Maestrale Boot Tongue Beef Mod

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Bob Griffiths

I contacted Scarpa back in October and asked if a stiffer tongue was is in the works for the Maestrale. Although they had early on intimated that that might be the case, it turns out… no. If you are one of those people who wishes your Maestrales were just “a little bit stiffer,” here’s a solution that I tried and is working for me. This idea grew out of a discussion with Luke at Bristlecone Sports in Basalt, CO.

Luke’s suggestion was to epoxy a strip of carbon fiber on the inside of the Pebax outer tongue. He reasoned that it was thin, lightweight and durable. He suggested a layer or two of 1” carbon fiber tape because it would be easier to work with than carbon fiber fabric. The tape is sealed on two sides and wouldn’t tend to unravel and separate like the fabric.

Stiff tongue for Maestrale boot used by backcountry skiers.

The red strip is a PhotoShopped representation of the plan for stiffening the tongue of my Scarpa Maestrale backcountry skiing boots.

I had never “glassed” anything in my life… let alone work with carbon fiber. So I hunted around the interwebs for basic techniques and supplies. I stumbled upon Stoller Composites in Franklin, NH and struck up an email conversation with Jon Stoller. Turns out he is a long time skier (and nice guy) and thought that this would work. He suggested using Kevlar, not carbon, because it is more forgiving with many flexes. It is about 15% more flexible than similar carbon fiber. He explained that carbon is stiffer and will have a tendency to break over many flexes. He also expressed concern about the epoxy adhering to the Pebax. Luke seemed to think it would be no problem if I properly cleaned and roughed up the surface with 80 grit sandpaper.

So I pressed ahead. What’s the worst that could happen? ;-) I ordered the following from Jon:

Stoller DK-H4 fabric:

http://www.solarcomposites.com/composites/compositearamid.html#Kevlar

Stoller Epoxy Kit A:

http://www.sollercomposites.com/composites/Epoxy0308.html

If you click on the links, you’ll notice two things. The Kevlar is a fabric, not a tape. And that is a heck of a lot of epoxy! Unfortunately, that’s all that was on offer for that type of epoxy and the pumps made measuring a snap. I took the path of least resistance… albeit not the cheap way. Turned out to be a good call.

I started by taking the Pebax tongues off the Maestrales and roughing up the inside with sandpaper. I also used a Dremel tool with a wire wheel to get into the tight spots.

Then I cut the Kevlar… or tried to. Neither my shop scissors, nor my Exacto knife, nor the kitchen scissors would make a dent in the fabric. And true to Luke’s warning, it was beginning to unravel. So, being a rash and foolish man, I asked my wife if I could try her good sewing scissors… only after promising her things that I couldn’t deliver on if I ruined them. Thankfully, they worked AND survived the trauma. I cut strips 1.75” wide and 9” long.

So I was ready to “glass”. I laid everything out on a piece of Masonite to minimize the mess. Another good call.

Materials for backcountry skiing boot mod.

Materials for backcountry skiing boot mod. Laid out nice and neat -- didn't stay that way for long.

I put a pump-full of resin and hardener into a small cup, mixed it up and used a small, cheap paint brush to coat the inside of the tongues… just a little bit wider than the width of the Kevlar strips I had cut. The consistency of the epoxy was like a very thick syrup. It was a snap to brush on but it did tend to run. So make the first coat a thin one.

Then I pressed the Kevlar into place, making sure to press the fabric onto the bellows section of the tongue. I believe this is the critical part in making the boot stiffer. I then brushed on another coat of epoxy.

Kevlar in a backcountry skiing boot.

Kevlar on the boot with one coat of epoxy on top.

Scarpa Maestrale boot modification.

Second coat, note the bubble on the left of the bellows.

I did a “just OK” job of getting the fabric to conform to the bellows section. The Kevlar/epoxy combo will want to pop out of the bellows area if left on it’s own. I pushed the fabric into the bellows area several times while waiting for it to set up. As you can see in the pix, I still got a “bubble” on the left side of the bellows. I suggest that anybody trying this pay particular attention to this part of the process. Maybe weighting the area with small weights that conformed to the shape would help. A small, thin plastic sheet could be placed in the bellows area before setting the weights to keep them from sticking. There is a glassing technique called “vacuum bagging”… but it is pretty advanced and equipment intensive.

