I have 1 more ski in the works for the season. I’ll be making a ski for our Wednesday night ski league for the end of the year dinner/raffle on 3/7. It will be an all mountain ski. Still haven’t decided if I should go the traditional layup route (epoxy and fiber glass) or make a laminated all wood style ski.
Either way, it’s time to start thinking about next season. There’s plenty of things to tweak in the process of ski building but I’m also thinking about making a 2 deck ski, similar to what Atomic is doing, but of course this will be made of wood and possibly cork for a dampening effect. My idea will also incorporate a plate for the binding in the deck and allow the deck to slide when the ski is flexed. I think this will also allow me to expand my use of bindings and binding types.
As I’m thinking of this, I’m already thinking I can make the base ski (lower deck) from a light wood (douglas fir, poplar, etc) with hard wood (maple) sidewalls, but make the upper deck from an ash/cork or poplar/cork laminate for additional stiffness.
And this is why ski building is fun!
I made a sample cork/poplar veneer layup this afternoon using my ski press. It measures about 10.5-11mm thick. The poplar veneer is about 1.5mm and the cork is about .75mm. I used 5 layers of poplar and 4 layers of cork. It’s surprisingly strong.
Now I’m thinking of working this into the core in a vertical fashion instead of using it as the 2nd deck. Although I’m still pursuing the 2nd deck idea. I think it will plane out ok in the planer crib. Not sure I want to use it as the entire core with sidewalls OR just use it in place of the douglas fir I’m using now. I’m wondering about binding screw retention. Chris Bagley told me about Quiver Killer Binding Inserts. So that could be my answer. The ski industry has used foam cores for years. I think the cork/poplar would be stronger yet still light.
See pics below. First pic is the side of the layup. The dark lines is the cork.
I ran the end of the layup over my joiner to see if the cork would rip/shred. Held up ok.