Every Home Workshop Needs a Ski Tuning Machine

This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Power tools rule. But what if you’ve got more power tools than Bob Vila and his friends? Who cares!? When the desire for another tool hits deep in one’s core, there is always another gadget out there you’ve been thinking about but don’t have yet. Consider ski tuning equipment.

Over past seasons we’ve been buying too many 6-packs and baking too many cookies to trade for ski tunes. The boys down at the Gear Exchange in Glenwood Springs picked up a new ski tuning machine, and were giving away their old one for the hauling. Ah yes, hauling, now that’s something we can do.

Tuning skis for the backcountry.
Loading up at the Gear Exchange. This is a small belt sanding system without auto-feed. With practice on the part of the operator it works fine, Gear Exchange upgraded to a wider sander so they could do snowboards. Our TAV Silverado and dual axle trailer were overkill for the hauling — but nice. Would have been tough doing this with a Subraru (but probably possible given a trailer hitch and the right trailer).

Tuning skis for the backcountry.
Once home with the rig still on our trailer an idea hit. We could haul this to trailheads, fire up a generator, and tune our skis after each fourteener descent!

Seriously, we’ll install this rig in the famous WildSnow.com DIY shop, give it a refurb, then enjoy effortless P-tex removal. Should be useful for other belt sanding duties as well, like removing sole material to lighten rando boots. Gear exchange also gave us an edger which we’ll play around with. The base sander has a huge electric motor, we’re thinking it might brown-out the whole neighborhood when we turn it on, as in: “There go our lights again Mildred, the Dawsons must be tuning skis…” Full report once we get everything rattling and we hope turning.

By the way, Gear Exchange only gets better and better. They’ve expanded their bicycle parts and restoration into a large warehouse behind their retail store. As always they’ve got tons of ski gear for sale including good deals on used randonnee, tele and alpine. For you old-school telemarkers, know they have a big selection of leather boots. Gear Exchange: 970-945-8500 (no website).


8 Responses to “Every Home Workshop Needs a Ski Tuning Machine”

  1. Mark April 11th, 2007 8:33 am

    Nice find! By the way, your hat looks like a Cloudveil one I purchased in Truckee for a mere (ouch!) $30 bucks. It’s tough being out of the pro-deal loop on a trip.

  2. Lou April 11th, 2007 8:39 am

    Mark, it’s a Shred Alert!

  3. Terry Ackerman April 11th, 2007 9:29 am

    Score! What next? A mail order base grind and tuning service…..or a traveling one coming to your door? Will you work for beer…or tacos?

  4. Mark April 11th, 2007 9:32 am

    Those Shred Alert hats are nice.

  5. Lou April 11th, 2007 11:10 am

    Next time Davenport skis all the fourteeners we plan on following him around and tuning his entourage’s planks. Will take tacos or beer for trade, but sorry, no Red Bull.

  6. Cliff February 1st, 2012 10:11 am

    Sweet! I laughed when I read this. I have been tuning skis at MRG for 30 years and ended up with one of the old SkiTuner combo stone/belt machines. I’ve had it for years but just setting it up now and found your article searching for info. I also have a full wood and auto shop and agree with you. Every home workshop needs a ski tuning machine.
    By the way your antispam quiz didn’t accept duct tape as a valid answer.

  7. Joseph June 5th, 2012 2:00 am

    I am in relation with resorts in the middle east for skiing, I am looking for used gears and tuning machine…
    If interested you have my mail …
    Thank you god bless…

  8. KEN Murray May 8th, 2013 3:28 am

    Looking for a used Alston ski tuner.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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