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  1. #1
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    Feb 2017
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    How do I Sharpen my Skis Edges (properly)?

    I don't think i've ever seen more contradictory information on something in my life. Really all over the place. i've watched a bunch of Youtube videos and they each do it differently and without fail someone will comment how they are completely fucking it up. Searched TGR and still no real conclusive information. Either way, I bought some tools before the season but never wanted to sharpen my skis as they were new, worked fine and I didn't want to waste a ski day fiddling with detuning and all that stuff. But seasons over and wanted to try to sharpen them / remove burrs and rust before putting them away for the year. Never done this before.

    Tools I Have
    Toko Diamond File - Coarse (Blue)
    Toko Diamond File - Fine (Red)
    Soft Gummi Stone
    Toko Multi Angle Base File Guide (This One)
    Toko Edge Tuner Pro (This One)


    The process as i understand it is find out what the base and side edges were set at first, i have a Line Sick Day 104 so this site says they were set at 1.5/1.5 from the factory.

    Step 1. Prep them with the coarse diamond file and gummi stone to remove the burrs and rust. Should i be putting the coarse (blue) diamond file in the base and side edge file guides (at 1.5/1.5 angles) or is it fine to just do it by hand since they're going to be set with the rougher file (ones that came with the base and side file guides) right after that? And some people used the fine (red) diamond file in this step after the coarse blue one and some didn't so not sure if thats used here.

    Step 2. Next step would be to use the side and base file guide to sharpen the edges. Some people go back and forth like they're sanding something and then some say go tip to tail so i have no fucking clue which one to do, tip to tail probably. Also someone said that the base file should pointing back like in this picture, but this guy does it the opposite way at minute 1:25. Also he says 89* on the side angle guide corresponds to 1* (no clue why they do it like this), so would 88* correspond to 1.5*, or should i put it at 88.5* in order to set it at 1.5*?


    Step 3. After sharpening, the guy i linked in the video ran the gummi stone over the whole thing, which people said was wrong and would remove the edge you just created. In another video the guy used the coarse diamond stone (in the file guides) to remove burrs created by the sharpening process before detuning. so any ideas on what is correct?

    4. To detune what tool should i use? would the coarse blue file at a 45* angle at the tips and tails work? or is there a different file people use for this? some people used a gummi stone but then others said thats just for polishing and wouldn't properly detune them. And not 100% sure where to start and end the detune but seems like that is more personal preference than anything

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, just trying to figure out how to do this properly. If there is a guide that someone put together already that answers all this then please link it and ill delete this

  2. #2
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    [video] https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi4N4duxwgk[\video]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    How do I Sharpen my Skis Edges (properly)?

    A few thoughts...
    1) I always work the base and edges relative to the direction of ski travel, IE. tip to tail
    2) I personally carefully de burr with a blue diamond file, first on the side, then the base.
    3) IMO when you are filing the edge you may be creating a fine burr along the entire length of the ski as a byproduct of sharpening, running a gummi stone down the length of the edge will polish and remove this. A smooth and shinny edge creates less drag.
    4) In my experience gummi stones work great for final tuning relative to terrain and conditions (I refuse to call this detuning, though many do - think suspension tuning for moto GP, etc.). For me this is nuanced and its better to go incrementally, and I may actually carry the gummi with me and put the finishing touches on in between runs.

    At the end of the day, it's about what gets you the end result that works for YOU. YMMV

    Generally speaking, unless you are skiing on the World Cup, I wouldn't overthink it too much (unless you are OCD and can't help yourself, in which case, carry on).

  4. #4
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    How do I Sharpen my Skis Edges (properly)?

    .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    78
    Quote Originally Posted by ACH View Post
    A few thoughts...
    1) I always work the base and edges relative to the direction of ski travel, IE. tip to tail
    2) I personally carefully de burr with a blue diamond file, first on the side, then the base.
    3) IMO when you are filing the edge you may be creating a fine burr along the entire length of the ski as a byproduct of sharpening, running a gummi stone down the length of the edge will polish and remove this. A smooth and shinny edge creates less drag.
    4) In my experience gummi stones work great for final tuning relative to terrain and conditions (I refuse to call this detuning, though many do - think suspension tuning for moto GP, etc.). For me this is nuanced and its better to go incrementally, and I may actually carry the gummi with me and put the finishing touches on in between runs.

    At the end of the day, it's about what gets you the end result that works for YOU. YMMV

    Generally speaking, unless you are skiing on the World Cup, I wouldn't overthink it too much (unless you are OCD and can't help yourself, in which case, carry on).

