Posted by: wasatchprotocol | November 3, 2009

Wasatch Protocol Skis I – Making Skis in the Garage

So as a hobby I thought I’d get into ski building.  Luckily there is a lot of useful information out there www.skibuilders.com.  And the stuff that Michael Lish is doing with 333Skis is pretty impressive and informative as well (333skis.com).  Michael is building both Steph and I a pair.  I’m excited to see if I can get anywhere his ski quality.

So here’s the progress so far.

First I built the core profiler.  By swapping out custom rails, I can control the thickness of the wood core.  I use a router mounted on a slider to follow the rails.  Idea courtesy of Skibuilders.

Then I started making cores.  I thought I’d start with some vertically laminated stringers.  I chose pine, because it’s inexpensive, but apparently rather strong and flexible.  Eventually, I’ll try other wood types as well as going the high quality plywood route that 333skis uses, which would save time.  I ripped 3/4″ strips out of a few pine boards, rotated them, and mixed them in such a way to make 2 similar cores.  Then glued/clamped them together.

stringers

stringers

Core

A core clamped together

Then did some CADing.  Should be a ripping ski if it all works out.  144-118-124.  Tapered tip and tail.

CAD

Model One CAD image.

So then I made a wood template.

model one template

Wooden template for Model One

Here’s my mold.  I routered out slots every 9 cm in which ribs can be placed to customize the camber and tip and tail rise/rocker.  There will be a masonite or sheet metal sheet going over the ribs to make the camber profile smooth.

Ski mold

Mold with customizable ribs for camber profiling.

This set of skis will be 190 cm in length, have flat camber underfoot, ~35-40 cm of tip rocker and 20 cm of tail rocker.

The skis will be pressed by pulling a vacuum on the ski materials in the mold and allowing the atmospheric pressure to press the materials together.

Next update should include all the core profiling, and hopefully the layup and pressing of my first pair of skis.

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