Downhill Ski ORIF

This is a guide to fixing a broken pair of downhill skis

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Step 1: Break Your Skis

I noticed a piece of my edge broke free from my skis after my most recent yard sale. Initially only a small bit was loose. I went down to the bottom and the edge was getting worse. I switched the foot the ski was on so the spur was on my outside edge and basically rode the inside edge of the downhill boot.

Step 2: Assess Damage

While exploring the extent of the damage, the spur of rail broke free from the side.

Step 3: Get Materials

I searched for edge material and didn't have much luck. I found The Holy Grail of Ski Building Info and wallowed my eyes on their shop for a few days. I was referred to Tognar and got a decent deal on a small piece of repair edge. Googleing snowboard and ski building supplies will get you other dealers but one wanted close to 20 dollars just to ship a 5 dollar piece of steel. The one I ended up getting had a deeper backing insert and was coated in a black paint to keep it from rusting.

Step 4: Operative Planning

Step 5: Chop

Step 6: Trim Your Edges

I trimmed the edges to get a good matching surface. The socket was chiseled clean to get a good interface for epoxy. The edges were left longer than the socket because I originally intended to solder it in. That didn't work out.

Step 7: Cut Your Patch

Cut it longer than the gap. You want this tight.

Step 8: Epoxy Everything

I used a fine bit and drilled pilots in the ski core along the replacement rail. The fine screw pictured is from the same place I got the rail.

Step 9: Grind It Out

The video I found showed grinding off the screw heads to prevent them from sticking through your PTEX. I didn't like the idea of cutting the screw heads off after gluing but it proved necessary. Realistically I will never have to take them out so I cut off enough to keep them below the base but left enough to keep the replacement rail trapped.

Step 10: Melt Some Plastic

I tried a variety of ways. One source said to blow torch it. I one saw a wizard make a bow out of PVC pipe with a blowtorch so I gave it a try. I could not keep it hot enough to repair a defect of my size. I also set it on fire a lot. The sticks of PTEX are called candles I believe, and typically you light them and they drip molten plastic into small gouges on your base. I settled on the oven because it would let me melt a whole stick. I melted it on parchment paper at about 450f/230c. If you don't bake, this is not wax paper.

Step 11: Press Base Material Into Defect

Step 12: Clean It Up

Step 13: The Clamps

Coat everything in epoxy again. I had to take the binding off to get it right. Just enough to squish it but not enough to pervert it's camber.

Step 14: Remove Excess Everything.

Your rail will probably stick out and require grinding.

Step 15: The Final Cut

I used a kitchen santoku to plane the base more or less flush.

Step 16: Sand It

I used coarse sandpaper. They make coarse files that supposedly do this very well.

Step 17: Ride It!

Get back on the slopes. Someone once told me repair is the highest form of recycling.

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