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can you diagnose "off" tuning?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi, Everyone,

I'm James and I'm new to the forum. Let me precede my credibility-erasing question by saying that in the time since the grievous errors were committed, I've learned significantly more about tuning than I knew before...

Anyhow, back when ignorance was bliss -- a few weeks ago -- I went out and bought a little Swix plastic side/edge tuner and, hurriedly on a cold morning (outside) tuned my skis with 1 degree angles on both side and base. I don't believe my initial technique was top-tier. I also did not de-sharpen the tips and tails at all.

{NB: I am actually handy with tools generally, and have since ordered stuff from Tognar, including the SkiVisions base flattener.}

The skis seemed very grabby after this filing. I had a hard time pivoting them together under me, even on easy terrain. Even keeping them under me while going straight seemed to require separating them for stability, so as not to "catch" an edge.

Moguls seemed tough -- it was hard to turn both skis quickly enough, and hard to keep my feet close together in the first place. What seemed to work best was aggressive downhilling on regular slopes -- keeping my feet fairly far apart, really driving the skis hard into big, wide turns -- in fact, they edged like a champ once I committed to the turn.

(For background, I am a low-level advanced skier. I have very early stage parabolic Kneissels -- early enough that somebody suggested on the lift recently: "You should really try the shaped skis. They'll help your skiing immensely.")

My questions (feel free to address any/all/none):

1-Is this grabby/hard-to-pivot problem because I didn't de-tune the tips and tails?
2-Or did I overly flatten the bases? (esp for recreational skiing and my skill level)
3-On a finer level, could a concave base have caused a weird base angle when I filed? (I will check w/true bar when it comes, but my bases aren't knowingly concave).
3-Is the $22 angle + file device capable of misuse?
4-Something else?

To close the story, while weaving (somewhat quickly) through slow traffic on an easy blue trail, I momentarily second-guessed myself and got my skis doing separate things... tried to correct but it was a shave too late. It was mostly skier error, so I won't blame the tune for that (though "tuner error" comes back to the same party anyway). MRI is on Tuesday, so positive vibes, healing chants, etc. welcome.

If anyone has insight, thoughts, reprimands, or anything else to share, I'd be grateful.

Thanks,

-James
post #2 of 22
do  a search for "hanging bur"
post #3 of 22
Keep your hands out front and your shoulders square to the mountain.  Don't drop your hands or else it will throw you into the back seat. 

Unless your skis are completely messed up tuning wise, I doubt that you would even notice.  Most of the people who feel "weird" things in their skis are people who are very good skiers who have enough baseline knowledge that they would notice if something was "off". 

Skis do act weird when they are not flat.  Flat is good where edge high and base high make skis do weird things.  That being said, a skier really needs a good body of ski days with lots of variety of terrain and conditions before they really are capable of knowing when the skis are not skiing correctly.  Sure, one might notice really dull skis or grabby skis, but overall it is doubtful that this was something your "tuning" did to make it worse. 
post #4 of 22
 Probably a hanging burr, but it's also possible you got the skis really sharp, sharper than you are used to, and need to hone the edge corner a bit.  I never had this issue until recent years when my tools and technique got good, to the point that skis were uber-sharp.  In addition to de-burring the bottom edge with a 1-2 passes of the stone on the base edge, I also find it very beneficial to make 1-3 light passes down the edge corner with a hard gummy stone (at a 45 deg angle to the corner) to polish and lightly blunt that edge.  How many passes is a function of the ski and snow, but generally it has been at least one and no more than three (I experimented on the snow).  If you use a soft/coarse gummy stone, be more conservative.

I think this process trades absolute grip, which only works at the design turn radius of the ski, for some skidding to allow turns away from the design radius.  If done carefully, it can improve the utility/versatility of the ski without losing much grip on hard snow.

So yeah, if the skis feel like they want to make one shape turn only (the design radius) and balk at other turns, I'd say it's likely a hanging burr #1 and possible need to gummy the edge #2.  De-tuning tips and tails a distant #3 (I don't even do this on most of my skis).
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys -- this is very helpful.

I hadn't skied much in recent years b/c of family, so I'd wondered if my mojo was off, but b/c I've had my skis tuned before (at the shop) and everything has seemed normal before, I figured it was something I'd done this time... So aside from technique, once I'm back in action I'll make sure the skis are good and flat and then clean up the tune with the diamond stone and soften the edges a bit with the gummi stone. If they're still odd, I'll soften up the tips and tails, but you guys helped me put it all into perspective. Thanks again,

-James
post #6 of 22
 BTW, don't mess with the bases or base edges if you can help it.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, skier219 -- I hear you. In sort of the same spirit, I'm doing all this learning and experimenting on my decade-plus-old skis before I get new ones in a year or two.

