Displaying your Classic Ski Touring Binding Collection

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 8, 2016      
Ski touring bindings displayed on 1x4x24 inch simple planks.

Ski touring bindings displayed on 1x4x24 inch simple planks.

I’ve encountered a few ski binding collectors over the years. Generally, the theme is the same. You make some kind of “board” you mount the binding on, then hang on your wall. I’ve seen collections installed on sections cut from discarded skis (funky, but too busy for my taste). Others live on fancy boards that took master woodworking skills to create. My approach is to use simple 1×4 inch planks with the edges slightly eased. The wood is affordable clear poplar that holds screws slightly better than pine and comes quite straight. I try to mount the bindings in consistent fashion so the toe units, at least within in a brand, line up horizontally. If the ski touring binding has a brake that doesn’t stow I either tie it up with a strap, or place screws on either side of the plank to act as hooks for the brake arms.

Our museum room (otherwise known as our house entryway, hah) is done in North American “drywall sheetrock” style, thus simple drywall screw anchors with a protruding screw work well for hanging. Downside with screw anchors is they leave blemishes if they’re ever sunk or removed. That’s not a problem for me because I have a home improvement skillset that could populate a one-man reality show — including my secret drywall talents. But if you’re concerned about gouging your sheetrock you could use picture hangers that leave tiny nail holes; easy to fill and hide during a repaint.

Our museum has constant additions, presently with more than 50 bindings and counting.

Our museum has constant additions, presently with more than 50 bindings and counting. Making batches of new display boards is a yearly task. The 1×4 inch poplar planks shown here have just received a quick clear acrylic rattle-can hit. No matter what wood you use, clear coat so it doesn’t get smudged up from handling over the years.

To save money I use these basic screw eyes to hang the display boards.

To save money I use these basic screw eyes to hang the ski binding display boards. These work well with my drywall screw anchors holding a screw protruding from the wall. With picture hangers, you’d probably need to bend the screw eyes so they were closer to being flush with the rear of the board.


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22 Responses to “Displaying your Classic Ski Touring Binding Collection”

  1. Doug Stenclik September 8th, 2016 11:45 am

    For our binding display at the store we use similar boards with super magnet inlays that are then stuck to a cut piece of sheet metal. It is a cool display method because it is easy to move bindings around based on the desired compare and contrast groupings.

    I have also used pine before which can be devastating. Not great to have a customer rip a heal piece out while trying to cram a boot into the binding.

    Lou what would cost to commission you for 40 of those boards?

  2. Lou Dawson 2 September 8th, 2016 11:50 am

    Doug, I hear you about ripping the bindings out. I don’t really test bindings on my boards, though I’ll gently work them sometimes. The poplar is better than pine but it’s not oak, and even oak isn’t that strong when using normal short binding screws. Thick plexiglass works well. I would have used oak but it’s expensive at the local “bLowes” store and takes more work to process.

    I’ve always liked your magnets enabled display method, innovative and perfect for a retailer, at least until someone has a pace maker (grin).


  3. ptor September 8th, 2016 1:47 pm

    Really cool. Got any Sandro Steps yet?

  4. Lou Dawson 2 September 8th, 2016 2:05 pm

    Ptor, what the…? Never heard of them! You got me!

  5. AJ September 8th, 2016 2:18 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Less exotic, Naxo 21 in good condition including crampons. Interested?

  6. Lou Dawson 2 September 8th, 2016 3:12 pm

    Thanks AJ, plenty of Naxos here, in fact I was just working on getting them into the digital museum. They’re on the wall in the physical world. A curiosity for sure! I’ve got the 01, the 21, and the 22…

    Testing the first ones in retail was amusing. I took them out on the back porch, stepped in, and the heel unit broke into flying shrapnel. The heroic annals of binding testing!

    While uphilling training in Aspen, last winter I was getting get passed by a guy every few days, clanking his way up the hill on antique Naxos. You could hear him coming 900 yards down the hill. His bindings weight three time mine, but of course he’s 1/3 the age (smile).


  7. Lee September 8th, 2016 5:41 pm

    More pictures please

  8. Lou Dawson 2 September 8th, 2016 5:47 pm

    Lee, follow the links!


