How Close Together Can You Install Binding Inserts for Backcountry Skiing?

Post by blogger | January 28, 2011      

I wanted two binding positions on my tester BD Drift skis. The offset I wanted brought the inserts fairly close together, so I went ahead and did the screw pattern as close as I thought was possible. I’m not at all worried about pullout strength here, as with one insert threaded to the side of the other, you’ve got more strength than that of one insert. Ski strength? No worry to me on a ski this wide, with such a beefy binding mounting area. And ok everyone, before you start crying Uncle, this’ll be the last ‘swap plate & insert’ post for a while in this corner of the backcountry skiing world.

Ski binding threaded inserts.

Inserts installed as close as possible, note how the tap cut into the metal of the nearby insert. That's cutting it close! Also notice the bluish/green plastic inside the holes, that's the massive binding reinforcement plate these skis have. Tele, Dynafit, whatever, properly mounted bindings won't be yanking screws out of these guys, and the inserts are good for atomic level forces. Click image to enlarge.


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24 Responses to “How Close Together Can You Install Binding Inserts for Backcountry Skiing?”

  1. Lou January 28th, 2011 11:54 am

    Whoops, I lied about this being our last swap plate post (grin).

  2. Mark January 28th, 2011 2:43 pm

    My question is about the advisability of using inserts for mounting two pairs of bindings, Dynafits and an alpine binding, on one pair of skiis. I have 2009 Coomba’s which have been mounted with Dynafits by me quite successfully using the info. found here. Thank you Lou !

    I use them for some of my touring and for inbound powder days. My AT boots are Scarpa Matrix and I find that everything is great until things start to get skied out, then I find the Matrix lacking in beef to drive the Coombas. I had planned on upgrading boots but after following all the insert buzz thought why not use a second set of inserts for alpine boots and binders on resort only days. Less expensive than a new pair of AT boots which are not in the budget at least for this year, and I am going to install the first set of inserts anyways so I can use the Dynafits on other skiis.

    So, given that the Coomba’s are a light ski without extra beef in the mounting area unlike the BD Drifts, do I need to worry about the extra set of inserts compromising the strength of the ski? I am talking about normal conditions – at 58 years I am no longer charging hard inbounds or out.

  3. Lou January 28th, 2011 2:55 pm

    Mark, I wouldn’t worry about ski strength if you’re not charging hard, and the inserts will be much stronger than a regular mount in terms of screw pullout.

  4. Bryan F January 28th, 2011 6:11 pm

    Thanks Lou. I’m about to mount up some skis w/ dynafits that were already drilled for dukes when I got them. This should be helpful, as I beleive Jondrums had said that one of the reasons for dynaduke plates was that the holes have to be fairly close, closer than the 1cm rules for regular mounts.

  5. Mark January 28th, 2011 6:12 pm

    Lou, Thanks for the reply. I wasn’t sure where to post since there have been so many lately about inserts, plates, etc. I just reread the post on how many holes and that made me feel better about proceeding as well.
    I guess another question is whether empty inserts are significantly different than holes which have been filled ? Bigger footprint per hole but I would think they are plenty strong in terms of compression….but then does that create a stress riser since it is a different material than the ski ? And, how does spacing and hole pattern affect the situation ? So many questions and variables. Anyways keep the swap plate posts coming. It is exciting to see all the new options as they become available. Plates are certainly another option for my situation, but the simplicity and clean design of the inserts appeals to me.
    The info. I’ve found here on your site is invaluable so again thank you for your work. I recently removed a shop mounted set of Dynafits from an older pair of skiis and found rusted screws some of which were getting loose and they had been ground down to varying lengths. Kinda scary really. Using your instructions I mounted the Dynafits on my Coombas and feel much more secure about my work.

  6. tV January 28th, 2011 6:13 pm

    I recently did a Quiverkiller mount for Dukes & Dynafits on a pair of DPS Wailer 112RP Pures … Alex at Escape Route in Whistler pulled it off. Being new to throwing in inserts, we just went for it. The results are good.There are no noticeable issues to speak of. I keep an eye on the screws, which require intermittent tightening, as I swap the bindings often and so don’t use Loctite. We’re quite impressed with the insert process, strength and overall design. That said, you gotta be damn careful at various points. We certainly recommend drilling standard holes for the binding first, ensure the binding plates line up, then redrill and tap for the inserts.

  7. jondrums January 28th, 2011 7:46 pm

    awesome! I’ve been waiting for someone to do this. I’ll stay tuned for long term durability.

  8. John Gloor January 28th, 2011 8:06 pm

    Lou, those overlapping inserts are something! Did your tap actually cut an insert, or did it match up with the thread pitch of the existing insert? Along the same lines, did your tap wander when it hit the harder insert on one side?

  9. John Gloor January 28th, 2011 9:14 pm

    Lou, I am scratching my head with an alpine mount. I am trying to mount a Look Pivot on skis drilled for Jesters. The only acceptable mount for me places the front two 41-42mm spaced Look holes along the 37mm Jester holes. Do you think an insert drilled off center of the Jester holes with a drill press and clamped ski would work. Sorry jondrums, my inserts are quiver killers, but your expertise is welcome also.