Also somewhat along these lines, does it make any difference if one sharpens the sides first, and then the base, or vice versa? Some guy's tuning site said to do it one way, and then the Swix said to do the other.

Thanks again for your help. I'm in VA too, actually.

-James
post #8 of 22
Sounds like a hanging burr to me as well.

Most tuners will tell you not to touch your base edges once they have been set at an acceptable bevel for you. Just through use, the base bevel will continually increase due to wear so tuning that merely increases the bevel angle even more.

Bevel and sharpen the side edge, take care of the hanging burr (and deburr with a gummi regularly), polish the edges, wax, scrape, and go skiing :-)
post #9 of 22

How did you do the base edge bevel?
What exactly do you intend to do with the Ski Visions Flattener?
Flaten the ski?
You are far better off taking the ski to a shop with good stone grinding equipment than attempting to "flatten" the ski with that thing. It's a good tool for scraping off ptex repairs.  Attempting to flatten the whole ski with that is pushing it. That's just my opinio - we've argued about it before with the inventor of the tool chimining in. At least try it on a ski you don't like first. 

I'll say if it's base high it's ok, but if edge high - concave, you will now be planing the metal edges with the tool. It's quite capable of it, but it can be hard to control. A stone grinder is much, much better. For cost, you can always just have them do the ski flat and you put the base edge bevel on, though you really need a decent guide for that.

post #10 of 22
+1 on a grind. 

Check them with a tru bar from tip to tail-both of them

If the ski isn't flat that is the best way to get them back that way.  I do a lot of things myself, but I also tune them every 10-20 hours of skiing so they never get too out of control.  You ca,  with the proper tools, flatten out a base high or edge high ski, but it is a lot of work and if you're not very careful some parts of the ski are likely to get ground down more than others-base will be thinner in spots.  If they really do feel out of whack and a true bar shows that they are, go spend 20- bucks or whatever they charge these days for a grind.  Then just tune them lightly but often to keep them performing well.

By the way, I'm one of the few here that will de-tune the tips and tails just a tad for bumps or park.  But that is a no no for today's carving skis otherwise.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

+1 on a grind. 

Check them with a tru bar from tip to tail-both of them

If the ski isn't flat that is the best way to get them back that way.  I do a lot of things myself, but I also tune them every 10-20 hours of skiing so they never get too out of control.  You ca,  with the proper tools, flatten out a base high or edge high ski, but it is a lot of work and if you're not very careful some parts of the ski are likely to get ground down more than others-base will be thinner in spots.  If they really do feel out of whack and a true bar shows that they are, go spend 20- bucks or whatever they charge these days for a grind.  Then just tune them lightly but often to keep them performing well.

By the way, I'm one of the few here that will de-tune the tips and tails just a tad for bumps or park.  But that is a no no for today's carving skis otherwise.
 
Along with many shops! Esp. it seems in the west.
Akathasia had his skis severly detuned by someone without mentioning it - probably with a file then a stone, on both tip and tail. One grind didn't take it out. They were going back
Happened in California somewhere.

It can really affect how you ski if they're detuned that badly. You'll get little feel for the tip carving - it won't unless the snow is real soft.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post


It can really affect how you ski if they're detuned that badly. You'll get little feel for the tip carving - it won't unless the snow is real soft.
 
Don't use any pressure at all, just a very light touch with a small file, no pressure other than the weight of the file held loosely. One time ! If a tiny bastard file isn't handy a stone will do.  Don't push, don't do more than a couple inches (1-2) of running length tip and tail.

The little one!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierjames View Post

Thanks again for your help. I'm in VA too, actually.

-James

Old Kneissls?   Where do you ski?
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys, for the responses. On the questions:

Comprex: We've got skiing in VA, WV, MD, and PA nearby. All small by western-US standards, but enough to have a good time on. If you're familiar with this area, some resorts nearby are Whitetail (in southern PA), Canaan Valley & Timberline (in WV), Snowshoe Mtn (Intrawest property in WV), WISP in MD, Bryce and Massanutten in VA.

