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Edges sharpening: little and often

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I understand the preference of edges sharpening here on snow heads is little and often.

For a normal edge sharpening cycle, usually I do:

1. Alu oxide stone to remove burr
2. File with metal file
3. Polish with diamond stones of various grit
4. Gummy to remove hanging burr

I do that maybe once every three to four weeks of skiing and it also depends if the edges then are sharp enough.

If I want to tune my skis more often (say every few days of skiing) does that mean I can skip step 2. My understanding is that’s the step which removes the most metal from the skis. So presumably if I do it often I should probably not do step 2?

While I’m at it I have a few tuning related questions:
What is the difference in function between an alu oxide stone and a hard gummy? Do they not both use to remove burr? Can I use them interchangeably?

Are diamond files and diamond stones the same thing? When people say file do they actually mean metal file or do they actually mean diamond stones?

What is an Arkansas stone? How’s that different from a diamond stone?

What happens if I can’t remove more significant burr from the side edges e.g. when I hit a rock? Does that mean I’ll have to use an alu oxide stone to remove it? What happens if I can’t remove it? Does that mean I’ll have to sharpen and file the entire edge again? Just that if the burr is at one place it seems a bit over the top to redo the edges again.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi @euanovsky,

I am just an amateur who has been servicing the family's skis - mostly based on the piste office guides

I usually edge and wax after each weeks skiing (6-8 days) but that is more out of convenience (difficult to tune in resort) than any scientific reason. Logic dictates that the more often you edge then then less work will be required and your skis will be nearer ideally tuned for longer. But the question is would you notice.

I think it also might depend on the conditions you are skiing and the type of skiing you are doing. If conditions are good and or you are skiing off piste you may not blunt the edges much.

I have a gummi but it's not hard enough to remove any burrs so I am not sure what to use it for - it came with the pack I got. But I don't have a alu oxide or hard gummi so I just try to work out any burrs with the file.

Some good questions IMO.

As I say I am just an amateur but thought I would keep the convo going.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Usually I'd clean up edges after a week skiing, but consider after 3 days if your running on very icy piste just to get that edge bite.

It's not to be fastidious about that amount of use, more that I get to inspect and address if need be any blunting or damage and so It's more advanced inspection with consequently a very light cut to keep them keen. To emphasize, I'm taking very little off if it's all OK but notably sharper after just that light touch.

Any big chunks from definitely hitting rocks etc and you'll be directed by that size and how it's affected the edge. Often it'll burr it outward more than anything (just the way a ski base may slide across a rock while on edge with the edge being last to cross the rock as it exits ) from sliding laterally across a rock embedded in the snow, with a couple of pass file cut being ok to clear out obvious edge displacement.

Significant damage and you're into more consideration really as to just how much you need to address this. Overall snow conditions will ultimately control even how long the edges last if the need to remove more material is the case to establish that sharp geometry.

I've never had any problem using a metal file to correct damage (others may hold a different opinion, well I know they do on here Very Happy ) but certainly it takes decent pressure to keep the file cutting cleanly.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I service my skis after every ski trip. Normally that means "every week of skiing" but having done 2 weeks back-to-back (in good snow conditions) I didn't take my tools with me/feel the need to drop them into a shop mid week.

As for the different serving tools:
- Al-Oxide stone: Very hard and used first as a 'big hammer' to knock off the worst, work hardened damage.

- Metal file: More 'civilized' hammer that takes off a lot of material to get a consistent surface - but the tool edges are probably no tougher than work hardened edge damage so using without the al-oxide stone first blunts the file as much as it sharpens the ski edge.

- Diamond files/stones: The same thing and for removing the scratches left by the file/courser diamond stones.

- Gummy block: A course surface on a soft inner so you can knock off the hanging burr from the 'point' of your newly filed ski edge without smoothing off the point itself (though use it like an ape and you still might).
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