Following, are two videos, a few minutes long, showing various hot waxing techniques, along with minimal scraping and roto-brushing to bang out waxing tasks in little time and with little mess. Not including cooling and hardening time (20 minutes, minimum) the total time involved could be easily under 15 minutes and possibly 10 per pair or snowboard. Using liquid wax, the time could be 5 minutes:
(Note select the ‘HQ’ icon for Higher Quality video.)
While skiing or riding challenging terrain or sparse snow coverage, it’s inevitable that your bases will get dinged. Core shots need to be sealed and protected, Gouges need to be filled to keep your bases running smooth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The objective of structuring is to impart grooves into the base material. This removes suction that a perfectly smooth base would produce, especially in wetter snows. The structure also channels water that is produced by the friction between the ski or snowboard base and the snow. A finer structure is desired in colder snows as it holds the smaller amount of water longer and helps the glide. Changing the structure frequently is not practical and should be done relative to major trends in the snow temperatures and time of year.
Cleaning and regularly waxing your bases is the most common and easiest ski and snowboard maintenance task. It will protect your boards and optimize the glide and turns.
Basic Hot Waxing Steps:
1) Bring the skis or snowboard to room temperature if possible.
2) Place the board(s) on a good work surface that can secure them for scraping.
3) Clean the bases with base cleaner or hot scraping.
4) Drip, crayon, hot touch & crayon or hot touch iron smear solid wax onto clean and dry base. Less wax requires less scraping, brushing & mess to clean up.
5) While keeping the iron moving, spread and melt the wax evenly over the entire base. A trail of liquid wax should just follow the iron.
6) Work the wax in again to assure coverage
7) Let the wax cool and harden for a minimum of 30 minutes.
8) Scrape wax down to base with a sharp plexi scraper to an even, thin film.
9) Free the base structure by brushing out the micro-grooves/structure of the bases and polish to a nice sheen with manual or roto brushes (or both).
10) Clean up the mess and then go glide fast and make smoother turns!
To save time, wax and mess while hot waxing solids, Hot Touching is better than dripping and then ironing, especially with harder, cold waxes.
Hot Touching & Crayoning uses the least amount of solid wax, total effort, time and is the least messy. By briefly touching a bar of wax against the base of a hot waxing iron, the wax softens and is easier to apply to the base by crayoning a section of a ski or board at a time. When the crayoning becomes less effective, repeat the hot touch and crayoning until the base has a reasonably even and thin coat of wax. Then make several passes with the iron to liquify and evenly spread the wax over and into the base.
A ‘cheat’ to include in your bag of tricks if you are in a hurry, got over zealous dripping wax while hot waxing or simply wish to reduce time, effort and mess while scraping after the wax cools and hardens, etc, is Light Hot Scraping.