There is confusion on the side edge angles, guides and settings.
Basically the Europeans/International tool manufacturers use the acute angle from the base (needs to be flat) to the face of the side edge while North American manufacturers use the angle of the guide that creates the angle.
The New Tools4Boards PUCK Swiss Diamond Discs for ski and snowboard edge tuning are sweet!
It has been a privilege to be on the front line for the last twelve years as Rick Weissenborn (former Canadian Downhiller) of Innovation Inc/ Tools4Boards has been pumping out new and inventive tuning tools & products. He has been setting the bar higher while redefining and improving the industry. If you are into quickly and efficiently optimizing the performance of your gear you really should get up to speed on Tools4Boards products, while watching for the next one…..
Tools4Boards is coming out with a modular/’All-In-One/Multi-tool Side Edge Guide, Base Beveler, Side Wall Trimmer & Wax Scraper Sharpener system, called the Switch. Depending on the combination, the tool names are variations of the base ‘Switch’ name. Ie, Switch Cut, Switch Side Edge Guides, Switch Rig with base beveler, etc.
Tools4Boards has just put out their second generation of Hone Ski and Snowboard Diamond Files & Duo Hone Diamond files. With a choice of two diamond grits, one on each side, the Tools4Boards Hone Duos are a unique option for ski & snowboard edge tuning. There is a very nice feel and feedback from the rigid cast aluminum backs. This is a sweet edge tuning option. Hone Ski and Snowboard Edges Sharp & Smooth with Diamond Stones is better than using metal files for routine maintenance. Files remove too much material, and are less forgiving than diamond files (aka diamond stones). Diamonds can be used in either direction. The progression from coarse to finer grits cuts and the polishes the edges to a smooth, sharp, consistent and longer lasting edge than a file will. This, without creating an irregular, short lived, burr sharp edge that files create. This is similar and desirable much like when you hone a knife sharp and smooth.
My early season riding isn’t much different than most skiers and snowboarders. I’m on a glacier with varying conditions and trying to mimic racing as much as possible.
The more things change, the more things remain the same…..but get more complicated and expensive.
For training USA mountain troops in 1941. In this segment, we learn how to choose the proper ski length, how to choose and take care of boots, how to adjust bindings, how to care for ski edges and ski bottoms. Alan Ladd is one of the recruits.
You just got some new skis or a snowboard. Now what?
Unwrap & drool, then inspect them to ‘get to know’ them
- Ergonomic sidewall planer
- Easy handling, steady grip, maximum accuracy
- Best results, minimum effort
- Adjustable blade position and cutting depth
- Right and left hand use
- For ski and snowboard
For Recreational, Snowsports Pros and Racers
The use of the sidewall planer is essential to remove excess of material which may compromise the file cutting and make it difficult to obtain the right angle.
Rick Weissenborn of Tools4Boards demonstrates edge filing with various Tools4Boards Metal file technologies along with some good tips on basic edge tuning.
Note that metal files remove more material than stones or diamonds and are used to set initial edge geometry or re-establishing very dull or roughed edges. Follow with a progression of stones or diamond files and remove the hanging burr on the base edge formed after filing the side edges. Don’t forget to plane or cut side walls that may interfere with the stone or file’s ability to cut the side edge. Also note that work hardened edge sections formed when hitting rocks or other hard objects, require using a stone before the files. Otherwise, your files will be dulled by these hardened edge sections.
Side wall removal is necessary to allow the edge cutting tools to cut or polish the edges. If you are seeing plastic in your files or stones, it’s time for you to remove the side wall where the top of the side edge meets the side of your boards (see image upper left). The SkiMan Ergo Razor Side Wall Planer works basically the same as variations and it’s cousins branded under several ski and snowboard tuning tool companies.
(Updated 11/7/12: Revised instruction and NEW instruction videos at the bottom of the page)
The SkiVisions Ski Sharp Edge Tuning Tool is a complex, multi-adjustable device, disguised as a simple, user friendly tool. Its purpose is to give superb edge tuning results without requiring sophisticated edge tuning knowledge or skills; the tool itself provides the sophistication.
