Tagged: steel scraping
December 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm #89628
I just checked out the going price for stone-grounding and was amazed at how much it seems to have jumped up in the past few years ago.
Just wondering about steel scraping as an alternative for non-critical skis (i.e., not racing on them too often, but want them to hold wax and run decently). Is this something anyone can do with practice, or is it best left to experts? How would you learn without ruining skis in the process?
Thanks, JonDecember 8, 2011 at 2:33 am #90973
timgParticipantDecember 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm #90974
I totally disagree with timg. Steel scraping yourself is not going to be faster than having your skis ground by a knowledgeable grinder. Reasons being:
– Base is no longer flat
– Structure is now gone, what are you going to replace it with, please don’t say a brass brush…
– Why screw up a good race ski possibly permanently by scraping it yourself.
If you are not racing on the skis very often then you shouldn’t need to get them ground very often. Keep your skis well waxed. Brush them out with a copper brush after each time you race on them. Don’t burn the base.December 9, 2011 at 12:12 am #90975
Totally agree, grinders will usually scrap to flatten but that does little more. 80$ for a completely new ski is very usefull investment. I do flatten old rock ski from my kids. You can see Mr Caldwell flatten here, look closely at the deburring and how the ski looks and the fact that he then flattens more on the Tazzari before any strcture… http://youtu.be/_gXJr27H6Cw
By the way, you can get less expensive grinds in some shops with wintersteiger, I know I can for 40$ but it’s worth 40$…December 9, 2011 at 5:12 am #90976
My simple answer to the question is: No, a mortal cannot learn to steel scrape. Certainly not well enough to compete with a Tazzari machine. One of the biggest reasons is the orange peel effect. If the scraper is not used correctly, a surface that resembles the surface of an orange peel can result, which is super slow. This usually results from too much pressure with a tool that is not prepared properly. Spend the money and get the grind. And if your skis are still slow, it is most likely the flex profile that is affecting the speed more than anything.December 9, 2011 at 10:42 am #90977
FWIW, I asked Zach C. a version of this question (“would having him steel scrape secondary skis be a budget alternative”) and he explained that his quick pre-grinding scrape is for purpose of roughly flattening the base, without regard for surface quality. But for a ski to be fast on snow, quality of ski surface is critical, and achieving that through scraping would involve many passes with many different types of scrapers and end up costing “about four or five times as much as stonegrinding.”December 10, 2011 at 7:09 am #90978
Here’s a different perspective – it depends.
I’m a high school coach w/ every kind of ski on kids feet from thrift store bought, donated, beat up by kids to top end new. I’ve “refreshed” the bases of these using several techniques including steel scraping & modest price stone grinding. There is no question that I can prepare a better base w/ a steel scraper & hand structure tools than several of the low cost grinds I’ve seen. But I can’t beat a top end grind for our usually wet snow conditions. The bases need more structure than I can put on by hand. And I’d never steel scraped a top end ski except to repair a small section.
It would be a different story if you ski mostly on cold dry snow. Hand scraping & modest hand structuring could work fine for skis that are rarely raced.
But here’s the other part of the story. The real skill & time needed for steel scraping is in sharpening the scraper. You will get best results when you have a razor sharp slight burr on the edge of the scraper. It takes a couple hours of practice sharpening & then deburring & starting again to learn how to get a proper edge. I’ve built a simple wooden jig for scraper sharpening & bought high-end wet carbide sand paper to use for this. Then you will need a couple hand structure tools like the Swix or Toko that are appropriate for your snow.
So ether way, you are going to spend some $$ & if you DIY your bases, you’ll also spend a lot of your time.
Finding the right balance between the cost & time of ski prep & the type of skiing you do is not simple. It takes time to find the simplest, least costly & least time consuming approach that still allows you to have a great day skiing.
Best of luck!December 11, 2011 at 6:29 am #90979
On the topic of getting a really sharp scraper, here’s some suggestions.
The orange peel look mentioned above is the result of using lots of pressure with a scraper that isn’t sharp enough. A sharp scraper will peel off base material with little pressure leaving a very smooth surface.
If you look on Youtube for how to sharpen a cabinet scraper, you’ll find several videos. A burnishing tool can be helpful for getting a good hook. The Timberline SB-1 is a good one for novices & it comes with a decent instructional video.
You can use any hardwood to test sharpness & practice scraping on to get started. If you want, find some old skis at a thrift store too.
I sharpen several scrapers & try them all. I keep the sharpest one for finish work. When flattening a base, I back the scraper with a small piece of wood to keep the steel scraper from bending.
Resharpening a heavily burnished scrape takes lots of filing to get back to a clean edge.December 11, 2011 at 1:28 pm #90980
Another alternative for non-critical skis is sanding.
Use good quality wet/dry paper. Use wet to help wash away the sanding “dust” Attach it to a very flat block, use 180 to flatten, then 220 to finish. Use many careful passes. 220 will give a decent structure for violet/blue extra conditions. You can use finer grit for finer stucture.
Of course, you will then have to do the whole base saturation process as well.
I believe skiwax.ca still has a good article on the subject.
DaveDecember 12, 2011 at 6:57 am #90981
Be warned, sanding leaves lots of hairs. You’ll want a very sharp plastic scraper to use after sanding. You’ll be amazed at how much base material comes off with your plastic scraper on the first few passes. Then you’ll want to iron on a moderately hard wax & scrape that off. I’ve found it almost impossible to scrape off all the hairs w/o waxing the base & scraping.
I find the old Toko ceramic scraper sharpener does the best job on plastic scrapers.
Using fibertex to get the hairs of will also dull the structure you’ve just put in.
From my experience, steel scraping followed by a hand structure tool like the new Swix or Toko, takes less time than sanding. I haven’t tested it but I suspect such a base treatment is faster than hand sanding.December 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm #90982
Yeah a Toko structure tool is just pressing it into the base so it’s not going to last very long. A riller will put structure in but it’s not going to run very well in cold conditions.
To reiterate if they are junk skis and you want to fart around with trying to be a ski tech then go ahead and invest a bunch of money in tools to do so but you are probably going to save money, time, and skis in the long run by just getting them stone ground.December 24, 2011 at 11:05 pm #90983
I always follow the Swix racing base prep after base refinishing. 5 layers of CH10 followed by LF6 with scraping, brushing AND fibretex to remove hairs. finish with LF7 or 8. Notice that Swix recommends using fibretex on fresh bases. If you actually remove structure you must be using some pretty rough stuff and being rough as well!
Rilling will not leave a permanent structure in the base.
Regardless of whether you scrape or sand, you still have to saturate the base with wax afterwards. That’s what really adds time to the process.
DaveDecember 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm #90984January 26, 2016 at 4:29 am #127499
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