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Roto Brush and New Process Recommendation

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
OK.  This will be my 3rd year of tuning and I've gotten pretty good at it.  I have most all the hand tools I need.  This year I'll usually have about 6 pairs of skis and will have 1-3 snowboards to tend to.  I race in NASTAR (it ain't the wax holding me back) as does my daughter.  I'm planning on getting out at least 50 times this year and I might actually get selected to be an instructor at the local mtn.  So:

I'm trying to keep it to the soft waxes and have been waxing them at least once a week since October.  I really don't want to mess with the cold waxes since it is such a bear to get off.  Red and yellow is fine.  I figure always having fresh wax is more important than struggling to get the perfect wax. I'm going to be tuning often and I'm trying to cut the time since I work full time and have so many skis/boards to do.  I also have a messed up shoulder and too much scraping and brushing irritates it.  Just the motion and position - not the pressure.

The snowboards I'm not overly concerned about since two of the boards I'm taking care of, haven't seen wax in TWO YEARS even though they were used regularly.  The 3rd one is my sons and he is just out there screwing around with his friends (owner of other two boards) and having fun.  It isn't about speed for any of them.  So the boards will probably get done once a week or once every other week.

From what I've read so far on the roto's and applying primoz's wise words, my plan is:

Light scrape
Polish side edges
Lightly brass brush (by hand)
crayon & drip soft wax
iron wax
cool down (code for drink a beer)

I'll do this to all the skis I'm working on and probably the next morning or after the last set has wax on it, complete the wax removal starting with the first pair and this is where my questions come in.  I usually:

scrape (plexi)
brass brush x3
nylon brush x10
horse hair brush x 10-15
might even use a felt pad

I plan on changing this to:

scrape (plexi)
brass brush x3
roto nylon brush
roto horse hair brush?

My confusion is that sometimes the description of the roto horse hair brush is "first brush after hot waxing" or "for final brushing" or "for use after flouro..."  I'm guessing the difference is in the length of the bristle/density.  I can't figure it out.

So what roto brushes should I get?  Which of what type? What order to do them in?  Should it be two different nylons and no horse hair?  My objective is well maintained ski that are rec skiing fast; not Master's or WC fast.

I don't think the snowboards will see anything but parafin wax and I'm going to show the boys (college age) how to do them.  So I think I can bypass getting the extra long roto handle and brushes.

I appreciate your help on this,

Hope you are enjoying Thanksgiving,


post #2 of 15
 Get a bronze brush. I use it way more than any of the others. You won't be afraid of the hard waxes anymore either.
post #3 of 15
(especially for hard waxes)

Especially in the NE, using harder waxes increases durability which reduces the amount of waxings you need to perform. Plus, it will glide better on colder conditions (and OK on warmer) versus warmer waxes creating drag on colder snows.

Another thing to realize is that you do have the choice as to how much pressure and how long you brush with a metal brush. If you are concerned (unnecessarily , IMO) you can change to a stiff bristle or nylon brush when there is still plenty of wax on the base and structure and not on a minimal layer of wax.

Here's my SOP without any perceived problems using a brass brush:

Edited by Alpinord - 11/26/09 at 2:01pm
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Now I'm more confused.  We have a thread saying not to use any metal brushes after waxing.  This can be an opinion and I'm not against disregarding it, but I don't have anything telling why I should.  I'm trying to follow the for once.  I spent a lot on getting my ski ground/tuned this year and I don't want to hose it up before I ski the first time

Keep in mind this is coming from the person that used to use a brass brush from home depot that was for cleaning grills and my nylon brush came from a tack shop and was supposed to be for brushing horses.  Both very soft and I got great results with them.

Which brass brush?

Original questions -

So what roto brushes should I get?  Which of what type? What order to do them in? 

I don't want to get a brush for finishing that was designed for initial work.  I'm having a hard time telling the difference and the more site/research I do, the further I get from an answer.  I know this is just like the "what ski should I get?" thread but I have analysis paralysis.

post #5 of 15
Not using a brass brush is an opinion and a choice. As I cited in the thread it is debatable and I disagree as others do that it's wrong to use metal.

Do you think you can apply as much force and abrasion on your ski bases on a bench as you do skiing NE man made or natural snows?

IMO, you'd have to try very hard to do so, and virtually impossible, especially with a soft brass brush. The brass roto brush (and hard horse hair & nylon) is relatively soft. compared to a grill brush. The video shows the order I use: brass, hard horse hair and nylon. The length of the scraper and brush use is the real length of the actual job.....a couple or few minutes per pair. 'Maybe' a little longer for harder, depending on how much you apply. See the Efficient Hot waxing video to see how to minimize wax material use and subsequent steps.

Unfortunately, reading some of the responses, many will take that thread as gospel where there are truly no absolutes and a variety of approaches that work......including making things more complicated and over thought.

Happy Thanks giving everyone and give your boards some love today!
Edited by Alpinord - 11/26/09 at 9:39am
post #6 of 15
[Pacino]Say hello to my little friend[/Pacino]

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
And I didn't think I would get any responses today.

"including making things more complicated and over thought."

When have I not nailed that one? 

I agreed above that it is an opinion and I guess the one thing I didn't think about was my skis sliding down granite mountains covered with porcelain (NH version of snow) with my chubby butt on top of them would actually cause more friction than a brass brush.   Especially with the density, it is like the bed of nails trick.  I guess even waxing is like everything else; what works for one might not work for others etc.  More important to find a way you're comfortable with, produces the results you want and are willing to stick to it.

