Author Topic: Waxing irons  (Read 716 times)

Svend

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Waxing irons
« on: January 22, 2013, 09:38:49 pm »
Hey Guys,

My waxing iron is getting cranky with old age.  Can't seem to keep a stable temperature, and I'm never sure if the number on the dial is anywhere near what I'm getting at the baseplate.   It's not an expensive one, so I am happy it lasted this long.  I am looking at getting a high quality one, thicker baseplate perhaps digital. 

Does anyone have a recommendation?

Is there any advantage to digital over standard? More stable temperature? More narrow temp. band? More accurate?

Looking forward to hearing back.  Thanks in advance.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 09:40:46 pm by Svend »


HighAngles

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 02:45:46 pm »
I have the U.S. version of this Wintersteiger one: http://www.tognar.com/tognar-tank-wax-iron-230v-eu-au-nz/



It has a nice thick base, but heats up fairly quickly.  Good stable temp control through an active thermostat control.  IMHO you don't need to go digital unless you're really anal about ensuring that the iron is at a very specific temp.  Not sure where you might find the U.S. version, but you might try Racewerks or Artech Ski.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 02:46:50 pm by HighAngles »

Svend

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 04:48:16 pm »
Thanks -- I'll check around for that one.  It may be that this iron is marketed under a different brand name, with just a different colour body.  I've seen that with other irons, my KUU included. 

And thanks for the feedback about digital.  I kind of thought as much, and that a standard dial control would be fine, as long as the thermostat inside was a good one.

Update:  found the 120V version of the Wintersteiger at Racewax.com.  Very reasonable price, too. 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 05:08:47 pm by Svend »

dan.boisvert

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 06:45:24 pm »
I use this one: http://www.artechski.com/Swix-Performance-Wax-Iron-T73-6303.aspx#.UQCPneg1qX0

I had the Wintersteiger one HA uses, and had worse luck with it than he seems to have.  I gave mine away pretty quickly so I'd have an excuse to replace it.  I found that the base plate wasn't thick enough to melt hard waxes evenly.  I'd get 1/3 down the ski, the thing would stop melting wax, and I'd have to wait for it to get back up to temp to continue.  Since a motionless iron is bad juju, it made for a lot of aggravation for me.

The Swix T73 I have now has a thicker base and tighter temp regulation, so it'll keep melting wax down the entire ski with no problem.  The only things I'm not wild about with it are the handle and the base plate bevel.  The handle curve isn't symmetrical, so it can be tough to find the balance point sometimes.  The base comes from the factory a bit concave, which I think is intended to trap a pocket of wax, but I found it aggravating in use on alpine skis.  Sanding it flat made it work a lot better.

If my T73 ever dies, I'm replacing it with the Holmenkol digital one with the cork handle.  It's stupidly expensive, but I used one at a shop in NH, and it didn't annoy me at all; it just worked exactly like I thought a wax iron should work--nice handle, great temp regulation, thick base that spreads wax well, etc.  I figure the extra $200 is worth it for so much less aggravation over the lifetime of the product..  :D

Svend

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 08:52:06 am »
The Holmenkol list price is darn high, but some online sites are selling it for less than $200.  I'd be happy to pay this for a quality tool that I use weekly. 

Check out Boulder Nordic Sport:  https://www.bouldernordicsport.com/shop/p-649-holmenkol-digital-wax-iron-110v.aspx  I assume that's the one you mean?

Funny you should mention hard wax and poor iron performance -- that's what finally made me decide to chuck my old KUU.  The recent cold spell has me applying hard wax, and the iron just did a miserable job of it.

Good comment on the concave base plates -- I'll stay away from those.  Grooved ones make more sense, and I like the concept of the Wintersteiger in that the curved sides help to channel the wax in toward the base and away from the edges.  Smart.

Thanks Dan.

dan.boisvert

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 07:11:24 pm »
Yup--that's the one I mean.  The one I used must have been the previous year's model, because it had blue plastic instead of clear.  It looked identical otherwise, though.  For under $200, it's a tempting impulse buy!

ToddW

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 05:32:47 pm »
My swix iron has a concave plate too.  I agree it's a bit of a pain.

Svend

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 12:05:06 pm »
Todd, thanks for confirming that.  I'll stay away from Swix.  Good advice...

Toko irons have a grooved base, with the grooves radiating inward to direct wax to the center of the ski.  Makes sense.  I would also like to have an iron with a long base plate that will fit all the way across a wide ski (when held sideways)-- Toko and Holmenkol look like they would both suit nicely.  Time to check out our local shops and see what's available here. 

byronm

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 02:23:50 am »
Hey Guys,
 
Interesting dialogue regarding waxing irons. As I am sure you all have experienced a variety of equipment throughout the years, probably some good, some bad, can I get some recommendations for a good starter "kit"? Basic necessities, iron, brushes, wax etc. Not sure whether it would be best or necessary for that matter to "piece mill" the equipment or if there is an actual "kit"? 
 
