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Waxing/tuning your own skis?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi, Do any skiers here wax/tune their skis themselves?

I am thinking of doing it myself this year. I would really appreciate any tips/pointers/anything I should be aware of.

post #2 of 16

I started doing that last year. Waxing, minor repairs, clean up edge scuffs.  I haven't done a full-on edge tune by myself.

 

Buy an iron, some wax, clamps - read some online primers. 

Try: http://tognar.com/  http://www.the-raceplace.com/

 

Enjoy.

post #3 of 16

I believe most hardcore skiers will at least do some basic tuning themselves.  I still need to take my skis in for a stone grind when they need it, but doing frequent waxing and edge tuning will help you keep your skis performing and also last longer.  Don't change your base edge angle yourself.  You shouldn't need to and if you need it reset, you should get a stone grind.

 

Tuning yourself isn't too tough...cleaning up (after scraping excess wax off base) is a bit of a pain because the wax sticks to stuff and gets all over...but if you have a dedicated spot in the basement, you can probably just shop vac once in awhile.

 

You'll need the following:

1. ski wax iron

2. ski wax (unless you're racing...you should be able to find some all purpose ski wax that's fine for 99% of conditions)

3. brake retainer

4. edging tool (figure out what edge angle you want and buy one...or get a multipurpose tool that is adjustable.  Some people swear by the specialized aluminum single angle ones for it's consistency, but I have a multipurpose tool that I feel like works just fine.)

5. edge file

6. diamond stones

7. scraper

8. ptex and ptex scraper for minor base repairs

9. brushes (brass, nylon, horsehair)

10. ski vice (optional..but does make things easier)

 

You can find equipment, including fairly inexpensive starter kits at www.tools4boards.com.  that's where I got mine.  Do a google search, there's tons of tips, guides and videos on tuning skis.

 

for normal skiing, I will wax and polish edges every 3-4 times out.  If edges start feeling rough, I will take time to do a full edge tune.  If the edges get really bad, I will bring it in for a stone grind. 

 

post #4 of 16

I think if you took a poll of this forum, most of us do our own tuning to some extent.  It starts to be addictive.  First you're only waxing without scraping or you're just using the spray on crap.  Next thing you know you've got a tuning bench with all the bells and whistles. 

post #5 of 16

It's just easier to do minor stuff (waxing, small repairs, edges) yourself.  I only take my skis in when i do a grind or major repair....so maybe 2-4 times a season.  Depends on how many rocks i hit.

 

It is very addictive, but you can get decent stuff for a good price on some of the sponsor sites.

post #6 of 16

There is a lot of good information already posted...just look at the older threads.  There is also great information on the web sites of Epic Ski sponsors, and some great videos on You Tube from SVST and others.  The basics are this:

1) Make sure your skis are flat to start with.

2) Know the base and side edge angles of your skis (assuming you like how it is set from the factory).  Then get an appropriate file guides.  The dedicated angle ones are likely best, with the best tooled ones being more expensive.  Some multi-angled tools look like they can get a basic job done OK.

3) For a non-racer, a 5 stone progression isn't necessary.  Just get a good file or two and three diamond stones for your file guides.  One the edge is set you likely will not use the files.

4) You don't have to mess with the base edge much once it is set.  Just take out burrs when you ski over the rocks and lightly (as in very lightly) pass a stone over it after side filing to take out any "lip."  If you file the base edge too much you will start to angle the base material and not just the edge.

5) An Arkansas stone works wonders when taking out a burr or two.  You will want a gumi stone, too.

6) Ask 100 people here about wax and you will get at least 150 different answers.  Read a lot of the older posts and you will find a lot of ways to do the same thing.

7) There is no need to go crazy with temperature and moisture specific wax if you are new to this (and even if you aren't new this this).  Get a good universal wax and you should be fine for everything except the extreme temperatures.  Which wax to buy?  Again, the more people you ask the more confused you will get.  Just purchase one from a major brand and you will be OK.

8) The people at Slide Wright and Race Wax have always been helpful to me, and have top quality products.


Edited by quant2325 - 11/23/10 at 7:31am
post #7 of 16

Tuning skis is a very relaxing way to spend some time in the garage (shop) mid-week one evening and start to get excited for the weekend.  Some good music, a beverage of choice and tools.  This year my 11yo daughter is taking an interest in learning how so she gets to work on her own skis.

post #8 of 16

^^^^ +1  

 

It's one of those tasks you do slowly and properly and take some pride in the finished product.  I enjoy it.

 

Mind you, I seem to have picked up a few "could you just have a look at these for me, please" friends.  Glad to oblige.

post #9 of 16

ditto.  Did four pairs of skis this weekend that are friends skis.  This was on top of my 4 and 4 more for my family.  Still have two snowboards to do.  Can't wait.  It's my therapy.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

^^^^ +1  

 

It's one of those tasks you do slowly and properly and take some pride in the finished product.  I enjoy it.

 

Mind you, I seem to have picked up a few "could you just have a look at these for me, please" friends.  Glad to oblige.

post #10 of 16

Go to the "Tuning and Maintenance" section of Epic and you will find, literally, thousands of posts having to do with that subject.  You'll find everything from how to wax your skis quickly to how to tune a ski for World Cup races.  Check it out.

post #11 of 16

Here are a couple basic videos on waxing and tuning skis.

 

Don't get paralyzed by the over the top obsessing on minutia in the forum. It is far less complicated than it appears. We are all about encouraging and enabling people to take care of their gear to conveniently get to the best performance and life out of their gear.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for the links. I really appreciate it.

post #13 of 16

Much good advice here.  Waxing and tuning (sharpening the edges, basically) is fairly easy for anyone to learn.  Don't be intimidated by it.

 

I did it myself for years, but eventually realized that the Wintersteiger machine puts a much sharper edge on my skis than I can do by hand, so since I like really sharp edges I just take my skis in.  My home hill has a "tune at noon" deal where for $15 they'll wax and sharpen your skis while you're eating lunch. That works out to about two bucks a day at the rate I have them tuned.  It's easier, more convenient, and gives better results than I can get on my own, so that's what I do.

 

I do kinda miss all the foreplay though...

post #14 of 16

In the garage...cold beer on your tongue.....the smell of hot wax wafting off your iron....no nagging spouse.... just you and your skis, your kids skis, your other kids skis and your other other kids skis redface.gif  

 

If your not on the mountain... than a little quiet time with your skis is a good thing.

 

Check out the net and youtube for ski waxing and tuning.  There are tons of good videos out there that show you how to do it.

post #15 of 16

Hell, I make my own beer too.  Guess I'm just into doing things for myself.

 

Mind you, I don't change the oil in my car.  Wonder if I could pay the guy in beer, or maybe wax his skis ...

post #16 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by ILOJ View Post

In the garage...cold beer on your tongue.....the smell of hot wax wafting off your iron....no nagging spouse.... just you and your skis, your kids skis, your other kids skis and your other other kids skis redface.gif  

 

If your not on the mountain... than a little quiet time with your skis is a good thing.

 

Check out the net and youtube for ski waxing and tuning.  There are tons of good videos out there that show you how to do it.


What he says ^^^

 

I finished my DIY workbench and "ski vise" just before the season started and used friend, local ski shop and racewax.com to stock up on wax, diamond stones and other supplies. went cheap on the iron too - $5 at the Goodwill store...

 

IMG_0130.JPG

 

Not brewing the beer myself yet but here in Orygun we have many breweries and Full Sail's Session Lager has a special place in my heart :)

 

Vlad

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