#1 DIY Project For Spring — The Wax Box


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 12, 2015      

Jesse Morehouse

My new favorite piece of gear -- The Wax Box. Click images to enlarge.

My new favorite piece of gear — The Wax Box. Click images to enlarge.

I have always loved well waxed planks for backcountry ski touring. I enjoy the task of waxing but I have no garage and find myself either paying shops or bumming off friends for space to wax. Or, in a pinch I’d do it out back on saw horses or the wood pile — acts of desperation that result in horrible wax jobs.

I dreamed of waxing inside but couldn’t stand the thought of the mess it would create. Then I went over to a friend’s house who is a waxing fanatic to get some pointers. He ushered me into the cleanest waxing setup I’d ever seen, compliments of a waxing box.

The concept is ridiculously simple which is probably why I for one have never thought of it. Make a box that you wax in and you get no mess. Duh!

Nice and clean!
The basic concept is so simple I feel most folks could have me stop here and they would be fine. However, just for the sake of documentation and brainstorming, I’ll include basic dimensions (no hard and fast rules here) and some thoughts on tricking this bad boy out.

The Basics

  • Cut and sand everything first. Build a box out of 2x8s that is 7 feet long and 22 inches wide by gluing and screwing the sides together. It will be more efficient if you cut the ends and ski rests at the same time and make them all the same length.
  • One note on dimensions: the length should accommodate skis of any width up to 200cm long. The plans I made allow for a drop-in ski rest so kid length skis (sub 150cm) can be waxed. Check out the diagram and picture below for details.
  • Glue and screw a piece of plywood or OSB to the bottom.
  • Add the ski rests after ripping to 5 inches tall and if you want, with arched openings underneath to aid in wax cleanup. I also cut a 3/8 notch about 1.5-1.75 inches deep in the middle of each rest to hold skis on edge for wax cleanup of sidewalls and for edge maintenance. These rests are topped with pieces of a foam rubber from a snowboard rear foot pad. You know, for when those poor souls are hobbling through lift lines. The foam rubber keeps the skis from sliding around.
  • Scrounge some legs. Folding table legs would make it stowable if space is at a premium.
  • For cleaning out the wax scrapings, the hole in the middle has a small trash can mounted under it but you could just put one on the floor. A small hand brush like those cheap $2 “china brushes” in the paint section of your local hardware store does the trick nicely.
  • Construction measurements.

    Construction measurements.

    The ski rest and trash hole. You can see the notch for standing up skis on edge, the notches to slide in a shorter ski rest for kid skis and the arched hole under the fixed ski rest to sweep wax through. Key to this thing is a good polyurethane finish which allows the wax to be easily swept out. An initial thorough sanding followed by 3 coats with light sanding between worked for me. Pretty standard stuff and takes more time than all the rest put together. But worth it.

    The ski rest and trash hole. You can see the notch for standing up skis on edge, the notches to slide in a shorter ski rest for kid skis and the arched hole under the fixed ski rest to sweep wax through. Key to this thing is a good polyurethane finish which allows the wax to be easily swept out. An initial thorough sanding followed by 3 coats with light sanding between worked for me. Pretty standard stuff and takes more time than all the rest put together. But worth it.

    The waste bin. I bent some sheet metal into an 'S' that allowed solid mounting. A trash can on the ground would work too. The guy I got the idea from didn't do any of this and just used a shop vac to clean out the wax. Many ways to skin this cat.

    The waste bin. I bent some sheet metal into an ‘S’ that allowed solid mounting. A trash can on the ground would work too. The guy I got the idea from didn’t do any of this and just used a shop vac to clean out the wax. Many ways to skin this cat.

    Customization Thoughts
    There are a lot of things you can do to trick this basic box out. My friend had thin wooden pockets along the side for tools, a few hooks on the end, a magnetic holder for his metal scraper, one of those ski wax iron holders and a bottle opener. The bottle opener may be mandatory?

    I felt somewhere to put the bottle or can once open was critical, wanted good lighting and a different tool organization plan so…

    Iron mount for my ratty travel iron made from 2 cheap coat hangers.

    Iron mount for my ratty travel iron made from 2 cheap coat hangers.

    I added a top shelf basically just to mount a work light but subdivided it to stow waxing stuff. What you don't see is one of these partitions on the end is fitted with a sheet metal liner so I can throw hot Ptex in it. Overkill but what the heck.

    I added a top shelf basically just to mount a work light but subdivided it to stow waxing stuff. What you don’t see is one of these partitions on the end is fitted with a sheet metal liner so I can throw hot Ptex in it. Overkill but what the heck.

    LED strip lit up under the shelf.

    LED strip lit up under the shelf.

    On the vertical posts I added some cheap screw-in hooks, bent a bit more open to hand all kinds of stuff. The red thing on the right post is a plastic scraper sharpener. The bottle opener is the dark plastic box on the far right- I got it from a restaurant supply house years ago with a build in cap holder. The scrounged legs have nonslip feet. The top shelf has beverage holders on the far right- a critical consideration IMHO. On the left you can kind of make out a power receptacle I mounted on the bench for the light and iron so I'd only have one cord running to the bench. Of course Id have to clean my attic to make that effort noticeable! A side benefit is I finally have a place to throw the stickers I've accumulated. Bonus!