I waited an hour or so for the epoxy to set-up, then brushed another coat on each tongue. I waited for that to dry overnight and gave it one final coat. I then waited for a few days for the epoxy to fully dry and cure. Then I took my Dremel tool and cleaned things up a bit, getting rid of drips, spatters, rough spots and the stray Kevlar fiber.

The results? Despite the dearth of snow here in Aspen/Snowmass area, I have been on them more than six times. They are truly “a little bit stiffer”. So I’m thrilled with the performance. Thus far, after a few initial “crunchy” sounds, the epoxy has held really well.

Lessons learned:
Kevlar is truly bulletproof. It’s a bear to cut. They make special scissors if you don’t want to risk spousal arousal. This particular epoxy is thin and doesn’t set up very quickly. It tends to run out onto the Masonite and then bond the tongue to it. It also wants to run out the holes in the tongue. Mostly this is a cosmetic issue. But the takeaway is don’t slop this stuff on. Work in thin coats. Wear gloves and protect your bench/kitchen counter. The one layer of Kevlar I used made things a little stiffer. Two and three layers would correspondingly add more. How much? Hard to say. Jon Stoller told me that if you don’t like the initial stiffness with one layer, you can always add another layer right on top of the first one.

Lou says he’s amazed I got epoxy to adhere to Pebax in an area that flexes. We’ll see how the long-term durability is.

There you have it. If a noob like me can do this, so can you.

Comments

36 Responses to “Maestrale Boot Tongue Beef Mod”

  1. John February 8th, 2012 8:30 am

    Intuition has a new super beef tongue for the Pro-Tour liner which I plan to test in my Maestrales this weekend.

  2. Erik February 8th, 2012 9:04 am

    If you do decide to add another layer, be sure to do a wipedown with a solvent like acetone or denatured alcohol to improve the bond quality. That’ll pick up most of the greasy amine layer which comes to the surface of the epoxy when it cures. Another quick hit with some sandpaper, and bring on the second layer.

  3. D. February 8th, 2012 9:17 am

    Why not use a tongue from Maestrale RS (next season)?

  4. Scott February 8th, 2012 11:03 am

    Bob, why not Kevlar coat the whole back of the tongue with one sheet? A concave surface like that would increase the stiffness way more than just a strip.

  5. Dave Bell February 8th, 2012 1:06 pm

    Bob,
    West System has several different types of fillers that can be added to the epoxy to thicken it, such as fiberglass shards, micro balloons, etc. Would this help with the “runny” epoxy issue? Also, A generous coat of bowling wax will keep the stuff from sticking where you don’t want it to…

  6. Harry February 8th, 2012 3:06 pm

    Awesome mod, I have done this to my Titans to try and improve the lateral stiffness of the cuff during warm weather when the thin cuff plastic gets too soft.

    I would recommend a few changes to your methods for next time. A good rule of thumb for how much epoxy is correct is about a 1:1 ratio in your final matrix. With such a small amount of fabric that is very little epoxy to wet it out.

    Try laying down a piece of parchment paper over your work surface, covering your work surface in some cardboard is a good idea too, as it makes for a good cutting mat for the fabric and also epoxy tends to get everywhere.

    I have used Soller composites in the past and have been very happy with their prices and customer service. However 2.5 oz 45/45 weave 1” kevlar tape is a common product from many suppliers. Less common but better for this application is 1” uni kevlar tape, which has all of the kevlar fibers running in the same direction, with just a few threads woven at 90degrees to hold it together. That way all of your fiber is working in the direction you need it to, instead of a 45/45 weave not aligned with the axis you want. Honestly for this application it probably doesn’t make much of a difference.

    If you are using a weave and you need it to not come apart while you work with it, back it with masking tape while you cut. After your cut you can seal the edges with super glue, or with a handheld sewing machine ($10, as seen on TV)

    Place your prepared strips on the parchment paper and wet it out using a scraper, then, as it will have way to much epoxy in it roll it out with a 2” short nap roller, this will work the epoxy through the fabric w/o distorting the weave. Kevlar is more difficult to do this with than regular fiberglass.

    Your prep of the tongue sounds spot on, wiping down with some denatured alcohol before hand isn’t a bad idea though.

    Slap your wet out kevlar onto your tongue and cover with your favorite 2” wide tape hold it in place. I like electricians bundling tape, it looks like duct tape with ridges, but it becomes very pliable when you hit it with a head gun, so it works into corners and irregular shapes well.

