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Ski workshop | Binding assembly

Lieschen Müller's binding assembly for domestic use

by Knut Pohl 11/15/2011
Binding assembly has to be done in the sports store, right? That's actually correct. Actually. Because there are many reasons for fitting bindings yourself: Used skis, unconventional bindings or binding positions or the cost factor, in addition to a lack of trust in the local ski shop that specializes in alpine system bindings.

And you definitely have that if you are not plagued with two club feet on your wrists. And any concerns about not being able to keep up with professional assembly are unjustified. With a little sensitivity, care and tool mastery, you can easily achieve the quality and precision of a store assembly with a drill jig - or even surpass it.

Here we will show you step by step how to skillfully put your own hands on your own slats to weight them down with a binding. We will introduce you to two methods and you can decide for yourself which one you prefer.

But first to the material: This list can of course be extended as required - especially for the millimeter fox fraction. However, the following is necessary:

- At least one ski
- Binding incl. all screws and parts
- Suitable drilling template
- Ruler
- Caliper (only necessary for precision fetishists)
- Center punch and hammer
- Drill
- suitable drill bit (preferably with height stop)
- waterproof wood glue
- suitable screwdriver
- foil pen
- adhesive tape

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The "make-it-quick-and-dirty"-method (suitable for parking lots):

This method, even if it may seem a little rudimentary, is completely sufficient to mount a binding properly and with a little practice you can easily achieve the mounting quality of a Meyer-Schulze sports and traditional costume ski workshop.

The very first step is to mark the desired boot center position with a foil pen (these hold well on topsheets and can be easily wiped away with a little alcohol) (image 1, gallery 1). Then align the ski boot with the sole center mark on this mark (picture 2, gallery 1), and then slide the template parts for the toe and heel under the boot so that the markings for the toe and heel edges match (picture 3, gallery 1). Now just align the template parts straight and centered on the ski by eye and fix them with a strip of adhesive tape. If you want to be more precise, you can of course also measure here (see method "for Prussian millimeter apodices").

From now on, both methods are almost the same and so we'll continue below (see "Drilling and mounting").

The method for Prussian millimeter apodictes (still suitable for the kitchen table):

This method is recommended for anyone who gets a screaming fit when the binding on the left ski covers a few micrometers more of the graphic than on the right ski. Or for anyone who believes that they can feel every millimeter of deviation in the binding position in their skiing behavior. In any case, you should use this method when mounting tech bindings according to the Dynafit principle.

First, mark the desired binding or boot center position again. Then mark the center of the ski lengthwise over the entire length of the binding. The best way to do this is to measure the width of the ski in front of and behind the binding (image 4, gallery 1) and then mark half of the width from the edge (image 5, gallery 1). It is best to measure from both sides. This is best done with the help of an angle iron or stable block as an abutment for the scale, but by eye and using the ruler you are usually less than a millimeter off. The two points marked in this way are now connected to form a line using a marker (Fig. 6, Gallery 1), which can now be used to align the template parts (Fig. 7, Gallery 1). The template parts are aligned both to the longitudinal axis of the ski and at the correct distance from the binding position marker. To do this, simply measure half the length of the sole from the toe or heel edge marking to the marking for the center of the sole. As a frame binding with a fixed distance between the front and rear holes was mounted in this case, these steps could of course have been simplified.

Now just fix the template with adhesive tape and you're ready to start mounting (directly to the download of the drilling templates).

Drilling and mounting

Once the template is properly aligned on the ski, you're ready to go. This is the point of no return. It is therefore advisable to hold the binding - possibly with the boot in it - to test whether the holes look like they make sense (image 1, gallery 2). The holes are then pre-punched (image 2, gallery 2) and the drill can be used (image 3, gallery 2). We recommend consulting the FAQs for the choice of drill bit. After drilling the holes, they should be slightly countersunk and deburred (image 4, gallery 2) to prevent a bead from being pressed up out of the topsheet when screwing in the screws. Then tap out the holes (Fig. 5, Gallery 2) and blow them out to remove all drilling chips and dust. Now the marked lines can also be wiped away with alcohol (picture 6, gallery 2). Dr. Knut recommends using the same or similar alcohol internally. This lifts the mood and reduces frustration if the assembly goes wrong.

Now the binding can be mounted. To do this, drizzle some waterproof glue into the holes (image 7, gallery 2). Although this also holds the screws in place, it mainly serves as a barrier to prevent water from penetrating the wood core and thus preventing it from swelling. Then comes the moment of truth: the binding can be screwed in place (image 8, gallery 2). Work with a lot of pressure from above so that the screws cut cleanly into the core and push up as little material as possible. But not with too much force. The screws should be tightened hand-tight, the recommended value is 5-6 Nm. It goes without saying that screws should always be tightened crosswise. Now all that remains is to adjust the binding, admire the work and put the remaining alcohol to good use.

What the FAQ?

Question: There are already old holes in my used ski. What do I do with them?
Answer: The best solution is to use binding hole plugs (see picture opposite). These are available from specialist dealers in every conceivable color, but can also often be scrounged from the dealer around the corner. They are simply hammered in and the protruding plastic can be removed with a knife, plane or file. The topsheet should be as flat as possible before fitting the new binding.
If you don't have any binding plugs to hand, you can also seal the holes with hot glue or 2-component epoxy resin.

