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Buying files...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Since I got into the tuning scene in December, I focused mainly on waxing. Every now and then I would steal my HS teammate's multi angle tool and his stock file to do some sharpening. After building a hotbox and beginning the conversion of my basement into a tuning room, I have realized that I don't have anything to sharpen my skis. I have everything but sharpening tools. At the moment I have some cash laying around and will be working alot in the weeks to come. That said, I really want to pick up some tuning tools, but I really don't know what to get. I've been looking into diamond files, bevels, and files over the past few days and I'm not sure what would suit me the best. So far I have the following questions...

 

I) For diamond stones:

  1. DMT or Moonflex?
  2. 70mm or 100mm?

 

II) For bevels:

  1. Are the SKS plastic bevels really cheap in quality? I don't want to spend much, and I need .5* and 1* base bevels.
  2. Should I cheap out on the Artech side bevels, or should I spend the extra on Swix? I will be using a 3* tune on everything.

 

III) Files:

  1. What type of standard files should I be looking into? If I get a 5 stone kit, do I even need normal chrome files?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 12

My recommendation based on setting up my own home shop over the last couple of seasons:

 

1.  Moonflex stones.

DMT are slightly cheaper, but most everyone I have spoken to recommends Moonflex for their durability/longetivity over the other brands.  I have a small spray bottle filled with water and a bit of dawn dish soap that I spray my stones with to keep them lubricated.  Spraying them also seems to keep crud from building up on them in use, and I seem to get better results compared to when I haven't sprayed them.

 

2.  Length of stone is a personal preference.  The longer stones may give you more area to utilize before needing replacement...but if you have tools that force the tool to be aligned in a specific way or specific spot your ability to move the stone to a fresh area may be quite limited...if this is the case then I would recommend the shorter ones because they are less expensive.

 

3.  For cheap base bevels check out the base beast bevels at the Race Place website.  They do a good job and are only about $20 each and come in the angles you listed.

 

4.  I bought the side of beast pro side edge bevel guide and have been extremely happy with it.  Mine came with both 1 and 2 degree bevel plates and I purchased a 3 degree plate seperately.  The tool is now only sold with one plate vice two and if you buy it from Race Place you can specify the bevel plate you want.

 

5.  You can go all out and buy very expensive files but unless you trash your edges you will mostly be working the your diamond stones.  In this case, I would recommend going to a hardware store or home improvement store and buying an 8 inch mill-bastard file.  If you desire, you can get a 6 inch mill-bastard as well to get a slightly finer cut and clean up any striations you may get with the 8" one.

 

6.  Even if you have a 5 stone diamond stone kit, you should do your initial prep work with the mill-bastard files.  They make quick work out of setting the edge bevels when used correctly, and can be bought/replaced much less expensively than diamond stones.

post #3 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zohan View Post

 

5.  You can go all out and buy very expensive files but unless you trash your edges you will mostly be working the your diamond stones.  In this case, I would recommend going to a hardware store or home improvement store and buying an 8 inch mill-bastard file.  If you desire, you can get a 6 inch mill-bastard as well to get a slightly finer cut and clean up any striations you may get with the 8" one.

 

6.  Even if you have a 5 stone diamond stone kit, you should do your initial prep work with the mill-bastard files.  They make quick work out of setting the edge bevels when used correctly, and can be bought/replaced much less expensively than diamond stones.

 

Files are for setting the initial geometry, and as zohan points out fixing a seriously damaged edge. Hopefully once you set the bevels you never need a file again.

 

Don't buy a hardware store file though, it isn't even close to what you need. RTTP, guess how many ski edges I have had to set the geometry on this last season? Get yourself a good hard chrome file, likely a medium to fine cut. Also get yourself a cheap oxide stone that fits in what ever guide you choose, and use this to knock down any case hardened (rock hits) edge sections. It is better to wear out a $5 cheap stone then your $35 diamond.

post #4 of 12

I'd save up and buy the SVST Final Cut base bevels in the .5 and 1 degree. I'd also buy a SVST stainless 3 degree edge bevel, and get a cheap clamp at Home Depot. All of these are on sale at RaceWerks right now for $59. {I know as we just bought one} They last forever, and are precise tools. You can send the base bevels back to be straighted/tightened, etc. without question. I'd also think about how you're going to pull the sidewalls. Race Place sells a pretty decent tool fixed at 7 degrees with a short panzer file. Easy to use and fairly cheap. Stones;  Moonflex all the way. Shop around, as prices can vary. We use the yellow and white, and a surgeons stone for the fine work. We have the really coarse and super fine, but they don't get a lot of use. Very good advice above about the oxide stone. If you keep Moonflex stones clean, and use them wet, they last a long time. But if you use them on a case hardened spot, they'll dull quickly. Lots of good files out there. It's worth the money to get good ones, as they simply cut better. I'd get a medium and a fine. My kids use the SVST plain 8" superchrome files for sort of multipurpose use, and when setting edges and bevels, we tend to use better stuff. Vallorbe is a good file...also on sale now at RW. Get a file card to keep them clean, and store them so that they are kept sharp. Have fun.

post #5 of 12
Wow....  it seems like every day I read something amazing from you.  You built a freakin' hotbox and started a thread a thread about multiple hotbox cycles using progressively harder wax.....  you have a bunch of Cera F and flouro treatments....  AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO SHARPEN YOUR EDGES?????

You are going about things backwards, young man....

Get SVST tools. 
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post

Wow....  it seems like every day I read something amazing from you.  You built a freakin' hotbox and started a thread a thread about multiple hotbox cycles using progressively harder wax.....  you have a bunch of Cera F and flouro treatments....  AND YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING TO SHARPEN YOUR EDGES?????

You are going about things backwards, young man....

Get SVST tools. 

I know, isn't it a tad odd? I was expecting files and bevels for Christmas, but I never got any. The money that I got from Christmas was supposed to go to files, but ended up going towards race fees, gas, etc, which led to me using my friend's multi tool for the season. As for the hotbox, it was a school project so it kinda had to be built. Either way, it is still kinda sad that I don't have anything to sharpen my skis.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
Get SVST tools. 

+1  race-werks.com
post #8 of 12
I agree with UP Racer, totally backwards. I would rather have sharp edges and no wax than a fast ski with no edge. 

I have The Beast base bevels and swix side bevels.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
For Moonflex, what are the basic stones that would be needed for a good tune? Is black even needed?
post #10 of 12
I use black, blue and red, and also an Arkansas stone. 
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just got done placing a $300 order on Artech... I ended up going with Swix base bevels due to cost ($60 vs $120 for what I needed). I also didn't find it all that practical to drop that much on a base bevel that won't be getting heavy use. If I worked in a shop or was a tech, maybe, but for my friend and myself, I think the Swix bevels should do fine. I also ordered a pair of Toko vises, white and yellow Moonflex stones, two 6" chrome files, a ceramic stone, Artech's anodized alu side bevels (3* and 4*), a file card, some spring clamps, 16 scotchbrite pads, and a mini panzar file.
post #12 of 12
Hello,

For what it's worth, I really like Bludan files. The quality is very high, and they cost a lot less than the ski-specific brands. A 10" mill bastard (around $10) has lasted the longest for me for skis (3 seasons or so, maybe 120 days skiing total), then years after for odd jobs. The fancier ones are awesome for woodworking . . .

WR
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