murphysf

Getting on the lift
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Aug 5, 2017
Posts
315
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SF Bay Area
Hi

Two seasons ago I learned how to wax my own skis.

Now I am thinking about tuning.

Is it possible to do some basic tuning with some basic affordable hand tools? If so, any good youtube videos anyone recommends?

I am trying to stay away from investing in a bunch of $$ tools. However if there is a modern tool that one recommends that is worth is value I would be interested.

I am just interested in basic turning, not race tuning. I am a hands-on do it yourselfer type and want to start turning, my and my kids skis.


Thanks!
 

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
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Boston Suburbs
Home tuners tend to be perfectionists, but you can do a pretty good job with an incomplete set of tools:
  • one dedicated edge guide at your preferred angle (recommend 3 degrees).
  • a spring clamp.
  • a coarse diamond stone for touch ups and to remove impact-hardened rock hits before filing
  • a fine file
  • a fine diamond stone
  • a way to pull back sidewall that keeps tools off the edge [buy a tool or MacGiver something]
More tools are always better, but that is enough.
If you want to fix base damage, you can get by with ptex candles but soldering iron is better. Then add big box cutter (disposable razor knife) and metal scraper to flatten patches.

Assume you already have waxing tools.
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
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The Bull City
I don't have a very informed answer with regard to high end tool knowledge but I suspect it will depend on your level of what's acceptable with regard to level of precision. You can use stones and a file to touch up and sharpen your skis by hand and there are inexpensive guides to help maintain the proper edge bevel degree. However, the cheap ones aren't easy to use and move around on you so your 3 degree side bevel may actually end up as 2.5 in some places and 3.5 in other places. Probably not noticeable on the snow but someone buying them from you 2nd hand may not find it as "acceptable".

P-tex for filling deeper gouges is pretty simple to use and there are many different easy ways to do it from simply lighting it on fire and dripping it in the scar to using a soldering iron to paint it in to the gouge. May need more adhesives for deeper core shots or long gouges along the metal edges.
 

Doug Briggs

Skiing the powder
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Here is a list of some tuning tool threads on the site: https://www.pugski.com/tags/ski-tuning-tools/

Practice skis will be useful. While the process of using a file guide to control your bevels is better than not using a file guide, it is easy to make mistakes. Something that is often overlooked is how much pressure to use. You want the tool to do the work. When you are tuning a side edge, you need to apply a little pressure to allow the file/stone to engage the edge but also to insure that the guide stays properly aligned with the base. Same with the base edge. Better to apply too little pressure on the file and make many passes at the right angle, than to have fewer passes that are at the wrong angle.

Wear thin work gloves until you are confident that you won't slip and drag you hand across the edge.
 

CalG

Out on the slopes
Pass Pulled
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Vt
A vixen file goes a long way towards knocking down that pesky edge plastic.
Works to smooth p-tex repairs too! P-tex repairs means you MUST purchase a BIC lighter!

A stone in an edging tool holder goes a long way towards knocking down burrs on edges, both side and base.

After those tools, the $50 that the shops want to run your ski through the Winterstieger
or Montana is money well spent.
 

François Pugh

Making fresh tracks
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Nov 17, 2015
Posts
3,184
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Great White North (Eastern side currently)
Home tuners tend to be perfectionists, but you can do a pretty good job with an incomplete set of tools:
  • one dedicated edge guide at your preferred angle (recommend 3 degrees).
  • a spring clamp.
  • a coarse diamond stone for touch ups and to remove impact-hardened rock hits before filing
  • a fine file
  • a fine diamond stone
  • a way to pull back sidewall that keeps tools off the edge [buy a tool or MacGiver something]
More tools are always better, but that is enough.
If you want to fix base damage, you can get by with ptex candles but soldering iron is better. Then add big box cutter (disposable razor knife) and metal scraper to flatten patches.

Assume you already have waxing tools.
That is all you need. In fact if you don't have the sidewall trimmer, you can get away without it for a year or so if you skis are new.
However I must admit, it became so much easier when I got a ski vise.
 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
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Nov 17, 2015
Posts
608
Pretty frustrating trying to do a decent job without a bench and a ski vise. These are often the biggest hurdles, especially for people with limited space.
This is the best bench I've ever had, and way better than any vise I ever had. I don't know why I can't embed pictures any more, but here it is:
https://www.pugski.com/media/ski-bench.1675/

I trim the sidewalls with small piece of panzar file held free hand at about a 20 degree angle. That way faster than my sidewall trimmer. Anything that sticks up above the edge stalls my EVO, and the panzar is the only thing I've found that clears everything back easily.

