Learning to maintain one's skis after a refinish can extend the performance life of the product throughout an entire season. The only time a regrind is recommended, is when the base material or edges become damaged beyond repair by conventional means. A nominal investment in the proper tools, and following the proper steps prescribed by SkiMD allows one to receive the maximum value a refinish provides. The tools needed are as follows:
- A set of 3 point vices
- Side edge sharpening device, we recommend the Swing Cut from FK Tools with additional DMT
- Blue inserts
- Medium diamond stone, we recommend the DMT Blue Stone
- Stiff nylon brush and soft horsehair brush
- Pro-Glide wax applicator kit
- All temp wax such as Swix CH7 or Dominator Zoom. Use of flouro waxes is recommended if racing
Place ski in vise, side edge up with the base always facing away from you.
Using the blue diamond stone, place flat on the base and base edge surfaces. Using the base as a reference for flat, slightly angle the stone to match the existing base bevel. Using medium pressure run the stone back and forth along the base edge surface, being careful not to over angle the stone. This will help to smooth out any burrs in the base edge. Smooth the damage, DO NOT attempt to eliminate it, as the stone will alter the existing base edge bevel!
Bring the stone on to the side edge and match the existing side edge angle. Always err on the high side of the angle so as not to crown or round the side edge angle. Using medium to high pressure run the stone back and forth until burrs become smoother. Attempting to eliminate these burrs with a stone will result in deformation of the edge! Bring the stone back to the base edge surface, and using light pressure, move the stone back and forth to eliminate any hanging burr from the previous side edge sharpening.
HINT: ALWAYS USE THE BACK OF YOUR FINGERS TO TEST FOR EDGE POINT SHARPNESS SO THAT YOUR HAND MOVES IN THE DIRECTION TOWARDS THE TOPSHEET IN THE SAME WAY THE SNOW DEFLECTS WHEN THE SKI IS UP ON EDGE.
If the edge was in decent shape previous to stoning, steps 2 and 3 may be sufficient enough to re-sharpen the edge at this time.
*Utilizing the FK Swing Cut for side edge filing is highly recommended, as the special file not only allows for the removal of edge material, but more importantly removes the sidewall cheek that remains above the side edge. Removal of this material is absolutely critical to sharpening a true side edge angle!
Set the tool for the desired edge angle. Utilizing progressive pressure, as if planing a piece of soft pine. Divide the length into thirds and keep an eye on the edge material to track its removal to the point of the edge. When the edge appears to look freshly filed to the point, check it with the back of your fingers, and you should feel the skin grabbing or dragging on the edge point.
Using the blue DMT bring the stone to the side edge again and run back and forth using light pressure. Then bring it to the base edge using very light pressure to eliminate any hanging burr left from side filing. THIS STEP IS CRITICAL! Then bring the stone back to the side edge using light pressure to establish a final hone without creating a hanging burr.
The subject of waxing todays product is truly changing. Through constant research and development SkiMD always strives to find the best ways to preserve the inherent glide and hydrophobic qualities of the base material the way it came from the factory. It is virtually impossible to maintain this quality polyethelene standard with repeated heating from a wax iron. With this method it is not possible just to heat the 2mm of base material without the heat sinking deep into the construction. As a result, the epoxy becomes uncured affecting the overall bonding integrity of the ski. When the ski cools and re-cures time after time, concavity will result and the ski eventually will break down or base delamination will occur.
This is why machines like the Wintersteiger WaxJet, and infrared waxing systems are optimal,as they address heating only the base material without heating the entire ski. Hot Boxing has also proven to deform base profile due to heating the entire ski instead of just the base.
REMEMBER, HEAT IS WHAT'S USED TO BUILD SKIS, AND HEAT IS WHAT WILL TAKE THEM APART!
What we also know is base material absorbs an extremely small amount from iron hot waxing in the real world, as opposed to "lab testing." The reality is that once the wax gets down into the base it will NOT migrate back out to the surface. Ski flexion does not provide enough "extrusive" force to push the wax up and out to the base surface like a "Playdough Fun Factory!" Wax does not "bond" to the base, it "sticks" to it. Wax that serves the base material for protection and optimum glide resides in the pores that have been sheared by the stone grinding process. These pockets hold the wax until friction and abrasion from the snow clean them out, therefore it stands to reason these pockets need constant refilling every day after skiing to keep the base dark, rich and protected.
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