  7. Woodchuck February 8th, 2012 3:30 pm

    Howdy, Lou! Apologies for diving in on a tangent, could not find a better place to ask….what about the 2013 entries to the AT category from the alpine big boys, specifically the Lange XT 130 and the Atomic Tracker 130??? Both sidecountry boots from fine manufacturers, no doubt. Very curious of your thoughts – many thanks!

  8. XXX_er February 8th, 2012 7:55 pm

    I am pretty sure I used tin snips last time I had to cut kevlar cloth

    Also anytime you are working with FG or kevlar and want to press out the excess epoxy or shape the epoxy before it cures try a layer of saran wrap over the epoxy, it helps you get all the excess epoxy out and leaves a smooth finish … the poor mans vacuum-bag

  9. John J February 8th, 2012 10:36 pm

    There is some good advice in these comments. Having worked extensively with Kevlar and epoxy, I have a few refinements to add.

    Kevlar is a problem to cut because the fibers are so floppy. They have no stiffness at all, when not encased in resin. You need a good pair of scissors. They must be tight (the two blades tight against each other) and they must be sharp. Pinking shears (the zig-zag scissors) can also work well, but once they lose their edge I don’t think anybody can sharpen them.

    Putting masking tape on the area of the cut would probably make it easier, but getting the tape off the kevlar without messing it up might be a problem.

    Another approach to cutting is to use a very sharp (new) utility knife or razor blade, and lay the material on a wood or plastic cutting surface, with a straight edge to guide the blade. That is assuming you are cutting straight edges.

    If you are concerned about the fabric unraveling, the easiest thing to do is a pre-emptive strike. Pull out the fibers that are parallel to each edge, so that the opposing (perpendicular) fibers are sticking out a quarter inch or so. It will be much more stable that way.

    Having a low-viscosity epoxy is a good thing, but, as noted, it runs. There are fillers that will help with that, but do not use micro-balloons or milled glass fibers as suggested. The best basic thixotrope is colloidal silica, also known as Cabosil or Aerosil. I am pretty sure that Gougeon Bros. (West System) sells it also. It makes the resin much less likely to run, without significantly increasing the viscosity. This means that it will still wet out the fabric easily, but will stay where you put it. Another benefit is that it will help the fabric lie down on the surface (such as the tongue) without air bubbles forming between them.

    Epoxy is very sensitive to heat with regard to its viscosity. It gets much thinner as heat is added. After you have added the appropriate amount of silica to it, you can heat it up to make it easier to work as you wet the fabric and get everything in place. Then, when you remove the heat source, it thickens up and stays where you put it, while it cures. You don’t want to go overboard with the heat, as it also accelerates the rate of cure quite a bit. If you follow these tips you should be able to do the layup in one shot without waiting to re-coat with resin, as Bob did.

    XXX’er has made a very good suggestion with the plastic wrap. I am not sure if he is using Saran Wrap as a generic term or is recommending that specific brand. While Saran Wrap is a very good material, it does bond to epoxy, so it would be unlikely that you would get it off after the resin had cured. That may not be a problem in some cases, but my choice of plastic food wrap for composite work is Glad Wrap. It is polyethylene and does not bond to the epoxy, so you can pull it off later.

    Also, if you are still having trouble making the fabric lie down after using all these suggestions, you could use weights as Bob mentioned. The ideal weight for curved, free-form shapes like this is a small zip-lock bag about half full of BB’s. Lead shot is of course even better. Can you still buy that?

  10. John J February 8th, 2012 10:43 pm

    One clarification of my post above. I commented that after adding thixotrope to the resin, it could be heated to lower the viscosity. You must NOT heat the mixed resin in the pot, as that will shorten the pot life (working time) enormously. I should have said that as you lay up the work (on the tongue, or whatever) use a heat lamp or gun, judiciously.

  11. Lou February 9th, 2012 5:30 am

    Thanks John, now I’m waiting for someone to make their own Kevlar boots in their garage!

  12. John J February 9th, 2012 7:48 am

    I would like to see that too, but it won’t be me. Most hobbyists who take on composite projects end up with a mediocre result the first time. They have learned enough to do much better the next time, but have often also determined that it is worth what you pay others to do it.

    Like Jon Stoller,I have some doubts about the bond between the epoxy and the boot tongue. I will be interested to hear a longer-term report of its life span. The surface preparation that Bob did is essential, but in a case of dis-similar materials bonded together like this, using an epoxy that is more flexible than the pebax would help a lot also.

