are not tweaking the truebar/file with the clamp*, and are indeed holding it flush with the cast ramp with light pressure insufficient to bend either the tool or the file/true bar?

 

*having one of these in my toolbox, that would be the most likely source of error IMO.

 

edit: went to look for this thing (I had a .75) and it is no longer there, so clearly I lent it out or something.  meh, don't miss it.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Have you measured the angle of your base bevel ? Does the Swix tool give you the X degree bevel your looking for ?

 

Not extensively. Following Alpinord's method (http://www.slidewright.com/tuning_waxing_repair.php/Ski_Snowboard/Tuning_waxing_and_base_prep_blog/Entries/2008/11/5_Base_Bevel_Measuring_w_Feeler_Gauges.html) takes a practiced eye, and the inclinometer is fairly accurate and very sensitive to movement. I takes a steady hand and a good eye to see if the true bar is fully touching the base edge along it's entire width. I do get the feeling that they are greater than they should be. I have a couple of pairs that are at the shop now for a full blown WinterSteiger tune that I can look at later this week and compare them to ones I did at home.

 

With the bevel tool it is a hands-off measurement so hand wiggleing and estimating are taken out of the equation.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Give us some more details on the swix base bevel tool please.

 

Sorry, just figured out embedded pictures. 

 

 


Edited by ZeroGravity - 2/10/2009 at 01:42 am
post #9 of 18

I think it's more that your base is not flat, or your file is dull.

 

May friend just had her skis stone ground, I tune her skis. When they came back from the shop nice and sharp I took a closer look at my skis and stones.

 

I have since replaced both my Moonflex stones, I guess they don't last forever... and took the tool I use to flatten my bases and used it.

 

I'm much happier with the edge hold on my skis. Even my AC4's with about 150 days on them.

 

Are your files, stones in good shape ?

 

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post

You did this test, you should be confident in what you've found.  I have no problem believing these Swix tools could be quite inaccurate...they are pretty rough.

 

Are you sure the skis you are testing this with are flat and have base bevels cut to at least 1 degree?  Are you sure that you are not tweaking the truebar/file with the clamp*, and are indeed holding it flush with the cast ramp with light pressure insufficient to bend either the tool or the file/true bar?

 

*having one of these in my toolbox, that would be the most likely source of error IMO.

 

edit: went to look for this thing (I had a .75) and it is no longer there, so clearly I lent it out or something.  meh, don't miss it.

 

The ones in the above picture are cast aluminum, not machined, which can have pretty wide tolerances. We are talking only fractions of millimeters to make big changes at small angles.

 

In answer to the other questions, the bases are flat, and are fairly new Volkls with a factory tune of 1degree base. The true bar is an Artech aluminum bar with no discernable flex in it, not that I think that the plastic fixing screw could exert enough force to do so anyways.

post #11 of 18

when you place the inclinometer on the base to zero it, are you placing it at 90 degrees to the edges, Then placing it on the truebar at the same angle or are you rotating it to match the angle of the true bar.

 

If the ski area where you are measuring is not level in all directions you could be getting a false reading. depending on that third axis.

 

DC

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post

The ones in the above picture are cast aluminum, not machined, which can have pretty wide tolerances. We are talking only fractions of millimeters to make big changes at small angles.

 ...

In answer to the other questions, the bases are flat, and are fairly new Volkls with a factory tune of 1degree base. The true bar is an Artech aluminum bar with no discernable flex in it, not that I think that the plastic fixing screw could exert enough force to do so anyways.

Yes, those tools are cast, and while I find this perfectly reasonable in the much larger side edge tools, I find it pretty dubious in a base edge tool with high aspect ratio ramps.  If you aren't confident measuring your base bevel, you shouldn't be confident that the factory bevel is accurate and consistent.  They generally aren't, though they tend towards larger rather than smaller.


