If your EDGES are not in good shape, they won’t go deep enough in the snow to allow the TUNED base to have enough support to slide without skidding.
Skidding has bad consequences for edges; there is a continuous wear of the edge, it gets rounded, and its capability of penetrating the snow is progressively diminished; the more you skid, the rounder the nonexistent edge, and vice versa.
A regular tuning of the board implies taking good care of EDGES. Therefore, there are three basic points:
1) Knowing both surfaces’ angles.
2) Good knowledge of the tuning technique, and certainty of its effect
3) Basic tools.
The EFFECTIVE or true degree of an edge is the inner angle of the BASE EDGE and the SIDE EDGE, thus it has nothing to do with the angle degree of the tuning tool. To find out what is our board’s edge angle, we can use the marker method. Use a marker to mark part of the edge surface you are trying to measure, and then use an edge bevel guide to file it, and see if it erases or grinds the marked part.
This can lead to different scenarios:
a) On the BASE EDGE: if mostly the part towards the outer end of the edge is erased, it means the bevel angle is too big.
b) On the BASE EDGE: if only the part towards the end of the base is erased, it means the bevel angle is too small.
c) On the SIDE EDGE: if the part towards the outer end of the edge is erased, it means the angle is too big.
d) On the SIDE EDGE if the part in contact with the OVEREDGE is erased, it means the angle is too small.
Tools for edge tuning.
We mark the edge with a felt pen or marker and file smoothly at 90o to check the angle of the edge.
We use the bevel guide to check the edges of our splitboard.
We place the file in the right cutting direction and we rub smooth, precise and repeatedly.
Once used, we thoroughly clean the file using a paintbrush.
The same bevel guide is used to support the diamond stone.
We apply the emulsion on the diamond stone correctly to activate and enhance the effect of the stone.
If the edge can’t cut the paper, it means the edge is perfect; if it cuts the paper it means the edge has burrs or roughness.
We use the stone to perfectly polish the edge.
If we know what angles both surfaces have, we can calculate the effective angle of the edge through a simple equation:
A damaged edge is deburred with a file, but small burrs that only the tip of your fingers can feel, or that are hardly seen at first look, will be polished with the bigger grain diamond stone, 100 or 200, depending of the brand. These two should be enough for any level excluding high-level competition.
This technique includes two basic rules, in the use of both BASE EDGE and SIDE EDGE bevel guides:
1) the bevel guide must never loose contact with the base.
2) the bevel guide shouldn’t be pressed too hard, specially on top of diamond stone.
The file will only be in contact with the steel edge in the cutting direction (edge tuning files have a single cutting direction) if it’s rubbed on the opposed direction, the file’s teeth will be damaged.
The diamond stone will be used in all ways, as it doesn’t have a cutting direction.
The use of an emulsion on the diamond stone is advisable because of its refrigerating, polishing, antioxidant, degreasing properties, and a good amount of the emulsion is required on every use.
It is also advisable to keep the tools clean and dry.