Winter is coming soon and time to get the gear ready!
Last winter I began using a new tool to tune my edges. Very easy too use and very effective in getting a hollow ground edge that is easy to maintain and has super holding power.http://edgetune.com/
You can buy a dremel tool from them or provide your own. Make sure it has adequate rpm. Dave is a helpful guy and gave advice along the way.
I made a pair of ski bench vices (which also works with my snowboards) from left over pieces of synthetic deck materials, and clamp those to a bench. You can also buy a variety of them (Toko, Swix, etc) if you want to.
It's amazing how nice it is to have well tuned skis (or snowboard) on hard snow, and especially on the hard surfaces of frozen wind-blown lakes. With good edge's it is still a lot of fun with minimal snow coverage, and if the snow is patchy it's nice having the edge when you hit the bare (ice) spots.
After experimenting with my old skis and an old snowboard I have improved my technique with the edge tool. I took macro photos of my old neglected edges before, during and after using the edge tune tool and it was really cool seeing the edge gradually being restored to a sharp and efficient edge.
If your edges are in really bad shape it will take a little while to bring them back intto the desired tooling. As you can see from the photos the edges were badly pitted and scored. After the edge tune tool was used I had a beautiful sightly hollow ground edge (on the sidewall edge). Once you have the edge restored it's easy to "touch-up" and keep them nice and sharp. I think I ground my edges at 1.5 degree bevel (shims are provided in the edgetune kit so you can bevel from .5 degree to 3 degrees).
I also bought a sidewall planer from Tognar, http://www.tognar.com/
, which I feel is fairly essential for the efficient use of the edge tune tool. FYI, be very conservative with the sidewall planar because it is easy to take off too much material. You only need to shave a very small amount back to prevent the edge tool bit from "loading" up. Also you need to pay attention to whether you have vertical sidewall or cap construction. If you take off too much sidewall you can weaken the ski a bit.
It's nice having the right tools for the job and it takes a lot of struggle and hassle out of the process of tuning skis.
Tognar has a great selection of materials and tools, wax, etc... and they are very helpful as well.
Looking forward to a good season of ice and snow!