Cold Glide Wax Application

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poimax05
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Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby poimax05 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:35 pm

Hi,

I just waxed my skate skis for the second time with Swix CH5. (-8 to -14 degrees C). the recommended iron temperature is 150 degrees C, the highest I can have with my Iron from kuu.

I have a few concerns:

-Is it normal my iron keeps smoking all the time when I set it to 150 degrees C ? Is it because of older wax residue ? I can't believe my iron is wrongly calibrated because the temperature seems to be just about the minimum required to melt the wax properly

Also, after the pass on the skis, I can note some liquid black residue on the iron (very small probably equpvalent to a few drops, but very dark). is it some P-tex or is it some burnt wax from warmer wax residues ?

Also, when I scrape, the wax residues are quite darker with some black in them. Much darker than my residues for swix F4 or Kuu YUellow wax (warm wax that I use for saturating)

I want to mention that I am quite carefule in my application. I rub the wax all over the iron, and also crayon it on the ski (after warming it with the iron) to avoid direct contact of the iron with a dry base. I am not leaving the iron at the same place, it is constantly moving forward. Furthermore, I can see that the wax becomes solid right after my iron pass. there is no way I can iron the wax properly if I reduce the iron temperature.

So is this normal or should I be afraid of damaging my base or sealing it? If that is the case, then what the hell am I doing wrong ? I am so careful and read so much about waxing that can't believe I did something wrong.

My skis are fairly new, so I am wondering if this is related... Also, after scraping and brushing, my skis surface looks just fine. Finally, before the application this time, I performed a hot scrape. And the wax removed was clean.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby Blah » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:06 am

poimax05 wrote:Hi,

I just waxed my skate skis for the second time with Swix CH5. (-8 to -14 degrees C). the recommended iron temperature is 150 degrees C, the highest I can have with my Iron from kuu.

I have a few concerns:

-Is it normal my iron keeps smoking all the time when I set it to 150 degrees C ? Is it because of older wax residue ? I can't believe my iron is wrongly calibrated because the temperature seems to be just about the minimum required to melt the wax properly

This shouldn't be happening although that seems high for a wax of that hardness. I have seen it with cheap irons because I don't think they keep accurate temps and if you take them apart it is surpricing how much wax gets inside the iron. Maybe in the future consider picking up a quality Swix or Star iron

Also, after the pass on the skis, I can note some liquid black residue on the iron (very small probably equpvalent to a few drops, but very dark). is it some P-tex or is it some burnt wax from warmer wax residues ?

Are you waxing a Salomon, Atomic, or ONE WAY ski? These skis are notorious for this

Also, when I scrape, the wax residues are quite darker with some black in them. Much darker than my residues for swix F4 or Kuu YUellow wax (warm wax that I use for saturating) See above. Also make sure that you are not applying too much pressure when scraping

I want to mention that I am quite carefule in my application. I rub the wax all over the iron, and also crayon it on the ski (after warming it with the iron) to avoid direct contact of the iron with a dry base. I am not leaving the iron at the same place, it is constantly moving forward. Furthermore, I can see that the wax becomes solid right after my iron pass. there is no way I can iron the wax properly if I reduce the iron temperature.
Rub wax all over the iron?? Do you mean you drip it onto the ski? That is good that it becomes solid right after you have based. If you are leaving a black molten trail after the iron you are moving too slow.

So is this normal or should I be afraid of damaging my base or sealing it? If that is the case, then what the hell am I doing wrong ? I am so careful and read so much about waxing that can't believe I did something wrong.

My skis are fairly new, so I am wondering if this is related... Also, after scraping and brushing, my skis surface looks just fine. Finally, before the application this time, I performed a hot scrape. And the wax removed was clean.


See my answers above to your questions. I think it is your iron, newer skis can shed p-tex. If your base was getting sealed you would see blotchy patches on the skis after you had finished brushing.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby poimax05 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:33 am

Hi,

Thanks for your answer, I feel somewhat better. It's good to know a burnt base would show some blotchy patches.

My Skis are Rossignol Zymax (4 sessions on them so far). they are entry level skate skis, and maybe the base is not good enough to support 150 deg C wax applications ? Could that be the case ?

