A list of required tools for building skis are presented below. Some of
these tools you may already own, say for example, a drill and a jig saw.
Others, however, like a table saw or an air compressor or even an electric planer
are more specialized, and you may have to purchase them. All of the tools
shown below can be purchased from
your local hardware store. But if you're on
a budget, try borrowing these tools from someone you know.
Note Most of the items below are power
tools and require special training to operate them. Please read a tool's
operating manual or seek professional assistance to properly operate a
tool. Always work in a well lit and ventilated
area. Also, wear safety goggles at all times and
be sure to read our note about safety.
||Safety glasses Eye protection is very important, so make sure
you wear them at all times. Safety glasses as shown on the
left are mandatory and should be worn at all times during the ski building
process. Additionally, wear an appropriate mask to minimize toxic
fumes and inhaling harmful debris.
||Router A router is a
power tool used for removing/shaping materials, such as wood or plastic.
In our application, a router is used to cut contours, create templates, and
to plane a surface. For example, a router is used to
"profile" the vertical contours of the ski mold, and it is used to shape
and profile the ski's wood core.
||Drill and drill bits
This tool is used to drill holes and also, to aid in installing screws. Have in hand a
collection of drill bits that range in diameter from 1/16" to
|Sanders A sander is
used to smooth rough surfaces and in our application, it is used to smooth
out the wood cores for the skis. Also, an electric sander will come in
handy for smoothing the surfaces of the mold. We use an electric
belt sander (shown to the left) for most of our sanding operations.
||Jig saw A jig saw is
used to cut curves in wood or plastic. In our application, it is used
to trim away excess material during the finishing process.
||Table saw A table saw
is used for ripping wood and cutting wood with relatively straight edges.
A table saw is used to cut strips of wood for the skis' core and also aids in building the mold for the ski press.
||Torch A torch is used
to heat edge material so that it can be bent more easily. If you have an
edge bender (a device designed to bend the steel ski edges) then a torch
is not necessary. Please exercise caution when using a torch and
work outdoors only and in an area with good ventilation. Wearing a
flame-retardant suit is also a good idea.
||Clamps Clamps are
used to clamp together wood or other materials during the gluing process, or
they can be used to hold materials in place during cutting. A
wide assortment of clamps will make the ski construction process much
Air compressor An air compressor is used to inflate and maintain
the pressure within the bladder of the ski press. The compressor of
choice should be one that can deliver up to 100 psi of pressure.
Additionally, the compressor should have a regulator to regulate the
pressure of the bladder at a desired value. For instance, during the
ski pressing process, the compressor should be able to maintain constant
bladder pressure for several hours until the epoxy cures.
||Electric planer (optional)
A planer is used to remove material to produce a very flat and smooth
surface. A planer is handy for profiling the wood core for a ski.
An alternative to an electric planer (shown on the left) is a
small handheld planer. A handheld planer is not as efficient as an
electric planer, but they are more affordable.
Other tools that are needed include: screw
drivers, utility knives for cutting ski materials, scissors, markers,
pliers, a straight edge, and a hammer.