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I’m in SE Michigan and we get everything from powder (not much or for long) to coarse corny crud, fluff covered ice, and wet sloppy slush. I’m a patroller so I don’t have much choice about whether I’m on the hill or not. I’ve only been skiing about 5 years (moved up here from Florida) and this year I started waxing a lot more than I had been. Since I’m an engineer and a tinkerer I’m getting a bit OCD about it. I found this forum, and in the week or so that I’ve been lurking I’ve learned a lot – but I have a few questions.

I’m planning to buy the SkiVisions base flattener and the edge sharpener. Is rilling ever done on Alpine skis for really wet sloppy conditions? Last week it was 60 degrees and it felt like I had glue on my skis.
Is there any reason I can’t use mineral spirits as a base cleaner? (I’m on Head Worldcup ISL’s)
Brushes. I’m cheap - I don’t mind spending money on quality tools, but is there any reason I can’t use the generic nylon and brass scrub brushes I got today for 7 bucks at the hardware store? They’re about the same wire size and stiffness as the Swix brushes.

Hot boxes. I get the migration of wax into the base pores. I don’t have a hot box, but it’s occurred to me that I might be able to approximate one using frequent passes with an iron for a couple of hours. Yesterday I ironed in Swix universal yellow, one pass every 5 or 10 minutes so that the base was never more than comfortably warm, maybe 110 degrees. Two hour-long sessions of that, with an hour rest and a scraping after each. Then two more sessions with today’s CH8. Before the last scraping I spread on some Toko liquid fluoro, ironed that in and let it rest overnight. This morning I scraped and used a red scotch-brite pad, and it felt like I was riding on butter. I don’t know if what I did was what someone who knew what he was doing would do, but it felt a lot better than anything I’d ridden on before. And I got a bunch of comments about how freely I was gliding.


Thanks, everyone, for a good forum.