    Very helpful, thank you. Do you know what degree corresponds to what degree (1.5* = 90*) for the side ?

    And probably a little OCD but I’ve taken the figure it out as I go along approach with a waxing and other stuff but the different ways of doing it we’re starting to get confusing for this, want to at least get a idea of how to do it correctly but don’t need perfection

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman922 View Post
    Very helpful, thank you. Do you know what degree corresponds to what degree (1.5* = 90*) for the side ?

    And probably a little OCD but I’ve taken the figure it out as I go along approach with a waxing and other stuff but the different ways of doing it we’re starting to get confusing for this, want to at least get a idea of how to do it correctly but don’t need perfection
    This is basic math. Think of a right angle, it is 90*. 89= 1, 88=2 degree bevel.



    1.5 is and will always be 88.5. Capish?
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    1,330
    I wonder if your new skis were ever de-tuned initially. My experience is that pretty much all new skis need a d-tune. It can be done in a few minutes, not a day.

    This is easy stuff really, knock down the big damage and then smooth and polish the edge.
    Buy a bastard file; for burrs and worse, start with that then refine the next tool to the edge.

    Quite a variety of stones from softer gummis to varying hardness for polishing. An ultrasmooth diamond will be dead soon if you try to remove a burr or knick w/it.

    Honestly, just commit to the Q&P.

    Always good to see Doug.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacman922 View Post
    Very helpful, thank you. Do you know what degree corresponds to what degree (1.5* = 90*) for the side ?

    And probably a little OCD but I’ve taken the figure it out as I go along approach with a waxing and other stuff but the different ways of doing it we’re starting to get confusing for this, want to at least get a idea of how to do it correctly but don’t need perfection
    Set your base guide to 1.5. Set file guide(side edger) to 88.5. That is 1.5/1.5 and also a 90° angle.

  9. #9
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    Different manufacturers refer to a non-90 degree side edge angle differently.

    My 2 SVST side edge guides are marked 90 and 92.

    You'll see this same angle referred to as 0 and 2, as well as 90 and 88 respectively. Same thing.

    The side edge angle relative to a flat (0 degree base) is always 90 degrees or less. IOW, if you laid a square on the base and butted it up against the side edge, this 90 degree angle would be the maximum any ski is tuned to.

    So you won't be buying a 92 when you want an 88.

    Base bevel guide specs tend to be less ambiguous.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  10. #10
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    Read this page before you start, and watch the videos within.

    https://www.racewax.com/edge-tuning/
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  11. #11
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    northern BC
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    mostly what I ski is soft snow with not many rocks so not much to fix i think i have 2 pair of skis in the somewhat bloated quiver that are several years old and are still virgin cuz there isnt much to hit

    super sharp isnt all that necessary so mostly I just use a file in a 90 degree edge guide

    I very seldom do the base edge if it didnt get hit but if I need to drawfiling with a piece of cardboard under the opposite edge seems to work

    i don't dull edges much unless a ski feels particularly evil but I would just use a piece of emery cloth, carry it with you and do 5 or 10 cms from the ends at time till the ski is not evil

    I don't get many core shots and i don't sweat scratches either ... think of it as base structure
    Last edited by XXX-er; 05-11-2019 at 12:41 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    I take a file and run it perpendicular to the sharp edge till it not sharp.

    Idk. Maybe I'm missing something but I hate edges. Groomers are groomers and everywhere else I don't want edges to catch. I dulled the shit out of a beater pair I bought and was blown away how well they still worked

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by margotron View Post
    I take a file and run it perpendicular to the sharp edge till it not sharp.

    Idk. Maybe I'm missing something but I hate edges. Groomers are groomers and everywhere else I don't want edges to catch. I dulled the shit out of a beater pair I bought and was blown away how well they still worked
    Ya, while I bought a 92 side guide, it remains unused, some 10 years later.

    Maybe I'm missing something also, but my only complaints skiing in the West have been too sharp, and not too dull.

    One area of curiosity which I may never explore (unless I encounter a weird ski) is a gradient base bevel - 1.5 or 2 at tip and tail region, and 1 under the main length of the ski.

    It's more the geek in me that's curious, and not something borne out of perceived need.

    ... Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 05-11-2019 at 01:24 PM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  14. #14
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    Couple-o-days at Crested Butte or Big Sky should put a proper tune on them.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  15. #15
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    Fuck sharpening edges.

