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  1. #1
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    Review: Binding Freedom Inserts - The Swiss Cheese Experiment

    So I did it. I put a ton of really big holes in my brand new skis. 17 in each ski to be exact. The dream: FKS clamps for the resort and dynafiddles for touring. Oh yeah: I want minimum weight penalty and no stack height added. Impossible? They've beeen skied for a bit now, and haven't exploded yet...

    I started by making a custom template based on Jondrums excellent thread. Using CAD to draft it up, I was able to maximize spacing between holes. Turns out if you slide the FKS pattern back ~0.2cm you can achieve just over 1.4cm center-to-center clearance. I've read multiple places that 2cm is ideal for these larger holes. I couldn't resist. So I took the plunge.

    Here's the basic template started from Jon. I've been refining these for others, and find a paper template printed on heavy-duty transparent (vellum in my case) to be the best solution for tricky mounts. For example, working around a previous mount or mounting two sets of inserts.


    The circles shown have a 1.5cm radius for reference.

    Anyway, got to work drilling my new boards. Used a drill and collar on an F bit. Had a solid center punch to guide the bit, but I would for sure recommend starting with a smaller bit first. I think it's tough to drill the 1/4" or F bit into a flat ski precisely in the correct spot. If you're starting flat, drill small first.

    This shows ze cheeez. Thats a lot of empty space, and it was scary to look at at first.



    Then I started tapping. I made a shitty guide to help me keep the tap plumb. Just a 5/16 hole in some scrap. Worked fine, but there are better methods out there. I like the idea of tapped acrylic, and will give that a shot next. I think using a drill press is a scary idea, but I have also installed a set of quiver killers that way.



    Here's the finished product in the heel area:



    Things turned out great. So far so good, but we'll see. I just installed a similar pattern on a pair of Zealots. So I'll check back in with both skis. They're going to be skied hard and often - I think it will be a good test of what is possible with these guys. One thing I really liked about these inserts is the notch at the top. While I found it difficult to use to install (maybe just didn't have a perfect driver), it was great to back them out for any reason. This could happen if you didn't like how they were threading or you installed them a hair past flush going in the ski. Nice finishing touches on the product. I'm super impressed with the quality, as I am with the Dynaduke as well. Great service as well from Jon.

    This wasn't meant to be an installation guide, but I thought I would share my experiment and add a couple tips I've learned mounting quite a few inserts now. Also wanted to throw in a plug for stainless inserts - which I think kick ass. I feel pretty damn good about these holding up long term even with the swiss cheese factor. I'll post some more pics of any other creative mounts we end up doing.

    [SPAM] If anyone needs a hand installing in the Salt Lake area, drop me a line. We've done quite a few pairs now and have started installing for others. We could also help you out with a custom double mount, etc. [/SPAM]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Boulder
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    Looks pretty clean.
    I especially like the fact that your experiment was on a pair of DPS'

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    I may want to talk to you in a bit about doing an install of some inserts after I order them. Also would you consider grub or set screws to fill the other holes when not in use? its an idea I have been wondering about but maybe its too much effort. Seems that screw would make the ski act more like a solid plank at the insert rather than a plank with a hole.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
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    Canada
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    I wish my experimental skis were 112rp's....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    ME
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    Looks sweet.

    After success installing plates on some other skis, I just tried my first insert installation, and for some reason, miserably failed, somehow stripped out several holes while tapping...am I totally screwed?

    Fill holes with epoxy, re drill, retap and hope for the best?
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Aspen, Colorado
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    Peter, I have a good idea what went wrong, from my first mount. It is hard to get the tap to cleanly bite into the topsheet, which is where most of your retention is. If you take a piece of plastic cutting board material about 1/2" thick and drill into it with a drill press (perfect 90 degrees) and then tap it with the 5/16" tap, you will have a perfect tap guide. Then you clamp it over the drilled holes in your ski and run the tap in with a drill. The advantage of the tapped guide versus just a hole guide is that the tap is forced into the ski at the correct thread pitch.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2004
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    ME
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    Sounds good, jethro, thanks. I think I rushed through the tapping process, and now have three of nine stripped holes where the inserts just can't get any purchase. Sucks.

