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P-tex base repair for skis and snowboards

How to Apply P-tex


  • Equipment list: Clear or black P-Tex candles; Knife; matches/lighter; Plexiglass scraper; Metal scraper; Sandpaper, 320 grit; Grey base pad
  • Small nicks and scratches should be left alone
  • Repair gouges that are deep enough to interfere with structure
  • You may use base cleaner to clean the area to be repaired, but do not use cleaner on the entire base.
  • Before starting the process of dripping p-tex, remove any flammable cleaners from the work area to a safe place.
  • Sharpen the end of the p-tex candle so it will light easier.
  • Light one end of a P-Tex candle with a match/torch; hold the candle above the flame.
  • CAUTION! A P-Tex candle burns very hot (>970 F); Severe burns can result if dripped on skin.
  • Ventilate room if you recently used fluoro waxes.
  • Hold the candle close to the base to reduce carbon (black) formation from the burning process (see important notes at the bottom of the page).
  • Use the metal scraper to catch any unwanted p-tex drips as you move to the damaged area.
  • Keep the candle spinning to reduce the build up of unsightly carbon that not only looks bad in the repair, but weakens the bond as well. If carbon does appear, dab it off on the metal scraper.
  • Take your time and let the p-tex flow into the gouges slowly. Going slowly will let the base preheat and accept the p-tex better.
  • If the p-tex continues to burn on the base, blow the flame out so the base does not overheat.
  • Deeper gouges should be filled in multiple passes, allowing each layer to cool before adding the next. Any repairs on damage near the edge or very deep should begin with metal grip and a soldering iron (see video below). Keep in mind that p-tex candles are too soft to withstand snow abrasion and will wear out; you may wish to consider a professional repair job.
  • Slightly overfill the gouges.
  • After repairs have cooled, remove excess material with a metal scraper.
  • Sand with 320 grit sandpaper and the gray base pad (from the 3-pad set).
  • Remove any micro hairs by making a few passes with a sharp plexiglass scraper. Waxing with a hard wax will also help remove hairs by standing them up for the scraping step.
  • Structure if needed with a coarse metal brush and gray pad.
To prevent carbon formation when using p-tex: The key is to maintain a blue flame (don't let it burn orange). To do this, keep it low to the base or close to a metal scraper. This will minimize carbon buildup. First light, then, holding the candle at a 45 degree angle and rotate the lit portion against the metal scraper to get rid of the carbon. What that also means is that you're holding a metal scraper in your off hand, rotating the candle and scraping off the black drips, then bringing both scraper and ptex next to the section to be repaired. It is hard to describe, but basically, get as low as you can without putting out the flame. Here the ptex no longer drips, but the ptex becomes molten and pours out in one long run. The carbon floats on top and when you scrape it, it comes right off.
Base repair with ptex

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