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Thread: How to punch out ski boots?
10-23-2007, 03:31 PM #1
How to punch out ski boots?
Any bootfitters have advice on how to safely punch out a small pressure point on a ski boot?
Do you use heat? How much, for how long?
Does the type of plastic matter?
Any other advice?
10-23-2007, 03:56 PM #2
1) until the shell is 170' keeping the heat gun 10" away.
until the shell is warm to the touch on the inside of the shell
3) practice a few times on a dead boot first
10-23-2007, 04:19 PM #3
mtnlion gives good advice,
very hot (but not boiling water) will also soften the shell. Ideally, you would have some hydraulic presses to punch the boot out, but you are nerdy enough to improvise, Spats.
Whatever you do, DONT GET THE HEAT GUN TOO CLOSE for obvious reasons.
10-23-2007, 04:49 PM #4
The translucent plastic on some newer boots (i.e. Nordica Top Fuel) seems to respond to heat moreso than standard boot plastic does. So if you have a boots with a semi-transparent shell be cautious you don't punch too much.
10-23-2007, 04:52 PM #5
Second the very hot water suggestion. But...
"Small pressure points" can often be solved without blowing the shell and if you do blow out the shell for a small area there is a good chance it will come back into shape so try the liner first.
Use a utility knife to remove material where you need more space. Just a little at a time. Be patient. Sometimes just slicing a # type pattern over the pressure point will do the trick.
10-23-2007, 05:06 PM #6
2) I have found that extremely soft (AT/Tele) and extremely dense/stiff (plug) durometer plastics will not hold a punch as well. Plugs were obviously meant for grinding, sometimes in conjunction with a punch.
3) Be sure you don't take the sole shape out of DIN (i.e. big toe punches).
10-23-2007, 05:19 PM #7
10-23-2007, 06:03 PM #8
Rule of thumb: All boots can be punched, some require more care (multi injected ones, translucent, etc.) Not all boots can be ground...most cheap boots and some midrange boots suck donkey ball to grind.
The idea that plugs won't hold a punch is, well, not reflected by my experience...but then my experience is with purpose built tools. Hydraulics are nice to have for toe punches, not needed elsewhere. If you are going to punch, punch first then grind. Again this comes from the context of good tools though, I guess if you are trying to punch a boot with a screwdriver handle in your garage you might have to do things differently.
This thread makes me want to junkyard engineer some boot tools.
10-23-2007, 08:37 PM #9
If the boots are brand new, the pressure point might be more the liner than the shell. Sometimes boot manufacturers will leave a gap between the shell and the liner in the toe box. I had a pressure point fixed last year by using a heat gun on the pressure point while wearing the boot. Once I could feel the heat through the boot, I did the other foot and kept them on with weight on them for about an hour. It hurt for that hour, but after that, the liner had been stretched out enough, and I've had no problems since.
10-23-2007, 09:04 PM #10
It cost only $10 to do a toe punch. The process took overnight, and it seems to be permanent. Is this any different than the heat gun?
10-23-2007, 09:13 PM #11
For 10 bucks you might wonder why people are talking about doing this at home, sadly I'm broke enough to completely get it.
10-24-2007, 03:05 AM #12
Rontele: thanks for the double-edged praise
mntlion: good point. I think I have an appropriate boot shell to practice on.
Also, by the time I drive to the shop and back twice I can have already done it myself.
10-24-2007, 03:07 AM #13
Both very valid reasons to DIY as well.
/need to get a Foredom.
10-24-2007, 07:01 AM #14
10-24-2007, 10:05 AM #15
A lot of this depends on where the pressure point lies on your foot. Is it a toe, 6th toe, heel, etc.? Certain points are going to be a lot simpler to improvise tools for.
10-24-2007, 10:42 AM #16
I do so miss Mike Tyson Nude Punch Out.
"Nothing is funnier than Hitler." - Smokey McPole
10-24-2007, 11:45 AM #17
I think they actually had the boots in the machine for a long time. I brought two pairs to do, and they could not get them both done on the same day.
I called them to ask about the process. The tech said that he puts the boot in a hydraulic press, and uses a heat gun several times over the course of a day or more to increase the chances for a more permanent punch.
Last edited by snowranger; 10-24-2007 at 11:51 AM.
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