A Couple of Onyx Tips and Tricks


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 28, 2010      

For many, the deal maker feature of G3’s Onyx binding is the swap plates. I was playing around with those yesterday, along with removing the plates for use on other skis, and ran into a few easily remedied problems. Small details but they’ll help when you need to get this sort of stuff done quickly. Check it out.

G3 Onyx backcountry skiing binding swap plates.

The binding toe unit is removed from the swap plate by removing two machine screws and sliding the unit off the plate. Problem is, the screws of this 2010 model tend to get trapped. Solution, slide a thin right-angled pick in from the rear, as shown, then jiggle the pick till you raise the screw up high enough to allow the unit to slide off the plate. Turning the ski upside down and jiggling can help as well.

Heating binding screws to break epoxy bond.

We epoxy all binding screws here at the WildSnow shop. Heating with a soldering iron for a short time allows them to come out like they're in butter, provided you use regular hardware store epoxy that's not too heat resistant. Heating too much will damage the swap plates, so count to perhaps 8, then try the screw with a hand screwdriver. If the screw doesn't back out easily, reapply heat and test again. Eventually you'll figure out the exact number of seconds you need to heat each screw. Interestingly, it's actually easier to get this sort of epoxied screw out than it is a screw inserted with non heat sensitive adhesives such as Gorilla glue.

Onyx binding stainless steel screw broken.

I messed up, and forgot the Onyx screws are made from stainless steel and thus not as strong as regular steel binding screws. Without enough heating, the epoxy gripped and I twisted the head right off a screw. Whoops. Using stainless screws is a good idea with Onyx, as they're hidden and stay moist so corrosion would be a problem with regular steel. But you've gotta remember these aren't your father's binding screws.

Extracting broken ski binding screw.

When a broken screw happens, sometimes you can grip the stub with Visegrips, heat the screw up (provided you used epoxy) and easily back it out. In this case the stub was too short for pliers, so I drilled it out with a small drillbit (easy, because the stainless is fairly soft). While drilling, the screw heated up and softened the epoxy. I could tell when that happened because it rotated a bit from the drill bit torque. At that point I inserted a small easy-out and easily backed the screw out. Shew.

There you go, just another session in the WildSnow shop. Adventure is where you find it.



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Comments

20 Responses to “A Couple of Onyx Tips and Tricks”

  1. Matt October 28th, 2010 8:53 am

    Hey Lou, looks like that ski has inserts, did you install those or are they stock? ( i don’t recognize the ski off hand) Just curious as I’m about to install some inserts myself.

  2. Jonathan Shefftz October 28th, 2010 9:15 am

    “I messed up, and forgot the Onyx screws are made from stainless steel and thus not as strong as regular steel binding screws.”
    — Sure sounds like someone messed up here, but attributing it to yourself is like blaming the victim….

    BTW, has anyone tried the B&D Ski Gear Dynafit adapter plates? Seems like they would accomplish the same goal for Dynafit bindings.

  3. maadjurguer October 28th, 2010 9:46 am

    @Matt….skis look like K2 Anit-Piste to me…

  4. Andy October 28th, 2010 9:51 am

    I’ve encountered this problem when trying to switch bindings as well. I’ve also deployed your two methods with success. I’ve wondered if a really strong pencil sized magnet might be of use.

  5. Nick Brown October 28th, 2010 10:29 am

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5384815&l=76ad613b75&id=538189971

    I’ve had the toe pin on Onyx bind snap on me twice! Both time out on the hill, while in touring mode. Thankfully near the road so I could just walk back, as without the toe pin there is no using the ski nor way to botch it and given the snap even if I had a spare pin it would not be field replaceable. See the photo on facebook above.

