Newbie needs some guidance

For discussions related to designing and making ski/snowboard-building equipment, such as presses, core profilers, edge benders, etc.

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Newbie needs some guidance

Post by patagonicus »


I'm getting interested in ski building, and I'm in need of some orientation. I've been watching some videos and reading a lot and all I have is doubt. I know skiing, but I have no experience building anything really, so now that I have the space and the time to learn something new with no rush, I would like to see if this possible for me.
My dad's an old smith, so I grew up around metal work and a lot of sparks, but this is different (and him and his workshop are 3000 km away).
I already have my own pair of backcountry skis, and my project is to start with something to just play around, it doesn't have to be perfect or too fancy. I don't mind if what I create ends up looking like the first skis ever made. I live in a very isolated and small town, and in winter we can ski on the streets, small hills or on the road. No ski center, no lift. We go skiing in the mountains when weather is nice and I have my equipment for that, but this is not something I want to make to try in that kind of terrain.

I have a room, a table to work on, wood, time, a laptop with slow internet, will to learn and zero tools. Should I start with the tools? I can start buying them one by one, but what would be the very basics? I'm onto the simplest tools to begin with, considering also that I'm not close to any big city and all I buy is via internet. I have friends in town who can advice me on how to handle wood and be there with me, but none of them have tried to make anything like this before. That's why I'm here.

I'm just thinking about the tools because I suppose that's what you start with, but if you have any advice to share on how to start with this when you don't have a clue, I'm all ears. I'm here to learn.

Thank you!

(As you could probably tell, English is not my first language, I hope I made myself clear)

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Re: Newbie needs some guidance

Post by BartSt »

Either a vacuum pump (plus the material) or fire hoses and build your own press.

Have fun.


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Re: Newbie needs some guidance

Post by chrismp »

Have a look at this video:

Many of the tools and techniques you see in there are a cheap and easy way to build a ski/snowboard. If you use proper materials for skis (base, edges, etc), then you should be able to make a usable pair of skis.

PS: read the whole forum to get an idea of the many ways to build a ski and the details involved. A lot of the stuff won't make much sense at first, but you'll get there.

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Re: Newbie needs some guidance

Post by leahicmoradnuf »

I learned the basics from watching the very comprehensive how to video guide on I think its a 12 or 13 part series, focused on snowboards, but the process would be the same for skis. Watch those and you'll get a feel for what tools you would need. Definitely recommend reading as much as you can on this forum as well.

Here are the tools I'd say you need to get started (on the cheap):

- Jigsaw (for cutting out cores, mold ribs, board templates, flashing off of pressed boards) ... 69436.html

- A vacuum pump (for pressing boards without spending on/building a press right off the bat) ... acuum+pump
fittings and hose and such can be purchased here;

- Dremel (for cutting edges to length) ... 63235.html

- Trim Router (for shaping cores and shaping bases) ... 62659.html

- Pipe bender (for bending edges)

- Cordless drill (for drilling out insert holes) ... 62873.html

- Clamps! the more the merrier.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED: there is something to be said about buying cheap tools, and I may take some heat for directing you to Harbor Freight. However, I think it's also worth getting just enough to learn the process before diving in and investing big bucks on high end tools. This is how I learned on a budget, and now I can appreciate splurging on higher end tools even more.

Cast that doubt aside and jump in! You'll mess stuff up, that's part of the fun.

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Re: Newbie needs some guidance

Post by patagonicus »

Thank you very much for your replies! It's been really helpful, now I have something to start and homework!

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