    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  16. #16
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    Nov 2015
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    18
    Pacman
    I will go in order of your steps with my comments.
    Step 1 No need to use a gummi if you are going to touch the edges with a diamond or file. Never by hand use the guide we are talking about the difference between a degree, you are not that steady to hold a degree for the length of the ski.

    I do not do anything to the bottom edge, correctly done only the metal edge has a bevel, the first time you use your guide with a file or diamond you will be removing ptex and beveling the petex not just edge. If your bottom edge needs attention take it to a shop for a base grind. The base bevel is important, you do not want to make it wider (across the petex).
    I do not know of any side edge file guides that come in 1/2 degrees that is 1.5, 2.5, I realize you can set an adjustable side edge tool to 1.5, I would settle on 1 degree base and 2 degrees side, those are wide skis that hopefully you will be using on soft snow not ice!

    So the sequence is: look at carefully and slowly feel your edge for roughness. If you have hit a rock that action heats the edge, which hardens the steel such that a file will glide over it with out removing material. This is where a diamond or stone comes in, use your guide with a coarse diamond to remove that hardend burr. Now you are ready to file, diamond, or stone the side edge depending upon how long it has been or how messed up they are. Tip to Tail or tail to tip is not a major issue. Once you have restored the sharpness this is where some folks like to use a gummi not a diamond to slightly deburr the edge. Remember you just spent a bunch of time getting the edge uniformly sharp, this is no time to 45 degree it with a file or diamond and destroy your work.

    If you touch up your edges often the work is very fast because you are staying on top of it. The longer between touch ups the more work. I use a file only to "set" the edge at the angle I want, after that I use diamonds unless the edge is damaged, three grits starting coarser to finer. I start and finsh one edge before going to the next edge instead of doing all four edges with one diamond then on to the next. The smoother the edge is the longer it last, that is why I use four diamonds ending with a 800 grit. You can see your reflection in the edge it should almost look like it is plated
    like chrome.

    You will find many opinions about this subject and find some folks are more sensitive to edges than other, figure out where you are. Edges are important to me so I go to the trouble to do what I do.

  17. #17
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    Since you have invested in Toko guides, may want to forego all the You Tube videos (which maybe good or could be done by someone that is doing it wrong), and head over to the Toko videos. They are done by their techs (some of which have done world cup racing tuning... Only comments I have are file will take much more material off and side edge should only be hit with it after you have removed the nicks, imperfections, or spots that a rock or stone has hardened the metal. Use your diamond stones or just a sharpening stone first before any file touches them (depending on how bad the skis are- the higher the number the better as but sometimes you have to start pretty low and be more aggressive until you have a smooth run down the ski edges. As stated use the guides, you paid for them. I sometimes do the diamond stone or sharpening stone in both directions over a spot (just saves a few minutes. But if you are then not going to be hitting the skis with a file, tip to tail is the best method on each of the edges.... And always tip to tail as you get closer to being finished with the edge work. A gummi stone is always in my opinion run down the edges at least 1 time at a 45 degree if you have used a file on them to get rid of the hanging burr. More aggressive and more passes for tip and tail a few inches if you want them to not hook up as much as a ski that has not been detuned slightly.

  18. #18
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    Isn't it about this stage in the thread where someone posts the Q&P?

    OK , I'll do it ...



    ... Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 05-12-2019 at 12:21 AM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  19. #19
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    I love that vid. Good bump. Rip Doug

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by galibier_numero_un View Post
    Isn't it about this stage in the thread where someone posts the Q&P?

    OK , I'll do it ...

    https://youtu.be/Wi4N4duxwgk

    ... Thom
    Well, it was posted about 12 hrs ago(post#2), but who's countin'. Thread can always use more Doug.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Where do you ski
    Quote Originally Posted by robertrs View Post
    Pacman
    I will go in order of your steps with my comments.
    Step 1 No need to use a gummi if you are going to touch the edges with a diamond or file. Never by hand use the guide we are talking about the difference between a degree, you are not that steady to hold a degree for the length of the ski.

    I do not do anything to the bottom edge, correctly done only the metal edge has a bevel, the first time you use your guide with a file or diamond you will be removing ptex and beveling the petex not just edge. If your bottom edge needs attention take it to a shop for a base grind. The base bevel is important, you do not want to make it wider (across the petex).
    I do not know of any side edge file guides that come in 1/2 degrees that is 1.5, 2.5, I realize you can set an adjustable side edge tool to 1.5, I would settle on 1 degree base and 2 degrees side, those are wide skis that hopefully you will be using on soft snow not ice!

