Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ready for the new season

The pace has already picked up, but I'm ready. This autumn is busier than ever at Nordic Ultratune. Service work is in full swing NOW! It's a good time to tune up the skis.

I'll be flying to Utah to select the new Atomic skis at the Ogden warehouse, and Rossignol skis just down the street, during the first week of October.  Madshus skis come from Seattle, and I work closely with the folks there (Jeremy, Peter and Van) to get the right skis for Ultratune.

All the new skis require sorting and inspection and testing so that pre-season ski orders can be filled. The new skis are picked and prepped well in advance of the coming season. Fast skis for everyone! But it takes careful work.

If you'd like to get onto the pick list for a new pair of skate or classic skis, it's not too late!   Email me right away so that I can get details (height, weight, preferences, etc) needed to pick you a great pair of skis.

Here's a profile shot of one of the Rossignol WCS skate skis (on the flex tester). You can see the wedge-shaped profile, which lowers the heel by a few millimeters. Others are using plastic wedges mounted beneath the bindings to achieve the same thing - but Rossignol's getting it done without adding gadgets and weight.  Rossignol's new boots have a lowered heel to further increase the effect.  Nice.

The Nordic Ultratune shop - the windows and doors and walls and merchandise - is almost ready to open for the fall and winter. Officially, the store will resume the normal fall and winter hours on Thursday, September 27th. Shop hours are 11 - 5 on Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon. I'm often in the shop much longer than that (most of the grinding work is done when the shop is not open).

Although we don't get snow in the Methow Valley until November, things are busy enough to require my full time attention well in advance.

Today its sunny and warm at home, but with smoke from the eastern Washington forest fires (it's in the news all over, I guess). But I'm already thinking about snow. The picture to the left is the big meadow (Foster's Field) near my house.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


In Italy there's a specific word for "grinding stone".    It's "mola".     In Italy (and much of Europe) the history of the past couple thousand years has had a need for terminology for milling and grinding equipment, mostly mills for grains and olives.

A new 350mm diameter grinding wheel.

A new grinding stone and diamond cutting tips arrived this week from Val di Fiemme.     It's the same version of grinding wheel I've used for the past couple seasons, and really it will be placed in line for use (I try to keep at least 2 "very good" stones in the queue).      The diamond cutting heads are of two types, and the recent shipment includes a couple of additional new style cutters to try out.

Grinding work has really picked up since early August.     Even though "official shop hours" don't begin until the start of October, grinding work is being done for any client skis that are shipped in.    Work continues!

Hearing protection in "goofball position".
The grinding schedule is more relaxed and service work gets done as a decent size group of skis accumulate - typically every other week instead of weekly.  FedEx and UPS continue to make normal deliveries every day, so no worries about shipping skis to Ultratune -- they'll get here.

So if you'd like to get your skis serviced now, so that you'll have your skis ready and fast when the snow arrives in the fall, you can send skis any time.

Okay, here's a picture of Mark in a lighter moment in the shop this summer (hearing protection in "goofball position").    My 52nd birthday is this week!