How to Mount Bindings on Cross Country Skis

How to Mount Bindings on Cross Country Skis
When you buy new cross country skis, you'll need to mount the bindings before you can hit the slopes. Many skiers have this done by ski techs where they buy the skis, but you can do it yourself if you have the proper workspace and equipment. If you've never mounted cross country ski bindings, it's a good idea to watch someone do it first so that you can see how it's done, as there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Note that each manufacturer and binding style may have a slightly different installation method, but the general procedure is the same for mounting most cross country ski bindings.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cross country skis
  • Bindings
  • Workbench
  • Drill and drill bit (the size, usually 3.5 mm by 15 mm, should be specified in binding mounting instructions)
  • Pozi-drive screwdriver
  • Waterproof glue
  • Mounting jig or template (optional)
  • Marker or grease pencil
 
Step 1
Place your skis on your workbench and arrange your tools within easy reach. You'll want to make sure that you have everything organized so that you don't have to fumble around in the middle of the process.
Step 2
Find the balance point on the skis. You do this by placing the ski on top of a knife, scraper or screwdriver and position it until it's perfectly balanced. Note that point on the ski with your marker or grease pencil.
Step 3
Place the ski back on the table, line up the jig or template with the balance point and mark where you'll need to drill your screw holes. Ski shops have specially made mechanical spring-loaded jigs that attach to the ski and line up the correct position for the holes. If you don't have a jig, you can use the paper template that comes with most bindings, or you can use the binding itself as a template.
Step 4
Drill your holes. Be very careful not to drill them too deep or you'll go all the way through the bottom of the ski. Refer to the instructions for proper depth. Also, make sure you drill your holes perfectly straight, or you'll end up with bindings that are mounted crooked. Note that it's very difficult to drill perfectly straight holes that are in the right position without using a mechanical jig that's specifically designed for your binding style. If you don't have a jig, you can try clamping the binding lightly onto the ski and using that as your jig.
Step 5
Squirt glue into your screw holes. You don't need to completely fill the holes so much that they overflow, but you'll need enough to hold the screw in. Fill to just below the surface.
Step 6
Place your binding on top of the ski and screw it down with the pozi-drive screwdriver. If you find it difficult to install the screws, check to make sure you used the right size drill bit. You don't want the screws to be too loose, or they'll strip out and ruin the ski. Continue until you've installed all the screws, making sure not to strip the screw heads.
Step 7
Wait for the glue to dry. Usually an overnight cure will be long enough for the glue to set and harden. Don't try to use your skis the same day or you could tear the binding from the ski. Before using your skis, make sure you snap the plastic toe pieces into the binding as per the instructions.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Follow the instructions very carefully, or you could damage your skis. If you don't know exactly what you're doing, you should have a professional ski tech mount the bindings for you. It won't cost that much and you'll be assured that the job is done right.

Article Written By Daniel H. Bailey

A professional outdoor photographer, trained recording engineer and freelance writer, Dan Bailey has written numerous articles and blog posts about the craft and business of photography and other media since 1996. His publications include Digital Photo Pro magazine and the Alaska Dispatch "Bush Pilot" blog. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in music production and engineering from the Berklee College of Music.

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