    So the sequence is: look at carefully and slowly feel your edge for roughness. If you have hit a rock that action heats the edge, which hardens the steel such that a file will glide over it with out removing material. This is where a diamond or stone comes in, use your guide with a coarse diamond to remove that hardend burr. Now you are ready to file, diamond, or stone the side edge depending upon how long it has been or how messed up they are. Tip to Tail or tail to tip is not a major issue. Once you have restored the sharpness this is where sme folks like to use a gummi not a diamond to slightly deburr the edge. Remember you just spent a bunch of time getting the edge uniformly sharp, this is no time to 45 degree it with a file or diamond and destroy your work.

    If you touch up your edges often the work is very fast because you are staying on top of it. The longer between touch ups the more work. I use a file only to "set" the edge at the angle I want, after that I use diamonds unless the edge is damaged, three grits starting coarser to finer. I start and finsh one edge before going to the next edge instead of doing all four edges with one diamond then on to the next. The smoother the edge is the longer it last, that is why I use four diamonds ending with a 800 grit. You can see your reflection in the edge it should almost look like it is plated
    like chrome.

    You will find many opinions about this subject and find some folks are more sensitive to edges than other, figure out where you are. Edges are important to me so I go to the trouble to do what I do.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuco View Post
    Well, it was posted about 12 hrs ago(post#2), but who's countin'. Thread can always use more Doug.
    What? Me count? I'm still working on that readin' thang.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertrs View Post
    Pacman
    I will go in order of your steps with my comments.
    Step 1 No need to use a gummi if you are going to touch the edges with a diamond or file. Never by hand use the guide we are talking about the difference between a degree, you are not that steady to hold a degree for the length of the ski.

    I do not do anything to the bottom edge, correctly done only the metal edge has a bevel, the first time you use your guide with a file or diamond you will be removing ptex and beveling the petex not just edge. If your bottom edge needs attention take it to a shop for a base grind. The base bevel is important, you do not want to make it wider (across the petex).
    I do not know of any side edge file guides that come in 1/2 degrees that is 1.5, 2.5, I realize you can set an adjustable side edge tool to 1.5, I would settle on 1 degree base and 2 degrees side, those are wide skis that hopefully you will be using on soft snow not ice!

    So the sequence is: look at carefully and slowly feel your edge for roughness. If you have hit a rock that action heats the edge, which hardens the steel such that a file will glide over it with out removing material. This is where a diamond or stone comes in, use your guide with a coarse diamond to remove that hardend burr. Now you are ready to file, diamond, or stone the side edge depending upon how long it has been or how messed up they are. Tip to Tail or tail to tip is not a major issue. Once you have restored the sharpness this is where some folks like to use a gummi not a diamond to slightly deburr the edge. Remember you just spent a bunch of time getting the edge uniformly sharp, this is no time to 45 degree it with a file or diamond and destroy your work.

    If you touch up your edges often the work is very fast because you are staying on top of it. The longer between touch ups the more work. I use a file only to "set" the edge at the angle I want, after that I use diamonds unless the edge is damaged, three grits starting coarser to finer. I start and finsh one edge before going to the next edge instead of doing all four edges with one diamond then on to the next. The smoother the edge is the longer it last, that is why I use four diamonds ending with a 800 grit. You can see your reflection in the edge it should almost look like it is plated
    like chrome.

    You will find many opinions about this subject and find some folks are more sensitive to edges than other, figure out where you are. Edges are important to me so I go to the trouble to do what I do.
    1. Do you use the coarse as well as fine diamond file in this step, or just the coarse for the first step?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Montana
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    170
    like anything in life the more you do it the better you will become, you will develop a style/technique that works for you

    personally i only use a bastard mill to knock down rock bashed edges then a coarse diamond by hand with no guide to fine tune the whole edge. after that a definite detune tip n tail is required on all my skis

    i agree with others here about not concerning yourself with how sharp your edges are, skiing the west (for me) requires an aggressive detune especially with rockered skis. i've had skis that i thought were detuned enough only to hook a tip and faceplant.

    now i concern myself more with dull edge tip n tail and still "somewhat sharp" underfoot/ee - ymmv

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by detuned View Post
    i agree with others here about not concerning yourself with how sharp your edges are, skiing the west (for me) requires an aggressive detune especially with rockered skis.
    check the username, he's a true believer :-)

    and .. +1 from CO

    aggressive detune is mandatory.

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