||Wood A typical core
is composed of vertically laminated strips of wood. Wood not
only provides for a livelier feel but is more durable compared to other core
materials such as foam. The amount of wood you will need
should be approximately 1.5 times the combined width of a pair of skis.
Depending on the type of wood and grade, the price can range from $30 to
are fabrics (fiberglass, Kelvar, carbon fiber) that provide extra support to
the wood core. A minimum of two layers are used, one above and
one below the core. When combined with epoxy, composites cure to
form a material that is very strong along the direction of its fibers.
Therefore using composites with fibers running in several directions is ideal.
For the layup, each composite layer should overlap the entire ski by several
inches. The excess will be trimmed off after the ski is pressed. Composites can be found at most marine suppliers and
range from $5 to $20 per yard.
Common top-sheet materials include polyethylene, P-Tex, or any durable
plastic that will bond well to epoxy. They mainly serve as a platform
for the graphics and as protection of the ski's epoxy from UV radiation.
As with the composites, the top-sheet material should be large enough to
overlap the ski's edges. Top-sheet materials can be found at
most plastics dealers and average $20 for a pair of skis.
||Base Material Base
materials are thin sheets of plastic made from sintered or extruded UHMWPE
(ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene). They are
specifically designed for wax absorption and epoxy bonding with a rough
texture on one side. The
amount of base material to create a pair of skis approximately costs $20.
||Edges Edges are made
out of steel and allow your ski to carve a turn. They
come with "teeth" which act as the main source of attachment to the base via
epoxy. The total cost for edge material is under $10.
Sidewalls are traditionally constructed out of ABS plastic or P-Tex.
Strips of the material are attached to the core to protect the wood from
moisture and impacts. Materials can be found at most plastics
suppliers and should cost no more than $20.
||Tip Spacer Material
Tip spacers are just an extension of the sidewalls. They act as
bumpers of the ski to protect the core from collisions with trees, rocks,
and other skiers. The same materials for sidewalls are use
for tip spacers.
Inserts Inserts are an optional item. They allow for
easy and secure binding mounting. Inserts have proven
themselves to be much stronger than traditional binding screws.
They average 20-50¢ a piece.
||Rubber Strips To
enhance the damping of a ski, rubber strips are often placed along the edges
of the ski. They absorb vibrations and reduce the likelihood of
ski delamination. Rubber is also an optional material.
Other damping materials include cork, softer woods, and metal.
||Epoxy Epoxy is the
main ingredient that holds all the above materials together.
Epoxies are composed of two separate parts - resins and hardeners, or
catalysts. These parts are mixed together to form an adhesive
that is extremely strong and durable. Marine epoxy is commonly
used for ski construction which ranges $75-$100 for a gallon system.