Tog: For the base (and side) edges, I used a little $22 plastic Swix tool. I'd wondered if that might be imprecise (or, especially, my first use of it), but it sounds like if the plastic guide isn't perfect, it still wouldn't be enough to feel, for the most part. The Ski Visions Base Flattener seemed to have both really positive and a few really negative reviews, but the positives seemed to dominate (anecdotally), so I figgered I'd give it a try, b/c the base bevel edge guides are only as good as the p-tex they're stabilized on. Based on what I've seen here, I'll be careful with it, and may even wait until I get a new pair of skis to try it on my old pair.

In general, I'd like to learn by doing and make my mistakes on these old Kneissels... Seems like fun. Plus, time is tight for me, so if I can learn to do enough minor surgery to avoid scheduling/making the time to take my skis to the shop for a grind and pick them up again (or at least do this less frequently), I'll be happy.

crgildart: My flashlight had just run out of juice so I spin-checked with a true bar and they seemed pretty flat -- as in, I couldn't see any light and I could spin the bar around with approximately the same feeling at virtually any point on the ski -- but they seemed just the slightest bit concave toward the tops (the bar was a touch harder to spin, but not terribly so)... I am guessing that this isn't enough to cause any trouble.

Thanks again, guys. I'll go plenty easy with anything base-related, as that seems to be the predominant overtone. Glad to have this forum,

-James
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierjames View Post

Thanks, guys, for the responses. On the questions:

Comprex: We've got skiing in VA, WV, MD, and PA nearby. All small by western-US standards, but enough to have a good time on. If you're familiar with this area, some resorts nearby are Whitetail (in southern PA), Canaan Valley & Timberline (in WV), Snowshoe Mtn (Intrawest property in WV), WISP in MD, Bryce and Massanutten in VA.

Indeed.   

I was actually wondering if I had possibly seen you on them Kneissls.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey, Comprex,

Possibly, although I don't get out terribly often and am holed up for a bit while my knee heals. Hope you're enjoying the record snow, at least :-)
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierjames View Post

and, hurriedly on a cold morning (outside) tuned my skis
It might just be me but I never do anything to my skis when there cold outside.  Whenever I work on them it's at room temp.
post #18 of 22
 I can but then again I ski everyday on alot of different skis if something is off or dull I know it. 
post #19 of 22
Once the correct base edge angles are set, just run a stone (in a jig) along the bases to remove any burr that is knocked up by a rock.

Which ever edge you sharpen second will leave a very thin edge of pushed-over steel on the other edge...the hanging burr that is mentioned above.  This needs to be removed with a stone or other fine abrasive.

I keep my teaching skis (and all my skis) sharp all the way to the snow contact points on the tips & tails.  That is no problem when I'm teaching wedges, spinning around and skiing backwards, demonstrating steering, or any other time.  It is a big help for the first part of a turn on hard pack when the front halves of the skis need to engage the snow before I reach the fall line--a turn can not be finished properly if it isn't started properly.
post #20 of 22
Radial Tuning is the key.
Polished edges are a must and de tuned = radial.
post #21 of 22
 Googled Radial Tuning Corespace and found this on the Montana site.  Note this seems to be about the base edge bevel, not the side edge bevel - correct?

Innovation: Radial-Tuning

Utilizing the gradually changing geometry of an ellipse, Radial Tuning bevels skis and snowboards more in the wider shovel and tail areas and less in the narrow waist area underfoot. The effect is easier turn initiation and completion as well as solid secure edging throughout the entire turn, regardless of speed and snow conditions. Also thanks to Radial Tuning the danger of falling is reduced because the pilot can even abruptly interrupt a full speed turn anytime without risking a dangerous fall because the edges are still gripping on the snow.

http://www.montana-international.com/Home/RadialTuning/tabid/2917/Default.aspx
post #22 of 22
Detuned does not = Radial. This is completely misleading.

Radlal tuning as explained correctly in SMJ's post is less base bevel underfoot and more base bevel at the tip and tails.

Detuning is dulling  a portion of the edge at the tip and tail. With radial tuning the skis are left sharp tip to tail as they should be and more base bevel is added to the tip & tail areas then the bevel undefoot!

Unless you are a very experienced,  it is unadvisable to do a radial tune yourself.

The culprit in the OP's case is most likely a hanging burr, caused by sharpening the side edge. Also edges must be polished after filing. Additionally, if you underbevelled your skis they will also ski very unpredicatble like they have a hanging burr or are railed.

The problem is 100% in the base bevel. Side edge bevel inconsistencies just do not produce these characteristics.

Make sure your base bevel is an even 1 degree and do a search for "Hanging Burr" on the forum and perform a proper removal of such and you will be fine.

I would also highly recommend changing your side edge to a 2 degree or yes, even a 3. You'll never ski a 1 degree side edge again.
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