    Sorry grenalds... not trying to derail your thread...
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    North Vancouver
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    1,067
    Toe area on your DPS looks identical to my Hardsides (so it should as your FKS toe is same as my Pivot toe). I ran Quiver Killers for FT12's and Pivots.

    I freehanded the whole shebang and got lucky.

    Nice job. So far I'm loving inserts. Swapping bindings thus far has been simple and pain free.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Funny, I sketched out the exact pattern on a pair of skis last night... you can possibly skip the 5th dynafit hole for a slightly cleaner install. I have Plums which only use the back four holes.

    Also new Dynafit Radical bindings will have a slightly elongated hole pattern which will eke out another 3mm clearance between each dynafit hole and the back two FKS holes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    84
    Thanks for sharing. I have been hesitant to try this on 2 year old High Society FR and you went for it on DPS.

    Any chance that you have done a mock up of holes for Dynafit/Marker Griffon? The Griffons are already mounted on the skis, so I will need to set the Dynafit holes accordingly.

    @Jethro, thanks for the suggestion for tapping a piece of plastic board first to guide the tap into the ski.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraham View Post
    I may want to talk to you in a bit about doing an install of some inserts after I order them. Also would you consider grub or set screws to fill the other holes when not in use? its an idea I have been wondering about but maybe its too much effort. Seems that screw would make the ski act more like a solid plank at the insert rather than a plank with a hole.
    Hit me up for sure if you'd like some help. I keep the unused inserts open, although I have thought about plugging the exposed ones. Those SS inserts are pretty solid and don't think it's necessary.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird Blaster View Post
    I wish my experimental skis were 112rp's....
    Maybe experimental isn't quite right. Been playing around with inserts for a while now, and I feel they're solid enough to push the 2cm limit. They're also 120s, might as well have my fave binders on my fave skis, ya know?

  13. #13
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    Apr 2008
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    Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by grenalds View Post
    Maybe experimental isn't quite right. Been playing around with inserts for a while now, and I feel they're solid enough to push the 2cm limit. They're also 120s, might as well have my fave binders on my fave skis, ya know?
    Got it - I thought it looked like custom colour pure 112's.

    The 120's with the setup you have is pretty sick - enjoy it man!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kkashkooli View Post
    Any chance that you have done a mock up of holes for Dynafit/Marker Griffon? The Griffons are already mounted on the skis, so I will need to set the Dynafit holes accordingly.

    @Jethro, thanks for the suggestion for tapping a piece of plastic board first to guide the tap into the ski.
    Shoot me a PM. I can help you out with a template.

    Jethro, excellent advice. I mounted two pairs of skis with quiver killers last night using a plastic tap guide after I posted this. BY FAR, the best method I have used. We were tapping about 5 minutes per ski - which I think is a good clip. I think I will make some plastic tap 'templates' for popular bindings... just clamp then tap all 4/5 holes. Probably shave some more time off.

    As far as any screw ups with the tap, Jondrums posted a really good solution here:

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...87#post3163687

  15. #15
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    Nov 2007
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    sfbay
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    That looks super sweet. The FKS/dynafit combo is a really compelling one. Glad to see people experimenting with multiple mounts - time will tell what a good solid spacing rule of thumb should be.

    btw. I have a drill and tap block getting fabricated now, which will really help make the holes straight.

  16. #16
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    Jan 2009
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    Seattle, WA
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    ^^^ Waiting of the drill and tap block myself. I've got some 13-14mm hole spacings I NEED to get right.

    Can't wait to see if the mount here works!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jondrums View Post
    That looks super sweet. The FKS/dynafit combo is a really compelling one. Glad to see people experimenting with multiple mounts - time will tell what a good solid spacing rule of thumb should be.

    btw. I have a drill and tap block getting fabricated now, which will really help make the holes straight.
    Will you be selling the tap block at some point potentially? Seams like guiding the tap straight to the ski is key and unless you have a press, making a homemade tap guide with the plastic peice (cutting board) may be skewed.

