Christmas Ski Tool Stash Renewal — Gift Ideas

Post by blogger | December 9, 2014      
Ski tools: bits to left, Hardman epoxy, nice long pozi bits for reaching tightly placed binding screws, and some wood-glue type adhesive (top) that's probably just waterproof Titebond.

Ski tools: bits to left, Hardman epoxy, nice long pozi bits for reaching tightly placed binding screws, and some wood-glue type adhesive (top) that’s probably just waterproof Titebond rebranded by Sun Valley Ski Tools.

I’ve been mounting ski bindings for what, 40 years!? And some guy the other day had the nerve to ask me if I was using a #3 Phillips instead of a pozi screwdriver when I shared that I’d had some trouble placing and extracting fasteners. Well, I’d no sooner touch a pozi screw with a Phillips as I would touch my left foot with a red hot branding iron.

But my momentary mentor did make another point that hit closer, that being I’d been drilling my ski holes too small in a metal topskin, and that epoxy isn’t _always_ necessary. I’ll admit I was lazy. Thanks be to mentor I’ve mended my errant ways. I whipped up an order from Slidewright for a few 4.1 mm specialized ski drilling bits, a small bottle of not-epoxy, and some high quality epoxy for when I do want to resin set my fasteners.

Most years I also buy a few ski tooling items for Christmas presents. Every skier I know can use a new high quality pozi screwdriver — they wear out. Likewise, ski wax is always appreciated and if the person is a do-it-yourselfer she can always use epoxy, driver-drill pozi inserts, and ski drill bits. Check Slidewright for all items for super fast service and very helpful if you need to contact with questions. Get crazy and buy yourself a base welder, you deserve it, or perhaps you just plain need it?


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18 Responses to “Christmas Ski Tool Stash Renewal — Gift Ideas”

  1. Rudi December 9th, 2014 11:23 am


    I was under the impression that skis were to be drilled at 3.8mm unless they have metal layers inside the skis sandwiched construction (like every race ski and much fewer BC skis). Is the common practice by ski manufacturers of placing a thin metal layer over the binding mounting zone in an otherwise “metal-less” ski enough to warrant a 4.1mm bit?


  2. Scott Nelson December 9th, 2014 12:20 pm

    Where do you source replacement screws gor Dynafit bindings?

  3. Kirt Brown December 9th, 2014 1:08 pm

    I found a “better” screwdriver last year. They are the WERA Kraftform Plus series 300. They call them lasertip, for the small grooves the put it the tip, to give them a much more positive engagement in the screw. Even allowing the removal of stripped head screws, without the use of Screw Medic.
    See them here:

  4. Sam December 9th, 2014 1:14 pm

    I needed some longer fasteners for a Dynafit remount the other day and discovered that the folks at skimo carry not just fasteners but a great selection of bindings parts:

  5. Lou Dawson 2 December 9th, 2014 1:16 pm

    Rudi, it’s becoming more and more common to use a metal binding mount plate, apparently it’s lighter than composite for more strength. It requires the larger drill, otherwise you’d use the smaller. In reality, I’ve found I can drill most skis with either diameter bit and the bindings stay on just fine, but am trying to not be too lazy (grin). Lou

  6. Sam December 9th, 2014 1:23 pm

    Drilling the correct size hole for a given material will minimize fastener pullout and surface dimpling. The main reason to go with the slightly larger hole for a ski with a metal sheet anywhere in the layup is to minimize surface dimpling (or delam if the metal is not the top layer). Bindings, particularly pintech bindings which count on fairly tight tolerances for proper behavior, like to be mounted such that the toe and heel bases sit fairly flat on the ski. Less surface dimpling means a flatter mount.

  7. Rudi December 9th, 2014 1:50 pm

    thanks for the clarification….to summarize
    absolutely no metal: 3.8mm
    metal anywhere under binding: 4.1mm
    lazy: 5/32″

  8. Scott Nelson December 9th, 2014 3:37 pm

    Thanks for the link, I’ll check that out.

  9. Thom Mackris December 9th, 2014 4:14 pm

    Terry at Slidewright is one of the good guys Lou, and like yourself, it’s time for a stocking stuffer or two 🙂

    I followed your link to him years ago and he has never steered me wrong. In many situations he’s recommended a less expensive product he felt would suit me better (a ski vice in this case). Of course, I didn’t listen, but eventually I ended up with the less expensive/”correct” solution.


  10. Thom Mackris December 9th, 2014 4:16 pm

    BTW, last year’s Christmas present to me was the base welder you linked to. 40 years of butane lighters and p-tex candles. The right tool AT LAST!


  11. Crazy Horse December 9th, 2014 8:11 pm

    And on the 12 day of Christmas I wished for the death of Phillips drive screws and their universal replacement by Torx!

  12. Mark Worley December 9th, 2014 10:22 pm

    Got one of the P-Tex guns. Awesome! Oh, and just to be really nitpicky: bits should generally be 3.6 mm or 3.5mm for non-metal, and 4.1 mm for metal. Yes, Pozi #3 is nice, but it looks like Torx is better!

  13. Mark Worley December 9th, 2014 10:27 pm

    I recommend Slidewright too. Terry is great.

  14. Nikolay December 10th, 2014 9:40 am

    Lou, recently discovered your blog and I love it! I make a point of checking it out every day since I first saw it.

    I was wondering – can you please recommend your choice for a snow saw one of these days? I am in the market for one and can’t make heads or tails of the reviews I have read online. Thanks!

  15. Nate Porter December 10th, 2014 7:36 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I’m surprised you’re recommending the repackaged tite bond. Wood glue makes a brittle seal, which can crack and degrade over time, allowing water into the ski core. Roo Clear is a great flexible glue that lasts.

    Re bit size: I’ve always used 3.5/3.6 for non metal top sheets and 4.1 with a tap for a true metal top sheet. I believe for the really thin metal binding retention sheets it’s ok to use 3.5/3.6. For the really thin metal sheets, I might use 3.5 and tap just through the metal instead of 4.1. The quality of the core also has something to do with bit size, IMO.

    I’ll cast my vote against torx for binding screws.

  16. See December 10th, 2014 8:41 pm

    Apparently cores are getting lighter and decks are getting metal under the bindings. Seems like skis with this construction should be mounted with epoxy to form an anchor under the top laminate.

  17. David December 11th, 2014 2:36 pm


    Not saying TItebond or similar is any better but Roo Clear is described on their own website as “highly water resistant and can be used for exterior applications with indirect water contact. It is important to note that if used in an exterior application, the finished product will need to be coated or painted prior to installation. This ensures the glue will not have direct water contact.”

    I don’t know the practical implication of that when used for mounting ski bindings but sure gives me pause which is why I almost always end up using marine epoxy.

  18. Nate Porter December 11th, 2014 6:39 pm

    David, thanks for the heads up on that. When I’ve removed screws from a binding that has been in use (ie in the snow, gotten wet) the dried Roo Clear hasn’t shown any ill effects- maybe it gets wet and dries? That might indicate it’s not sealing as well as I think. I will pay more attention to that. I generally don’t use epoxy unless the combo of ski, binding and skier all point to it being a good idea. Thanks for the info.!

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