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Suggestion for home tuning kit

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Jonkl, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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    Hi,
    Just looking for some suggestions for a decent home tuning kit to use maybe 3-4 times a year.
    2 X snowboards and 1 X skis

    Amateur level, mostly resort type rides

    If someone can point out what are the essentials and what are the "nice to have" items would be greatly appreciated as well.

    Thanks
     
  2. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Essentials:
    p-tex
    p-tex scraper
    Wax
    Wax iron
    Wax scraper
    Brushes
    Edge tuner either variable angle or fixed angles
    Edge files - Bastard cut file plus fine file
    Diamond stones- fine & medium
    gummy stone

    Nice to have:
    Vice - kind of essential but other methods can suffice.
    Any number of bits & pieces.
     
  3. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Variable angle edge tools suck balls.
     
  4. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    As a general rule you'll be hot waxing and maintaining your edges. Waxing requires an iron, wax, a plexiglass scraper and at least one built-for-purpose brush. You can use an old / cheap clothes iron - preferably one without steam holes in the base - although waxing irons tend to hold more closely to a given temperature than a clothes iron. Waxes come in a variety of temperature-specific types. Brushes come in brass, various types of nylon and horsehair. I love my brass brush, but a decent nylon base brush should be enough. While you're doing all this you'll need to retract the binding brakes. Very thick, short rubber bands are typical, although most rubber bands you run across aren't strong enough. I use some of those wrist band things people wear to promote various causes, although not all of them are stretchy enough, and they all tend to snap eventually (so I end up supporting more causes).

    There's a debate around whether you should use a base cleaner or not. I have a citrus cleaner that I use only when I deem it necessary. Probably not something to worry about when you're first starting out.

    Before you start ironing wax you should check the edges of your skis and remove any burrs. That requires a diamond stone, as a minimum. They come in a range of grits, from coarse to fine. Just grab one in the middle of that range. You can feel burrs with your finger tips and you can run a (wet) diamond stone over that area, using your fingers as a guide (if you don't have a guide) until you stop hearing the stone removing the burr.

    Once you start sharpening edges you'll need an edge guide - at least one for the edge angle and probably another for the base angle. Ideally, once you've had the bases tuned, you leave the base angle alone and sharpen only your side edge. You may need to remove burrs from the base edge, but that's all you do once the base edge is properly set. If you buy edging guides you should grab an edge file as well. I wouldn't use a file without an edge guide. Diamond stones will 'polish' the edge (more or less aggressively depending on the coarseness of the grit) whereas a file will remove edge material.

    Doing all that will require some approach to fixing the ski to the surface of the bench (or whatever you use). There are dedicated ski vises out there, and that'll usually be the most expensive piece of your tuning equipment. To get around this cost people improvise all sorts of ways to lock their skis in place. Have a search around to see what people do and what might work for you.

    Lots of videos and web sites will explain how you go about preparing your bases and edges.

    There's a recent, wide-ranging discussion on this here.

    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/home-waxing-skis-that-is.85059/

    Best of luck.
     
    #4 linked_recoveries, Oct 8, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  5. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’ve not found that, but maybe I just suck at tuning!! :)

    My view is it doesn’t matter a great deal if it’s 2.1 or 2 or 1.9 degrees side angle, so long as you do that angle consistently. Be that as it may I’ve never found any noticeable variation between my variable edge tuner and a shop tune. Incidentally i do have a fixed angle side edge file guide but prefer the variable one. I find it more stable and predictable.

    I would personally take out the p-tex and p-tex scraper from the list. If I need major base repairs I just take it to the shop. For me home tuning is about fast bases and sharp edges, not base structure or base repair.

    So my list is;

    • Iron
    • Wax
    • Plastic scraper
    • Nylon bristle brush
    • Variable edge file guide (although I almost always use 2 degrees)
    • Fixed angle base file guide (I always use 1 degree)
    • File
    • Diamond stone (medium)
    • Water (for the diamond stone)
    • Cloth
    • One of those 3M dishwasher pads with the green rough surface
    That’s it.

