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Wooden Ski Base Prep


Scrape excess wax off of the ski with a putty knife.

Metal scrape the bases to remove the tar and old wax. You will need a sharp metal scraper, which is available at most Cross Country ski shops.

If there is excessive dirt and wax, you may want to use a liquid wax remover or mineral spirits with an abrasive pad to remove the residue. Be sure to dry your skis well before the next step.

After metal scraping and cleaning, sand the base with course or 60 grit sandpaper. After the first pass or two, switch to medium or fine 100 or 120 sandpaper. Wipe with a clean rag or brush with a horsehair brush to remove the particles created by sanding.

Pine Tar Treatment

The bases of your wooden skis need to be treated with pine tar, to repel the moisture and to seal the wooden base.

Swix quick drying Pine Tar.

There are two types of pine tar. The quick, drying pine tar and the "regular" pine tar. The quick drying pine tar will have instructions on the can. The "regular" pine tar will need to be thinned and heated into the base. For heavy base pine tar, thin first with mineral spirits.

Using a heat gun or a torch, very carefully heat the base of the ski to open up the wood pores. In a well ventilated area using a brush, apply an even coat of pine tar to the entire base of the ski.

Use a hot air gun or a propane torch with a flare tip to heat the pine tar until it bubbles. Work in short, 6-12" sections. Extra caution needs to be taken to avoid burning the ski base. After the pine tar has bubbled, gently re-heat the base and wipe off the excess pine tar with a clean cloth or fiberlene. Again, work in 6-12" long sections of the ski. Before the base wax can be applied, wipe off any excess pine tar that may not have come off in the previous step. Using a clean cloth, wipe the warm base with extra effort until no more pine tar shows on the cloth. Let the base cool before applying the glide wax

Sources for Pine Tar

Finn Sisu
Akers-Ski - Maine
Out There Shop

You can also purchase pine tar at any equine or horse supply house. 


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© Copyright 2011, Greg Fangel, www.woodenskis.com