When you purchase new boots, the leather may be very stiff and they may hurt your feet because of a pressure point where the boot has not taken the shape of your foot yet. This can also happen when purchasing used boots. The pressure point can be eased using a tool that applies pressure to the problem area from inside the boot, slightly stretching the leather and relieving pressure on your foot. This process does not damage a new boot.
From time to time you may tear a hook or eyelet from your boot. In most cases these can be replaced with a hook or eyelet of the same size. Occasionally they must be replaced with a slightly larger one because the original hole has become elongated or torn.
Taking care of your boots includes cleaning them when you are finished skating. Removing your skates and place them in your skate bag, with little more than a finger wipe to remove snow and ice, will cause your blades to sweat in the relative warmth of your skate bag. This moisture is absorbed into the leather. Eventually, this will cause the leather to crack and rot particularly around the screws that hold on the blade.
In most cases, this damage can be repaired by removing the cracked or rotted area of the boot sole, properly preparing and filling the hole, then remounting the blade.
Most good boots are made from leather, so is the sole, and the boot is attached to the sole using nails and glue. When finished a skating session, if the moisture on the boots and blades is not properly wiped off and not left to dry in the open air, the boot leather may rot causing some very serious safety and functionality issues with them. Below are a couple of shots of very serious boot damage due to, for the most part, not properly wiping off moisture and not leaving the skates to dry in the open air.
Tip! - If at all possible, before putting your skates in your skate bag, warm the blades by running warm water over them until they no longer feel cold to the touch. This will reduce the condensation or "sweating " that causes leather rot. When arriving home, take the skates out of the bag to air dry. (I did it for years, and I rarely had to have a screw hole plugged. (Al Simoni))
During and after a skating session water
starts to seep into area between the sole and the boot by means of
capillary action. Using a chamois or terry cloth, or any highly
absorbent material will help draw the excess moisture away from the boot,
sole and the seam between the two. When drying your boots pay
particular attention to the seam between the sole and boot. Having the
sole of the boot sealed when they are new with a product like Sno-Seal
helps to prevent this kind of damage but is not meant to eliminate the
need for properly drying them when finished a skating session. Occasionally Sno-Seal may be re-applied to assist in
keeping moisture between the boot and sole but only
after the boot and sole are completely dry. Re-applying Sno-Seal to
a wet boot and sole will seal in the moisture causing this kind of damage
to occur very rapidly.
NOTE: Although Simoni Skate
Shop has repaired skates in this condition,
we assume no responsibility
and provide no guarantee for either the skate's reliability or the skater's
safety once repair has been made to skates with this type of damage.
During and after a skating session water starts to seep into area between the sole and the boot by means of capillary action. Using a chamois or terry cloth, or any highly absorbent material will help draw the excess moisture away from the boot, sole and the seam between the two.
When drying your boots pay particular attention to the seam between the sole and boot. Having the sole of the boot sealed when they are new with a product like Sno-Seal helps to prevent this kind of damage but is not meant to eliminate the need for properly drying them when finished a skating session.
Occasionally Sno-Seal may be re-applied to assist in keeping moisture between the boot and sole but only after the boot and sole are completely dry. Re-applying Sno-Seal to a wet boot and sole will seal in the moisture causing this kind of damage to occur very rapidly.
NOTE: Although Simoni Skate Shop has repaired skates in this condition, we assume no responsibility and provide no guarantee for either the skate's reliability or the skater's safety once repair has been made to skates with this type of damage.
Blade sharpening is a cross between an exacting science and an art. Putting a good edge back on a blade by machine grinding the hollow or radius is only the first step in achieving a superior sharpening. After grinding the hollow, each blade at Simoni Skate Shop is hand dressed to de-burr the outer edge of the blade and polish the cut surface and edges to ensure that you achieve maximum flow and even edge grip over the length of the blade. Providing this superior level of sharpening can only be achieved by sharpening and finishing the blade by hand.
Note: All skates sharpened at Simoni Skate Shop are ground by Allen Simoni on a modified Fleming Gray(tm) FG-5 grinding machine as seen below.
