Drilling Skis to Mount Bindings

Drilling ski with stepped alpine drill bit

Drilling your precious skis to mount your bindings is very straight forward and similar to drilling a multitude of materials like woods, plastics and composites.

Take your time, measure thrice and drill once. You’ll soon learn how easy and undaunted you will become.

If you haven’t done so, please also check out the following topics before proceeding:

-Finding Your Ski’s Centerline
-Paper Ski Binding Templates
-Drill and Tap Guides for Hand Drilling

After locating your binding template relative to the ski center line and boot sole center mark on the skis:
  1. Secure template with masking tape
  2. Mark small holes with a very sharp awl by hand at the hole locations
  3. Double check that hole marks are equidistant from centerline
  4. Measure with ruler, tape or calipers to assure they match the template
  5. Place the binding piece and visually make sure the marks align properly

 

 

 

 

If you find minor errors in your marks, you can use the awl tip to slightly ‘move’ the mark.

 

Once you are certain your hole layout is accurate, use a punch and hammer to enlarge the mark to provide a better guide for the drill bit tip.

Relative to your experience level, confidence, required tolerances, drill and drill bit type, and other factors, the following hand drilling steps may be variable. Stainless steel inserts require a higher level of accuracy for location and vertical drilling than an alpine screw.  If you have a drill press with a stop, you certainly don’t need a drill guide, but may consider using a drill bit stop collar on the bit. A stepped alpine drill bit ‘s shoulder may suffice for some as a reasonable ‘stop’ for drilling, but not others. A straight jobber, brad tipped or even stepped 1/4″ bits absolutely need a drill bit stop collar or certainty with a drill press stop.

The moment of truth, drilling the skis with a hand drill with various methods:

Drill Guide & Drill Bit Stop Collar:

  1. Set the depth of the drill bit stop collar to proper depth
  2. Locate the guide in the punched drill hole mark with the drill bit tip
  3. Clamp if desired or secure with a firm hand
  4. Turn on hand drill and to drill to the stop
  5. Turn off and pull out bit
  6. Repeat on the remaining holes

Drill Bit Stop Collar:

  1. Set the depth of the drill bit stop collar to proper depth
  2. Locate the drill bit in the punched drill hole mark
  3. Turn on hand drill and to drill to the stop
  4. Turn off and pull out bit
  5. Repeat on the remaining holes

Freehand Drilling with Stepped Drill Bit:

  1. Locate the drill bit in the punched drill hole mark
  2. Turn on hand drill and to drill to the shoulder (BE CAREFUL)
  3. Turn off and pull out bit
  4. Repeat on the remaining holes

Final Steps:

Tap holes as necessary for top sheet type or stainless steel inserts:

Check drilled holes and vacuum drill dust:

Add binding sealant/glue or epoxy as desired or recommended. Remove bubbles with toothpick and make sure perimeter and base of holes are coated:

 

 

 

 

Mount binding parts with proper screws and driver:

 

Make sure bindings are mounted flat to the ski surface with no gaps:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visually inspect mounting of all binding parts and alignment:

 

Have boot fit, correct forward pressure and proper DIN set by authorized ski technician:

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