  18. #18
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    Nice job.
    watch out for snakes

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by klauss View Post
    Will you be selling the tap block at some point potentially? Seams like guiding the tap straight to the ski is key and unless you have a press, making a homemade tap guide with the plastic peice (cutting board) may be skewed.
    Yeah, no sense making a plastic tap guide without a press I suppose. We have one in the shop so it was a no brainer.

    Seems like there have been others with problems, but I still think you can install inserts by hand (I have done so on ~3 pairs). You just need to have a steady hand and be patient to ensure things are biting and going in plumb. As others have pointed out - the first couple revolutions are key. I would read all the threads here and practice quite a bit on scrap (old skis make way better practice than the 2x4, 2by is much easier).

    I'm sure Jondrums will nail it with his new tool though.

  20. #20
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    Apr 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by jondrums View Post
    That looks super sweet. The FKS/dynafit combo is a really compelling one.
    Anyone had a good look to see what combos are good and bad for hole clearance when mounting inserts for two bindings at the same position for the same sole length? Eg. Dynafit + FKS/other Rossi/Salomon/Tyrolia? Likewise with Dukes. Would be a good reference guide for what works and what doesn't, maybe with suggestions for combos that don't work, eg. "Duke mount needs to be -1cm for good clearance" etc. Not sure if I'll get any new gear next year but the possibility of being able to swap Dynafit and solid alpine bindings makes me think hard about my dream setups without having to spend more than necessary.

  21. #21
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    Jun 2007
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    I mounted -- well, more accurately, Alex at local shop Escape Route mounted -- Quiverkillers on DPS W112RP Pures for Dukes & Dyna FT12s without issue. Solid setup. He freehanded it too after marking drill points with the jig. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

  22. #22
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    Jan 2005
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    Camden, innit?
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    I have quiver killers for TLT Speeds and Dukes on my W105s. Not tested as yet but should get a runout in a week or so
    W105s + TLT Speeds rock FWIW
    fur bearing, drunk, prancing eurosnob

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    LCC
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    Quick update:

    We made this in the shop. It kicks ass. Scrap piece of aluminum. We found the hard plastics got sloppy after a number of taps. This one is $$$. You can see we drilled a dynafit pattern on the aluminum, but have only tapped one hole, since it's a PITA. I think after we tap all 9 holes it's going to be fastest solution.



    We did three more sets of quiver killers last night. We're getting pretty fast. The only step in the process that I still get frustrated is using a fastener to thread in the insert. Even with conservative epoxy use it can be difficult to release the insert at the bottom after ~6 holes. Any ideas?

    Anyway, I still think a transparent template is by far the best method of trying to avoid conflicts when re-mounting a ski. Especially important with holes. Here's a look at one of our early ones (I used this on my lotus 120s):



    We have since got them more streamlined.

    Final update:



    The swiss cheese has yet to explode after more days in paradise. Quick insert tip: if using dynafits - you really need to take care tightening the toe piece. It is easy to leave a little bit of slop which is noticeable when skinning. That dynafit toe piece creates a shitload of stress on icy skinners, etc. There's a reason those guys rip a lot.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamBam_540 View Post
    Anyone had a good look to see what combos are good and bad for hole clearance when mounting inserts for two bindings at the same position for the same sole length?
    I have done:
    FKS/Dynafit: FKS -0.21cm (325 FKS BSL, 320 Dyna BSL)
    Duke/Dyna: Dyna -0.25cm (SmallDuke 303 BSL, Dyna 315 BSL)
    I'll add more if they work out well.

    I have done multiple others with more radical adjustments using the clear templates, but I don't think it is really possible to have 'one size fits all' +/- adjustment. Too many variables, BSL, screw patterns, etc. Especially if you have an existing mount from a jig, since who knows if they nailed it perfectly (my $ says they didn't).

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    South Lake Tahoe
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    jong question: for a standard binding mount screw, not an insert, you want 1cm center to center seperation? I am mounting a sollyfit on a ski previously mounted with a Dynaduke.

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