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Measuring for Binding Screws, Drill Bits and Taps

DSC05554Whether you lost a screw, adding shims, have a tear out or want to swap bindings between multiple skis, we have any array of ski binding screw options to help you do it yourself.

Please note it is impossible for us be on top of every screw head type, length, shims, cants, rail system, and nuances for every binding and situation. So please try to resolve screw by going through the steps below issues prior to calling or emailing.
See more Binding Topics for more insights on mounting, binding and screw questions.

The Binding Freedom machine screw chart is a reference that may help you compare lengths and head types.

Here are some tips to help you answer your own questions regarding Drill Bits:

  • By CE regulation, all current skis have the recommended drill size printed on the ski, either in the mounting area, on the adjacent sidewall or on the tail with the ski dimensions. If there are no drill sizes provided on the ski (ie, custom skis), contacting the manufacturer for their recommendations is your best course of action. If unsure, drill with 3.5mm diameter tip. If metal is present, then use a 4.1mm bit.
  • The general rule on alpine ski drill bit sizes is 3.5mm for non-metal skis and 4.1 for metal. There are exceptions, such as a metal binding plate in a non-metal ski, carbon fiber top sheets, etc
  • The outside diameter of an alpine screw thread is just over 5mm. The inside diameter of the screw thread (shank) is just over 4mm which matches the tip of a 4.1 diameter bit. Softer materials such as wood or plastic will compress when driving a screw into a 3.5mm hole. Non-compressible materials like metal and carbon should be drilled with the larger diameter, 4.1mm hole so the shank does not compress and damage the material while being driven into the ski.
  • Binding Freedom & Quiver Killer stainless steel inserts & heli-coils require a 1/4″ tipped bit.
  • The minimum depth for a screw for a binding mount is 6mm/1/4″. Measure the screw less the binding thickness will provide you minimum drill tip length.
  • It is better to err towards a longer tip than one shorter than the embedded screw section length so the bindings can lay tight to the ski.
  • Make sure this will not exceed the thickness of the ski or snow board.
  • The excess depth of a hole deeper than the length of screw will be filled with the glue.
  • Long shank alpine drill bits are 1 3/4″ (4.5cm) longer than standard bits for use mounting jigs and drill guides.

 

Here are some tips to help you answer your own questions regarding measuring Binding Screws:

  • Screws are relatively cheap and can be modified to some degree. Order additional lengths and types if in doubt.
  • Flathead Screws are measured from tip to top. Pan heads, buttons and sockets are measured from tip to bottom of the head.
  • Older skis probably used longer screws as the skis were thicker and newer skis typically require shorter screws.
  • The thread pitch is unique to binding screws and optimized for skis and snowboards. A typical hardware store machine screw is NOT a recommended alternative.
  • Tapping metal top sheets or mounting plates is highly recommended. Some also recommend tapping non-metal top sheets.
  • Glue can fill in a deeper hole than screw length.
  • Minimum screw depth is 6mm/4 thread bite into ski, Typical hole drilling depths required by ski manufacturer range from 7.5 to 9.5mm. Look for recommended drill depth on the ski or manufacturer’s literature.
  • The alpine screw heads are 10mm and can be ground to a smaller diameter. Place the screw in a plastic anchor in a drill chuck. Secure the drill and while spinning the screw, hold a stone or diamond against the head.
  • If you need longer screws, stainless steel inserts for M5 x .8mm pitch machine screws are an excellent option

Alternatives and procedures for measuring. Calipers are best and have depth gauges. Measure depth of toothpick, nail, screw, etc inserted into :

  • Measure existing screw if available
  • Measure existing hole diameters
  • Measure thickness of binding at screw location
  • Place screws in bindings to help determine binding thickness and screw projection
  • Measure hole depths.
  • Is the screw a flathead, tapered or have a shoulder (panhead)?
  • Place non-alpine screws with similar heads types into bindings as measuring aids.

 

Here are some tips to help you answer your own questions regarding measuring Alpine, Stainless Steel Inserts & Heli Coil Taps:

  • Tapping skis with metal and carbon top sheets using a 12AB tap is recommended. Tapping all holes regardless of topsheet type or drill tip diameter is recommended. The same tap works for 3.5mm & 4.1mm diameter holes.

 

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(More to come)

 
 

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