When I say rubing, I mean that I rub the wax all over the iron surface first to make sure the iron is not dry and that there is a small film of wax on it(so that i minimize the chances to apply direct 150 deg C metal on the base;) then rather than dripping it, I warm the wax with the iron, and then rub it on the base (i.e about 10 times to cover the whole ski). I find this method to work better for cold waxes, minimize waste, and also ensure the ski is pretty much covered at 90%+ with wax before passing the iron on it.

The wax comes back to solid just after the iron pass. If I pass faster or with less heat, the wax will not melt. I also notice the wax on the sides of the skis is hard to melt properly (it is better on the center of the ski). I guess this is another sign that I am on the very minimum side of iron temperature for the wax.

It is true that my iron is not the best, but still this is an iron specific for ski waxing. So I am wondering if I will stay away of these very cold waxes with high iron temperature. My skis are relatively cheap so if I burn their bases it is not that bad. But if the same would happen on new racing skis I intend to buy next year, I would feel very bad. On the other side, cold conditions are slow. So with improper wax, I guess this is not going to help.

Anyone has cold wax suggestions down to -15 deg C with lower iron temperature (140 or below) ?

Max.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby Blah » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:16 am

poimax05 wrote:Hi,

Thanks for your answer, I feel somewhat better. It's good to know a burnt base would show some blotchy patches.

My Skis are Rossignol Zymax (4 sessions on them so far). they are entry level skate skis, and maybe the base is not good enough to support 150 deg C wax applications ? Could that be the case ?

When I say rubing, I mean that I rub the wax all over the iron surface first to make sure the iron is not dry and that there is a small film of wax on it(so that i minimize the chances to apply direct 150 deg C metal on the base;) then rather than dripping it, I warm the wax with the iron, and then rub it on the base (i.e about 10 times to cover the whole ski). I find this method to work better for cold waxes, minimize waste, and also ensure the ski is pretty much covered at 90%+ with wax before passing the iron on it.

The wax comes back to solid just after the iron pass. If I pass faster or with less heat, the wax will not melt. I also notice the wax on the sides of the skis is hard to melt properly (it is better on the center of the ski). I guess this is another sign that I am on the very minimum side of iron temperature for the wax.

It is true that my iron is not the best, but still this is an iron specific for ski waxing. So I am wondering if I will stay away of these very cold waxes with high iron temperature. My skis are relatively cheap so if I burn their bases it is not that bad. But if the same would happen on new racing skis I intend to buy next year, I would feel very bad. On the other side, cold conditions are slow. So with improper wax, I guess this is not going to help.

Anyone has cold wax suggestions down to -15 deg C with lower iron temperature (140 or below) ?

Max.



Hi Max,

You are using the correct type of wax for cold temps so I wouldn't stop if you want to have skis run decent on cold snow. Moving to a softer wax isn't going to give you good skis in cold temps. Yeah it's a "waxing" iron but again using a cheap iron is often going to cause smoking so I guess you just need to accept that as part of the deal with using it.

I often do a warm crayon with cold waxes as well.

Yeah cheaper bases can also produce this kind of base residue for a bit I guess I wouldn't worry too much about it. Also make sure that in between ski outings you are also putting warm waxes into the skis. Putting only cold wax into your skis will make them dry out and it makes it harder to get cold wax to properly melt into the ski.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby Chris » Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:22 pm

poimax05 wrote:My Skis are Rossignol Zymax (4 sessions on them so far). they are entry level skate skis, and maybe the base is not good enough to support 150 deg C wax applications ? Could that be the case ?


A lot of the kids on the team I coach have Zymax skis. I believe Rossignol advertises that the Zymax skis have the same base as the high end race skis. I haven't seen this when I wax them. This includes with cold wax like Start Green.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby poimax05 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:59 am

Hi,

Maybe it's my iron after all.... In any case I skied on them, glide was Ok for the conditions I believe. And then noticed some wax came out after my session, as the skis became whitish in some section. I read this is common with cold wax / cold temperature skiing (wax comes out as ski cools). I could easily remove the "white" with a bronze brush . I guess that it is a sign that my base is not sealed ?