After performing base grinds, machined edge sharpening or hand side edge sharpening with a file, a hanging burr can be formed which may feel like a razor sharp corner. This can create hooking of the edge and unexpected edge action. Removing the burr is necessary and and easy final edge tuning step.
5 New Race Tuning Videos Featuring Willi Wiltz Added
5 new race tuning videos featuring renowned ski and snowboard technician Willi Wiltz have been added to the TokoVideos.com. Willi serviced Tommy Moe, Daron Rahlves, and Bode Miller to their medals and biggest successes. Additionally, Willi has worked with snowboarders Nate Holland and Shaun Palmer with great results too. Learn from the best at your own pace at TokoVideos.com
The stone on the left is our green stone, it is the most aggressive of the three and is designed to cut very hard metal, including edge metal that has been hardened from hitting rocks or misuse of stone grinding equipment.
From the Toko Snowboard Tech Manual found here:
The base edge on a snowboard should have a bevel of a half to one degree. A little base bevel makes the board easy to ride and transitioning from toe edge to heel edge without being “grabby”. Base bevel of more than one degree makes the board feel “slippery” and turns have to be skidded because the edge is not close enough to the snow to hook up.
Out of curiosity and a recent discussion with a customer prompted me to perform an unscientific experiment to provide a ‘meter’ for tweaking edge geometry. I think many are over thinking how much is really involved with removing 1° of edge material. It is in fact, fast and easy because little material removal is involved. Hopefully, this will help people to get less concerned about obsessing over angles and experiment on your own.
The following ‘in process’ school video project may provide you and others with visual aids and another perspective on diamonds, files and edge tuning. The edge tools used in this video can be found here.
Sharp and smoothly polished edges, with correct edge geometry (aka properly ‘tuned’) are critical to maximize the carving capability and overall performance of your expensive board(s). What tools and techniques do you employ?
A straight forward, low tech method for measuring base bevels is to use feeler gauges or other objects of known thicknesses (0.5mm, 0.7mm, 1.0mm, etc).
The direct ratio between typical bevel angles, is the metric height (mm) of the angle, at the accepted distance and easy to remember distance of 60 mm/6cm from the edge (actually 57.3mm).
How flat (or not) are my bases? What are my base bevel angles? How straight are my scrapers, edge guides & tools?….are among the typical bits of information needed to perform and gauge quality of work and determine what work is required.
Like any tool we carry, there is a range of quality levels available to meet budget, personal goals and acceptable tolerances. From basic straight metal bars to precise, finely milled, high quality case hardened steel, the DIY tuner can achieve the desired and necessary level of precision using the fundamental tool known as a true bar.
A common question is ‘What are the side and base bevel angles I should tune my boards for proper edge geometry?’ Like many similar subjective questions, one way to find out is to experiment to find out what works best for you.
While sharpening and polishing side edges and in order to cut the metal side edge only, the sidewall material needs to be planed or back-filed. Otherwise the cutting tool will get clogged with the sidewall material and reduce the efficiency and possibly the accuracy of the desired bevel.
(FAQ) (MORE TO COME)
Long held as the primary edge work tool, files are being replaced with stones and diamond cutting tools for edge sharpening and polishing and prolonging edge life. Diamonds and stones tend to remove less material than files, are more forgiving and polish the edge while cutting and sharpening.
Accurately measuring and recording edge bevels is necessary to match or select proper dedicated edge guides or mult-angle guide tools & settings for efficient edge work. This will give you a point of reference in making adjustments relative to skiing or boarding feedback, or for maintaining consistency while maintaining sharp and smooth edges. It’s a good idea to measure and record the edge angles of new ski or snowboards so you know where they were when you got them. Later, you’ll be glad you did.
De-tuning is the dulling of the sharpened edge to reduce the bite of the edge and ease the transition of the edges at the tips and tails with a diamond, aluminum oxide, ceramic or natural stone.
Multi-angled edge guides offer an economical and versatile solution for accurate edge work as well as other uses. Both the Tools4Boards Xact & the Razor are made from very durable polycarbonate (Lexan), include a small file, offer accurate side and base angle work, bevel angle measuring, sidewall cutting & wax scraper sharpening. If later, you find that you’d prefer a dedicated guide or two for side or base work, your multi-angled tool still can be used as an additional guide or for it’s secondary functions.