  13. John February 9th, 2012 8:25 am

    The Intuition Power Tongue (Pro Tour) is only stiff in the shin. It does take up some volume so it helps with the fit for skinny feet. Intuition also offers a medium flex Thick tongue as well.

    The Maestrale seems to flex mostly in the ankle area as the sides flex outward. I find tightening the third buckle reduces the flex.

    The Luxury Liner was stiffest, but offers the least flex in tour mode.

  14. XXX_er February 9th, 2012 9:03 am

    ” my choice of plastic food wrap for composite work is Glad Wrap. It is polyethylene and does not bond to the epoxy, so you can pull it off later.”

    INTERESTING! I have a huge box of generic sandwich wrap called “resinite” which usually sticks to the work which doesn’t really matter but I thank you for the glad wrap idea

    my biggest use in skiing is to seal Ski topsheet hits, I color the core with a sharpie, dab some 2-part into the shot and cover by taping/stretching some sandwich wrap to the ski, I pull off whatever film comes off and don’t worry much about what sticks …the core is sealed and looks way better

  15. Dostie February 9th, 2012 9:20 am

    @Woodchuck,

    The Lange XT is rather impressive. It is comfortable out of the box, thermo-moldable if not, has classic Lange downhill performance, and walks like a dream – better than a Radium, but not than a Dalbello Virus or Scarpa Maestrale (but close).

  16. Lou February 9th, 2012 10:04 am

    Thanks Dostie. Well, with probably 80 to 90 models of walk mode capable AT boots out there now, we’ll keep brushing the highlights, but we’ll never cover them all. We’ll get to Lange eventually. Quite frankly, it’s rare that anyone really innovates something unique in the boot arena, so I tend to not get all hot when another manufacturer jumps on what is now the AT band wagon.

  17. Dostie February 9th, 2012 12:09 pm

    Lou,

    Frankly I was surprised at the walking performance of the Lange. Last time I used Langes in the backcountry I abandoned them and climbed the last 200 vert to the summit in my socks, sans boots.

    Figured their emphasis on the V-Lock system was just hot air about having good downhill performance (yawn) but it turns out that same system allows more cuff motion, and internal leg motion than typical AT boots. I think you’ll be impressed when you get ’round to putting your feet in a pair.

  18. Sam F February 9th, 2012 3:32 pm

    The touring boot makers, need to have a look at the Lange. It’s less complicated, and it is truely progressive in that it doesn’t lock super upright with a stupid metal bar.

  19. Frank K February 9th, 2012 7:14 pm

    The Langes aren’t tech binding compatible and won’t be for a while, so a lot of the tech band-wagoners won’t find them too appealing until that happens…

  20. John Gloor February 9th, 2012 8:30 pm

    Kevlar has a high tensile strength, and is very abrasion resistant. However, with the weak link being the epoxy/plastic bond, is that high of a strength needed? The kevlar fibers only get stiff when in resin, like fiberglass. Could fiberglass work just as well?

    Bob, from the photos, I am surmising that the intended use of the kevlar is to use its tensile strength to resist stretching as the tongue is flexed, as it is on the outer radius of the tongue bellows (inside of the tongue) I have doubts of the longevity of a epoxy resin and fiber composite holding up as a laminated on addition to a tongue boot. I think you would get a stiffer tongue if you epoxied on the Kevlar in a tightly stretched manner along the inside of the tongue. That would take advantage of the kevlar fibers huge tensile strength. Trying to conform the fibers to the ribs of the boot probably made a less stiff laminate in my opinion. Your experiment got my imagination going, and I don’t want to knock your ingenuity.

  21. John J February 9th, 2012 9:58 pm

    John G., you have raised a good point, but I am afraid you may have moved it to a tech-weenie level where many readers’ eyes are going to glaze over.

    The kevlar/epoxy laminate has a certain amount of stiffness, and when laminated onto the tongue, it adds some amount of stiffness to it, regardless of how well you are exploiting the specific qualities of the kevlar. Stiffness increases with the cube of thickness. The more layers you put on, the stiffer it will get, as was mentioned. If you tried to pre-tension the kevlar, I think there could be quite a bit more stress on the plastic/composite bond.

    When it is viewed from this point of view, fiberglass would no doubt do the job about as well, but glass fibers weigh almost twice as much as kevlar for the same thickness.

    I kinda like the idea suggested above of covering the entire inside surface of the tongue with the kevlar laminate. It might give you a greater stiffness-to-added-weight ratio, and increasing the bonding area might help it stay stuck.

