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How much of the metal does one bevel?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
After reading this site and watching tuning vids, there's lots of talk about how much of a bevel to apply in terms of degrees, but is this bevel supposed to apply to all the metal?  Or do you just bevel, say, half of the metal since it'll take a lot of tunes to reach even that far in anyway.  Or do we want to have the metal off the snow (if the snow were perfectly hard) and beveled.  I'm concerned about beveling too much and have a base high ski.  Should I do the marker trick and just go until the marker is all rubbed off?

In case anyone's curious (since I'll probably be asked why I'm even fiddling with the bevels to begin with) my skis are flat.  Or zero degree bevel.  I skied on them all last year but found they didn't like to run flat out very stably.  It wasn't much of a concern since I prefer to turn anyway, but on cat tracks they were not comfortable.  It seems to me that applying a bevel of at least .5 degrees should make them more comfortable in these conditions without any negative consequences.  It'll change the feel, for sure, but everyone seems to think it's a better way to go (having some base bevel). 
post #2 of 9
Status Quo is to bevel the base edge from outside corner to the intersection between the edge and base:



As you have observed, by over beveling you can create a base high problem requiring base removal to remedy. So, you can start with a small base bevel to experiment and then bump it up to feel more comfortable if you feel the need. The amount of the base bevel will affect how much lateral rotation is needed to engage the edge:

post #3 of 9
(edit ^^^^^ look what popped up while I was posting.)

The metal, ptex and snow should intersect at one point.  Other than that one point, if the snow were perfectly flat and hard, no metal to snow contact would occur unless you tipped the ski up past the bevel angle.

What skis you got?  With modern short-radius skis, they act squirelly, unless you put them on edge; if you don't choose to tip a bit to one edge or the other, the skis will hunt back and forth when you try to go straight.
post #4 of 9
Here is my two cents, and others will probably disagree:
1) Never bevel the base, just the base edge.
2) With the old leather boots skis had grooves to track straight.  With plastic boots, it is easy to get skis going straight.  A slightly beveled edge glides better, but if fishtailing is an issue for you go back to a flat base.  Someone told me Bill Johnson won his gold on a 4 degree base bevel (there was a long flat section in the race), so you can indeed keep the skis straight with a .5 degree bevel.  If not, you may not ski balanced (too far back).
3) You should only set the base bevel once and then just get rid of burrs and keep it sharp with a stone.  You can easily bevel almost all the metal on the edge without a problem.  Just don't bevel the base material.
4) You don't have to ski with a beveled base!  I am 56 and spent most of my skiing life with a flat base edge.  My carvers are still flat.  SL ski racers are flat or .5 bevel.  Don't worry about it.  If your skis fishtail too much, go back to flat (a stone grind) base or use your edges.
Edited by quant2325 - 10/26/09 at 3:56pm
post #5 of 9
BTW, are you sure your current skis are flat?  Many come from the factory with some kind of base bevel. 
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have checked them multiple times because I keep thinking that they must have some sort of bevel, right?  But they are flat from tip to tail.  And I realize that I don't *need* a bevel, but if it will fix the small issues I have then I'll make a try at it.  

I have skis with a radius of 24m.  185 in length.  Fischer Big Stix 7.6, if you want to know the model.  Reviews on the forums suggest a very high speed limit and great stability.  They are rather stiff and feel great at speed, except when running them flat.

Thanks for the quick replies and suggestions.  I'll try out a few angles ... once the season starts anyway. :)
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by evonitzer View Post

I have checked them multiple times because I keep thinking that they must have some sort of bevel, right?  But they are flat from tip to tail.  And I realize that I don't *need* a bevel, but if it will fix the small issues I have then I'll make a try at it.  

I have skis with a radius of 24m.  185 in length.  Fischer Big Stix 7.6, if you want to know the model.  Reviews on the forums suggest a very high speed limit and great stability.  They are rather stiff and feel great at speed, except when running them flat.

Thanks for the quick replies and suggestions.  I'll try out a few angles ... once the season starts anyway. :)
I don't think the base bevel will change the not wanting to go straight problem, but I would recommend a 0.5 degree bevel anyway.

Just continuously turn, just a bit.

Note: if you start with 0.5, it's easy to add more bevel, but you can't put metal back onto the edge after you file it off, so don't start with 1 and decide you want to try 0.5 next.
post #8 of 9
Bevel just the edges, but bevel them all the way until they meet the base plastic. (see the diagram in a previous post that shows this) The bases should be perfectly flat and true from edge of base to edge of base (where the base plastic touches the edge). Beveling edges requires base and edge bevel guides that range in price from not too much to an awful lot. You can't bevel edges properly without guides.

The edge is supported by a slightly protruding portion of the sidewall. (see the diagram in a previous post that shows this) Side edge bevel generally requires trimming back this protruding portion of the sidewall just above the edge. This part of the sidewall often contains metal and make putting an accurate bevel difficult if it hasn't been trimmed back. There are special tools for this, too. You can use a piece of metal to cut this back, but it is easy to damage your edges this way.

Skis perform better with at least a 0.5 degree base bevel. Recreational users generally should aim for 1.0 degree base, 2.0 degree side bevels. This is pretty generic and a good starting point. It is difficult to put bevels on without practice and experience. You can request your bevels when you get your skis tuned at a good shop. Then you just maintain your bevels with stones, a file only if there is real bad damage. Maintenance still should involve guides if you want to maintain the bevels with any accuracy.

A modern ski with a zero base bevel will be more difficult to ski than the same ski with a 0.5 or 1.0 degree base bevel. Its like balancing tires on your car. You can run unbalanced, but you'll run better balanced.

This is a topic where you will receive plenty of opinions. You'll find plenty on this site by searching for bevel. I can't believe I'm only the 6th post to this thread. Everyone must be tuning their skis!

MR
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies, but I was trying to ask a very specific question that I hadn't seen answered in previous posts.  It probably was somewhere, but as you mentioned, search "base bevel" and you come up with ... 305 threads in just the tuning and maintenance section.  So you'll forgive me if I didn't feel like wading through all that just to know if it mattered how much of the metal to bevel off.  

Not to diss on the help, but the question has been thoroughly answered and all the extra stuff is answering questions that are are easily answered on slidewright or by watching tuning videos on youtube.  Thanks for the help!
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