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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SLC no more.

    TR: (pics+vid) I built another pair of skis + then skied them too!

    Building my first pair of skis was a bit of a learning process. This was expected. My "Model Ones" were a bit rough around the edges - a bunch of pockets of trapped air under the topsheets, the turning radius wasn't quite smooth, and the front rocker wasn't as tall as I had hoped. But they worked rather well on the snow considering. They were stiff as shit, so surprisingly, they held a pretty good edge on groomers and loved straightlining. In the deep they were a bit too stiff, and the rocker was too low to provide a lot of rise, but they managed. I did however find the one condition where they shined. Heavy snow. Be it 8" of fresh wet late season snow or chopped up mank, the Model Twos busted through it.

    Model Two specs:
    Length: 191 cm
    Dimensions: 146-121-127
    Camber underfoot: 0
    Tip rocker: 40 cm length, ~5.2 cm total rise
    Tail Rocker: 30 cm length, ~3.2 cm total rise

    Before mounting.

    Holding an edge on the groomed.

    Video of said skis in pow

    In February I decided I should start a second pair. The goal was a ski that was slightly less stiff, but still on the stiff side of things, more tip rocker, less tail rocker, slightly narrower, a tad more sidecut, and a better overall quality of finish. I started with a template and then the cores.

    Desired Model Two specs:
    189 cm
    Camber underfoot: 0.5 cm
    Tip Rocker: 30-40 cm length, 7 cm total rise
    Tail Rocker: 10-15 cm length, 4 cm total rise

    In the cores I primarily used pine stringers, but also added two fir stringers in the middle. I was interested in how the flex would be impacted and I thought the darker central stringers would show up nicely with a clear topsheet.

    Building the cores.

    Cores, one side leveled out with the router bridge.

    Then my usually flexible grad student schedule got busier. Finishing up 4 papers for publication, a defense, and a 200 page dissertation put a damper on my ski building project. Still managed to ski though.

    In late July my schedule opened up again. However, I had gotten a postdoc position in North Carolina in a really good program, which threw a wrench in my plans to finish the Model Twos for the 2010-2011 season. With a month to go before my exodus from Utah, in late July I made the decision to finish my skis ASAP and get out on them for my August turns, despite they not being the most appropriate summer snow oriented skis. August would also mark my first successful Turns All Year cycle. I had several past attempts cut short for a variety reasons.

    Crunch time.

    Bases and edges.

    Cores profiled for more flex, but stiff underfoot.

    And then the tip spacers went on.

    I adjusted my mold. Luckily I had made it adjustable - swap out the ribs to raise or lower the rocker and create some camber.

    Soon it was time to press. I used the vacuum press method again. I'm not too happy with it. I once again had trouble sealing all the leaks. I got a good enough pressing though. If I move back to the mountains after my stint in NC and pick up this hobby again, I'm definitely going to move to a hydraulic press.

    After pressing. Only 3 bubbles this time. Not perfect, but it's an improvement.

    After cutting the skis out, beveling the sidewalls, and waterproofing the sidewalls.

    Camber/rocker profile. Pretty much just what I was going for.

    I was in time crunch to get them ready and mounted for skiing on August 1st. On top of wrapping things up at work I was participating in the Hurt in the Dirt trail run/MTB race in Ogden on Saturday, so I just barely got the skis waxed and mounted in time.

    My buddy Kristian and I headed up to Alta to chase the remaining snow. Gunsight or the Castle Apron? Well, Gunsight looked super thin, so we continued on to the Apron. It was looking thin as well, but better than Gunsight.

    The snow sucked. It was all suncupped and riddled with rocks. But it was snow. It's hard to really say how well my skis performed in those conditions. They were manageable. The tip rocker may have helped smooth out the suncups a bit though. I will have to bring the Model Twos back to UT next winter for testing under good snow conditions.

    And here is the video showcasing the skis and some less than stellar turns.

    August 1st. Check. Turns All Year complete just barely before I leave UT.
    TRs, photos, videos, and building skis (2 pairs so far...):

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Mr Worldwide - like Pitbull with a better vocabulary
    2 pairs of homegrown skis?
    grad projects completed?
    good job offer?
    2 dogs AND turns all year?
    great fucking life TR id say.

    that suncupped skid mark looked horrible to ski! but congrats on everything nonetheless. i really dig the look (graphics, shape, etc) of the first pair alot. is that a dirty angry snowman on the right tip of the model 2s?
    "Yeah, yeah. you buy Playboy for the articles just like I watch Brokeback Mountain for the scenery... wait, that doesnt work."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    We were on Black Streak yesterday and saw you guys on the apron, strong work.

    We were probably on pitch 5 and could clearly hear your turns and finally figured out what was causing the noise when we saw you guys near the bottom.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    that is awesome! good for u!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Too far from the mountains
    Very cool. Was the mold rigid enough? Or did you get bumps where the supports are under the masonite?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Inspiring!!! I like how you are getting the camber in the skis and the adjustable table so you can really get what you want...I am so stealing that idea for my wooden Tele ski project which is starting(ok already made one pair but they look horrible)in about two weeks...just clearing out the garage and should be set in days. Thanks for the boost and great you got your first Turns all Year...had to give up on that goal last year with all the craziness. Keep it up!!!
    I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

    P.E.T.A. People Eating Tasty Animals

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SLC no more.
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Sh4ft. I can imagine our turns were pretty loud. The suncups were ginormous. And then there were the rocks littered all over the place. Was hoping it'd be smoother like a few weeks ago so I could have gotten a better feel for the skis.

    freshrider, yeah, so the mold worked out pretty well for the vacuum approach. No bumps. The masonite formed a nice smooth curve over the ribs. This sort of approach definitely would not work with a hydraulic press though.

    Jarly, definitely go ahead with your project. I've got an old pair of Norwegian wood sticks hanging on a wall in my house. If they're not skiable, then they always make good decor.
    TRs, photos, videos, and building skis (2 pairs so far...):

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Strong work
    Keep it up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    i like it when this place goes and gets all instructables on us, nice.

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