Overview After all the preparations have been made the actual
pressing can begin. Be sure to give yourself enough time (15-20
minutes) for the entire process. Latex gloves are must for this
process. The following describes a layup that uses cloth as the
graphics layer for the top and bottom of the ski. If you have screen
printed or sublimated graphics you can skip steps 4 and 9.
Step 1 Start by carefully measuring out the epoxy resin and
hardener. For one ski, 300-500 grams of resin should be enough.
The resin will be easier to work with if measured out in smaller batches of
100-150 grams. Otherwise the mixture will set off too quickly and may
possibly cure improperly. Keep the resin and hardener separated until you are ready
to begin. If using pigments add them into the resin and mix at this
An easy way to measure epoxy is by using a scale. Food scales work
great and are relatively inexpensive.
Step 2 Mix the first batch of resin and hardener.
Place a generous amount of the epoxy onto the base material and spread evenly.
Make sure that the epoxy covers the edges well and seeps into the cracks.
Remember that epoxy is the only thing that holds the edges onto the base so
insuring adequate coverage is important.
Step 3 If using rubber dampening strips, dip them into the epoxy
and use your fingers to squeeze away the excess epoxy. Cover the
edges of the ski with the rubber strips. Carefully remove any
large wrinkles or folds in the rubber with your fingers.
Step 4 Place the fabric graphic layer on top of the base
material. Remember that the graphic should be facing down.
Carefully center the graphic with the base. Coat the fabric with
some more epoxy making sure the entire surface is wet.
Step 5 Lay the composite on top of the fabric layer. It's
easiest to have the composite rolled up beforehand. Start at one end and
slowly unroll the composite. Wet the composite out with epoxy as
done with the fabric layer. The composite should look
semi-transparent when wet.
Step 6 Flip the wood core base side up. Coat the
bottom with a little epoxy. Flip the core over again with the base
side facing down and place on top of the composite layer.
Make sure the core is properly aligned and nail into place using the
This step is very important because a misaligned core can ruin the entire
ski. Coat the top of the core with some more epoxy and spread
Note that in the above picture the nails are shown protruding from the core.
This is shown only for demonstration purposes. Normally the nail heads
would be hammered until they are flush with the core.
Step 8 Place a composite layer on the core and wet out with
epoxy as before.
Step 9 Arrange the fabric graphic layer on the composite and
coat with some more epoxy.
Step 10 Lay the topsheet on the fabric layer. Note
that the topsheet material may have protective masking on one side. Make
sure that this masked side is facing upwards away from the ski.
If the masked side is placed against the fabric layer it will not bond at all.
Step 11 Place the top pressing layer on the top sheet material.
The top pressing sheet is something relatively thick and smooth that will not
bond to epoxy. This prevents the bladder from pressing directly onto
the top sheet and leaves a smooth finish. You can use a variety of
plastics for this purpose. Just make sure that
this layer is completely smooth.
Step 12 After all the materials have been placed in the mold it
is time to seal up the painters plastic bag. Wrap the excess plastic
around the materials and secure the edges to the top pressing sheet with tape.
You should now have a bag that encloses the ski materials and epoxy.
Step 13 Next, lay the bladder on top of the ski materials.
Then place the top mold on the bladder.
Step 14 Insert the mold with the bladder and top mold into the
press. Connect the air compressor hose to the bladder valve.
Step 15 With your safety glasses on, slowly increase the
pressure of the bladder to 10-15psi. Check if the bladder is
providing pressure on all parts of the mold. Pay careful attention
to the tip and tail areas. If there is a problem release the bladder
pressure and make the necessary adjustments. Perform an inspection on the
press and make sure the frame shows no signs of malfunction.
Step 16 Gradually increase the bladder pressure to the
desired operating pressure (30-60psi) in 10psi increments. Perform
the routine inspections of the press along the way.
Step 17 Leave the press running until the epoxy has completely
hardened. We usually leave our presses running 10-12 hours at room
temperature. For colder temperatures you may need a longer
After the ski has cured you can start the finishing process.