If I were just starting, I'd get a coarse stone to knock down burrs, a panzar to trim the sidewalls, and a Razor-tune to finish the job. That's almost everything I use now, and it would have been cheaper than all the tools and vises I've thrown out over the years.

dm
 
Thread Starter
TS
M

murphysf

Getting on the lift
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315
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SF Bay Area
Pretty frustrating trying to do a decent job without a bench and a ski vise. These are often the biggest hurdles, especially for people with limited space.
I actually got a ski vise from Race Wax, their RaceWax World Cup 3 piece set. Its still in the box as I found it easier to wax skis on saw horses in my driveway. I can put 3 (my kids skis too) or more sets on the saw horses at once.

I also have a wood workbench in my garage , I should take the vice out and see how to mount it to my bench.

I guess I will use the vice set on the bench to tune and continue to wax on the saw horses.
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
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The Bull City
This is the best bench I've ever had, and way better than any vise I ever had. I don't know why I can't embed pictures any more, but here it is:
https://www.pugski.com/media/ski-bench.1675/




I trim the sidewalls with small piece of panzar file held free hand at about a 20 degree angle. That way faster than my sidewall trimmer. Anything that sticks up above the edge stalls my EVO, and the panzar is the only thing I've found that clears everything back easily.

If I were just starting, I'd get a coarse stone to knock down burrs, a panzar to trim the sidewalls, and a Razor-tune to finish the job. That's almost everything I use now, and it would have been cheaper than all the tools and vises I've thrown out over the years.

dm
Image embedded. So simple and effective!

 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
608
@crgildart My next project is gonna be a hot box, but for now I'm just waiting for a sunny day in July.

dm
 

Jacques

Workin' It on Skis Best I Can
Skier
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Posts
1,113
Location
Bend, OR
Hi

Two seasons ago I learned how to wax my own skis.

Now I am thinking about tuning.

Is it possible to do some basic tuning with some basic affordable hand tools? If so, any good youtube videos anyone recommends?

I am trying to stay away from investing in a bunch of $$ tools. However if there is a modern tool that one recommends that is worth is value I would be interested.

I am just interested in basic turning, not race tuning. I am a hands-on do it yourselfer type and want to start turning, my and my kids skis.


Thanks!
For basic ski tuning I will recommend you watch my series here
It can get way deeper, but this is a good basic staring point. From the search bar on my channel, enter words like "tuning" "waxing" to find more. Also you might check my Playlist tab as there are some list there too.
Best to you and have fun. Handy folks pick up ski tuning really quickly.
 

Marker

XLTL
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Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Posts
910
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Kennett Square, PA & Killington, VT
If you have a lot of regular power tools, you can sometimes re-purpose them. Here is my compound miter saw stand with Wintersteiger stands. Not a real vice as they have that rubber band thingy to hold down the skis. Works for me, and keeps me warm and snug indoors.

 

Doug Briggs

Skiing the powder
Industry Insider
Pugski Ski Tester
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Posts
4,619
Location
Breckenridge, CO
If you have a lot of regular power tools, you can sometimes re-purpose them. Here is my compound miter saw stand with Wintersteiger stands. Not a real vice as they have that rubber band thingy to hold down the skis. Works for me, and keeps me warm and snug indoors.

Rubber band thingy goes over the brake arms to hold the ski and the brakes at the same time?
 

Doug Briggs

Skiing the powder
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Breckenridge, CO
@Marker , thanks for that picture. 'Lassos' do both the brake retainer and the ski hold-down function. I've not used them at this time. I like this idea better as the brakes stay in the 'up' position whether they are in the vice or not.

A ski lasso setup.
 

Marker

XLTL
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Joined
Oct 16, 2017
Posts
910
Location
Kennett Square, PA & Killington, VT
@Marker , thanks for that picture. 'Lassos' do both the brake retainer and the ski hold-down function. I've not used them at this time. I like this idea better as the brakes stay in the 'up' position whether they are in the vice or not.

A ski lasso setup.
Thanks for the insight! I never considered this for precisely the reason you state. If I take the ski off the stands after tuning, I'll likely be putting it back for waxing once I finish the other ski. I have a bunch of brake retainers, but only two lassos, one for back up. However, I'll give this a try this fall as I prep my skis for the season!
 
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