Overview The steel edges on skis are heat tempered to create a very
hard and durable steel edge. While
this is great for durability, it also makes bending and working with the edges
The edges for the ski can be bent by two methods: (1) hand or (2) edge
bender. The idea is to bend the
edges to fit the base material perfectly without any gaps.
Bending Edges by Hand One way to bend the edges is to heat the
steel. Notice that heating the metal destroys the temper,
but it makes the edge
easy to bend with pliers. It is not recommended to heat other parts of the edge
except for the areas near the tip and tail of the ski. Also, by removing
the temper with heat, the metal edge becomes more susceptible to damage by
Step 1: Heat Up Edges Start the edge bending process by
first heating the metal edge to destroy the temper. When heating the edge
the metal should reach a bright glowing orange before you move onto the next
portion. You will only need to heat the portion of the edges that wrap
around the tips and tails. The sections near the middle portion of the ski
underneath the boot are straight enough that the edges do not need to be bent
and will hold its place when the epoxy is poured in during layup.
Step 2: Cool the Edges Let the edges cool down gradually
until they reach room temperature. Do not accelerate to the cooling
process by quenching the heated edges in water or any other coolant as this will
actually harden the metal making it even more difficult to bend by hand.
Step 3: Bend Edges Using pliers and your finger tips
slowly bend the edges to fit the curvatures around the tips and tails.
You'll find that the edges are relatively easy to bend. However, tight
curves can be frustrating and a little painful on your fingers. Make
small bends at a time while constantly checking the edge curvature to the shape
of the ski base.
Bending Edges with an Edge Bender The best way of
bending edges is with an edge bender. For example, our edge bender shown
below is custom made and consists of a steel wheel and a lever with a bearing.
The edge sits on the wheel with the teeth pointing in and the lever forces the
edge to follow the radius of the wheel.
Step 1: Bend the Edges With and edge
bender there is no need to heat up the edges as when bending by hand. This
allows your edge to keep its strength in the tips and tails. As previously
mentioned, make small bends at time while constantly comparing the edge
curvature to the base material.
Step 2: Finishing with the Details
An edge bender does not allow you to make extremely tight curves as found in
sharp ski tips. These portions can be made by bending with pliers.
Attaching Edges to Base Material After the
edges are bent to contour the perimeter of the ski base material, the next step
is to temporarily attach the edge to the base. This can be done using
Super Glue and clamps.
Step 1: Glue Edges Into Place Use Super
Glue to tack the edges onto the rough side of the base material. We
recommend using the gel form of glue as it is easier to handle and creates less
mess. Place small drops of glue 10-15 cm apart in the straight sections of
the ski (underneath the binding area). Use some alligator clamps to keep
the edges in place until the adhesive has cured.
Step 2: Tips and Tails Near the tip and
tail you may want to glue every 3-5 cm. More glue is required in
these areas because more stress is placed onto the tips and tails when the ski
press forces them into the mold. There is a greater likelihood of the
edges separating from the base near these portions so additional glue is used to
prevent this from happening.
Please note that Super Glue is use to only temporarily hold the edges in
place during layup. There is no need to apply Super Glue to every
tooth of the ski's edge. The epoxy used for the layup will actually seep
into between the edges and base material to provide a much stronger bond capable
of withstanding forces generated during skiing.
Optional Step An optional step that can be done to prepare the skis
bases is to protect them from adhereing to epoxy during layup.
Removing cured epoxy from a ski base can be a time consuming and frustrating
process. This step reduces the likelihood that epoxy cure onto the ski's
Step 1: Cover Base with Tape Before you begin try to
remove as much dust and particles from the base material as possible. A
vacuum, blow dryer, or even a damp cloth will remove most of the debris.
After the base is clean, cover the base with some low adhesive tape.
Cheap, clear packing tape available at discount stores works well for this
application. You can even use masking film (the blue plastic found on new
refrigderators) if available.
Step 2: Trim Off Excess Tape Use a sharp
razor blade to trim the excess tape from the perimeter of the ski's edges as
Step 3: Trace Edge/Base Border Next, use the
same razor to trace the border created by the ski's metal edge and base
This enables the epoxy to flow through the cracks and onto the
tape covering the base. If this step were ignored, the tape would hold
back the epoxy and most likely the epoxy would find it's way in between the tape
and base material. This crack simply allows the epoxy to flow elsewhere.
Once you have finished with the bases, the construction of the
wood cores is next.