DIY Ski Tuning

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DIY Ski Tuning

ADmiKe
Who here does there own tuning (I'm guessing many)?

What's your tools of choice for side edge, base edge, etc?

How often do you tune?

My biggest question I have right now is do you tune base edge every time you tune side edge?

Up until now, I've been getting a tune by a shop maybe once a year, if that, and touching stuff up myself with some basic hand tools like one of those file guides for side edges.

I have NEVER touched a base edge, nor do I own a base edge file guide.  I've been kind of scared to use one and f**k up my base.

Can you get away with just doing the side edge most of the time?  Not looking for some crazy precise race tune, just daily driver type stuff and cleaning up burrs from rock contact etc.

Curious to hear what ppl's tools and methods are...also looking for suggestions on safe base edge tuning with a file guide.

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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

Highpeaksdrifter
I use this for my base edge. I do it once a year if they are really dinged up.



I use this file guide for my side edges. I go over my side edges with a diamond stone to remove burrs after each day of skiing. I use a file as needed.



There's truth that lives
And truth that dies
I don't know which
So never mind - Leonard Cohen
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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

Hoser
In reply to this post by ADmiKe
Yes - my own plus race timing, by hand.  Similar responses to both however, exception being waxes of course.
Pick up a side edge tool here, about $60

http://www.protekskiracing.com/

3 degrees side angle.  Then I use the DMT Moonflex Diamond stones (black, red, yellow).  Certainly can get into more details.  Only have to file and cut back sidewalls about twice a year.

Base edge - 1 degree - but don't touch it.  Ever.  Only work the side.  Don't need base edge tools.

Frequency - racer - every day, minimum.   For myself, after every weekend.  2 days at Gore or WF and they need wax and stones.  Can tell difference after 1/2 a day.  Sooner if on Nov dirt and early season messes.  

Use the file guide here and its safe.   Minimal pressure.  If you are pushing down (assuming ski is sideways) you are doing it wrong.  Use 50/50 rubbing alcohol and water.  You'll hear, and feel the difference after 4 or 5 passes.  

If it takes you longer than 20 minutes to stone the edges and wax, you either are doing it wrong, or not frequent enough.  

I do start the season w/ either a Full or Bronze tune at Sports Page to set the angles and grind the base each year.  

This general weekly tune description doesn't get into the ceramic stone, the gummi etc, also included in the 20 minutes.

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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

ADmiKe
Is it typical to see metal shavings when using a file in a edge guide tool?  Or is that indication of pushing too hard?  If you were filing, I'd expect this answer to be a yes, as a file is removing material.

So a file really should only be used for setting/changing edge bevels, then a diamond stone (medium most of the time) to maintain them?

I may need to back off with the frequency of file use and pick up a diamond stone.  I haven't touched any of my "good" skis yet, been messing mostly with older rock skis.

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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

Hoser
You bet - you will see metal shavings when filing (hence why only do when necessary to prolong life of edge). Indication of pushing too hard is blood and possibly stiches.  You will slip, not if, its when, and it will hurt if sharp. I find I pull, not push, when filing.  Both directions fine when using the three stones.

Question 2 - yes and no.  Used at first to set edge (or use ski shop SP).  File a couple times a year to bring back to life, using when cutting back side wall.  Diamond stone (Black) most of the time.

Question 3 - agree.

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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

PeeTex
For the base I use the same Beast as HPD, I have a 0.5 degree and a 1 degree, the 0.5 for my Slaloms, everything else is 1. I use it only is I have dinged up the base side of the edge and after I have used a base plainer and cross file to get the bases flat and the dings out, then I reset the angles with the Beast. I use a simple 3 degree metal angle glide with my stone clamped on. I rarely use a file on the sides and I tune after every day (except on a soft day). For my AT equipment I am not so particular. I usually use an all temp wax except when it's a slush day or a bitter cold day, then I will use a CH4 or CH10.

I learned when I had kids and grand kids in the race programs to keep them sharp every day. Once I started doing that with mine as well I never was lazy about it again.  

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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

Snowballs
Banned
IDK, from what I read, and do, base edge rarely needs work. If you do file the base edge often, wouldn't that necessitate also removing some of the ski's base to keep them flush ?

Diamond stone the side edge, you're good.

One of the best reads I found on tuning is at....

http://www.racewax.com/tuning-tips/

The site looks more involved now and I haven't perused it, but I think it will prove good.

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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

Snowballs
Banned
Don't know if it's been said, but with diamond stones, mix a 50/50 water/alcohol solution, place several drops on stone and then repeat as needed. When done, use brass brush and scrub the stone with the 50/50 mixture and it's clean as a whistle, like new.

Diamonds really make it so much simpler and are pretty much are all you need.

Anybody using gummies ? They used to be popular for removing rock dinged spots on the edge.

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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

D.B. Cooper
In reply to this post by ADmiKe
ADmiKe wrote
What's your tools of choice for side edge, base edge, etc?
.......I have a Sun Valley Ski Tools base bevel guide.  It's quality, but expensive.  Otherwise, usually Swix.

How often do you tune?
.......a full tune for me is good for about 8 days.

My biggest question I have right now is do you tune base edge every time you tune side edge?
.......yes.  I know lots of people who don't, but I do.  I get a straight stone grind and hand tune.  After about 8 average days, I do the sides only.  Good for another 5 days or so.  Snowballs is bang-on with that race-wax.com link.  The guy on that site knows his stuff.

I have NEVER touched a base edge, nor do I own a base edge file guide.  I've been kind of scared to use one and f**k up my base.
.......as you are doing, use rock skis first.

Can you get away with just doing the side edge most of the time?  Not looking for some crazy precise race tune, just daily driver type stuff and cleaning up burrs from rock contact etc.
........As coach said once - and I think it's true - if you really want to ski well you need to trust your skis/edges.  The only way to do that is to keep them in good shape.
First thing I do, both sides and base, is to use a coarse file.

For base tuning, I use a Sharpie to mark my edges prior to running a file over them.  That will show you how much material you're removing.  I keep filing until it grabs little or nothing.  Then I polish with a fine diamond stone.

You could use that approach for your existing skis to see what the bevels are set at.  It would require adjustable guides, but you could start subtle (89 degree side) and pull that along the ski.  If only part of the pen mark is removed, try an 88 degree guide, etc. until the whole edge is shedding material.

I also regularly, and I mean about every full pass down the ski, use a paint brush (new from the dollar store and dedicated for tuning) to remove the filings.  It helps keep the file clean.

I use 3 degrees on the side and 1 degree base, for both SL and GS skis.

The whole tuning process takes me about 2 hours for a pair.  I'm usually having a couple of brewskis and watching sports, so I'm in no hurry.  I'm also pretty finicky.

Sent from the driver's seat of my car while in motion.
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Re: DIY Ski Tuning

nepa
In reply to this post by ADmiKe
I gave up on my edges a couple of years ago... I have them done professionally.

For base repair, I use the Ski Mender.    My home mountain can be a Shark tank at times... this has worked really well for me for most small to medium sized dings.

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