  22. Bar Barrique February 9th, 2012 9:58 pm

    As far as I can see the Lange boot is an alpine ski boot with a “walk” mode. This is hardly an innovation. I suppose that for some “sidecountry” folks this boot will work well, but it is of limited (very) interest to backcountry skiers.

  23. ml242 February 11th, 2012 8:27 am

    Bob, thanks for the article. I take it if you contacted Scarpa in October they just got back to you about now? (kidding, sort of)

    Just wondering if you agree with the original maestrale review here:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/2951/scarpa-maestrale-boot-review/

    I was looking to upgrade my spirit 4′s, but now I’m worried that this boot won’t ski “tough” enough. Or did the mod just add enough stiffness to help on this years hardpack? I’m a light guy so I don’t need the burliest options usually, and just wanted a nice light skiable tourer as I retire my current boots.

    John – I really hate the ankle flexing distortion on old school AT boots. Does this boot totally lack the progressive flex of the other newer category entries?

    Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

  24. Griff February 12th, 2012 2:31 pm

    Hi all,

    Sorry to be late to the party. Work and a cold had my attention.

    Thanks to ALL for your comments. Let me answer the questions some of you had:

    D. – Feb 8:
    This idea was hatched and done before they were announced. I had to laugh… I had submitted this piece to Lou just before he took off for Europe. and that’s when he posted the new Maestrales. Also, I would be surprised if the beefier RS is JUST because of the tongue. It will be interesting to see how they achieved the theoretical 120 stiffness.

    Scott – Feb 8th
    Because that is what Luke at Bristlecone had suggested and I… having no experience with this sort of thing… saw no reason to doubt him. That said, if I had it to do over again, I think your idea is a great one. Frankly, I wish my Maestrales were a bit MORE stiffer. If I still feel that way at the end of the season, I may use your suggestion.

    Harry – Feb 8th
    John J – Feb 8th
    The nice thing about doing a mod like this is that guys like you pop up with a wealth of wisdom to make it better, cheaper, faster, etc. ALL good advice. Thanks!

    John Gloor – Feb 9
    I went with the kevlar on Jon Stoller’s advice. Fiberglass never entered the conversation, maybe because of it’s strength/weight ratio, as John J pointed out.

    ml242 – Feb 11
    Actually, they were pretty prompt. Of course, they didn’t let me know about the RS in the pipeline. ;-) As for Lee’s review of the Maestrale, his “bias” is that he is a light guy too. So I would agree with his review for YOU. For ME, well let’s just say that my bias is north of Lee’s by about 40 lbs, on a bad day. So I found the boot lacking in “toughness”… hence the mod. Of course, try a pair on. Might be fun to try the old and new Maestrales on side-by-side and do a compare to your Spirit 4′s.

    Overall:
    The biggest concern that Jon Stoller, Lou and several of you have had is… will the epoxy “stay stuck”?… and not pull away from the nylon-based Pebax. All I can do is report that, after the initial crunchy noises with the first few flexes, everything is still adhering well. I’ll try to report back at the end of the season and let you know how it holds up.

    Thanks again to all and to Lou for publishing my little experiment!

    Be well…

  25. Griff February 12th, 2012 2:42 pm

    BTW,

    I just realized that I mis-spelled Jon Soller’s name… as in no “t”. I did it repeatedly which means total brain fart, old age or both. Sorry, Jon! His website is http://www.sollercomposites.com.

    Sorry for the mis-info.

  26. Lou February 12th, 2012 6:35 pm

    Thanks Griff!

  27. Woodchuck February 15th, 2012 5:03 am

    Dostie, thanks, I just got a pair of Lange XT130s and share your enthusiasm. And Lou, don’t be so easily bored. The vast majority of current ‘walk’ mode boots are made by non-racing boot mfrs who routinely exaggerate the stiffiness of their products. For the non-dynafit set (ie philistines like me who like to take few hundred meter shots away from the masses on powder boards with dukes, not 1500m, multi-hour ascents), the stiffness of this boot in ski mode is unusual. It’s a plug boot akin to the well-regarded banshee, now with a walk switch and little diminution of stiffness on the way down. While not a revolution, it is a notable development. I think they will do very well with it. My bootfitera agrees.