The Fleming Gray(tm) FG-5
After the blades are ground, they are
dressed, by hand
to ensure that the skater
You may require a rocker other than that which is provided by stock blades. If that is the case, we can discuss the modifications that need to be made and make gradual changes until you get the "feel" that you like.
"I just love my boots, but the blades keep loosening off" This is a comment that I hear from time to time. The boot screw holes will have to be plugged and the blades will have to be remounted. It's probable that the soles of your boots are cracked and/or rotting. (see the section on Boot care - clean and plug rotted screw holes)
"I just got these skates and they don't feel right" - It's possible that your blades require a mounting adjustment.
If you just purchased new skates that don't feel quite right and you suspect that the blade may be mounted incorrectly you should return them to dealer from which you purchased them and have them make the correction for you. If, for any reason, it's not possible to take them back to the original dealer, or if they are used skates, Simoni Skate Shop can make the necessary adjustments for you. If you have any special concerns regarding blade mounting I can arrange to meet you at one of the local arenas in the Hamilton area to asses your issue and determine what must be done to correct any mounting issue you may have. Please call me at (905) 388-2944.
Damage can occur to any blade for a number of reasons. If you find that one or both of your blades has been bent, the damage can be assessed. In almost all cases it is possible to straighten a bent blade.
If you skate, your blades will get nicked and gouged from time to time. Most of this type of damage can be repaired with one sharpening. However, in extreme cases to remove serious edge damage with one sharpening drastically reduces the life of the blade because of the amount of material that must be removed from the blade. That costs you money! Where extreme damage has occurred it is possible, by properly dressing the blade after sharpening, to "minimize" the effects of the damage without totally removing the damage. The damage would therefore be corrected over a number of sharpenings and the life of the blade would be retained.
Below is a picture of a blade showing the basic key points as well as very basic a pictorial of blade sharpening terminology. To download a PDF copy of the illustartion below just click on it and select a location to save it.
Bite angle vs radius of hollow? What does all that mean? Simply put, bite angle determines how much your blades will cut into the ice. The greater the bite angle, the more "bite", or deeper the blade will dig into the ice. The bite angle is determined partially by the radius of the hollow on the stone used to sharpen the blade. The radius of the stone may be dressed from ⅜" up to ¾" for practical purposes. The radius of the stone is not the only factor in how sharp the blade feels. The width of the blade also plays an important part of how sharp the blade feels because it directly affects the bite angle of the blade. The "Bite Angle" is the primary factor in how sharp the blades feel, NOT the radius of the hollow! The radius of hollow is adjusted to achieve a specific bite angle.
In the top right corner of the chart below there are some popular blade widths listed in thousandths of an inch. They range from 0.110" to 0.155" wide. Using the chart below, it's very clear to see how the width of a blade AND the radius of the hollow affect the bite angle of the blade. If the radius of the hollow remains constant, the bite angle increases with the width of the blade. If the width of the blade remains constant then the bite angle can only be changed by adjusting the radius of the hollow. Since the blade width is the constant, then later is the case. So bite angle can be determined before the blade is sharpened. However, not all blades are the same width, nor are all blades a constant width from front to back as would be the case for the Phantom(tm) blade.
Some blades, like the Phantom(tm) for example, which are wider at the toe pick than they are at the heel provide a greater bite angle towards the front of the blade and less towards the rear. Some skaters prefer a little more "bite" towards the front of the blade than they do towards the rear for various reasons. For those skaters, a blade like the Phantom(tm) could provide the feel they desire but there are many blades of similar design to choose from as well. (See the Links page to check out some of the blade manufacturers products.)Note: *
All skates sharpened at Simoni Skate Shop are ground by myself on my modified Fleming Gray(tm) FG-5 grinding machine. After the blades are ground they are dressed by hand to ensure that the skater experiences maximum flow and even edge grip over the length of the blade.
Should you ever suspect that you have a problem with blades I sharpen I need to know, so the issue may be addressed. Not everyone likes their blades sharpened the same way and there is much more to sharpening blades than simply grinding a hollow into the blade and de-burring it. Please tell me if your blades are not exactly the way you like them. I will make them right!
Thank you, Allen Simoni