    On the vertical posts I added some cheap screw-in hooks, bent a bit more open to hand all kinds of stuff. The red thing on the right post is a plastic scraper sharpener. The bottle opener is the dark plastic box on the far right- I got it from a restaurant supply house years ago with a build in cap holder. The scrounged legs have nonslip feet. The top shelf has beverage holders on the far right- a critical consideration IMHO. On the left you can kind of make out a power receptacle I mounted on the bench for the light and iron so I’d only have one cord running to the bench. Of course Id have to clean my attic to make that effort noticeable! A side benefit is I finally have a place to throw the stickers I’ve accumulated. Bonus!

    One thing I’m thinking about is a sheet of thin plywood that drops in to fill the box, resting on the ski rests with some type of simple clips at the top and bottom so I can use this rig to perform skin glue maintenance.

    It could, with some padding, be a great place for some dirtbag friend of yours to crash. Like I said, endless possibilities.

    Anyway, those are some ideas. Im sure you can think of other very cool variations. I saw one on the Internet that was made of 1x4s and foldable for storage in a small condo type setting. Your imagination is your only limiting factor here!

    (WildSnow.com guest blogger Jesse Morehouse is a middling but psyched skimo enthusiast who loves endurance-based outdoor adventures. He tries to keep the epics manageable on family outings, fearing his kids might revolt and become racketball players. He is always trying to save a buck with DIY projects so he can buy more skimo gear.)



    IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE VIEWING SITE, TRY WHITELISTING IN YOUR ADBLOCKER, OTHERWISE PLEASE CONTACT US USING MENU ABOVE, OR FACEBOOK.

    Comments

    10 Responses to “#1 DIY Project For Spring — The Wax Box”

    1. Matt T June 12th, 2015 12:03 pm

      Nice!
      How do you secure the ski for scrapping/edge maintence?

    2. NT June 12th, 2015 3:10 pm

      Very cool setup. One thought though: ptex candle flames next to exposed spray foam insulation seems risky. Should have a thermal barrier over the insulation ideally. I’d be more worried about that than getting wax drippings and scrapings on your subfloor.

    3. Thom Mackris June 12th, 2015 3:38 pm

      Brilliant in its simplicity, but then again, the obvious is always so … AFTER the fact!

      Thanks for sharing.

      Regards,
      Thom

    4. Billy Balz June 13th, 2015 6:44 am

      Nice job. Please give update after you’ve sharpened and waxed 3-4 pair of skis in one session. I’m wondering if you have to bend over a bit and whether it will put more strain on lower back versus using a standard swix clamp setup right at the edge of the bench.

    5. Mike June 13th, 2015 8:06 am

      Now you just need a heater/blower to attach to multiple ports and a lid and you can hot box the skis overnight.

    6. jw7 June 13th, 2015 8:19 am

      Try not to leave extra wax on the base if you’re going to use skins for an uphill before skiing on those skis. Wax can ruin a good pair of skins.

    7. swissiphic June 13th, 2015 10:10 am

      re; “How do you secure the ski for scraping/edge maintence?”

      A good ghetto way to stabilize skis bases up is to loop a rubber (voile, g3, etc) ski strap through two holes in base of bench and loop over any protruding part of binding or ski brake and snug it down. Works good.

      For side edge maintenance I’ve cut slots in the wood blocks and used layers of high density foam to ‘wedge’ the ski so it sits nicely vertical.

    8. XXX_er June 13th, 2015 2:51 pm

      Having the edges to keep wax in are a good idea, I have a bench about that size against a wall in the spare bed/gear storage room, I put a 4×8 sheet of OSB under the bench to stabilize the bench and catch wax drippings, I just vacum it all up with the shop vac

    9. Jesse M June 14th, 2015 10:53 am

      Matt T- The ideas I’ve read in the replies all look pretty interesting and Im going to mess around with at least one. My box just uses 3/8 inch wide slots which, with the 1.5 or slightly deeper depth stabilize most skis just fine for edge maintenance. I have both a Swix fixed angle roller type side edge tool and a typical sliding side edger and both work great. Of course clamps are even better but cutting a slot in a piece of wood is a LOT cheaper!

      Billy- Ive waxed the whole family’s fleet of skis, a few of those many times thanks to hard early morning spring conditions. No complaints with ergonomics. You can build the table to any height you want to customize it to your height preferences.

    10. XXX_er June 15th, 2015 6:07 pm

      “My box just uses 3/8 inch wide slots which, with the 1.5 or slightly deeper depth stabilize most skis just fine for edge maintenance”

      that ^^ is pretty much what I use, on my first jig which I would chuck into a workmate I had the blocks which the skis rest on with the slots, close enough togetehr to do a skis OR a snow board which is about 42″ , on this latest bench I put these blocks further apart for better stability but I can easily un zap the blocks to move closer for waxing a board





    Anti-Spam Quiz:

    While you can subscribe to comment notification by checking the box above, you must leave a brief comment to do so, which records your email and requires you to use our anti-spam challange. If you don't like leaving substantive comments that's fine, just leave a simple comment that says something like "thanks, subscribed" with a made-up name. Check the comment subscription checkbox BEFORE you submit. NOTE: BY SUBSCRIBING TO COMMENTS YOU GIVE US PERMISSION TO STORE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS INDEFINITLY. YOU MAY REQUEST REMOVAL AND WE WILL REMOVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WITHIN 72 HOURS. To request removal of personal information, please contact us using the comment link in our site menu.
    If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.

    :D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
      
    Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after approval. Comments with one or more links in the text may be held in moderation, for spam prevention. If you'd like to publish a photo in a comment, contact us. Guidelines: Be civil, no personal attacks, avoid vulgarity and profanity.

      Your Comments


      Recent Posts




    Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

    WildSnow Twitter Feed



     



  • Blogroll & Links


  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version