Also, for the benefit of other beginners that may read this thread eventually , I made some research and found something interesting in the article below. From now on, I consider only using blue wax as it requires a lower iron temperature (i.e Start Blue which is good down to -12) considering I am not racing. If that article is true (this is a serious shop for stone grounding) the cold waxes application damages the ski base in the long term, even when done properly. And with a 150 deg C iron, there is a chance to burn the base. On the other end, if the wax is ironed at a lower temp or with a fast iron pass over the ski to reduce chances of burning the base, there may be air pockets remaining between wax and ski and/or improper wax absorption which makes the waxing a loss of money and time. It seems it is not worth it for training or fitness skiing purposes (unless you intend to stone grind your skis every year or so)

http://www.gatineaunordiquesport.com/Po ... uctions.en
"A few words of caution: a lot of damage is being done to the bases of skis when people are ironing in the very hard glide waxes. It is difficult to wax skis with the extremely hard waxes without doing damage to the base of the ski. To help avoid this problem, in training, use a moderately hard wax ( vauhti blue, swix blue, toko red, vauhti green). For training, definitely use only one pass of the iron, and at the risk of repeating myself, iron in one direction with the iron, never stop and never go backwards to 'fix things'. When ironing in the hard glide waxes, as you are moving the iron down the base of the ski, watch behind the iron and aim to move the iron at a speed in which you see about 1 or 2 cm of molten wax in behind the iron. Done properly, it will take about 18 - 20 seconds to pass the iron down the length of the ski. Remember the fact that after your skis have been ground, saturated and hardened, the base of the ski is already hard enough. Do not go over board when you are glide waxing using the hard waxes."

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby Chris » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:04 pm

I think a common misconception with people new to waxing is to take the temps listed on the package as gospel and kind of assume the wax stops working once you are out of that range. The wax you mentioned that has a temp range down to -12dC will still work fairly similarly at -11dC . The same applies at the top of its range. Everything is on a continuum. At some point the green waxes are going to start working better than blue, but at the top of the green range the blue is still going to be good. The same applies for the other transitions. Also remember that you should largely be waxing for snow temp vs air temp. They can vary widely at the same time.

There are a number of things I don't agree with in the quoted article. Where I live, Southern WI, if you are afraid to use Toko Blue and only go down to Toko Red you will be waxing too warm for the majority of conditions in a typical winter. I don't think twice about using something like Start Green for training which may be the hardest wax most people are familiar with. If there is a lot of damage being done, I think it would be from improper ironing rather than using the cold waxes. These same people are probably damaging there base with warm waxes as well. In general, people often already tend to use too warm of a wax for conditions where I live before worrying about not using the proper wax because of base damage. Having a good cold wax applied for cold conditions can make a significant difference.

I would hate to send someone out on skis that glide poorly in cold conditions because they are using a warm wax like Toko Red. That seems like the recipe for a less than enjoyable day skiing. I have a theory that a majority of people who say they don't like cross country skiing don't like it because their experience with the sport involved improper equipment.

The best bet is to have a knowledgeable person or shop show you how to iron in the cold waxes. There are probably also some good youtube videos on it as well. I looked at three of my green waxes (Holmenkol Matrix, SkiGo XC and HF and Start Green) and they are all between 140dC and 145dC. There may be some out there that work best at 150dC, but I don't think most require an iron that hot.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby poimax05 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:01 pm

Hi, that is interesting.

145c deg C is better than 150. So maybe I will try the Start green. I have watched a lot of videos recently to make sure I wax properly, and I do not think I did something wrong. Maybe other than use a 60$ Iron rather than a 150$ digital one. But I am quite convinced I have removed Ptex from my base, maybe altering the performance of brand new skis.

It is a tough call to put all of it on the iron and spend 150$ a new one. This is almost the price of my skis. And if ironing cold waxes lead to base melting to some extent, then I do not think it is worth it (in the sense that better wax on a detoriated base is worse that too warm wax on a good base).

About snow temps vs air temp, the rule is that the snow temp lags the air temp right ? Is there a general rule to estimate snow temp vs air temp forecast ?

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby MN Hoser » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:01 pm

For hard waxes (like the greens), I do 1/3 of the ski at a time. Most people do drops of wax, but I touch the point of the iron to the base and do lines of wax. As long at the iron is moving fairly quickly and it's loaded with wax, I've never noticed an issue. So, a line of wax down each side of the ski, and then a quick pass of the iron. If the wax line is thin then do two. The iron pass will only smooth out the wax a bit. Then the middle third, and the tail third. You have to immediately hit the wax with the iron or the wax will cool and pop of the base.

