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SAFETY FIRST!
(please read)

OVERVIEW
  terminology

EQUIPMENT
  a. required tools
  b. ski press
      - press frame
      - mold
      - bladder
  c. core profiler
  d. edge bender

SKI
CONSTRUCTION
 
a. materials
  b. graphics
  c. ski design
  d. template
  e. base
     edge bending
  f. wood core
     - lamination
     - sidewalls
     - profiling
     - tipspacers
     - inserts
 g. composites
 h. topsheet

LAYUP
 a. preparation
 b. layup

FINISHING

TESTING

VIDEOS
Free Video: Intro to Ski Building (30MB).  Get an overview of the process.



Graphics

Overview  Graphics of a ski can be made using several techniques.  These include die cutting, screen printing, sublimation printing, and hand-drawn graphics. 

Die Cut graphics seem to be the current trend in the ski industry.   They provide for the clearest of images and are easy for a ski manufacturer to replicate.   However, the images obtained from die cut graphics cannot have any shading elements and often lack detail.   Die cut graphics are made by simply cutting out shapes from various colors of base material.  These are arranged together like a jig-saw puzzle to form a full length ski base or in some cases even the topsheet.  For the home builder, die cut graphics can be difficult to create because the individual pieces need to be cut with precision.   This is not easy due to the  hardness of base material. 

Screen Printing is a very popular method for producing mass quantities of the same image.   The images obtained from screen printing can be quite detailed.   Most likely one of your ski's graphics has been screen printed.   This method works by separating an image into its individual colors   A screen with a stencil for each color is then made and ink is squeegeed through the stencil onto the base/topsheet material.   It's basically the same process as for T-shirt screen printing but special epoxy inks are required. 

Sublimation involves the use of special inks that are transferred into the base material through heat.   This is a great way for the home builder to achieve smaller-sized graphics with a professional look at a relatively inexpensive price ($300-$400).    All that is needed is a suitable Epson printer, sublimation ink cartridges, and a heat press.   For small logos, some have successfully used a simple clothes iron for a heat press.   However, a full-sized graphic will require a much larger press that can distribute uniform heat and pressure.   The only major requirement for this type of printing is that the material be suitable for sublimation. 

Hand-drawn graphics are the simplest to create.   They require little in terms of specialized materials or inks and only demand that the final artwork bond well to epoxy.  Most of the graphics created by hand are done so by using cloth (cotton fabrics).   This cloth acts as the background for the ski's graphic and additional elements (logos, pictures, etc.) are created by either using your printer to print small-sized graphics, cutting out shapes from colored paper, or by using fabric paint to produce your artwork by hand.  These elements are then arranged/painted onto the cloth and laminated behind a clear topsheet or base material.  Some examples of each method can be seen in Kung Paoders, Ahmas, and the Ahmos

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