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FK Ski and Snowboard Tool & Tuning Tips

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Want the best DVD available that tells you all of this? See the Tune-up Clinic's DVD.

Edge Tuning

You Are Not Crazy Sure you?re looking down at your gear fully prepared to scrape, polish and file material OFF of your precious edges and bases. But remember, no matter what takes you down the mountain - pencil skis, snowboard, or shaped skis - your ride will be improved with a carefully applied hand tune. The right tools make tuning a simple process.

A base grind or machine tune is only the beginning. Even the experts use a hand tune to finish their machine tuning. And since you?re reading this message while holding FK tools, it?s obvious that you?ve got the best gear for the job.

This only takes a half hour so let?s get started....

Tools You Need The FK Edge tuners or World Class Tuning file guides will give you the precise angle you want.

A DMT Diamond stone (optional) or ceramic edge stone will help remove case hardened burrs before you begin your edge tune and maintain sharpness without removing excessive edge material.

A rubber gummy stone helps de-tune your tips and tails<./p>

NOTE: Most snowboards come factory tuned with a straight 9O ° base and side edge and in general the tip and tail edges should be de-tuned to improve the ride. Most skis and espe­cially shaped skis come factory tuned with some degree of base and side edge bevel applied. It is always a good idea to check with your shop or the factory for specs and sugges­tions before changing the angle of the bevel.

Getting Started Stabilize your board or skis in a FK Tuning vise or suitable support like the back of two chairs. Start with all edge conditioning on the base edge and then move to the side edge. Remember to always work from the nose to the tail. Waxing comes after edge tuning.

Step 1: Deburring Begin with a Deburring stone or DMT Diamond to smooth the burrs from the edges. Apply slight pressure on the stone and run it down the base of each edge then along the sides. Work out all the gouges and nicks by concentrating on the area going for a smooth feel to the touch.

Step 2: Base Edge Tuning Use a flat file or base bevel guide, like the MT7O1, MT717, or MT719 to bevel the base precisely for your style of riding. (See beveling techniques.) Make sure the file teeth face the direction of the movement as the files only cut in one direction. Take off as little as needed to achieve the angle desired and a clean, sharp edge.

Step 3: Side Edge_Tuning Your goal is to get a smooth 9O ° or sharper angle between the base and side edge. An FK Edge Tuner like those men­tioned above or the MT704, MT706, MT708 or the NEW MT734 will make it easy to get a consistent angle. Remember the edges at the tips and tails should be de-tuned or dulled to keep from catching on edge and hooking (tips) and allow smooth transitions in turns (tails).


Recommended Beveling Techniques


This image above has No Side Edge Bevel.


This image above has Repositioned 90 ° side/base edge angle.


This image above has Acute Edge Angle

In general, a base edge bevel enhances turning ease by putting more base and less edge on the snow, while a side edge bevel increases the bite of the edge for better control. Sometimes both the base and side edge are beveled. Other times only one edge is beveled. Often a ski or snowboard works best with no bevel at all?just a nice sharp 90 ° tune.

  • Hard pack or ice ? bevel the side edge while leaving the base edge at 90 ° (flat).
  • Soft snow ? bevel the base edge, leave the side edge 90 °.
  • A torsionally stiff or tough turning ski or snowboard bevel the base.
  • Bevel both the base and side edges to the same ° to reposition your 90 ° edge for smoother easier turns plus a good biting edge.

Waxing

Advantages Simply put, wax makes it easier to glide over the snow. In addition to improving performance, waxing protects your base from damage caused by use as well as by moisture, UV rays, and dirt. It pays to wax before you ride.

Step 1: Base Cleaning Clean your ski base with base cleaner or wax remover. Then allow 15 to 20 minutes for the cleaner to evaporate before beginning base repairs or waxing.

Step 2: Base Repair Fill in any gouges and scratches with a drip repair candle (P-tex). Hold the drip candle close (less than one inch) to the base, slowly filling the gouges and scratches. Once the repairs are finished, let your base cool to room temperature. Use the metal scraper held at about a 45 ° angle to scrape the excess material from the ski bottom, working from tip to tail.


Step 3: Waxing Choose the proper wax for the conditions you will encounter. A universal wax will work well for most recreational riding. Use a warm waxing iron to apply hot wax to your ski bases. Hold the bar of wax against the iron. Never touch the iron to the ski base without a layer of wax in between. The wax should melt, but not smoke, as it drips onto your base.

Move the iron over the base to smooth the wax. Allow the wax to cool to room temperature. Then use a plastic scraper to shove the excess wax down to a thin even layer. As a last step polish the waxed base lightly with an abrasive pad to improve glide characteristics.

Best of Luck!!