As a final check, using very light pressure, drag the .75 degree tool with a file you've checked for trueness.  If it cuts metal, you are probably not missing anything.

post #13 of 18

You can also use a sharpie marker to ink the metal to show how much your filing.

 

 

post #14 of 18

Magnets Baby!

 

A couple things that I noticed using digital angle finders/inclinometers is they are very sensitive and if you do not align with the axis, you can get misreadings. Same for base and real edge variations at different locations on the ski. Multiple resets need to be made at various locations.

 

The main thing, we definitely over obsess on this matter in regard to the number value. I suspect a lot of bevel guides and edge angles are less than absolutely perfect for a variety of reasons that at the end of the day our ski days aren't ruined. An additive half to one degree variation in a base, tool, tuner and other variables is probably the reality as well as real variations along the edge.

 

I even found a 1/2 degree inaccuracy in my Bevel Meter using the digital angle gauge. This will require a recalibration with a machinist's 1:2:3 block.

 

Regardless, the best way I think I can feel confidence in getting close to true readings is to span from edge/base intersections with the assistance of magnets that snap to the metal edge and/or true bar. Even then there can be a slight inaccuracy if the gauge is not dead center on the gauge. Supergluing a linear magnet seems best so far.

 

A magnet under the mid section of a true bar also assists with the feeler gauge method for base bevel measuring.

 

Here are some random shots from last year, so I do not recall the exact reason for the shots and angle readings, but the off center readings can very well be inaccurate, but at least you can get the idea. It's pretty fun, but if you get wrapped up in absolute perfection, you'll never sleep again.

 

This probably why Atomicman is adamant about using an edge to edge base bevel guide.

 

FWIW, the real bevel angles on these skis are one pair of edges @ 1°:2° & the other pair @ 0.5°:3° (+/- 0.25° or so)......and I have lots of fun on them, despite the 'inaccuracies'.

 

(EDIT: FTR I attribute the inaccuracies to putting these skis though the ringer for our tuning tips. They've been used to demo hand tools, including base flattener/structuring, body files, repairs, hand structuring, different bevels, you name it. The base bevels were reset after a recent grind to 'as flat as possible' by a reliable tech.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best regards,

Terry

 

PS, just for grins Zero Gravity. one of my favorite contrarian quips:

 

"........... a hotel room key when placed between a file and ski base it produces a 1 degree base bevel angle (I'm not kidding, one of the Canadian team techs actually uses room keys when on the road)."


Edited by Alpinord - 2/10/2009 at 04:12 am


Edited by Alpinord - 2/10/2009 at 02:36 pm
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan View Post

when you place the inclinometer on the base to zero it, are you placing it at 90 degrees to the edges, Then placing it on the truebar at the same angle or are you rotating it to match the angle of the true bar.

 

If the ski area where you are measuring is not level in all directions you could be getting a false reading. depending on that third axis.

 

DC

 

I placed and zero'd  the inclinometer at the same angle that the file/true bar  is held at then placed it on the true bar.

post #16 of 18

Seems like one of them is wrong.  Maybe you can do some trig and tell us which one.  Do you have a set square or other longer straight edge?

Have you tried turning the indicator around and measuring -angles to see if they compare?

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Seems like one of them is wrong.  Maybe you can do some trig and tell us which one.  Do you have a set square or other longer straight edge?

Have you tried turning the indicator around and measuring -angles to see if they compare?

 

Once I get back my other skis from the shop, with guaranteed flat bases, I will try it all again as well as a few other measurements to see if it is the tool(s) or me who is off.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Seems like one of them is wrong.  Maybe you can do some trig and tell us which one.  Do you have a set square or other longer straight edge?

Have you tried turning the indicator around and measuring -angles to see if they compare?

 

Once I get back my other skis from the shop, with guaranteed flat bases, I will try it all again as well as a few other measurements to see if it is the tool(s) or me who is off.


 

When you get it back from the shop, first put a true bar on the bases and make sure they are really flat...I really don't trust much shop work these days...

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