"Dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of skiing with wooden skis"
Tell me about the different types of wooden skis
The earlier composition of wooden skis was solid wood. Later in their production, wooden skis were being made with laminated wood, making them stronger. Wooden skis had lignastone edges, metal edges or just had the wooden edges from the ski. Some wooden skis were manufactured with a P-Tex or ebonite coating on the base. Both of these base types eliminated the need for pine tar. Wooden skis typically have hickory or birch bottoms.
Click Here for details on wooden ski characteristics
What is Lignostone?
Where can I find a piece of lignastone to repair my base edges?
How do I attach the lignastone to my ski base, while repairing it?
What is pine tar used for?
How do you apply the pine tar?
Does the glide wax go on the entire length of the ski?
Where do you apply the kick wax?
My wooden skis have lost their camber. How can I restore that?
You may be able to use heat and humidity to soften and bend your wooden skis if the bottoms or tops are bare wood. If they are not bare wood, you may need to clamp them for an extended period of time.
Before you start, remove all wax from the base. Lightly sand the base to open up the pores of the wood. Prepare two wooden blocks that will be placed under the binding of the ski. These blocks should be thick enough to be slightly higher than the desired camber of your skis. Also, prepare two sets of clamps to clamp the tip and tail of the ski.
For bare wood skis: Soak them in boiling hot water (use an old rain gutter) or dampen the bottoms and put the individual skis into a heated sauna, preferably on the top shelf or towards the ceiling. Leave them in the sauna for at least 3-4 hours. Remove the skis, clamp the tips and tails together with the bases together, then insert the wooden blocks under foot area of the ski. Leave clamped and blocked for 2-3 days. You may now re-apply the pine tar and wax. If this doesn't work, you may need to clamp and block them as indicated below.
For finished skis: The only way to improve the camber is to clamp and block them for an extended period of time such as during the Spring, Summer and Fall. The blocks below the foot should provide greater camber than what is needed. This clamping and blocking process will stretch the fibers of the wood.
What is the best way to store wooden skis?
How can I make my own wooden skis?
Detailed articles on "How to make your own skis" were in issue #31 of Fine Woodworking Magazine in the November/December 1981 issue. Copies can be seen for sale occasionally on ebay.
North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN also offers a wooden ski making class. www.northhouse.org
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© Copyright 2011, Greg Fangel, www.woodenskis.com