    I hardly ever use the file, but use the diamond stone a lot
     
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  6. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    That’s a pretty comprehensive list.

    I’ve been waxing my own kit for almost a decade now and I’ve only JUST made the foray into p-tex.

    IMHO for a recreational skier/boarder a basic wax kit can skip p-tex. put your kit in for a professional tune if you need p-tex, get a base grind and full work up on the edges while you’re there.
     
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  7. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    I use a variable side edge guide. It's a right angled section of aluminium with angled plastic sections (1°, 2°, 3°, etc.) you can drop in to set the correct edge angle. I use a 1° Beast base guide.
     
  8. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Ha ha yeah! there is that.
     
  9. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Fixing your bases with P-tex is easy-peasy.

    We live in Aust. I put that first because it's a given in my book.
     
  10. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    metal p-tex scraper = wax scraper.

    Scouring pads.

    I got a swix starter kit years back and have built up on that. The iron that came with that is nothing too fancy, but goes bloody good.
     
  11. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thankfully not been too much of an issue for me to date - probably a function of lots of Japan skiing. But I know it’s in my my future. Hence getting the gear ready now.
     
  12. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    The trick to not getting core shots is to be going fast and to be light on your feet when you hit the rocks.
     
  13. MickM

    MickM One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

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  14. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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    Thank you everyone for the info, especially @DPS Driver and @linked_recoveries for your contributions. Been busy at work and haven't even got time to go through everything in the replies.
    Definitely will be getting a kit for future use as it makes sense economically, but just wondering if I should just take the lot to the shop this time as we are going to Japan in December, not sure if I have time to source all materials and tools and the time to learn
     
  15. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    I know I don't advocate buying ski gear online overseas because it really affects our local market. However with ski tuning equipment, it's more difficult to source locally. These guys do a really good kit to start with.
     
  16. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    That looks like a comprehensive starter kit. My only concern would be the US-style plug for the iron. A simple adapter should work around that.

    I've purchased tuning gear from SlideWright in the past with good results. RaceWax.com is another site that sells tuning gear, and they get good reviews as well.

    Below is a selection of tips and articles if you have the time and/or the inclination.

    https://www.slidewright.com/tuning-tips-more


    And if you want to dive deeper.

    http://www.skituning101.com/
     
    #16 linked_recoveries, Oct 9, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  17. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Waxing is super easy.
    Just give it a crack.
    There’s nothing quite like spending an hour getting your ride in tip top shape - bonding with the equipment.

    (A helluva lot easier and quicker than waxing my goddamn floorboards which I’ve just finished - anyone got a new right arm chain of nerves and muscles they can donate?)
     
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  18. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was given one of these Dakine tune kits a few years ago and it's been great. Although the wax didn't last very long. Just needed to buy a cheap $10 Kmart iron for waxing and was good to go!

     
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  19. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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  20. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    The size of the brush isn't so important. It's the design and bristle material that make the difference. Nothing else is really designed like a short-bristle waxing brush. It's relatively important to the finish of the job to have the right brush to clean wax out of the structure (the pattern) in your base.

    RaceWax lists the trio-pack of brushes included in the linked pack at USD31.99. Individually they range from USD8.99 to USD13.99. You're starting out and you could easily get away with a single stiff nylon base brush. Mind you, I love my brass brush, so you could buy a pair - a nylon brush and the brass brush.

    https://www.racewax.com/tuning-tools/hand-brushes/

    That Demon waxing iron (by itself) lists on eBay hereabouts for $70.

    When it comes to irons be careful of the voltage they're designed for and the design of the plug they carry. Might be best to grab a basic tuning kit without an iron (with or without brushes), add your choice of brush if you wish, then buy the iron locally.
     
  21. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I avoided tuning kits when I was putting my toolbox together. I found they often had stuff I didn't want and didn't have the stuff I wanted. Besides, figuring it all out is half the fun.

    I like the look of @DPS Driver list, but as others have said I wouldn't bother with the p-tex. DPS does have a small fleet to keep on the park, so his needs and standard are higher than the typical home tuner.