Then I do one pass somewhat slowly (so the wax it just molten behind the iron) the length of the ski and go to the next ski. So at this point the first ski has a somewhat ironed layer of wax. It certainly isn't "flat and black" and it will get more ironing shortely. When the second ski is done like the first, I come back to the first ski and do a pass down each "side" of the ski. Often this will leave the ski 95% "ironed." For training, that's good enough. For racing I may let the skis cool and do another two passes. This is for Fischer skis. So even if you slide the iron across the entire width of the ski, the center swells and you can only iron "half" of the ski with each pass.

If you have a foam core ski, you have to be more careful. So Madshus is in this category and probably others. (I only own Fischers.) My old Peltonens used to have foam cores too. With those I'd only recommend one pass because the foam acts as an insulator and holds heat.

If you watch most people wax, the iron goes back and forth, and it's hard to estimate how much heat each part of the ski is getting. So I agree with the article that you should run the iron down the ski and never reverse direction. Since you have an iron with a cheap thermostat, you have to rely on how much of the wax is melted behind the ski. With cold wax, I'd shoot for 145 and only a cm or so behind the iron should be melted as you move. With a 20s F wax or a red wax, maybe 5-7 cm will be melted at a temp of 135 or 140C.

Hope that helps,

Jay

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby jt10000 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:33 am

I'm pretty sure a lot of people mess up their skis with cold wax because their iron isn't hot enough, so they go slowly (or even move the iron back and forth) and end up putting a lot of heat into the ski. That's probably the cause of a lot of problems Gatineau Nordique sees.

I routinely use FW Teal (claimed to work best below 15F) and similarly hard waxes from Solda, which would be about a 4.5 or 5 on the Swix "scale," for skiing and for hardening bases and don't seem to have a problem with messing up my bases.

I'll add that it seems much more important to me to get the wax right for very cold (and also very warm) conditions in fun skiing and training since at those temperatures glide can be very poor without it. Whereas in the 20s if the wax is a little too cold it's not big deal since the snow is usually moderately fast anyway.

That said, I get the impression that Swix CH6 and LF6 (blue) can handle fairly cold snow. I've never used Toko Red but think it would be a big mistake on very cold snow.

It's also worth thinking about what wax has been in the skis previously. I'd think a ski with four or five waxings with Swix 6 will perform better in cold snow than a ski full of Swix 8 and one layer of 4. Certainly four layers of 6 plus one of 4 will be much better than four of 8 plus one of 4.

If poimax05's iron was smoking at the temperature recommended for the wax, then something was wrong. Either the iron wasn't clean and there was an older, softer wax on it, or the iron temperature was inaccurate. It's important to wipe off your iron after each use. And if the iron still smokes, turn down the setting a little. All basic waxes have a temperature at which they flow OK but don't smoke.

IMHO the wax should flow easily off the iron but not smoke. The drops shouldn't struggle to fall off the iron. Then when waxing move the iron at a speed that allows the wax to change from solid to liquid. With a very cold wax, the speed is right when there is just 1cm (or even less) of liquid behind the iron. If that means moving the iron very slowly, the iron is too cool.

Here is video of someone waxing with a green wax (plus cold powder) at the start. The iron is hot, and he doesn't have to move it very slowly to get the wax to melt on the ski:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhRCGLLdKtw
He does have to re-iron a spot or two, but does so by lifting the iron and going back, not ironing back-and-forth.
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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby Chris » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:32 am

poimax05 wrote:145c deg C is better than 150. So maybe I will try the Start green. I have watched a lot of videos recently to make sure I wax properly, and I do not think I did something wrong. Maybe other than use a 60$ Iron rather than a 150$ digital one. But I am quite convinced I have removed Ptex from my base, maybe altering the performance of brand new skis.


Word of caution, digital doesn't necessarily mean better. Just because an iron is displaying a number versus a dial setting does not necessarily mean it is accurately holding that temperature across the entire plate. Most good irons are digital, but not all digital irons are good.

