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Base grinding

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Last night as I was cleaning up our edges prior to getting them waxed and put away for the summer I put a straight edge across my wife's skis to see if they were flat and what bevel they had if any. She has been complaining that they were sticking and  hard to turn so I was thinking I should make sure they had some bevel or get them done at 1 degree as she still slides her turns and I figured it would make initiation easier for her. What I discovered was a lot of light shining under the straight edge at tips and tails from contact point at each end to a foot or more up the ski. Enough to slide a piece of paper under.  They were flat in the middle of the skis underfoot.  I wanted to start buying all my own tuning tools and enjoy doing the work but this may be more than what I want to deal with. Checked my skis too and found the same thing only half as bad.  Both 09 Salomons,  Topaz and Tornado TI  purchased at the Snow Jam sale in Del Mar Ca.  this year.  maybe 15 - 20 days on mine and only 5 on hers so I guess they came that way. I know a lot of Sport Chalets have Wintersteiger stone grinding machines but I'm guessing the machine is only as good as the operator. I think some REI stores have good machines as well.  Has anyone had good or bad results with the shops in Orange County. I'm having a hard time trusting my skis to  someone that I have no idea if they know what they're doing. Or are those machines foolproof ? Any advice is much appreciated.
post #2 of 18

Send them to Mike de Santis.
 
www.skimd.com/


Edited by jonrpen - 5/15/10 at 3:32pm
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks.  Sounds expensive but maybe worth it. There are a lot more variables in how a ski is ground and prepared than I realized.
post #4 of 18
"Send them toMike de Santis."

 

He's the only one that will work on my skis.  The are other qualified people that do good work and you can spend a very long time trying to sort out who is who.  Mike is obsessive about quality.  I know 100% of the time what I'm going to get from him; perfect skis.
post #5 of 18
A true bar not a straight edge is a better tool for checking if a ski is flat. Salomon skis come with thinner base material than their competitors and therefore will tolerate less stone grinds. It is a shame to have to grind a nearly new ski especially a Salomon.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have not purchased a true bar yet,  need to get one. Although I slid my straight edge in several different positions, using both sides to check for variations and got the same results.Tried a piece of metal tubing... same results.  I hate the thought of grinding new skis with near perfect bases especially with those very thin Salomon tips and tails.  My wifes skis are so concave I could have seen it with a chunk of 2x4

Making things confusing for me now is some old posts I read about the wide tips and tails on some skis are that way by design. A lot of different oppinions in those posts as to whether it is by design or just poor manufacturer base preparation
post #7 of 18
THE ONLY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS IS.......... How do they ski???

If the base is flat about 10-15mm in towards the center from each edge and you see light under your straight edge over the ski edge itself, then yhe skis should ski fine. If the don't it is not the base concavity casuing the problem. the concavity will have no effect, unless you base beveled them yourself or they were retuned at some point locally.

Very possibly could be a simple hanging burr on her skis. I have had some skis that came from the factory that way and skiing on them will not improve it! I would make sure there is no hanging burr on her skis. (Do a search, oodles of info on the forum about how to do this, very simple)

The important part of using the straight edge or true bar is the bevel of the edge itself!  Is the amount of light you see between the straight edge and the ski edge uniform as you sklide the straight edge down the ski?

The concavity itself is not a problem (if the bases have the 10-15mm flat area described above). it is that the "foot" of most base edge bevel tools sits down in that concavity when you are beveling your base edge and causes the edge to be "underbeveled" in those areas.  the tools correct angle is only acheived with a flat base.

Problem is you do not want to have all that concaviity ground out, it will only dramatically reduce (or even ruin) the life of your skis.

Have you worked on her side edges at all???



Quote:
Originally Posted by skimn View Post

I have not purchased a true bar yet,  need to get one. Although I slid my straight edge in several different positions, using both sides to check for variations and got the same results.Tried a piece of metal tubing... same results.  I hate the thought of grinding new skis with near perfect bases especially with those very thin Salomon tips and tails.  My wifes skis are so concave I could have seen it with a chunk of 2x4

Making things confusing for me now is some old posts I read about the wide tips and tails on some skis are that way by design. A lot of different oppinions in those posts as to whether it is by design or just poor manufacturer base preparation
post #8 of 18
As far as some skis being built with a slight concave to the base: it is true or at least it used to be on the old Atomic Betacarve, and 926 from 10 or 15 years ago. These skis had two tubes running almost tip to tail on top of the ski and they tended to push the base of the ski into a very slight concave shape and thus even with base grinding the ski would not go flat.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
HOW do they ski???  THEY RIP!   LOVe them.  But I didnt ski for 25 years so I think Im gonna love whatever ski Im on I'm having so much fun!  If they have an even base bevel thats hard to see. They do appear to have some base bevel though.  The amount of flat base next to the edge is maybe 5-10 mm at most.  I've edge tuned them several times with a 2 degree edge tool using a file and a diamond file and then very lightly sliding the diamonds over the base edge to remove any burs.  When they were new I slid a little on the early morning frozen corduroy. After edge filing that slight skiding turned into a pronounced chatter on steep frozen stuff. I attribute much of that to me getting used to the new shaped skis. On my old Strato 105s and even later on some softer k2 810s they held like a rock on ice. We didnt play with bevels then. Twice a week we would flat file bases and edges and hot wax at least every other night. Sometimes every night. Skiid hard all day,  every day.
So can I just flat file the base lightly then re-do base and edge bevels?

