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.
The days of burning ptex candles are over. A weld is a far superior repair option. The use of a soldering iron and base welding materials is a quick and effective option for the DIYer.
Base repair tools and supplies can be found here.
(Note select the ‘HQ’ icon for Higher Quality video.)Continue Reading »
After performing side edge sharpening and polishing, 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.
By placing a hard stone on the base edge, and run along it, the burr can be knocked off and the edge corner polished smooth. A rubber abrasive (dressing, grinding rubber or gummi stone can follow to smooth the sharp corner further.Continue Reading »
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.
For those parents whose teenager knows more than you do for all things technical, here is:Continue Reading »
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 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.
A Sidewall Planer with a round carbide blade or bit will remove a nice, clean fillet along the edge which can be further sanded to smooth out any irregularities and provide a smooth surface.
Here’s a clip from the SVST Tuning & Waxing DVD on SideWall Planing:
As a specialized tool, it can be a bit pricey for the casual tuner, however. A viable alternative is to use an adjustable multi-angle guide or a dedicated edge guide with a short panzer or coarse file to cut back the sidewall so the diamond, stone or file cutting tools are not obstructed.
The Tools4Boards Razor or Xact work very well as multi-angled tools when set from 5° to 6°. So do dedicated edge guides of 5°/85°/95° to 7°/83°/97°.
The T4B Razor is shown
1) Position of the panzer or coarse file in Razor to just get past the sidewall:
2) Side view of 5° peg position and tilted razor beyond the edge and contact with the sidewall.
3) Side view of file on sidewall.Continue Reading »
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.
Shop base grinds with a precision machine and reliable operator can reestablish base flatness and level base edges in addition to imparting a uniform base structure. This may be your best option if your bases have had a lot of repairs, the base is out of true and numerous other reasons. The downside is that base grinds remove base material and will eventually wear down the bases. Any build up of an optimal glide from frequent waxing will also be removed and need to be recreated over time and numerous wax cycles.
Here’s a riller bar, used as a gauge, and a new ski’s factory base structure:
The home tuner can easily impart or abrade base structure with minimal base removal after base repairs, change of snow temps/season with a variety of structuring options. Coarse sandpaper, stiff metal/brass brush, pressing a threaded bolt, coarse file edge or rilling bar. Care needs to be taken to not trash the edges while structuring. Abrading the bases with coarse sandpaper, wire brushes, riller bar, saw teeth, files, etc definitely need to be cleaned up with finer sandpaper, fiber pads, scraper, etc to get rid of the ‘hairies’ and rough spots. This will reduce the initial structure depth and base impact.
After hot waxing and scraping or liquid wax applications, the structure needs to be ‘freed’ and polished to optimize the glide by brushing. Occasionally, rigorous brushing with a stiff metal brush is encouraged to freshen the structure and general cleaning.
Update: Monday, November 3, 2008 – 05:22 PM
A typical follow up question: for the cold mid-winter snow, what’s your advice for getting back a less aggressive/less coarse texture to handle the harder,dryer snow from the more aggressive/coarse spring texture I created??
Getting a base grind is the ‘correct’ method of getting your new structure and flattening your base, followed by any edge needed edge work and multiple wax cycles to resaturate the base. Perform any base repairs first.
If inclined to to do it yourself, simple DIY options (while using common sense) to reduce the structure include:
1) scraping with a sharp metal scraper or skiver
2) flat filing with a panzer/body, multicut or super coarse
3) sanding, followed by nylon fiber pad and freshening with a wire brush and/or a fine toothed rilling bar
4) using a Ski Visions base flattener and structuring tool with medium or fine structure
Preceding any of the above with a base cleaner/wax remover could be considered, but depending on how much base material removal really needed (possibly negligible), you might be better off not removing wax unless it becomes obvious. This way, you have fewer wax cycles to get your bases resaturated.Continue Reading »