Build a Home-Made Wax Bench For Your Skis

 (and do it for under $5!)

In the past, I've always waxed my cross-country and light touring skis by laying them on a some sort of workbench, propping up the front and back ends on blocks of wood or something. This has always proven awkward because the bindings always manage to get in the way plus the ski ends up flexing as I wax because it's not properly supported.

I went to a wax clinic at the local MEC with my friend Jen and the guy there had a really cool professional bench that made me drool somewhat. It was shaped to the skis, giving them proper support and had cut-outs for the bindings to keep them out of the way. However, it came at a professional price that was in the hundreds of dollars. While it didn't make sense for me to buy a wax bench for more than my skis were worth, it got me thinking that I should be able to build something.... here is what I came up with. Actually it's more a "form" for you skis than a bench per-se... but any old table will do to put the finished form while waxing. So, here it is, it's been called sleek, it's been called stylish, but I simply call it:

The $5 Ski Wax Bench

Here's what you need:

  • 2 - 8 foot 2x4's

  • 7 - 3 inch wood screws

  • an old bike tire tube

  • stapler (or some tacks)

  • Power drill

  • Saw

  • Jigsaw

 

Let's get started!

 

 

 

Step 1.

Take the first 2x4 and cut it to the length of your ski. This will be the form's  base. From the second 2x4, cut one piece that is the same length as the distance from the tip of the ski to the front of the binding, then cut another piece that is the same length as the distance from the tail of the ski to the back of the binding. These two pieces will be the form's tip and tails supports. You should now have 3 pieces of 2x4 as shown on the right.

Step 2.

Using a drill and the wood screws, attach the two tip and tail supports to the base. Before you start drilling away, take the time to measure and mark guidelines onto the base so that the supports are centred along its length as shown. This is critical to creating the nice shaped surface for your ski to rest upon. Also, make sure the tip support is flush at one end of the base and the tail support is flush at the other end. This will give the proper space between them for your binding to sit.

I used three screws for the shorter tail  section and four screws for the tip section.

If you now flip the form over and rest a ski on top of it, your binding should fit nicely into the slot in the middle with you tip and tail resting rather awkwardly on the supports. We can't have that, so let's take care of it.

 

Step 3.

Flip the form onto its side. Lay the ski so that it is resting on the side of the tip and tail supports. Position it such that no part of the ski's base extending off of the top of the supports, but that the very tip and tail do both come flush with the edge of the supports. In the photo to the right, if you look at where the pencil is pointing, you can see that the tip is flush with the edge of the tip support.

Unless you ski is super long or has some major camber, you should be able to make this work without the binding hitting on

the base. If it is a problem, try closing the binding. If that doesn't work, unscrew the supports from the base and put some small wood shims between them and the base to create more height and screw everything back together.

OK, with your ski properly positioned, gently trace the contour of the ski onto the sides of the tip and tail supports. The ski might flex as you press the pencil against it - but we don't want that as it'll warp our supports! Gently, gently!

 

Step 4.

Remove the ski. Take a jigsaw (or saw of your choice) and carefully cut the tip and tails supports along the contour lines that you've traced. Try to be as accurate as possible: the better job you do the nicer your ski will rest on the form. Now is not the time to revisit your kindergarten days when you always coloured outside of the lines. In the photo you can see that I'm just about finished cutting the tip support and, if you look real close, you can see I've finished cutting the tail already.

Brush all the sawdust off of the form so it doesn't get stuck to the base of your skis. Turning it right-side up, you should be able to nicely rest your ski on top of it - fits like a glove, right? Now we're getting somewhere!
Step 5.

Take the old bike tire tube and carefully make two cuts right through it on both sides of the air valve to remove it.

Stick a small length of wood or cardboard into one of the open ends of the tube to protect one side of the rubber while you begin cutting the tube open lengthwise. As you cut, stop and move the wood further up into the tube and cut more. When you're done, you should be left with a really long rectangular piece of rubber.

 

Step 6.

Cut a length of the tube to cover the tail support. Stretching the rubber slightly, staple or tack it over the support so that it's nice and smooth. The rubber will help keep the ski in place when you're scraping wax from its base and also protect that fancy paint job you paid so much for.

On the right you can see my tail support finished off with it's rubber cover.

Step 7.

Move to the tip, a cover it in rubber the same way.

That's it. congratulations! You've done it! It's now ready for use.

On the right, you can see my finished wax form.

 

 

*** Enhancements by Readers ***

 

***

A Vise attachment to secure the ski to the bench

by Paul Jenkins.

I received the following photos from Paul. He made a small “vise” which attaches to the binding and then secures it to the form. It is adjustable, which gives him the ability to wax his girlfriend’s skis on the same form.

In the photo on the left you see the silver bolt running through two small pieces of wood to act as the "vise" which screws tight to the form (as can be seen on the right). the ski binding then clips into via the other bar above. I like it. simple and inexpensive!

 

***

An adjustable tailpiece to support different ski lengths

and an attachment to secure the skis while waxing

by Tim and Natalie.

 

 

In the photo above, you can see Tim and Natalie have constructed the tip and tailpiece of the form as two separate pieces.

 

In the next three photos, you can see the adjustable tailpiece. In the first photo to the right, you can see that they've separated the tail support from the tip support. There is also a set of silver brackets on the side of the tailpiece. They act as guides as the tail slides back and forth in adjusting for longer and shorter skis. You can see how it works in the photo below and left. They've hollowed out a section of the form base that is in between the metal guides. They've also attached a bolt to the bottom of the tailpiece. In the third photo below and right, you see that the bolt of the tailpiece fits into the hollowed out section of the form base and is secured with a knob. Another very simple enhancement that adds great utility to the bench. Great job guys!
      
In the photos below you can see their version of an enhancement to allow the skis to be secured to the form during waxing. In the photo on the left you see a bolt with two knobs on the ends that slides into a hollowed out section of the form (seen on the right photo). This allows for different binding positions of different skis. There is also a piece of hardware that juts upwards though another hollowed out section of the form base and offers a D-ring for the actual binding to attach to. 
 

I'd appreciate it if you'd consider a small $5 donation by simply using the button below, if you build this bench and find it to be of good value, to help with the costs of keeping this webpage up and running. That's not even the cost of a pizza and your slick new wax bench will still be super inexpensive. Thanks! 

Also, add a comment to the discussion below and let everyone know how it works for you. 

If you have any ideas for improvements, feel free to email me and I'll look at adding them to the web page!

If I don't think anyone is using this page I may delete it to make room for something else like photos of my ski wipe-outs.

Parry Loeffler

 

 

 

2007-2012 ARCHIVE OF COMMENTS & DISCUSSION

I accept no responsibility for any loss, injury, or inconvenience sustained by anyone using the information.

 © 2007 Parry Loeffler

 

"The hardest thing is explaining to your co-workers that

               you're grouchy

because you were up until 1am reading..."

Ada Litvinov

Rice Crust from the Bottom of the Pot: A Journey Across South East Asia

 

 

Back to ParryLoeffler.com