    As others have mentioned there's the world of wax to consider as well. Not only are there different wax's for different temperatures, but there's also different types of wax's, hydrocarbon, low fluro and the soon to be banned high fluro as well as all the new environmentally friendly variants. And of course we should mention DPS Phantom, product that is applied once and lasts the lifetime of the ski. With this you wouldn't need most of the kit.
     
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  22. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    There is that;)

    However you might get a laugh out of this. I waxed the edges of my fleet last weekend. So much quicker than having to way the entire base and heaps less wax used. This was a storage wax, to keep the edges in good order.
     
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  23. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Give them rubber band thingo's for brake retention the flick, just use a loop of rope that's the right length. I've never had to replace one or had the issue of it deteriorating or being too stretchy etc.
    If you have access to some reasonable machinery you can make your own base and fixed side angle guides. For my side guide, a small block of timber cut at my preferred angles of 88 deg on one side and 89 deg on the other, sort of like a V with a flat bottom. The bottom of the timber block is scooped length ways to allow 2 contact points when running along the ski to cater for ski curve and flex. 2 holes are drilled into the side of the block for screws to clamp my file/diamond stone etc.

    The base guide is a bit trickier to explain, but is basically a wedge held at a fixed distance from the edge of the ski. The file/diamond stone lays on the wedge, while the whole assembly is then slid along the edge to make the cut.
    K.I.S.S.
     
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  24. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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    Just going through the home waxing thread started a couple months ago, would it be beneficial for my case to have my gear done with Phantom treatment?
    Two snowboard (basically new as only bought before the Aus season and used then max 8 days) and 1 kid ski (possibly using the left over from the 2 snowboard application?)

    And with Phantom, does you still need to do a storage wax during summer months?
     
  25. Sage Oya

    Sage Oya Like the herb, lover of Pabst, cup ramen devotee Ski Pass: Gold

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    End of season maintenance underway. This is going to take a few hours/beers LOL

     
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  26. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you do home waxing I’m not sure how economic Phantom is? What is the cost? $150 per ski? That’s a lot of wax. I doubt I’d spend even $50 per ski on wax over its lifetime.

    But if you think waxing and scraping is a terrible chore, or money is no object, why not get Phantom?

    My best guess is you won’t need to wax to protect your bases if it has Phantom. However, Phantom won’t protect your edges from oxidisation. So you’d do a storage wax anyway.

    I’m not dissing Phantom in any way by the way. If I felt confident I would hang on to a pair of skis for at least 4 seasons I’d do it.
     
  27. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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    We would definitely be using the same gear for at least 4 seasons as we are lucky if we can get close to 30days snow action a year.
    I am still weighing up if getting the Phantom done is worth it.

    Pros:
    time saving
    consistent performance across all types of surface and condition (we are not racer or backcountry)
    no need to re-wax if we ski more than say 4-5days in a row

    Cons:
    Cost
     
  28. LaNeige

    LaNeige One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I don't use Phantom and I'm not really thinking about it, I mentioned it as a legitimate option for the casual home waxer. Check out this long term review by a forum regular (@Telemark Phat ).

    I have to agree with @Annabuzzy that I wouldn't use $50 of wax per year per set even using the expensive wax. I also get some enjoyment out of the waxing process as well.

    Maybe give the waxing thing a go and see if it's for you, if you hate it then there's always Phantom.
     
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  29. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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    Has anyone use XCMAN brand waxing and tuning stuff before? Looks decent.

    They are on AliExpress and comparing to Swix and Toko, they seems to be cheaper with free shipping
     
  30. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    Yeah, that's my problem. I turn over my skis again and again. I presently have seven pair. Phantom seems to work, but it's only cost effective if you have confidence you'll hang onto a pair of skis for some length of time. For me, I'm happy to wax my own skis.
     