  10. canwilf January 29th, 2011 1:36 am

    @tV as I swap the bindings often and so don’t use Loctite.

    Disregard this if you are already aware.

    Loctite will still allow you to remove the screws quite easily — even though it prevents the screws from loosening on their own. More importantly, it acts as a dry lubricant so that repeated installations do not wear out the threads on the screws or the inserts. In other words, your inserts will last longer if you use Loctite.

  11. scottyb January 29th, 2011 8:54 am

    That is close. I just mounted Jondrums Sollyfit plate on some ON3P Viciks which I had already put in QK inserts. Front plate was no problem but on the back plate I found the forward two mounting holes were at 10mm of the existing inserts so with plenty of adjustment on the FT12 binders I moved the plate aft to get the 20mm currently recommended.

    Now I just need the 920’s to get shipped.

  12. Tom W January 29th, 2011 12:08 pm

    Hi all,
    Is the thread pitch on the insert screws standard? I would bet you could find a set screw to plug the unused set of inserts if a person didn’t want the holes left empty.

  13. RobinB January 29th, 2011 6:27 pm

    What would you say the centre to centre measurment is?

  14. don gisselbeck January 30th, 2011 7:36 pm

    On a narrow old alpine ski I drilled 2 sets of front Dynafit holes to practice drilling. I then did 3 rip out tests (normal, helicoil, Quiver Killer). With none of the holes filled, in a flex test (50 lbs center, tip and tail supported at the same spot), it differed less than 1mm from the undrilled ski.

  15. Harry January 31st, 2011 7:18 am

    Tom W,

    I believe the fastener size needed is M5 standard pitch.

  16. Harry January 31st, 2011 7:37 am

    Follow up, for maximum overkill, McMaster-Carr has a M5 6mm set screw, in stainless, with a nylon soft tip, part # 93285A312.

    They cost twice as much as the quiverkiller inserts.

    Less overkill is the cup tip, part # 92029A206 $6.51 for 25.

    I just don’t see any need for this at all. The bindingfreedom and quiverkiller inserts are sealed on the bottom, so water intrusion isn’t a problem.

    In the grand scheme of ski design and forces, the wall thickness of the inserts gives the given area of the insert more compression strength than the core materiel that was already there, so plugging it with more heavy stainless doesn’t gain you anything either.

  17. Mats January 31st, 2011 8:22 am

    How close can you get the inserts? With the new screw pattern fpr next years Dynafit I understand that the most forward pair of screws are 6 mm ahead compared to the current pattern. Any chance of adding just 2 new inserts 6 mm ahead of the existing ones? As the inserts are +8mm something has to go.

  18. Richard February 26th, 2011 10:44 am

    Can you mount any AT or Alpine bindings onto K2 tele skis using the inserts that came installed on the K2 tele skis a few years back? Was wondering if anyone made dapter plates or bindings that fit the hole pattern.

  19. Jon Moceri February 26th, 2011 11:54 am

    Richard, It looks like B&D Ski Gear (a Wildsnow advertiser) sells adapter plates that work with Dynafit bindings.

    I’ve mounted Dynafit bindings directly to my K2 Anti-Piste skis without any problems.

  20. Steve February 26th, 2011 12:32 pm

    Another option I have used are Dobish plates. Made in Golden.
    This years models anodized in blue or black.
    Used these to put Dynafits on a pair of anti pistes.

  21. Peter R November 6th, 2011 10:26 pm

    I have a pair of skis with binding inserts for the old style Dynafit toe piece. I now have a pair of the new Radical Dynafit bindings.
    Can I bore the two new holes for the newer four screw binding, with inserts?

    I would like to be able to swap the old five hole toe piece and the new four hole toe piece, from ski to ski.

    At any rate, can I put six inserts in a ski toe area, without overlapping or some structural compromise?

  22. Mikell B January 24th, 2013 7:42 am

    How did this hold up?

    I just did this to my skis, not on purpose, but still wondering how it ended up holding up over the long run

  23. Dave October 29th, 2013 9:31 am

    Hey Lou,

    Have a pair of Dynafit grand tetons that I am planning on mounting up with speed radicals with quiver killers. However, would also like to put inserts in for a tele binding (yup, still do that on occasion). Question is that the tele binding (voile switchback) would have two holes outside the dynafit “titanal” mounting plate. Given that the quiver killers are epoxied in, will it be OK being outside the mounting area? Concerns me a little as it seems like the two holes outside the plate may also end up in the isocore areas of the ski. Any experience with something like this?



  24. Lewis September 25th, 2015 7:12 am

    Hi Lou:
    Daughter has been skiing on Fritschi Freeride (white) but has outgrown current skis. She now has some K2 Minaret boots (w/ tech inserts) and will be using those on a new alpine rig. I also need to find her some new BC planks. There are some used K2 Dawn Patrol 153cm (with Tele inserts) available cheap. Will the K2 inserts interfere with the Fritschi hole pattern if we decide to mount those? What about a Dynafit binding?
    Quiver Killers or std mount?

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