I don't have an expansive quiver to maintain and don't get to slope 50 days a year but would be looking for something that will do the job effectively with a decent life expectancy. Wouldn't have to be fancy or WC certified.
 
I have been perusing this site for information as I have heard tognar makes decent irons and equipment.
 
http://www.tognar.com/waxing-irons/
 
Your recommendations appreciated.
 
Cheers....
 
ps; As I perused further I did find this partial "kit". Is this something worth exploring?
 
http://www.tognar.com/tognar-snowboard-hot-wax-kit-120v-us-can/
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 02:42:48 am by byronm »

LivingProof

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 11:42:16 am »
Byron,

Are you looking for a "waxing kit" only, or, a kit to include edge maintenance tools.

I don't do many skis, and, an old iron. some all purpose wax and a thin scraping plastic or metal blade can do the trick for a lot less $$$.

byronm

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 11:44:33 pm »
Thx LP...
 
I thought I would start with saving some travel time and a few bucks by maintaining bases with keeping a good wax on.....I don't ski the hard blue ice like some of our members out east do which by nature I guess would require much more base and edge maintenance. However, if the difference is a few bucks to include a good edging tool, I would take a crack at that too.
 
I considered picking up an old iron from a second hand store but wasnt sure if it would be temperature appropriate for todays waxes (although I still see a fair amount of DIY vids produced using a standard old school iron) so maybe that would be the ticket.
 
Can one get ahold of the different brushes and synthetic material to wipe the skis down at the local home improvement store or would they need to be ordered?
 
Ironcially, it seems one of the larger start up expenses is an actual ski vise. Plans right now to use my regular vise,  make a couple of bench supports with some padding to protect topsheets and use some wood or rubber material for the vise jaws to hold the ski. Probably won't be near as handy but hopefully will work.
 
Thx...
 
 

LivingProof

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 07:03:12 am »
Byron,

I was at Gary's house this past weekend, and, he has a primo ski workbench tuning center, including dedicated vices, wax iron, Ptex repair iron, etc., etc. etc. My setup is much simpler. My initial buy would include:

For the side edges: Note: this tuning can be done without vices.
Dedicated 2 degree ( 3 degree in the east ) ski side base bevel
Red 200 grit diamond stone
Yellow 400 grit dimond stone (optional)
A sharp file

For Waxing:(
Old iron
All purpose wax
thin metal scraper or plexiglass scrapper. ( a 4" metal drywall blade works well )

Also, I made a template of my boot sole from a piece of 1 x 3 wood, traced the front and rear of the boot onto the wood and then cut it to match the boot shape. I insert this into the bindings when I do tuning, so that it causes the brakes to retract into normal skiing position. With the piece of wood in the bindings, you can clamp a vice to the wood to hold the ski. Not the greatest, but, it functions.


 
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 09:15:53 am by LivingProof »

jim-ratliff

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 09:09:35 am »
Byron: per earlier conversations, I'm pretty sure that Living Proof meant "side or edge bevel" in his list above. Base bevel is typically 1 degree, side/edge bevel is most frequently either 2 degrees or 3 degrees.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

byronm

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2013, 09:13:40 pm »
Understood Jim.....Thx Folks for the info....
 
LP interesting idea for securing the ski by snapping a wooden clone into the binding. Quite ingenious actually...I like!
 
Most of the manufacturer sponsered vids I have watched recommend a couple of brushes, a bronze and synthetic or horsehair. Do you utilize brush(es) or a brush combo?
 
The more vids and info I review, the more I see a roll of butcher paper or base well for whatever vise design I end up with is in my future. Not allergic to wax and while my workbench isnt the picture of organization, waxin be messy...
 
At any rate, as I set about fashioning a "ski holder upper" from the stuff I have on hand, I will also start looking at some basic tuning kits as outlined.
 
Again, thx for the info....Cheers
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 09:14:49 pm by byronm »

LivingProof

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 06:55:35 am »
Byron,

When you make the wooden clone out of a piece of 1 x 3 wood, you will have to cut out material in the front to match the height of the ski boot so that it fits into the binding. 1x wood is has more depth and will not fit under the bindings. Forgot to mention that, and, make sure you hold the clone when removing it via opening the rear binding. There is  lot of spring energy and the clone can fly-up with a lot of energy. Trust me on that one!

After my short list above, I'd buy a dedicated ski vice. I still don't own brushes and just let the snow scrape off the little remaing excess wax during the first run ( I do scrape off the dried wax after it cools down during the tuning process ). Waxing is not really messy, don't put a lot on, and, keep the iron cool enough so that smoke does not result. Wax smoke stinks! :'(
The wax that's scraped off is easily picked up with a vacuum.