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Have I DIY-Ruined My Skis?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

 

 

I’m wondering if my DIY tune has ruined a pair skis.

 

The skis are 2004/05 Volkl SuperSport 6-Stars.  I found them recently at a garage sale for a ridiculously low price of only $10, which included the rail mounted Marker bindings. From an internet search, I gather these were one of the hottest ski models for the time.   I’m expecting that I will have fun with them this season.  

 

Aside from some steel edge surface tarnish (probably from road salt) they were in almost new condition.   Probably very very few ski days on them.   Hardly a mark on the bottoms and no dings to the steel edges.

 

But I decided to do a DIY tune anyway.  

 

What’s got me concerned is that I can’t believe how much material I’ve removed to bring the base flat with the edge steel.     My method of bottom shaping is scraping with a tool-grade straight edge until the bottom has become even with the edge steel.  I had to scrape for quite some time before I got “flat”.   Now, by shining a light behind a very straight stainless steel ruler, I know I’ve got the base very flat.

 

I’ve used the same technique several years ago on a pair of  brand new “got them for a song” Dynastar Speed 63’s that had been misplaced in the ski shop’s inventory.    The factory tune was very close to flat vis-à-vis the edge.

 

So the reason for this post is to ask if I’ve done more harm than good to the Volkl 6-Stars.  Was the high base (relative to the edges) integral to Volkl’s design that year? 

 

Opinions?  Suggestions?

  

 

post #2 of 22

So long as you still have some p-tex left on the base, you're good as far as I can tell.

sounds like they didn't have much edge left.  Typically the edge has a bevel with the steel at the side being higher than the steel where it meets the base.  diagrams here http://www.epicski.com/wiki/edge-bevel-angles Maybe that's why they were only ten bucks.

post #3 of 22


I'm thinking you got them for $10 _because_ the guy hated them _because_ the skis were base-high.

 

Brush, wax, scrape, go ski them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rardi View Post


 

Opinions?  Suggestions?

  

 

post #4 of 22

The bases may be flat but, probably aren't. More importantly, you've removed all of the structure from the bases. These are the small groves ground into the bases to allow them to shed the water that forms when the snow melts from the friction of the ski sliding over the snow. The skis will now feel like you are skiing on glue. My suggestion? Spend the $40 and get them done correctly. They will grind your bases to give them structure, set your edge angles and give 'em a coat of wax for that price.

 

Karl

post #5 of 22

Get some structure into those bases, but only if you have enough p-tex left on them to do it.

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/93776/base-structure

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/3051/structure-tool

A search will likely find more threads.

post #6 of 22

Yes, the bottoms need to be flat, and yes, the bottoms need structure.  After all your hard work, take them to a quality ski shop for a professional tuning.  Tell them to give the full tune...bottom stone grind & ceramic disc sharpen the edges.  Tell them you want the base edge bevel at 1° and the side edge bevel at 2° (and 3° side if you ski on hard snow and know how to carve).

post #7 of 22

You have not hurt your skis one bit.  If you scrape an old dry ski with a sharp scraper, it's going to shed some old oxidized base.  You got it "flat", now wax the crap out of it.  This will preserve what's left, by making it more durable.  Be most careful to not overheat the base.  Use a iron for skis only.  Good luck.

PS  As far as structure goes, you can just brush hard with a stiff stainless brush.  Don't get too worried about structure.  There is no way you got them totally smooth, but if you did, they will rock the cold powder!  Be good.

 

Also even with a base bevel as they should have, the base and edge, where they meet should be the same, so you have the right idea.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

Yes, the bottoms need to be flat, and yes, the bottoms need structure.  After all your hard work, take them to a quality ski shop for a professional tuning.  Tell them to give the full tune...bottom stone grind & ceramic disc sharpen the edges.  Tell them you want the base edge bevel at 1° and the side edge bevel at 2° (and 3° side if you ski on hard snow and know how to carve).

 

+1
 

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks all.  Seems like the DIY tune probably hasn't irreversibly botched things!  And you've helped with ideas for my next tuning attempt; including save the time and get it done right by a professional with the proper equipment.

 

But my pre-season ski-shop tuning budget has already been allocated to my 2008/2009 AC30's that I wanted the best for.  Since I also have time on my hands, the $10 Superstars that I posted about get the almost $0 DIY treatment.  Almost certainly the bases are untouched factory original and not skied on much.   Same for the edges...probably never beveled/sharpened before.   Before I scraped them, the bases still displayed a geometric pattern from the factory grind/structure.   Even after my bottom scrape to flatten to the level of the steel edges, I'm sure that most of the original base material still exists.   So a ski-shop tune is still an eventual option.

 

What I didn't include in my opening post is that I have done a poor man's attempt at structuring the base material by using 100 grit Norton 3X Premium sandpaper to do a facsimile of a stone grind.   Then to remove the "hairs" I've followed with 220 grit and a Scotch Brite pad.   I've seen this general method described on an Internet tuning site.  From the site:  ".. Now of course the machine operated by the professional will do a better overall job, but unless you're a racer or a finicky skier you probably aren't going to know the difference".   I like to charge ahead, but racer, no.  And although I've been skiing many years, subtle finesse has never been one of my finer points.   So this quote describes my needs well.  The stiff SS wire brush method I'll try next time.  

 

I've used a Dakani tool to do the base and side edge bevels.  And followed with a little honing using a diamond stone/file.  The edge is now sharp and burr free.

 

Now to the wax phase and then wait for the snow to fall.

 

Still a mystery to me why the base level from the factory was not at all aligned to the edge.

 

Again thanks your input.   

