Build Your Home Shop

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Gear
Home Shop 1004

You just dropped a grand on skis, thinking they'll let you ski better. And they will— you take care of them. Here's what you need to set up your own shop.

Check out the articles below for the details.

October 2004

The Workbench: As a rule of thumb, a workbench should stand four inches below your elbows for heavy work—and scraping wax is heavy work. Be sure to take the height of your vices into consideration and subtract that extra three inches. (The bench above is a little high for me, but I'm planning to build a plywood deck with rubber matting underfoot so I'm not standing on cold concrete all winter.) Other things to keep in mind:

1) Your bench doesn't need to be more than two feet deep—it'll just accumulate junk.

2) Keep tools and supplies out of the way—and organized—on pegboard or shelving so you can quickly clean up wax and metal shavings.

3) Breathing wax fumes and dust isn't very good for you. If you plan to do a lot of waxing, or if you're setting up shop in an unventilated basement, install an exhaust fan and ducts beneath, or directly behind, the bench. Otherwise, open windows and doors while you're waxing, and wear a dust mask while scraping and brushing.

Vice: The Super Pro Plus Vise ($129), from Ski Man, features a large central vice with 90-mm jaws and two adjustable blocks that rise up to meet the ski's tip and tail. Those adjustable blocks are key: Without them, the ski tends to rock out of the vice. This same system also lets you work on Nordic skis.

Beer: Look for something full-bodied but not overbearing—lagers in the winter months, IPAs in spring.