So, the jury is still out on this one, but I have high hopes that this is a great solution to gooey, globbed up skin glue that occasionally sticks to your ski base, and will negate, or at least delay, the need to reglue your climbing skins. I treated three pairs of my skins to what Iâ€™m calling the Iron Skin Glue Recharge, and so far the results have been pleasing. Long term results will be the final factor though and if anyone has any experience using this technique, please feel free to share your thoughts on if it works in the long term or not.
Manky, gooey and globbed up skin glue.
There is some speculation as to why the glue on climbing skins gets all gooey over time. Some say itâ€™s from keeping them too close, and for too long of a time, over a heat source while drying. Others say that itâ€™s from contamination or oxidation over time from some chemical that the glue doesnâ€™t like. Iâ€™ve also heard others state that gooey glue is a result of water getting embedded into the glue. Regardless of what your thoughts on this are (I think itâ€™s probably a combination of them all), regluing skins is often the go-to fix to get your skins back in shape. But regluing skins is time consuming, messy and kind of a crappy job that few people (myself included) look forward to. Therefore, any way to avoid a skin reglue is welcome, IMO.
If you have some spots on your skins that are void of glue, just smear some
neighboring glue around with the corner of your iron to cover them. Be sure to
clean your iron with a rag or paper towel before waxing your skis though.
So, whatâ€™s this â€œanswer to my prayersâ€ to avoid regluing, you ask? Well, itâ€™s basically a way to smooth out the surface of the skin glue, and rumor has it, remove water that has become embedded deep inside. Itâ€™s a pretty easy task as well and done by running an iron down the length of the skin glue and using the backing paper that came with the skins as a barrier. Itâ€™s very similar to what you would do if you were using Black Diamond Glue Renew Sheets, but instead of applying the new glue that is attached to the sheet, you are just using the glue that is already on the climbing skin.
Even the worst areas will look way better after an Iron Skin Glue Recharge.
The biggest thing you need to worry about when doing this, is to make sure you put the correct side of the backing paper, the shiny side, on the glue so it will release from the glue properly. If you screw up and put the matte finished side on the glue, it will absorb all the glue and you will be hosed. Some say you can also use parchment paper, instead of the backing paper that came with the skins, but I donâ€™t have much experience using it since Iâ€™ve been saving the back paper of my skins ever since I started to hear about this technique. If you have some patch fo skin with no glue left on them, use the corner of your iron to smear around some neighboring glue to cover them.
Use the iron to smear any glue that may have oozed over the edge of the skin.
I find setting the iron at a pretty high temperature (like 250-300F) works best and it usually takes me about 45-60 seconds to make one pass from end to end. I make two passes and then wait for everything to cool off before removing the backing paper. Depending on how much glue is on your skins, and how much downward pressure you put on the iron, may cause some glue to ooze over the edges of the skin. Running the iron down the edge and smearing the glue back onto the base of the skin works well to clean them though and keep the glue from gumming up your ski edge.
Anyway, I guess I will report back after a month or two of using the skins I ironed, and let you know if I think this is an honest to goodness fix for manky glue. But like I said, I have high hopes. Have a great weekend!!
Seems to be a good idea. If the glue is not too dirty it should work.
For those of us who use mum’s old iron, here is the info on the standard temperatures: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_temperature_of_an_iron
Also useful for waxing.
I do this also Steve but I add a couple of steps. I heat the glue on the skin with the iron and then scrape all of the shmeg off (dog hair, bark, dirt, etc.). This also starts to spread out the glue. I also use a little new glue and add a fresh bit to spots with no glue. Then I even it all out. I feel like it is a lot quicker to do this every now and then, than it is to remove all the glue and add multiple layers. I think over time it works well.
For a temporary fix you can press the bare spots on the gooed up spots and it will work for a few days. I have a bottle of the Black Diamond glue and if you have the time, 24hrs, and a clean place to hang your skins you can touch up the edges, tails, and fold zones that seem to be problematic. A friend of mine in Jackson swears that buying new skins every year is the easiest solution.
lee…i agree. and since most of the dirt, hair, pine needles, etc… tend to be on the edge of the skins (IME), scraping off that glue would probably help keep glue from oozing over the edges as well.
BNK…while i’m not if new skins is the most economic answer, i’ve thought about starting a skin regluing business, but it seems like one would need to charge $75-80 in order to make it worth while. so unless you really like to reglue skins…maybe new skins are the answer.
good info here steve. i’m not nearly organized enough to keep track of skin backing paper from year to year (nice work!), but i can confirm that parchment paper works well also. same deal, be sure to get the shiny side down.
I’ve actually done this for years. Volunteering to fit a friends new skins is a way to collect paper. Theoretically you can keep re-using paper but in reality it starts to come apart. I suggest a test session on some old (maybe skinny) skins to get the heat & time right. There is a sweet spot that just liquifies the glue. Let it cool down completely. Sooner or later your skis and skins will be too narrow and you get to start over.
After my skins getting so bad as to leave glue on the bases and ruin a few well earned turns I searched and found this on the internet.
While ironing the glue helps to restore the skins, the biggest help for me is to never let them get to that point. Pulling skins apart while they are warm absolutely destroys the glue. Sometimes I even put the skins in the deep freeze if I know it will be warm at the parking lot.
Wow thanks for that Thumper, good stuff!
It seems that some ski wax can negatively interract with skin glue. I was trying this stuff with beeswax in it and after my skins were never the same and left serious residue on the base each time I pulled the off no matter what the temperature.
yeah ptor…i’ve always wondered about how wax effects ski glue. seems like i’ve heard that high-flouro waxes have a negative effect, but it’s hard to really tell since i only use flouro-wax on my BC skis on rare occasions.
Steve, I thought about that too and had a price of 50$ but the re glueing process is such a toxic sticky mess not to mention the brain cell loss from the glue fumes that it just did not seem worth it. The touch up does work well though.
ptor, While I have never tried the beeswax brands I believe keeping your skis waxed keeps the glue from building up on the bases. Waxing also helps protect your bases from “The Rocky Mountain Stone Grinder” we seem to be experiencing this season by making the base harder. When I wax em up I do not do a full scrape but a light one followed by a good old fashioned corking and buffing and it seems to work well. Also when removing my skins I peel em off quick, like a band aid, instead of slowly. This seems to give the glue less of a chance to pull off excess wax or base repairs. One last thing… AVOID ZARDOZ!!!
I did this technique about a year ago. My skins were at a point where they were hardly even sticking. I did the iron recharge and waa-la, back in action. The day after I did this temp were about -30C and my skins stuck no problem. I am now in need of another recharge a year later/about 40 ski days. This is a pretty good return for effort in my book.