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.

 

Svend

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2013, 10:47:28 am »
Byron, you should check out the thread here from a couple of years ago about "scrapeless waxing".  It describes a method that requires no scraping, and therefore minimal mess.  I use it, modified slightly, pretty much all the time now.  You can go to the Swix website for a video of how it's done.  If you want to try it, let me know, and I'll post my mods that have given me better durability / longer lasting wax job.

For a basic tuning kit, I would recommend the following:

- waxing iron
- plastic scraper (you will need this even if you do use the scrapeless method, such as to get the thick layer of summer wax off, new ski saturation waxing, etc.)
- brass brush for cleaning the bases and for brushing out hard, cold temp waxes
- nylon brush for brushing out mid and warm temp waxes
- side edge guide / file holder (adjustable or fixed angle; 2 deg. or 3 deg.)
- base edge guide / file holder (adjustable or fixed angle; 1 deg. is standard)
- fine chrome file (small one is fine)
- diamond stone
- gummi stone
- PTEX repair candles; or flat sticks if you have a repair iron - I use a dual-temp soldering iron on low setting, flat blade tip...works great
- steel scraper for cleaning up base repairs (I would never use a steel scraper for wax removal, for risk of damaging the bases)
- Swix Fiberlene paper or other thin absorbent paper for doing the scrapeless wax
- vise

You can find complete kits on sale at some online outlet stores like Steep and Cheap, Backcountry Outlet, etc..  Some of the items you can buy as you need them (repair sticks, steel scraper, etc.), but the basic sharpening and waxing tools you should get all at once.

I like Mike's idea of the boot sole blank.  Clever.  I'll have to see about making some.  And heed his advice about standing clear when popping the heel piece.  ;D  My nose is a big target  ;D

Hope this helps...


byronm

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2013, 09:02:59 pm »
Thx LP & Svend for the info...
 
Svend...I will definately check out the scrapeless waxing thread and some video.
 
Re; tuning tools....I am inclined to get "all the parts" at once and throw them in an old tackle box or something...so's pieces don't get misplaced, etc.
 
For the "FIRST WAX" on the new skis I have coming in.....what do you recommend?
 
Vise issue resolved.  I had vise that I think is going to work perfect sitting under my nose all the time.
 
Great Info guys...thx
 
 

Svend

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2013, 09:35:00 pm »
For the "FIRST WAX" on the new skis I have coming in.....what do you recommend?

Check out the Swix site again.  They have a method for saturation waxing of a new pair (also to be used on an existing pair after a base grind).  Basically several coats of warm temp wax applied with no scraping between coats; final coat gets scraped while still warm and soft; let cool; then apply finishing wax of choice.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 06:38:40 am by Svend »

byronm

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2013, 10:21:07 pm »
Great info!! on the Swix School site Svend thx....wealth of info there....although, until I found the right button...thought I was going to have to order rosetta stone or solicit your services for interpretation.... ;D
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 10:26:30 pm by byronm »

byronm

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 01:08:09 am »
Quote
1) Drip molten wax onto bases (sparingly, not an excessive amount, but enough to cover with a thin uniform layer; practice will tell you how much to drip on); then iron in without using Fiberlene, making three complete passes up and down the ski to really get the PTEX warm and absorb the wax.

2) Do a single slow pass (20 seconds from tip to tail) with the iron with a piece of Fiberlene between iron and base; this evens out the wax, picks up dirt (a lot!), and takes up excess wax.  I use a double layer of the paper, because a single layer is too thin and I end up just ripping it.

3) Take the now-saturated piece of Fiberlene and do a brief short pass over the tip again to deposit a thin layer where the paper left the base dry.

4) Remove paper and discard; do a final pass with the iron to even out the wax (this is probably overkill, but it makes it feel like a more thorough job).

5) Let cool and brush briefly with the appropriate brush to open up some structure; the first couple of runs will take off whatever excess wax is left on there, but the brush grooves will still give decent glide.

6) Go skiing!!!

Is this what you are still doing Svend?

Svend

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2013, 06:36:15 am »
Yup, that's it.  I forgot that I had posted that.  I found that just crayoning the wax on, as per Swix's technique, didn't give a very durable coat and I had to reapply after only one or two days out.  Using the slightly modified technique of dripping and ironing in gives me the same durability as a traditional iron and scrape wax....about 3 days.

Re. saturation waxing, I forgot to mention that you should also do this after a base grind (prev. post has been edited).

Svend

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Re: Waxing irons
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2013, 07:22:55 pm »
Byron, you should check out the thread here from a couple of years ago about "scrapeless waxing".  It describes a method that requires no scraping, and therefore minimal mess.  I use it, modified slightly, pretty much all the time now.  You can go to the Swix website for a video of how it's done.  If you want to try it, let me know, and I'll post my mods that have given me better durability / longer lasting wax job.

For a basic tuning kit, I would recommend the following:

- waxing iron
- plastic scraper (you will need this even if you do use the scrapeless method, such as to get the thick layer of summer wax off, new ski saturation waxing, etc.)
- brass brush for cleaning the bases and for brushing out hard, cold temp waxes
- nylon brush for brushing out mid and warm temp waxes
- side edge guide / file holder (adjustable or fixed angle; 2 deg. or 3 deg.)
- base edge guide / file holder (adjustable or fixed angle; 1 deg. is standard)
- fine chrome file (small one is fine)
- diamond stone
- gummi stone
- PTEX repair candles; or flat sticks if you have a repair iron - I use a dual-temp soldering iron on low setting, flat blade tip...works great
- steel scraper for cleaning up base repairs (I would never use a steel scraper for wax removal, for risk of damaging the bases)
- Swix Fiberlene paper or other thin absorbent paper for doing the scrapeless wax
- vise

You can find complete kits on sale at some online outlet stores like Steep and Cheap, Backcountry Outlet, etc..  Some of the items you can buy as you need them (repair sticks, steel scraper, etc.), but the basic sharpening and waxing tools you should get all at once.

I like Mike's idea of the boot sole blank.  Clever.  I'll have to see about making some.  And heed his advice about standing clear when popping the heel piece.  ;D  My nose is a big target  ;D

Hope this helps...

I should add, that at some point you should consider getting a sidewall planer.  You will eventually file and polish enough off the side edges that your stones and files will be rubbing on the plastic sidewall and will no longer cut the metal edge.  The result is that you will never get the edges truly sharp.  Planing a whisker off the sidewall will open up the metal edge again and get you back in business.  Well worth the investment -- I have a basic Ski Man one and it works great.