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is a good file guide worth it?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi Folks,
 

I'm a fairly new tuner and started with a little $20 Swix device that can put either 1 or 2 degree bevel on either the base and side edges, depending on where to slot the file.

 

http://www.swixsport.com/eway/images/show/fs-TA3001_vign-B.jpg

 

It's the only file guide I've known, but it's small and I wonder if make larger/smoother/steadier strokes with a bigger/better file.

 

I was thinking about trying the Beast base bevel, and maybe the Beast side edge guide, too.

 

But first, brand aside, will I see more stability with a higher-end file?

 

Also, more randomly, any tricks for keeping your plastic wax scraper from gooping up (esp. waxing when it's a bit warm out), aside from dousing it with stinky solvent?

 

Many thanks for any advice,

 

James

post #2 of 14

The high-end file guides let you use diamond files, and do work well to hold a precise angle.  If you have interchangable files and diamond files in your guide, then as long as you can hold an angle and smoothly stroke the guide along the ski, I don't think it would be much different.  This is coming from someone who never used anything other than a SVST guide.

post #3 of 14
I agree strongly with Cirquerider. Importantly, I believe most beginning tuners use a file too often and are better served by using progression of diamond stones or ceramic stones. Along with my son, I tune his race skis multiple times per week and even with heavy training use, it is rare that we put a file to the edge but regularly polish the edge with dIamond stones, maintaining a very sharp edge. I, too, use the SVST guides which are great. I have friends who swear by the Beast products. You really can't lose with either quality guides.
post #4 of 14

I use Holmenkol file guides myself.

 

http://www.holmenkol.com/produkte/ergo-easy-88-89.html

 

 

 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Great -- thanks, guys. I'll upgrade. And I'll go easy on the filing. Thanks again,

 

James

post #6 of 14

Click through to Alpinord at Slidewright or Doctor D at RaceWax and show them some love.  Tell them you are from EpicSki and they will set you up.

post #7 of 14

Of course, the more regularly you use the diamond stone the less often you need to use the file.  One more thing, case-hardened (or heat-treated) rock burrs on your edges should be knocked back with a coarse diamond stone as the burred steel can be harder than your file in the first instance.

post #8 of 14

Don't see it, so i'll say it.

Diamond tools are used wet....

post #9 of 14

I personally use swix guides. However I am in the process of switching over to SVST tools. SVST base guides are the best in my experience. I don't believe in those multiple degree guides. Remember it goes back to the saying "You get what you pay for". Get yourself some good guides and diamond stones. All the advice given above was good too. Maybe ask your local shop if they give tuning seminars (it helps for new timers). Most good ski shops won't mind showing you a few tricks of the trade either.


Edited by Ole703 - 10/8/10 at 6:34pm
post #10 of 14

When I started tuning, I couldn't believe how expensive file guides were, so being in high school/college and having beer to buy, I always owned the cheapest file guides I could find.  Boy that was stupid!  Yes, it does make a difference, believe it or not.  The more expensive guides tend to have more surface area, which will keep your file steadier.  Not to mention that the angles are a bit more precise; I don't split hairs, but I owned a cheap file guide that was almost a degree off.

 

I've never really liked the "built in file holder" -type devices.  I think this limits your options as to what you can use; diamond stones, finishing stones, ceramics, etc. all tend to be very different shapes/sizes that might not fit the device.  And the diamond stones (etc.) are even more important than the filing, as has been said.  I prefer a regular, plain-jane guide and a clamp.  I have custom-machined guides now, but prior to that I preferred SVST products.  I cannot recommend the BEAST enough for your base edges; this is one of the simplest and most accurate base guides I have found.

 

Like has been said before, knock down your edges with a stone first.  Burrs are case-hardened and can rip apart or dull your files.  Take them down before you use the file to save a few bucks.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole703 View Post

I personally use swix guides. However I am in the process of switching over to SVST tools. SVST base guides are the best in my experience. I don't believe in those multiple degree guides. Remember it goes back to the saying "You get what you pay for". Get yourself some good guides and diamond stones. All the advice given above was good too. Maybe ask your local shop if they give tuning seminars (it helps for new timers). Most good ski shops won't mind showing you a few tricks of the trade either.


 

Right on.  Initially, it seems like the multi-angle tools are such a good deal, to have it all in one piece.  PM me if you really want one, you can have it for the shipping cost  .

The fixed-angle guides are so much more reliable, I wouldn't even let the adjustable stuff touch my skis any more.  If you factor in that a lot of the adjustable guides force you to a specific file/stone, the economy is very short-lived.

 

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks, guys, for all the great responses. Based on the consensus advice, I ordered a fixed 1 degree Beast base beveler, and a 3 degree fixed SVST side beveler. I also got some diamond stones (I have a 180-grit, a 300-something-grit, and a 600-grit), and might get one of those Arkansas stones or similar, too, for a first pass. In other words, I will use files very sparingly -- probably only to set the angles once -- and then use the stones after that.

 

Thanks!

 

James

post #13 of 14

The BEAST is worth it.  A good Swix file is worth it.  All those stones are worth it.  All those brushes are worth it.  A carbon steel scraper is worth it.  Save plastic for the edges.  A gallon of De-natured alcohol is worth it.  Learn now to use it all together.  It's worth it.   Good luck, and tuning to you.

post #14 of 14

Check youtube for some instruction videos. I am pretty sure that SVST has some videos on there. 600 is a plenty fine for what you will need. On some of my skis I only use a universal stone. The base bevel is the picky one of the two. If done improperly this is what will make your ski "bite" or "grab" when you don't want it to. Be modest and patient in tuning.

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