The wife's skis have a more pronounced concave...light shines thru almost all the way to edges. Like mine only worse.  She says they're hard to turn and get stuck but shes an intermediate skier trying to push the skis around in sticky afternoon so cal snow so Im not surprised.  I'm sure her skis can be made easier to ski though with a little work.

Ive tried several times to email Salomon but they dont respond.
post #10 of 18

Skimn, I was going to start a new thread on this subject, but will add to yours instead. I have been skiing for almost 50 years and side file and wax my skis between major tunes. In the last year I have had bad tunes from 4 different shops in the Denver area and the problem is always the same: the bases are concave after the tune.

 

I have a pair of Elan Magifre 78Ti's demos that I bought last spring. They skied beatifully in all kinds of conditions, but after hitting a few rocks I decided to get them tuned at a Christy Spots near my house that has given me good tunes in the past. I also had my son's Volants tuned at the same time. We skied hard snow at Keystone a few days later and both skis skied like they were railed: grabby, edgy, would only ski decently on soft snow. I told my son I was sure they were both concave, and when I got home and checked them with a true bar I was right. I went back to the store with the skis and my truebar and the manager wouldn't even look at the skis, telling my they had 50 day a year skiers who loved their tunes. He refunded my money and I spent several hours on each pair of skis with a new file and a Raysway texturing tool.

 

When we went skiing the next week we had a great day and my son enthused all day long about the tune.

 

I had the same experience at Ski Divas in Denver this spring, and at the shop at Loveland Ski area when I took my skis to them to see if they could get them flat. At Ski Divas the last thing I told the person who took in the skis was "tell the tuner that you have a finicky customer who want the bases completely flat"! 

 

I now feel commited to doing all of my own tuning. I am making sure that the base is flat from tip to tail, which is very time consuming,

I am really concerned about all of the non-savy recreational skiers who get bad tunes and blame themselver for the results. Many of these folks could give up on skiing if their skis are so tough to ski. Does anyone know of a good shop in the south Denver area?

 

I also am curious to see if many other Bears are having problems getting good tunes with flat bases.Does anyone have insight into why 4 different shops are all producing concave tunes?  Finally, Skimn, get a good tune on your wife's skis and she will love you for it. LewBob

post #11 of 18

LewBob

 

Look at posts 2 and 4. Really, good tuner.

 

http://www.skimd.com/

post #12 of 18

LewBob. I can whole heartedly recommend using Precision Ski and Golf - Ski Tuning shop in Frisco Colorado. Highway 9 just off the I-70 exit to Breckenridge. They have been rated the Best Ski Tuning Shop in Colorado by the Denver Post. I have had several race skis and freeride skis tuned there and have always received really flat bases and edge bevels set as requested. They also offer Radial Base Bevels at no extra cost. Full race tunes with custom structure and hotboxing are also available. They cost a little more than the higher volume box shops but really do a great tune the first time every time.

post #13 of 18


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMD View Post

LewBob. I can whole heartedly recommend using Precision Ski and Golf - Ski Tuning shop in Frisco Colorado. Highway 9 just off the I-70 exit to Breckenridge. They have been rated the Best Ski Tuning Shop in Colorado by the Denver Post. I have had several race skis and freeride skis tuned there and have always received really flat bases and edge bevels set as requested. They also offer Radial Base Bevels at no extra cost. Full race tunes with custom structure and hotboxing are also available. They cost a little more than the higher volume box shops but really do a great tune the first time every time.


I second Precision, but for Denver, the only place I've always had good luck is Edgewerks, on Broadway. (Not exactly south Denver, but it is south of downtown.) Turnaround time isn't very fast, though.

 

Keep in mind, I know next to nothing about tuning. My barometer is, When I get on a ski after it's been at Precision, I think, "Wow!" When I get on one after Ski & Golf gets ahold of it, I think, "I really suck at skiing." (Not every time, but S&G has been inconsistent. Or maybe it IS just me.)

post #14 of 18

Send them to Mike de Santis.
 
www.skimd.com/

post #15 of 18

I have heard good things about Precision in Frisco. It is out of the way for me, but maybe worth it. I was looking for a place nearer home. After the frustration I have been through I should give them a try. Thanks for the advice. BTW, Segbrown, it isn't just you. Tunes make a huge difference. I am also going to get more tools for tuning between major jobs. LewBob

post #16 of 18

I know lots of people that rely on Precision for their grinds. Pro tuners and skiers alike.

 

There is also a former WC tech that has a tuning service in Breck, Jonathan Wyant. His business is Richer Race Service. He does my speed skis and they are among the fastest on the Masters circuit.

post #17 of 18

Okay, Precision it is. I will find a way to make it work despite the inconvenience. Thanks, Lew

post #18 of 18

It looks like Mike offers terrific services, but between shipping and tuning costs he is out of my league. If I were a serious racer it would be different. Thanks for the feedback, Lew

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