Iron/Wax Question

Discussion in 'Tuning Techniques and Tool Information' started by AZSkiBum, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. AZSkiBum

    AZSkiBum At the base lodge Skier

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    Hey Guys/Gals,

    I'm new to the self tuning / waxing but after reading a ton in this forum and watching a lot of youtube videos, I gave it a go at my first tuning session over the weekend. My question is that I bought a cheap Wintersteiger iron and it seems to take forever to melt wax on the ski. I can easily drip wax on just like videos show and I don't over apply but when it comes time to smooth the wax, it feels like I have to move at a snails pace to get a nice layer that's still liquid a few inches behind the iron. I'm using Purl - purple wax and my skis were in the garage so probably 60 degrees when I started so nothing crazy as far as my setup. I should have used my IR temp gun to see where it was set at but turning it up a little bit more resulted in smoke when dripping wax on. Once I get to a third pass, there's enough heat in the ski to keep the wax molten but I'm still moving at half speed of what I see in videos. Did I get a bad iron or is this normal? Should I send the iron back?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Primoz

    Primoz Making fresh tracks Skier

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    It depends on what temperature iron is set. Regardless to what some will tell, for normal waxes, iron should be set somewhere between 110 and 140c. Exact temperature depends on wax, snow conditions, snow/air temperature for what you wax etc, and can actually go up to 180c for overlays, which I'm sure you won't be using anytime soon. If you have your iron set really low (like 60 or 70c like some will suggest in minute.. .no offence guys ;) ), you can actually drink bottle of beer before you will finish single pass, and wax still won't penetrate ptex properly. ;)
     
  3. Daves not here

    Daves not here Getting on the lift Skier

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    I use Purl Purple - love it - great wax and lasts a decent amount of time. I have a digital iron and set mine to about 130 and get no smoke. Have not tested my iron to see what the temp actually is. My tuning room is n my garage up at the ski hill - usually cold. I turn a heater on and it gets it up to about 60 ish or so and I go to work. I get good melt after a couple of slow and steady passes.
     
    cantunamunch likes this.
  4. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    What is the iron set at? Are you letting it warm up for awhile?
    @Primoz , 60-70c ? Lol. Maybe just breathe heavily on the wax or stick the ski in the hot tub.

    Those Wintersteiger irons are all over the place under different brand names. Their quality is suspect, but it should at least work when new. I've known racers who used it as a travel iron though. (And hated it, but it worked)

    I'd recommend the Toko T8 for a < $100 iron.
     
    Primoz likes this.
  5. Novaloafah

    Novaloafah Should've paid attention to that lesson. Skier

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    I've been using the T8 for 5 years (start of my addiction) and for rec use (maybe 20 times a season using Toko and Hertel waxes) I think it's been good, very reliable.
     
    James likes this.


  6. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    I usually crank the iron up to the highest setting and then maybe dial it down if needed.

    Also make sure the iron is flat. I use sandpaper and plate glass to do this.
     
  7. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    When you scrape do you get black stuff?
     
  8. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    Not usually.
     
  9. focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    I love the Toko T8 iron. I bought a cheap swix one that I hated. This one is much nicer. Do wish I'd sprung for one with e Digital temp readout though...
     
  10. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    I use a digital reader. I hate it. Mainly because I plug and unplug the iron when I need it. Digital, I always have to reset.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  11. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    If it can burn wax the iron must be working. Try leaving the skis in your warm house before waxing and see if there's a difference. Otherwise maybe you got a bum block of wax.
     
  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Digital is way over rated. The Maplus digital was terrible. Amazingly bad. Didn't hold temp, huge swings, no setting is good. You start at 130, then you're trying 140, 145. I can remember we had to set it at 165c using paper towel method and it still didn't work. That's way too high for swix7-8.
    That's the problem of the "if it can burn wax" theory. The question is can it melt without burning? Some just have huge swings and can't.

    Usually, digital just tells you the temp you've set, not the actual temp.

    I've got a non digital Star, branded Hohlmenkohl. Works great. There's an amazing range of wax temps that work at 130-135. Maybe with swix 4 and fiberlene I'd go 145. Still has electronic feedback in it. Iron is never an issue. They don't make it anymore, I think it was too expensive.

    Non digital you just set the dial, let it warm up, then adjust to how the wax is behaving. Mainly how it drips off as you put it on. Seems like the "all temp" waxes get sticky outside a small range or with a little too much heat.

    I'm actually dubious of the Toko T14 digital. I really wish they made their non digital model that was above the T8.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  13. Thread Starter
    TS
    AZSkiBum

    AZSkiBum At the base lodge Skier

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    Thanks for all the responses. I got my iron back out tonight. The base is definitely not flat long ways but side to side it's decent. After letting it warm up and using my IR temp gun, I was surprised to see that what's marked as 140c is really about 60-70c. Turning the iron all the way up to max only netted 100c. It's enough to smoke the wax on the iron and give decent waxing on a junk board I have laying around. Guess I learned the hard way about buying a cheap iron.
     
  14. focker

    focker Getting on the lift Skier

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    I feel better about my T8 after readying this. It does hold the temp fairly consistently....
     
  15. Primoz

    Primoz Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I have Swix T71 and I can't really complain. It's accurate enough and holds temperature constantly enough. What do you mean by "you need to reset it" @Dwight? With T71 it goes to temperature previously set after you plug it it, but personally, I leave it on when waxing anyway. The way I'm used to wax from my WC days is to prepare all skis, then wax all skis. This way iron is on, and especially fluoro fumes in room are reduced to shortest possible time. Nowadays when preparing 3 or 4 pairs at once at max, this is not really issue, when you have 15 or 20 pairs to prepare, such things actually matter.
     
  16. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    With the digital one I have, it always goes back to 0 when unplugged.
     
  17. Primoz

    Primoz Making fresh tracks Skier

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    @Dwight strange, but I guess it's different as it's with Swix T71 then. With T71 it always turns on with temperature you had set on last use.
     
  18. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    That would be nice.
     
  19. Jacques

    Jacques Workin' It on Skis Best I Can Skier

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    Be cautious with the IR test. Sometimes the reflective nature of the base plate can or may give a false reading.
    Better to check like this. Look at video for a few minutes. Anyway, to go over 120c or 250 F can cause base damage.
     
    cantunamunch likes this.
  20. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    I highly recommend the General Electric Circa 1929 Iron.
    20171111_172827.jpg
     

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