Red Creek Technical Sheet: Metal & Steel Brushes

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This is a HTML version of a technical sheet written by Karl Gunnar (a.k.a. K.G.) at Red Creek. K.G. is the technical chief at Red Creek. This is reproduced from the orginal with no editing (other than to make it for this web page).

Metal Brushing

At Red Creek we devote an exceptional amount of time and energy to Research and Development. Lately, Metal Brushes have received a lot of our attention. Why? Let us explain.

Today ski bases need sophisticated and complex structures to make them glide optimally. Often the structure has linear or transverse patterns that are very fine. Waxing the skis of course fills in the structure but scraping alone only removes the surface wax, leaving the structure saturated. Therefore it is essential to brush out the residual wax in the structure (after scraping) in order to completely expose the pattern. If the structure is not fully exposed. you will not obtain optimal glide (minimal friction).

Since the patterns (structure) are very fine, brushes with very fine bristles must be used. The problem with very fine fibres/bristles is that they bend easily; a fibre that bends is not very effective. At Red Creek we have understood this for some time and as such have used, and continue to use, short bristles on all our brushes. They simply work better to remove excess wax and dirt from the base thus optimally exposing the structure.

Red Creek experimented with metal brushes using fine metal bristles and found them to work exceptionally well in the cleaning and "exposing" process. The first to be utilized was the brass brush and then different kinds of special steel. Just last season, Red Creek introduced a new Special Steel brush with extremely fine bristles that literally changed the wax scene on the World Cup circuit and the Salt Lake City Olympics.

When and How to Use the Special Steel Brush

It's a known fact that proper stonegrinding will improve an already "good" ski and can give you that "extra gear" in big races. Most racing skis come from the factory with a stoneground base. If this isn't the case, we would strongly recommend you get your skis stoneground before using them and again before every new season. Some World Cup skiers have their skis stoneground before every big race.but that isn't realistic for most skiers.

Preparing New Skis

Directly after stone grinding new skis we use the Special Steel brush to clean and to remove residual "micro hairs" from the base. When the structure and "pores" are exposed, wax will penetrate the base optimally. We also use the special steel brush between every layer of base prep wax. Thus, after application of a base paraffin, we will scrape as usual, clean and expose the structure initially running some passes with the Hard Horsehair brush (up to 4000 rpm's), and then work the special steel brush to and fro for a couple of minutes at no more than 2000 rpm's. We will repeat this procedure several times. You will be happy to know that the process just described actually simulates skiing, thus making it possible to have race ready skis in a fraction of the time it used to take. Note: do not apply any pressure on the system while brushing.you want the bristles to remain at right angles (90) to the base at all times.

During the Season.

During the season the Special Steel sees a lot of duty. It's always in use when readying skis for races. We use it mainly to clean the base but also between the Hard Horsehair brush and the fine Grey or White nylon brushes. It is especially crucial to use the Special Steel after waxing with the hard (cold) waxes. Some of these waxes are so hard that the nylon and hard horse hair will not do the job sufficiently. Remember.the objective is to expose all the structure to ensure optimum glide!

The Special Steel is used also for final race waxing. After rotocorking certain fluoro concentrates and powders the surface becomes very hard. The Special Steel is utilized to, again, optimally expose the structure. The order of brushing is:

  1. Rotobrush with the Hard Horsehair brush or Combi Brush (Aggressive brushing at up to 4000 rpm's)
  2. Special Steel brush at 2000 rpm's
  3. Fine Grey/White brush at 4000 rpm's

Take care to brush cautiously with a new brush as the bristles are very sharp.and initially brush only in one direction.

We have only found one bad thing with our fine Special Steel brush, say Karl Gunnar from Red Creek, they last too long.

"We wish you good luck with your waxing, and I am sure that you will find a new dimension in waxing using our methods."

Best Regards
Karl Gunnar
Red Creek Sweden AB



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