With old holes, you should also make sure there is enough space between them and the new drill holes. The absolute minimum distance is 1 cm between the drill hole centers, but you can drive more carefree from 1.5 cm. In addition, there should not be too many holes a short distance apart in a line - especially not across the ski - as these can form a predetermined breaking point. It is often unavoidable that the new binding has to be mounted slightly offset to the front or rear.
To determine the optimum position, it has proven helpful to print out the drilling template on transparent paper (see adjacent image). The PDF for comparing the binding positions can help (see Google Drive folder with all drilling templates) to avoid the problem in advance.

Question: The screws on my old binding were glued in. How do I get them loose again?
Answer: A combination of force and heat is often helpful. To do this, heat the screwdriver while it is stuck in the screw and then loosen it vigorously with jerky turns. This requires manual skill and dexterity.

Question: Where is the center of the sole/mounting point marked?
Answer: This depends very much on the manufacturer. With shoes, there is usually a line on both sides of the sole. Sometimes also marked with an "A". In very rare cases, the shoe marking is not in the middle of the sole. In this case, the manufacturer has usually thought of something and you should take the marking into account and measure accordingly.
There are countless ways to mark the mounting point of the middle of the sole on skis. The most common are lines on the sidewalls or topsheet. Sometimes also in the form of graphics or lettering. Many skis, especially fresestyle skis, have a scale for the binding position. Here you have to choose a position depending on your preferences and desired skiing characteristics or intended use. A few skis have no markings at all. Here you have to determine the binding position by measuring from the tip of the ski. Some manufacturers provide these measurements for their ski models on their homepages. Very old skis sometimes have a marking for the tip of the boot instead of the middle of the boot as is usual today.

Question: What is the right binding position for me?
Answer: If in doubt, use the one recommended by the manufacturer for the intended use. If you deviate from this, you should know what you are doing. And why. Ski forums are the right place to discuss these things and find out for yourself.

Question: I don't have a template for my binding. Where can I get one?
Answer: Either here or in various forums on the Internet. Most templates can be found there. In an emergency, however, the only thing that helps is to do it yourself. To do this, measure the hole spacing with a calliper gauge. It is best to do this for the inner and outer edges of the screw holes in order to calculate the average value. The difficult part is measuring the stops for the heel and toe edge. The best way to do this is to hold the shoe in the binding to see where it fits. From this point, measure the distance to at least one screw hole. The rear jaw should of course be closed and in a central position in the adjustment range. It is perfect if you measure it in the middle and at both ends of the adjustment range.

Question: What is "duck stance" and how do I fit it?
Answer: "Duck stance" is the turning of the longitudinal axis of the binding outwards from the longitudinal axis of the ski. In other words, to the left on the left ski and to the right on the right ski. Some say it is supposed to be easier on the knees, while others claim it is ergonomic nonsense. The fact is, it's rarely done, and if you want to do it, you should know what you're doing and why.

Question: What drill hole dimension do I need?
Answer: This also depends on the ski and the binding. The dimensions are often printed on the ski. For adult skis and bindings, two dimensions are normally common: 3.8 mm diameter and 9 mm depth for skis without metal inserts, 4.1 x 9 mm for skis with metal. For home use, 3.5 mm can also be used if necessary, but then you need strong forearms. Other dimensions and drill hole depths apply for children's bindings.

Question: Which drill bit and drill inserts do I need? Does it have a height stop?
Answer: That depends a little on your own skill. Some brave people manage with a hand drill and markings on the drill bit. The luxury, of course, is a stationary drill with adjustable drilling depth or a special binding drill bit insert. In any case, some form of height stop is recommended. You can wrap tape around the drill bit. A "pierced"and screwed luster clamp has also proven to be useful.

Question: Do I need a workshop?
Answer: Of course, a workshop with a workbench, good tools and possibly even a stationary drill is a pleasant luxury. But it can also be done with a little skill and the right materials on the kitchen table or living room floor.

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Question: Which screwdriver do I need?
Answer: This can also vary depending on the binding. In most cases, however, it is a Pozi size 3. Here it is worth spending a little more and buying an ergonomically favorable screwdriver, as you can work more precisely, more powerfully and with less blisters. You can use a cordless screwdriver with a torque limiter, but screwing by hand is more controlled. Ratchets, wrenches or other tools with a leverage effect are not recommended, as a screw turned with too much force can very quickly turn a ski into an emergency patient.

Question: Which adhesives are recommended for screw assembly?
Answer: Special binding glue is available from specialist retailers, but waterproof wood glue is ideal. Standard household waterproof glues also work, but may make disassembly more difficult. If a screw is loose or twisted, it can be glued in with household adhesives or, ideally, 2-component epoxy resin adhesives and thus possibly saved. If this does not work, the only other option is to helicoil or fit inserts. If necessary, an experienced specialist can help here.

Question: I want to mount a Dynafit-style tech binding, do I need to pay attention to anything in particular?
Answer: You need to work extremely precisely here. Tech bindings are very sensitive when it comes to deviations in the mounting alignment, especially in the longitudinal axis. You should also try to optimize the alignment of the binding jaws when tightening the screws. Some tech bindings only have a small or no adjustment range for the sole length. It is therefore important to meticulously check the actual length of the boot and work cleanly.
On some boots with tech inserts, these are not located 15 mm behind the tip of the boot (which is normal). Therefore, you should always briefly check the position of the tech inserts in the shoe and, if in doubt, mount them using the pin line marked on the template and not according to the toe edge.

Question: I would like to buy professional equipment. Where can I get this from?
Answer: There are many suppliers, some of whom have mounting and service equipment in their range. Two large online stores are ski-man and Reichmann

Question: What else do I need to consider?
Answer: One (or more) assembly beers are generally recommended. If you don't like beer, use the commercially available alternatives.

To the Google Drive folder with the drilling templates

Photo gallery

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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