 

 

 

post #10 of 22

For structure, I use a course wet/dry (100 grit) sandpaper and sanding block and light pressure. One pass is more than enough. For extremely cold temps I use a Ski Visions flattening tool with a medium grit stone. It does not take a lot of scratching to have a good structure.

post #11 of 22

Very few bases are truly flat.

Because ptex is much more elastic than steel the ptex pase rebounds after a pass by the grinding stone while the edges don't.

A good deep grind followed by careful scraping to flatten the base is the only way to get a truly flat base with some structure.

I'm sure plenty of folks will argue this point but using a tool steel straight edge and a magnifying glass, I have never seen a fresh grind job where the base didn't stand proud of the edges by a few thousandths.

 

There may not be any advantage of a truly flat base over a typically ground one, but don't think a Montana type grind produces a truly flat base.

post #12 of 22

I've been waiting for an opportunity to use the emoticons Admin just added back:worthless.gif

 

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

Very few bases are truly flat.

Because ptex is much more elastic than steel the ptex pase rebounds after a pass by the grinding stone while the edges don't.

A good deep grind followed by careful scraping to flatten the base is the only way to get a truly flat base with some structure.

I'm sure plenty of folks will argue this point but using a tool steel straight edge and a magnifying glass, I have never seen a fresh grind job where the base didn't stand proud of the edges by a few thousandths.

 

There may not be any advantage of a truly flat base over a typically ground one, but don't think a Montana type grind produces a truly flat base.



That's the truth.  That's why I sometimes carry a base bevel a little long.  Then scrape like a demon with steel.

 

Hey here is a photo for you gildart!

 

To the OP guy, sounds like you are on the right track.  In time, you will reap what you sow, and be happy!  Keep up the good work.

 

100_7887.JPG

post #14 of 22

There is speed in carrying the base bevel further into the ptex than just a little.

If you can ski them.

Skis with some transverse camber extend that time period between when one edge releases and the new one bites to longer than most are comfortable with.

If you believe they will come!

post #15 of 22



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

There is speed in carrying the base bevel further into the ptex than just a little.

If you can ski them.

Skis with some transverse camber extend that time period between when one edge releases and the new one bites to longer than most are comfortable with.

If you believe they will come!


So are you talking about skis that seem to have a boat shape at the tips, and sometimes tails too?  I have never felt any, or had any complaints of insatiability from doing a base bevel just a little into the base.  I think it's good when the base is in good shape.  I'm not talking about going over board there, just a little.   Just enough to see a thin line.  Maybe a third the width of the edge. 
Is it like those snow boards that have a boat shape tip?  I forget the name of that deal, but have scraped etc. a few.

post #16 of 22

Googled transverse camber and here's what I came up with from an article on ship building.

 

The topmost continuous deck of a full-scantling vessel is called the main deck......... Most decks have a transverse camber, i.e. lowering of the deck to the sides, the degree of camber is called height of camber. The longitudinal run of the deck line is also a curve with a rise towards bow and stern. This line is called the sheer (-line)

post #17 of 22

Yah, I'm a sailor.

ET Jibes 2.JPG

I've seen pro level race speed skis where the base bevel has been carried nearly a centimeter into the ptex to get the edges off the snow between turns,

Put a straightedge across these and they do look a little like a boat deck.

This kind of tune requires you to get the skis way out there before they start to hook.

Then, a very strong skier can stab them hard then get them off the edges quick for maximum speed.

 

In motorcycle racing this is called the point and shoot technique.

post #18 of 22

Interesting, I had a friend who skied a 3 degree base bevel which is nuts, but he was such a strong skier he made it work beautifully.

 

Hey based on the boat terminology then these "reverse camber" skis should be called reverse sheer skis.

post #19 of 22

Skiers stole the term rocker from surfboard shapers.

I think there is a lot more to learn from these guys.

Tail Release.

Thickness flow.

Tail Type (pin, swallow, round, square)

Etc.

The marketing types can still get a lot of mileage out of this stuff.

 

All this is not really for me.

I like a really soft pair of 21m race stock skis with a wood core and vertical sidewalls.

Or a stiffer pair of 17m cheater skis.

Or some quite soft mid fats like the old red Volkl AC4s.

I'm old and fragile.

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

Googled transverse camber and here's what I came up with from an article on ship building.

 

The topmost continuous deck of a full-scantling vessel is called the main deck......... Most decks have a transverse camber, i.e. lowering of the deck to the sides, the degree of camber is called height of camber. The longitudinal run of the deck line is also a curve with a rise towards bow and stern. This line is called the sheer (-line)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

Interesting, I had a friend who skied a 3 degree base bevel which is nuts, but he was such a strong skier he made it work beautifully.

 

Hey based on the boat terminology then these "reverse camber" skis should be called reverse sheer skis.



Did I ever show you the cross section diagrams of my Gauer skis, from ~1996?    Yes, the bottoms are intentionally reverse-transverse-cambered.

 

Gauer3.jpg

 

 

 

"reverse sheer"?   roflmao.gif  Is that anything like what Nelson's navy called "hogged"?

 


Edited by comprex - 11/18/10 at 9:30am
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

Yah, I'm a sailor.

ET Jibes 2.JPG

I've seen pro level race speed skis where the base bevel has been carried nearly a centimeter into the ptex to get the edges off the snow between turns,

Put a straightedge across these and they do look a little like a boat deck.

This kind of tune requires you to get the skis way out there before they start to hook.

Then, a very strong skier can stab them hard then get them off the edges quick for maximum speed.

 

In motorcycle racing this is called the point and shoot technique.



I can dig that.  I ride too!

post #22 of 22

Although this is an older thread, I will post a video I made that covers the subject.  One needs to watch the entire video and listen well to learn anything.

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