Wife is really gonna get when she sees this bill.  Pray for me

post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
Wife is really gonna get when she sees this bill.  Pray for me

Sigh........how long have you been married and still not learned the fine art of rationalizing gear and tool purchases? I guess I need to start a thread on the "Silver Tongued guide to Justifying this <blank>"

"Honey, you know if I get this <blank>, I can do <blank> faster and better and we can spend more quality time together and I can help around the house by doing <blank>."
post #9 of 15
 You'll tune so much faster you'll spend less tim in the basement. Wether that is desirable or not is for her to decide.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
"Sigh........how long have you been married and still not learned the fine art of rationalizing gear and tool purchases?"

Long enough that we both know once my time is freed up, I need to find something else to do before I piss her off again
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

So what roto brushes should I get?  Which of what type? What order to do them in?  Should it be two different nylons and no horse hair?  My objective is well maintained ski that are rec skiing fast; not Master's or WC fast.
Excuse my English, so things might be in reality called different, then I'm used to call them... if nothing else, few years back, when I was still around, German was "official" language of WC tour, so... :)
Anyway... For brushing skis after you scrapped wax off, you use only nylon brush (same goes for hand or roto brush). For normal wax, horsehair brush is pretty much useless. It's too soft, and to thick, so it gets full of small wax "dust" way to soon. So if you are not going to put fluoro powders, horsehair brush is waste of money... at least in my opinion. On the other hand, for powders, horsehair is must. So it's up to you to decide what will you do.
PS: I put link to Swix brushes, but any other will do too, so this link is just informational to give you idea what I mean with "nylon" or "horsehair" brush, nothing else. I did use mostly Swix brushes, but that has nothing to do with other being better or worse. At that time, good friend of mine was Swix serviceman on WC, so I rather made business with him then with someone else. So there's nothing to worry, if you buy some other ones. Brush is brush afterall, and they are not really rocket science ;)
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm not disagreeing with you but this:
"Horsehair brush, 100 mm. First brush for all paraffin waxes. Ca also be used as “All round brush”. (Use separate brushes for Cera F waxes)."  is a copy and paste from the link you posted to swix for the horse hair brush.  I'm using paraffin waxes. 

This is their steel brush:
"Product#: T0019STo clean out bases before waxing and second brush on wax. 100 mm wide."

and this is their bronze :
Product#: T0181BØ 0.18 mm. These brushes have coarse bronze bristles, and have a row of softer nylon bristles around the outside edge as “sweepers” for wax particles. They are used always before each waxing. Can also be used as first brush after waxing. 10 strokes.

So you can see how this is confusing to me and others  Over 100 people have read this thread already today so they either have the same question/curiosity or are really bored.
post #13 of 15
I just purchased a handle and 3 brushes from Sun Valley Ski Tools. They recommend a 3mm nylon as a base cleaner/first step in finishing, a 6mm horsehair for intermediate finishing and a 10mm nylon for finishing.

I have been waxing and tuning for myself for 30+ years. I took a Ski Magazine tuning course in Los Angeles in 1977, where I learned the basics of ski repair, tuning, bootfitting and waxing. Later I recieved tips from Dennis Agee of Mammoth Mountain and former USST womens coach. This all was before rotobrushes. I have been scraping and hand brushing all this time.

The new equipment is my Christmas gift to me from my wife. I'll tell her when the package arrives and then I will duck!!
post #14 of 15
L&AirC I agree with you it's confusing. Now let me try to explain why. I'm not saying my methods are best and only ones that are right. What I wrote is based on this what I have been doing. I was definitely not the best tech in WC, but then again I wasn't bad one either (more about this how I know that on private if you would be interested). But anyway... I have set my methods in all those years, and I tested them. I was happy with it, my racers were happy with it, so there was not much reason to change them. But of course there can be other ways to get fast skis too.
On the other side, company manuals or "suggestions" are not meant for WC techs, but for normal people, who have very little experience with their products and techniques, and who will never have time nor money to do serious testing (serious ski and/or wax testing costs more then you imagine). Once you are in position of tech in WC tour, I guess you know more about this then huge majority of other people, especially if they are marketing/sales people with some company. Swix (or any other) web/manual/recomendations are done in first place to increase sale of their products. If skis are a bit slower because of that, no harm. And I actually understand this.
So at least personally, I don't take something what's written on some web, even if it's called "Particular company wax school", as holly grail. But then again, neither should you, or anyone else, take this what I write here, as holly grail. As I wrote, it's just my method and my experience, nothing more.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I'm going to try a few different things.  If what I do causes me to go a little slower, that's OK because except when I'm racing NASTAR, I always feel I'm going too fast .  In NASTAR of course I feel like I'm going slow .  Already figured out I don't like using straight paraffin (canning wax) for base prep.  4 -5 waxings and the skis still look dry.  Starting over with universal. I'll save the paraffin for the folks that ask me to do their skis and forget to bring me beer.   Hopefully the rotobrushes will be here soon because I'm running out of motrin and  my shoulder is killing me.  I'm supposed to be skiing everyday from Dec 5th. to Dec 10th, 11th is off and skiing again the 12 & 13th. 

Going back to being the Karate Kid - "Wax on.  Wax off."

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