  28. Woodchuck February 15th, 2012 5:08 am

    PS on a sort of related matter, yesterday I was in Toni Sailer’s store in St. Anton speaking with the manager – 80+% of their skin sales are now geckos. They were predictably skeptical a few years ago and now more or less won over. I have been trying a pair close to home and like that they are light, easy to apply/remove/clean and don’t stick to each other badly. Have still been taking G3s for longer trips away from home but may now reconsider.

  29. Lou February 15th, 2012 6:38 am

    Woodchuck, ok, I’ll watch the yawning (grin)! I’d agree we need a few boots out there that will suit the needs of skiers such as yourself, and I’m happy the Langes are doing that. You probably know that the vast majority of backcountry skiers don’t need or even want a boot that stiff, hence our ambivalence, but we’ll pay more attention — no wish to appear snobbish or something (grin)!

  30. Lou February 15th, 2012 6:42 am

    RE Geckos, even back a few years ago when we first covered them, we liked the Gecko glue, just had to wait for them to get the plush and backing worked out. Now it’s good, and we have a couple pair Gecko running here at WildSnow HQ that we heartily approve of!

    My suggestion to anyone, at this point try your best to give Gecko a try and see how they mesh with your style of skin use and handling. I think many of you will find you like them better than regular type adhesives. Note: Yeah, we’re not impressed with the Gecko tail fix, plan on possibly swapping for something from BD or a homebrew.

    Our latest Gecko review is following link, please leave Gecko skin comments there:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/6281/gecko-skins-review/

  31. canwilf March 10th, 2012 12:42 am

    A plastics shop I was in today said to use this stuff for the plastic bond to kevlar/glass/carbon as it is much better that the 107 Resin:

    650-8 G/Flex by West System

    “A toughened, versatile, liquid epoxy for permanent waterproof bonding of fiberglass, ceramics, metals, plastics, damp and difficult-to-bond woods. With a modulus of elasticity of 150,000 PSI, it is a bit more flexible than standard epoxies and polyester, but much stiffer than adhesive sealants. This gives G/flex the ability to make structural bonds that can absorb the stress of expansion, contraction, shock and vibration. It is ideal for bonding dissimilar materials.”

    I’m trying to get some to try. And I’ll be using plain Carbon Fibre Weave to skin the cuffs (and raise the sides 2/3 inch) on my Titan Ultralights

  32. eric May 10th, 2012 5:51 pm

    I know I am a bit late on this conversation but holy mole!!! This is a wealth of information. I know I will be doing some mod work on my Scarpa Matrixs this summer… Thanks WildSnow!!

  33. Lou May 10th, 2012 6:13 pm

    Better late than never! Thanks for dropping by…

  34. Griff May 10th, 2012 7:31 pm

    Hi all,

    I promised that I would report back at the end of the season on how well the epoxy stuck to the Pebax. Well… it wasn’t a banner year for snow here in CO. And, for better or worse… it was a pretty good year for work and I found my self on planes a lot. So I didn’t get a lot of time-on-snow. I did manage to get about 10 days into the modded boots and everything is fine. I just put them away for the season and, just for fun, I slipped them in and flexed them pretty hard. No problem.

    We will see what next year brings. Hopefully lots of snow… and I’ll try to get my work/play priorities straight!

    Be well…

  35. stevenjo November 20th, 2012 11:23 am

    Thought I’d chime in here and let folks know that I just finished a carbon layup covering the entire inside of the tongue. My goal was to reinforce the ‘concavity’ of the tongue rather than just stiffening the bellow. There’s been no field use (yet) but in-the-garage tests show definite improvement. I used a vacuum pump and the bond seems pretty good but I’ll report back on any issues related to that or cracking that were suggested above.

    - think snow

  36. Griff November 20th, 2012 4:32 pm

    Hey stevenjo,

    Vacuum pump… cool! That will make a BIG difference in the strength dept. Really drives the resins into the fibers, so Luke from Bristlecone Mountain Sports tells me. Which resin did you use? Also, was the pump set-up an off-the-shelf solution or something homemade? When you get it on the snow, let us know how it performs.

    I also worked on my boots again this year adding a second layer of kevlar. Same technique and materials as last time but I took Scott’s advice and covered most of the back of the tongue this time. This second layer really did the trick. I did a pre-season workout at Snowmass today and they were nicely stiff on the one groomer that Snowmass will open with on Thursday. The extra layer made opening the tongue for entry and exit a bit more difficult but not too bad.

    Now I just have to do my snow dance!

    Be well…

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