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  31. Sage Oya

    Sage Oya Like the herb, lover of Pabst, cup ramen devotee Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just replenished my tuning box's consumables after finishing the end of season maintenance so thought it was a good opportunity to take stock of what's in my kit. Haven't needed anything more than this for basic work and repairs (other than beer and spare timeLOL).

    Waxing iron
    Extension cord
    Wax
    Drop sheets
    Ski vice
    Microfiber towels
    Citrus base cleaner
    Nylon & Horse hair brushes
    Plexi scrapers
    Metal scraper (for ptex repairs)
    Scraper sharpener
    Basic edge sharpener
    Gummi block
    Ptex
    Lighter
    Large Phillips screwdriver
    Multi-tool
    Apron (not pictured)

     
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  32. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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    Great start off kit, I think I will be getting similar stuff, minus the Vice, as we have more boards than skis at this stage.
    I've seen some others have the Brass brush and Cork as well, are they worth getting it?

    ANd can someone suggest a good rub on wax to use in Japan just in-case for our end of year trip :)
     
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  33. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    So neat!!
     
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  34. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    The one thing I’d like to add to my kit is a brass brush. Otherwise I think for tuning for a recreational skier I have all I need.

    I don’t actually know what you’d do with cork? Do you rub in wax into your base with it? I’ve certainly never used it, and not seen racers using it (at least when tuning in the lodge).

    indeed from my observation the biggest differences between the tuning most people are doing on here and racers appears to be;
    • racers obviously use much more expensive wax,
    • They let the wax “soak” for much longer than most recreational skiers could be bothered with before scraping and brushing,
    • They do more “layers” of wax,
    • They have a bazillion brushes and spend much more time brushing,
    • Oh and they give much more of a sh#& about polishing the edges with a diamond stone after using the file on the edges.
     
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  35. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    For some of the paste waxes you use the cork to rub it into the base. It heats up the wax as you go. Using one of those green scouring pads fairly aggressively is an acceptable (if not better) alternative. Some of the rub-on waxes will have a pad on the lid of the container for that job. A palm-sized scourer is certainly a better solution that that little pad.

    Racers get a bit more scientific about matching their wax to the course conditions. If they're really serious they can also spend $$$ for a high-fluoro / 100% fluoro top coat, be it a powder or a rub-on. That overlay maybe only lasts the first two / three turns but they come up to speed faster with that stuff so they're quicker out of the gate. I have some HF wax and I'll try it one day for spring skiing ... I'll be the guy smoking down the slush bumps on the Supertrail, totally out of control.

    Apparently Mikaela Schiffrin had thirty five pairs of skis at the last Olympics, across multiple disciplines of course. That's a lot of waxing. They must have worked 'cause Ester Ledecka apparently borrowed a pair of hers to win the Super G (by 0.01 seconds).
     
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  36. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    And that folks is why ski techs doing lots of waxing tend are more highly susceptible to the big C more than most. That being said I love the smell of wax and love spending time at the ski bench.

     
  37. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My latest edition to my kit has been a soldering iron and some metal edge. Used for diy deep core shots or edge core shots.
    Maybe a bit above and beyond but I do like to do my own repairs as much as possible.
     
  38. linked_recoveries

    linked_recoveries One of Us

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    Mmm. Thirty five skis with multiple wax cycles each. That makes for a long night.

    I see he has a paint brush for cleaning wax and filings off the skis. I use one of those. Handy.
     
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  39. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    I have a soldering iron in my repair kit as well. Mostly used for removing bindings from skis.

    Just hold the soldering iron on the screw for 10-20 seconds and they back out nice an easy.
     
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  40. Jonkl

    Jonkl Early Days

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    First piece of equipment arrived in mail today.
    Didn't realise how big they are when I bought them. :D

    At least it will last me a lifetime :)
     

    Attached Files:

  41. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Thought the iron was for etching your name into mates bases while you "tune" there skis and drink beer.......;)
     
  42. BoofHead

    BoofHead One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Good idea BM. I might make a branding iron at work. Have already made more than a few branding irons over the years.
     
    #42 BoofHead, Oct 18, 2019 at 2:40 PM
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019 at 4:16 PM