    Let me know how you like it.


  9. See September 8th, 2016 6:16 pm

    It’s tough to beat the aesthetics of wood. Maybe use t nuts and flat head machine screws to prevent pull out.

  10. ptor September 8th, 2016 11:13 pm

    Ah, ha! Sandro Steps were the first touring inserts that I’m aware of that well preceeded the Secura-fix. Late 80’s. They were all plastic except for the toe and heel bail and had a cordelette adjustment for sole length. The bottom inserted into the binding had a slide and click adjustment. My first touring experience was on those with a sweet pair of Fischer 212 super g. Strangely can’t find anything on the web on them

  11. Lou Dawson 2 September 9th, 2016 7:08 am

    Ptor, I’m going to have to locate some of those for the collection. I actually do vaguely recall seeing them at one time, now that you describe. Or perhaps I’m imagining things (smile). Keep your eyes open over there. If you find some I’ll probably be in EU for a while this winter and you could mail to me, or perhaps I’ll be over your way. I’ve got a small budget for collection acquisitions, mostly for postage. Thanks, Lou

  12. Jim Milstein September 9th, 2016 11:31 am

    In the late sixties, I think, I set up a pair of Head Standard Softs with the classic triangular Marker toepieces and some Northland front-throw cable bindings, with the cable guides set far forward for touring. A second set of guides nearer the heels was for the descent. Marker supplied toe irons that dropped over the skis just behind the toe pieces. The bear traps were removed for the descent. They were heavy steel and weighed a ton or so. My boots then were very heavy Molitor leather boots with lacing inside and cables and latches on the outside.

    After a while, for obvious reasons, I converted to the newly rediscovered telemark religion and remained faithful for about forty years. I am now a happy telemark apostate for the same reason I converted to telemark gear. I need all the help I can get.

  13. NT September 9th, 2016 12:14 pm

    Would be interesting to be able to switch between sorting the digital museum chronologically or by manufacturer/model. Also by type (pin, frame, insert, etc). Not that you needed the extra work…

  14. Lou Dawson 2 September 9th, 2016 1:00 pm

    Hi NT, yeah, that probably won’t get done any time soon.

    On the wall, I’m liking arranging them by brand, and will probably organize the webpage the same way.

    But eventually, sure, I’ll probably go over to a database sourced system online, especially when I get more then 75 or so bindings in there.

    On the other hand, there might be some ways to give somewhat of a sort option by using our existing categories or tagging system

    I’ll look at it.

    Thanks, Lou

  15. Lee September 9th, 2016 2:26 pm

    Doh, thanks for the link. Really enjoyed seeing the photos. My mom says the old bear traps were well used for touring. Have my grandfathers skis in the living room.

  16. ptor September 10th, 2016 11:55 am

    Ok Lou. They were red. Hope you make it this way sometime not too far in ze future.

  17. Jim Milstein September 10th, 2016 1:20 pm

    It would be better, Lou, to organize them on the wall by color. That’s what matters. Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, White. Not sure what to do with Magenta, Cyan, and other weird colors unknown to rainbows.

    Some people would say display by weight, others by MSRP.

  18. Lou Dawson 2 September 11th, 2016 6:31 pm

    Hi Ptor, Lisa and I would love to visit. Any mellow tours around there, or do we have to leap off cliffs and defy avalanches on La Meije?

  19. ptor September 11th, 2016 11:33 pm

    Lou, that the skiing here is exclusively extreme is a total myth propogated by traditionally lopsided media and insecure instaface addicts. Endless mellow skiing around here in the sun and with the best views where there is no rabid psychotic telepherique junkies… which I would eagerly join you in partaking of!

  20. Lou Dawson 2 September 12th, 2016 10:29 am

    Ok, you’re on, we’ll see what we can do this winter. I’ve been pretty close to you quite a few times now. Thanks for keeping me in mind! Lou

  21. nick schley September 26th, 2016 7:49 pm

    Ptor and Lou talking shop,how much more legendary does it get?!

  22. Lou Dawson 2 September 26th, 2016 7:53 pm

    I live in fear he’ll start sharing chemtrail info, and he’s wondering if I’ll try to share Jesus. Yeah, it doesn’t get any more legendary (smile) !

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