Guide to Sharper Edges

Guide to Sharper Edges

While your waiting for the snow to fly, it is a good time to do a little edge maintenance on your skis or board. Since it may have been a while since you broke out the files here are a couple tips to keep in mind as you get to work.

Start by cleaning your ski base. You do not want any dirt - grime from the ski base fouling up your files or your edges.

Next clean your files, a quick soak in a ski base cleaner will do the trick of loosing up schmutz trapped in the nether regions of your mill and diamond files. Make sure you dry your files once you are done cleaning otherwise they will rust

Always work your files in the direction of travel. We want all the microscopic metal fibers to be pointing back toward the back of the ski.

When using your files take short, firm strokes, and let the tool do the work. After a few strokes, move the file in the guide just a 1/4", so you have a fresh cutting surface along the face of the file. If you do not move the file the cutting face of the file will clog and the file will not be doing its job.

A quick wipe down with a clean rag will help pull the metal shavings and dust from the surface of the edges to keep your files clean.

Double check the angles you have been skiing on, or make sure the new angle you are applying is greater than what you had been using. Remember if you are looking to reduce the side edge angel you will need to start with a base grind to reset your ski base.

When cutting a new side or base angle one should start with a Mill file, these are the larger metal files with metal teeth. All of the cutting will be done using a Mill file since their purpose is to remove material. So be cautious when working with them. Diamond files are there to clean up and polish what the Mill file left behind.

Once you have defined the angles you want on your skis with a Mill file. You will move on to your polishing files, normally these contain a diamond cutting surface. These will not remove as much material as the Mill file but will certainly clog if you do not introduce a clean cutting surface every couple of strokes. During the process of polishing the metal fibers that make up your ski edge will be come less and less grainy. Getting to a point at the microscopic level that it becomes very smooth and uniform.


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