(Click on the adjacent images to enlarge.)
Binding Freedom inserts have a notch across the top. This allows for the use of a slotted driver or Binding Freedom’s 3 in 1 Installation Tool. This slot also allows for the removal of the insert without ruining the interior threads while using an extraction tool with reverse threads.
Occasionally you may need to remove an errant insert so always order more than you think you need…just in case. It is also possible that the slot in the BF insert can also get stripped or compromised and an extractor may become necessary. A jam nut in conjunction with a threaded installation tool or shoulder screw can also be used for installation and extraction for both inserts.
Both Quiver Killer and Binding Freedom inserts are nominally 9mm length x 8mm (5/16″) diameter. The actual diameters for both average 7.85 mm. The lengths QK inserts average 8.55 mm & the BF inserts average 9.15. This is a minor 0.6 mm average difference which may be important for some but inconsequential for most. A little deeper hole will fill with epoxy to nullify any voids.
Both have the same outer (same tap) and inner threads. The inner threads accept M5 x 0.8mm pitch machine screws. The pitch indicates the travel distance of the screw for each revolution. Both inserts are within 0.2mm of the same effective average screw depth of over 6 revolutions (QK=6.5 and BF=6.25) which is around 5mm screw length engagement inside the inserts.
General Binding Insert Installation Tips:
- Practice on old skis or scrap wood before attempting on your current skis.
- It is highly recommended that you redrill existing holes for binding inserts after testing the binding location and skis with a conventional alpine binding mount.
- Even though existing holes may have been fine for alpine or telemark mounts, does not necessarily mean they are free from accuracy errors. Alpine screws can be off a little bit and work fine. The tolerances for threaded inserts are less and be sure to double check existing holes before blindly drilling away. You can use a paper binding template with the holes punched out as a quick gauge.
- Only attempt installations when you have time, focus and mojo. If you are pressed for time, tired, distracted, inebriated, among other factors, errors are more likely to occur.
- Despite all of the care in the world, you can still be off just enough to create a problem once the epoxy sets. We recommend that you ‘lightly’ install your bindings with appropriate screws to align the binding holes with the inserts while the epoxy cures. It is possible to ‘tweak’ the installed insert location just enough if there are slight errors. Double check the overall alignment.
- Finding Your Ski’s Centerline
- Paper Ski Binding Templates
- Drill and Tap Guides for Hand Drilling
- Drilling Skis to Mount Bindings
- Stainless Steel Screws for Threaded Inserts
1/4″ (0.2500″) or F (0.2570″)? Some recommend using a 7/1000″ larger ‘F’ drill bit while others prefer the more standard 1/4″ drill bit which fit in our standard drill guides to assure vertical and accurate drilling. The F bit fits the Binding Freedom guide block better.We consider 7/1000″ well within the reasonable margin of error so either will work. The SVST stepped drill bits measure 1/4″ (with 5/16″ shank), as do our straight jobber or brad tip bits. A brad tip bit is very accurate for initial hole drilling, but not recommended for re-drilling existing holes.
After the holes are accurately drilled, carefully tapping the holes to create interior threads for the inserts is required. The inserts are not self-tapping like wood and alpine screws (though some alpine screw installations require tapping (some tap their ski binding holes, regardless). Using a drill/tap guide with a stop collar or other visual aid is recommended. You want to be assured that you tap vertically and do not continue to tap a hole after the tap hits the bottom. It will strip the threads if the tap stops at the hole bottom and the tap keeps rotating.
Generally, a longer curing epoxy is best for more strength. Either the Hardman General Purpose Epoxy (Blue) or the higher strength, Hardman Very High Peel Strength Epoxy (Orange) work well. The General Purpose is a light amber color and finishes clean and hard. The Very High Peel Strength finishes flexible and gray. Be sure to clean the inserts to free them of any oils or other material that may affect the bonding of the epoxy. A bike or chain degreaser is a good option. After filling the holes with mixed two-part epoxy, use a tooth pick to remove bubbles and coat all surfaces in the tapped holes.
The installation of threaded stainless steel binding inserts can be accomplished by hand with a dedicated insert installation tool
or a threaded shoulder screw, hex bit, driver and jam nut. The Binding Freedom inserts can also be installed with their dedicated 3 in 1 tool. After installing an insert with the threaded options and you are backing out the tool, you may feel the insert also backing out. A quick counterclockwise rotation of a driver or tap handle usually releases the tool and leaves the insert in place. If not, utilizing a jam nut and wrench in a clockwise direction while backing out will hold the insert.
For extractions, as mentioned previously, the Binding Freedom 3 in 1 tool can be used with the slot of the BF insert. A jam nut locked to the insert with a wrench with the threaded tool can be used. If that does not work, a reverse threaded extractor may be required. This may or may not damage the threads. Heating the insert with a soldering iron often softens cured epoxy enough to facilitate the extraction.
Be sure the inserts are installed flush or just below the top sheet. If you find later that one or more is just ‘proud’ of the top sheet, it can be filed or ground flush.
Flat, Button & Pan head stainless steel screws are typically used with the inserts to replace the original alpine screws. See the Stainless Steel Screws for Threaded Inserts post for more information.
Vibra-Tite VC-3 is our recommended threadlocker that must be applied to the screws and let cure before screw installation. There have been issues with Loctitie and some plastic parts on some bindings. Generally, it is not a problem, but Vibra-Tite does not create these problems and is generally given the edge as the better of the two options.
Periodically, reapplication of a threadlocker will be necessary if bindings and screws are frequently removed and reinstalled. Not much is needed, but be assured that the screws do not work themselves out.
Here is a video on the basic drilling, tapping and dry mount installation steps on a test piece of hardwood:
If you have questions or wish to post a comment, please do so below.