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Pappa

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    Windsor, Ontario, CANADA
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    Making skaters BETTER performers on the ice with my experience and attention to skate set-ups and maintenance.

    Luckily, STILL playing the greatest game in the world....ICE HOCKEY......at 66 years of age......with guys that are young enough tobe my grandchildren !!!

    Cell phone: 519-257-9914 e-mail: bg21@bell.net

    Gmail: photobear21@gmail.com
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  1. Sounds like you have enough EPro holders and steel to last a life time. Before abandoning the factory skate/holder set-up, I would experiment with having the 'profiler' make an 'APEX' adjustment to the steel. i would start by having the Apex moved rearward a FULL 1/2 inch. This will get you a more 'forward lean' on the pitch......by moving the 'balance point' of the profile (Apex) back from a 'normal' balance point. I know that EVERY time you make adjustments MORE steel is removed from that set of steels, but it's worth a try. Don't be afraid to 'fill and drill' those skates to install the EPro holders......if you can't get comfortable on any SB-4O set-up. Players who played at a high level and are older, are pretty SET in their ways when it comes to new styles and new 'feels' of skates and their set-ups. NEW stiffnesses, laceing patterns, volumes and generally ANY changes in NEW models of skates will produce an uncomfortable 'feeling' stance, stride for a while.....for sure! If the profiler does not understand 'apex', or modifying apex/balance point, then find one that does and will WORK with you on experimenting. Consider going to the Forum subjects on BAUER LS4 steel. There is information there on what I do for my customers who are 'trying' to find a 'correct' (for them!) radius, pitch and apex......general information. It's frustrating for you, I know. GOOD LUCK !!!
  2. EDGE holders is probably your better choice over Lightspeed 2 holders. Yes, no STEPSTEEL with EDGE, but Bauer will eventually get the LS4 stuff straightened out. Probably better to order them with SL3 steel.....not LS2 or FUSION steel. On the REPLACEMENT STEEL there will be NO notches on the rear portion of the steel. The TWO notches near the toe portion of the steel will continue to be there.
  3. I would not consider changing from your GRAF holders. You are very used to them and they probably serve you well. The GRAF steel is good steel and STEPSTEEL is available for those holders, if you ever want to experiment. GRAF holers are very strong.......relatively few holders crack and break. You mentioned that you 'swap out' steel to send steel out for sharpening. In that case, I would invest in a couple of sets of the brass screws,washers and 'banjos' used to secure your blades to the holders. In my opinion, the 'best' holders out there TODAY for competitive players are Bauer EDGE. Simply because many players are now using 2 sets of steel when they go away on weekends to play 2 -4 games. I see that MOST NHL players.......even some guys wearing CCM/Reebok are on Bauer EDGE holders. This is now probably more for convenience and 'quick' changes. The coaches don't want players missing a shift or 3 with a serious blade problem. Equipment staff now has replacement steels for their players in a small case that is close to the player's bench. Since September, I have replaced 2 broken EDGE holders. Both of those were on skates of college players, both defencemen.
  4. I have not seen the NEW (notchless) LS4 steel. However, I doubt that Bauer would change the profile of the new LS4 steel from the 10 foot radius of the old batch. Bauer factory cut BOTH the LS3 and the LS4 steel at a 10 foot radius. The 10 foot radius cut from a 'manufacturer' is a real benefit to the consumer. Especially on a steel such as the LS3 and LS4 that is 3mm HIGHER than standard steels. If the customer decides to go to a smaller profile radius (9 ft., 9.5ft., etc.), the steel does NOT loose ANY height, in the process. A 9 foot factory radius will loose height when going to a 'flatter' profile. So, it's advantagous to START with a 10 foot profile. The money spent on a profile of the 10 foot steel to a smaller radius is 'less expensive', considering that some 'flattening' profiles can remove about a year's worth of the 'wear' of skate sharpenings at some shops......more sharpening 'wear' at other shops.
  5. I called Bauer Canada in Mississaga today. They told me that the LS4 REPLACEMENT steel should be shipped out to their dealers at the end of this month. They said to 'look for it' in my Windsor, Ontario area around the first week in December. Dealers will replace the steel in skates and any over the counter, replacement purchases. I hope people have RECEIPTS for their purchases......especially for any over the counter 'steel replacement' type purchases. I hope this NEW steel is OK. As the months and YEARS pass and players purchase new Bauer skates, EDGE holders will become the 'standard' holder for Bauer skates. Bauer's business plan to hold onto the propriatery design rights has eliminated STEPSTEEL from producing and selling the LS EDGE steel. I'm thinking that Bauer replacement steel for Lightspeed 2 holders has been a huge volume of STEPSTEEL's business. They currently make replacement steel for all 24 sizes of Lightspeed 2 holders.
  6. Local shops in my area (Windsor, Ontario) do not seem to have the NEW LS4 replacement steel in stock at this time. On Friday night a player had his LS4 steel snap in two during a university game. We tried to get replacement steel on Saturday. No one had LS4. So, we replaced it with LS3 steel for the Saturday afternoon game. I would also like to know where to get the NEW batches of LS4 steel.
