Sunday, January 16, 2011

About $10 Homemade Ski Waxing Bench

After struggling to wax skis on top of two chairs or a milk crate I decided to make my own ski waxing bench based loosely on other homemade benches I found online. The idea is to create something to clamp the ski in so that it won't move when I scrape the excess wax off of it.

The design below will work with SNS, NNN, or three pin style bindings. Thanks to Sector 67 for the workspace and tools.

Parts list:
  • One 2x6" (about $2, Home Depot)
  • One 1x4" (about $2, Home Depot)
  • One bicycle inner tube (free). Preferably one that is no longer useful for cycling - ask at a bike shop.
  • Staples (about $2 for a pack, Home Depot, or use the Amazon link to the left).
  • About six 3" or so wood screws (about $1, Ace Hardware, or use the Amazon link to the left)
  • One 6" 8-32 threaded rod ($.85, Ace Hardware, or use the Amazon link to the left)
  • Four 8-32 wingnuts (about $1, Ace Hardware, or use the Amazon link to the left)
  • Two 8-32 hanger bolts (about $2, Ace Hardware, or use the Amazon link to the left). Hanger bolts have 8-32 machine thread on one side and wood screw thread on the other. If you want to use the bench with more than one pair of skis you may need more pairs of these if the bindings don't end up in the same place. See pictures below or link.
  • Two 5/32" x 3 1/4" turnbuckles (about $2, Ace Hardware, or use the Amazon link to the left)
  • Two C-clamps (about $2, Harbor Freight). These will be use to clamp the ski waxing bench to a table or workbench.
Tools:
  • Jigsaw or bandsaw
  • Stapler
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors
Steps:
  1. Lay the ski on the 2x6 and trace the pattern. Use the jigsaw or bandsaw to cut along the line, cutting out extra space for the bindings (see pictures). Make sure that the cut is square to the board. If it's not you will have a hard time waxing because one edge of the ski will not be supported. Luckily, the same curve will work for all my skis.
  2. Use the wood screws to attach the 2x6 to the 1x4 from the bottom.
  3. Cut the valve out of the bicycle tube and slit it down the middle so it's a sheet instead of a tube shape. Staple it to the bench whereever the ski will touch. The tube is to protect the ski and prevent it from sliding.
  4. Place the ski on the bench and look at where the binding lines up. Drill a pilot hole for the dowel pin in the edge of the 1x4 below the binding. Thread a wingnut onto the dowel pin. Using the wingnut as a handle, screw the dowel pin into the 1x4. Do the same on the other side.
  5. Clamp the 8-32 threaded rod in the ski binding as if it was part of a ski boot. Put the ski on the bench.
  6. Put one of the eyelets of the turnbuckle over the dowel pin and follow it with a wingnut.
  7. Put the other eyelet of the turnbuckle over the end of the threaded rod and follow it with a wingnut.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 with the other turnbuckle on the other side of the ski.
  9. Tighten both turnbuckles until the ski is secure.
  10. Clamp the bench to a table or whatever using c-clamps.
  11. Wax the ski!
If you are just starting to wax skis you may also need ski waxing gear. Here are the basics:
If this is starting to seem like a lot of work and expense or you're just getting into skiing don't worry too much about iron-in waxes. Instead you could apply a rub on wax before you ski and have someone else apply a iron-in wax once a season or so (to keep the skis in good condition). Happy skiing! Think snow!