  6. Matt October 28th, 2010 1:04 pm

    @Jonathan

    No idea about the B&D plates, but I got these suckers mounted up this year after a ton of recommendations, all i hear is that they are bomber. Stoked to try them out this season: http://www.bindingfreedom.com/DynaDuke-Swap-Plates-1001.htm

  7. Nick Webb October 28th, 2010 2:01 pm

    I have the B & D Dynafit inserts mounted on my Anti Pistes and they’re great. They fit right in the Tele inserts. There is a large amount of fore and aft adjustment so that you can dial in where you want your binding and thus your boot to sit on the ski. Recommended if you dont mind a little more weight under your feet. A bit cheaper in price than Binding Freedom also i think.

  8. Lou October 28th, 2010 4:54 pm

    Jonathan, if you know the screws are stainless you can mech accordingly. Any good mechanic should know what they’re dealing with and do what is appropriate. The stainless screws are really good as a regular steel screw in that application would rust like crazy, and they’re plenty strong for skiing forces, just not a power driver when the epoxy isn’t soft enough.

  9. Lou October 28th, 2010 4:55 pm

    Those are K2 Antipiste skis with the stock inserts.

  10. Mark October 28th, 2010 7:33 pm

    I’d love to see a review and assessment of dynafit swap plates and insert options. i really like the plate appeal of the onyx but am not sold on the rest of the binding. and definitely not sold on the broken toe pin…ugly!

  11. Jon Moceri October 28th, 2010 7:49 pm

    Another option is to use these for multiple bindings.

    http://www.quiverkiller.com/

    I just purchased a small bag and they seem like high quality stainless steel and they weigh only 1 gram each. I weighed them on my electronic scale.

    I also found another use for them. They are ideal for mounting my new removable LED navigation lights on my Multi 23 trimaran.

    Looks like a local guy out of Denver, Colorado.

    Jon

  12. Matt October 28th, 2010 9:06 pm

    just a heads up, and i do not know the details at all…but I believe jon (founder of bindingfreedom.com) designed the inserts quiverkiller.com is selling. bindingfreedom.com also sells the same inserts, with an additional screw slot (look at the pics closely), and at a lower price.

  13. Jon Moceri October 28th, 2010 10:54 pm

    Matt, thanks for the additional information. It’s amazing to see what you can learn on this site. Looks like I wasted time and money on college, when everything I need to know, I’ve learned on http://www.wildsnow.com!

    Jon

  14. Lou October 29th, 2010 5:53 am

    Jon, I guess I should offer a certificate of merit to anyone who has read this whole website (grin).

  15. Mark October 31st, 2010 9:16 pm

    Lou, I’m a little surprised you would turn any binding screw with a power driver, but I’ll defer to the master. On a related note, I personally recommend getting a good Pozidrive 3 screwdriver for ANY binding screw work. Worth its weight in gold as anyone who has ever stripped a screw head can attest.

  16. Biggsie November 1st, 2010 12:31 am

    Just mounted some verdicts for both Dynafits and BD O1 tele binders using Quiverkiller inserts. Pretty simple set up. I’ll know how they work once the snow starts flying in the Sierras.

  17. Lou November 1st, 2010 7:09 am

    Mark, I’m just full of surprises! Actually pretty careful and I do use a hand driver when it seems necessary, but I’ve got a good feel for the power driver and mount dozens of bindings with it every year…

  18. Dave November 3rd, 2010 12:19 pm

    Lou and the Gang,

    I am in the process of re-mounting my skis with new bindings to include inserts… what is the minimum allowable distance between the new holes and the existing holes?

  19. Biggsie November 3rd, 2010 2:52 pm

    Great question Dave. I think I’m officially pushing the envelope by mounting by a few of my Quiver Killer inserts ~1.25cm, center-to-center. There’s just not a great option for those who have big feet (29.5) and want to mount Dyna’s and BD O1s on the same ski.

    I should be able to provide an update on durability once the season starts here in the Sierra.

    PS. I used lots of epoxy 🙂

  20. Matt November 3rd, 2010 3:01 pm

    Dave, I believe the quiverkiller guy recommends 1.5 cm minimum.
    Hope your 1.25 cm works out ok Biggsie!

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