I am pleased with the Star digital wax iron I use now. It isn't cheap, but it is worth it when you are ironing in powders at high temp. When I started waxing I used a Swix T74 which now I just use for ironing in kick wax binder. I also had the Toko iron that had a switch for two different wattage (can't remember the model). It was no where near as good as the Star iron and would seem to smoke no matter what the temp was set to.

JT1000 may be on to something with cheap irons not staying hot enough causing people to have to spend too much time with the iron on the ski.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby Blah » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:48 am

I second Chris on the Star iron. They have very accurate temps and you can literally see that you are getting a better wax job when using them. I have 2, the regular digital and the heavy powder version.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby poimax05 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:56 am

Hi,

I finally had the time to watch the video Jt10000 linked in his post. it looks quite easy.The speed at which he passes the iron is faster than mine, while the wax melted quite easily. so I guess my iron may hot have been hot enough. And I do not clean it after each use. I guess I should do so from now. And that is likely what causes the smoking (because it starts smoking even before I put the CH5 on it, I checked). I thought the old wax would take a few seconds to burn, but it looks like it takes a while.

Now regarding the black residues, I passed a fiberlene over my skis after my pre-wax brushing (Swix T0162 Bronze), and noticed some black residues. Not tons, but some of the powder was black (not only white / wax). is this normal ? i did not clean the skis with fiberlene after by pre-brushing when I applied the CH5, so I am wondering if this is this black power that I burnt and noticed in my scrapes residues and also metled on mon iron.

Looking at start green waxing instructions, it sais to scrap the wax right after application (no cool down). Is it because it is easier ? or is it because scraping after a cool down time may damage the base ?

Regarding the iron, I am considering buying a better one. But the Star ones seems just way too expansive for a non racer. Do you have suggestions for a compromise ?

Finally, I noticed the guys uses the Skigo 380 hardener powder. Do you think it is a good match with green cold wax for a fitness skier (but non racer) ? It seems it can be ironed at the same time as the wax, so application is fairly easy. 40 USD from what I can see. Any idea of how many applications the bottle will last?

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby Chris » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:08 pm

poimax05 wrote:Hi,

I finally had the time to watch the video Jt10000 linked in his post. it looks quite easy.The speed at which he passes the iron is faster than mine, while the wax melted quite easily. so I guess my iron may hot have been hot enough. And I do not clean it after each use. I guess I should do so from now. And that is likely what causes the smoking (because it starts smoking even before I put the CH5 on it, I checked). I thought the old wax would take a few seconds to burn, but it looks like it takes a while.

Now regarding the black residues, I passed a fiberlene over my skis after my pre-wax brushing (Swix T0162 Bronze), and noticed some black residues. Not tons, but some of the powder was black (not only white / wax). is this normal ? i did not clean the skis with fiberlene after by pre-brushing when I applied the CH5, so I am wondering if this is this black power that I burnt and noticed in my scrapes residues and also metled on mon iron.

Looking at start green waxing instructions, it sais to scrap the wax right after application (no cool down). Is it because it is easier ? or is it because scraping after a cool down time may damage the base ?

Regarding the iron, I am considering buying a better one. But the Star ones seems just way too expansive for a non racer. Do you have suggestions for a compromise ?

Finally, I noticed the guys uses the Skigo 380 hardener powder. Do you think it is a good match with green cold wax for a fitness skier (but non racer) ? It seems it can be ironed at the same time as the wax, so application is fairly easy. 40 USD from what I can see. Any idea of how many applications the bottle will last?


Blah can probably better comment on scraping Start green warm, but I don't do that. I let it cool completely like any other wax. I also make sure I have a sharp scraper which is important with cold, hard waxes. My favorite scraper sharper is the Holmenkol one.

If you are a recreational skier and not interested in geeking out on wax, I wouldn't worry about cold powders like SkiGo C380. They definitely have there place in the performance world, but if you are just going out skiing for fun and fitness I would keep the wax simpler.

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Re: Cold Glide Wax Application

Postby TooHeavy » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:35 pm

I see people talking of Start Green. You are to scrap that stuff before it hardens and leave a film (just take off the bumps). When I looked at the manufacturers instructions they said it is not wax. I did it wrong for years and that is why my ski's always sucked at real cold temps.


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