  7. The various editions of the Bauer LS4 steel are all EXACTLY the same silhouette. The only changes being made (tinkered with) seem to be with the hardness and brittleness of the metal composition. Could be a combination of the grades of steel or annealing proceses, etc. being used. Looks like they are having a tough time to create a runner that matches 'STEPSTEEL' in performance. The Bauer steel has been breaking. It sometimes snaps, or cracks in two (2) pieces.......usually in the center section of the steel. The excellent photo in the post of 'mickz' shows the 'notch' in the original (older) version. Make SURE that you receive the NEWEST version when buying new skates or purchasing new steels. The NEW steels will NOT have those NOTCHES on the heel end that are shown in the photo. According to a reply that I received in August from customer service at Bauer Canada, in Mississauga, Ontario, they are currently replacing ALL of the old 'notched' steel for customers. The steel in new skates and the steel purchased in those plastic packs of replacement steels. With about 75% of players in the NHL now using EDGE holders and steels, Bauer wants to get this straightened out.
  8. Above post is correct........LS2 factory profile is 9'. LS3 and LS4 is 10'. Higher steel height of LS3 and LS4 has about 3cm MORE height than LS2 and has MORE material (more square) at both the toe and heel ends.......similar in shape to 'StepSteel'. LS2 is a slightly 'longer' blade length than ANY LS steels. LS3 and LS4 is a heavier blade......due to the increased material in the height and front and rear tips being more 'square' in shape. The primary thing to watch for is that if you purchase LS4 steel, make SURE that the steel has NO NOTCHES appearing at the rear of the steel (above the LS4 logo). The older version has a notch at that point........indicating the 'brittle' steel that is very prone to breaking. The newer version of the LS4 steel will have two (2) notches near the toe of the steel. That's OK. The 'older' version and newer version of the steel all have the toe notches. I would 'suggest' that the average player will be very happy with LS3 steels on their new skates......or as a steel replacement. A player stepping onto the ice might discover LESS manoverability on the 10' profile.......over a 9' profile. Especially when going from their WELL USED (repeatedly sharpened) steels. The front and rear 'working radius' BOTH will be ground down big time over repeated sharpenings.......especially by the MANY skate 'Techs' out there that are heavy handed. So, by the time most players replace steels, those 9' steels are all over the map, mismatched AND possibly closer to 7' with a compounded front and rear radius of even MORE than 7'. This HAPPENS in many cases !!! A proper re-profile of 9' with a blended front and rear working radius will work. The amount taken from the FRONT should be minimal. The rounding of the rear working radius should be more dramatic.......for ease of cutting and reversing. So, when you get onto your new steels........EXPECT to do some 'toe tapping' or 'stubbing' on new steels.......even after a PROPER profiling and a proper blending of the front and rear working radius.
  9. Yes......Aaron still uses the 55 Flex lace extensions. However, the 'stock' hardware is replaced partially with 'helmet screw' hardware, as the stock hardware is a bit small and results in tears to the set-up. I'm not a fan of this, or of Taylor Hall 'wrapping his laces around the top of his skates. But, I'm not in the NHL, making millions a year and winning Rookie of The Yrar honours. LOL I'm STILL not using the top eyelet of my 4year old Bauer ONE 95 skates. But, I'm old an my 'career' is long gone !!! If you send me an email address, I'll send you a few close-ups of the skates.
  10. JSK81, Agree totally. I'm new on this forum. Also, not very computer savy. Will TRY to use this PM's thing. I also apologize to ALL for turning this steel runner topic into an FBV versus ROH sharpening subject. I got off topic and see that there is an entire area dedicated to FBV sharpening. Sorry about this.
  11. Thanks for the kind offer !!! I am in Detroit all day today (Sunday, Aug.22). Return to Windsor on Monday at noon. Don't know if you are coming through after that time? If you are, get in touch. I would like you to do my skates with a 90/75 FBV spinner (5/8" ROH equivalent). That is what I tried those 3 previous times. My place is only a couple of minutes off of your return route down the 401, if you return to Canada on the Ambassador bridge. Lunch is on me. I will be in Toronto, mostly downtown, on August 3rd. and 4th. Have a vehicle and could bring my skates and buy you lunch. Again, not sure what would be different from the sharpenings described above.......competent sharpeners. But, would be nice to try again and discuss stuff over a coffee or cold one.
  12. Last week, on August 13th., I 'inherited' a new customer (family of 2 players). Their former 'Skate Guru' is a very well respected guy, Bob Allen, the owner of world famous 'Maximum Edge'. Apparently the business' location moved last weekend from Windsor, way out into the county to Harrow, Ont. Apparently, that is too far for this family to go for sharpening and I was highly recommended by the instructors at the hockey school. The poor Hockey Mom was almost in tears when she contacted me on the phone. I sharpened this young man's Bauer skates at 5/8th. ROH. He was starting another week of training at Windsor's best hockey school. Mr. Allen had just profiled and sharpened those skates a couple of weeks earlier and they needed a new edge from hours of drills at hockey school. Yesterday, this young man and his mom called me for for a sharpening. I told them to come on over. He had been on the ice all week long at the hockey school. The skates had over 12 hours of hockey school drills on them. Other than a 'nick' on the inside edge of one heel the skates did NOT need sharpening. Still had a good edge. I stoned them and gauged them for straightness and for depth of hollow and showed them my reasoning for not sharpening and away they went. No sharpening required......no charge......the young man was happy with the edges and I reassured 'Mom' that this kid knew his skates, skating and edges. She said that NEVER in 18 years of having her kids in hockey had a skate sharpener ever 'refused' to sharpen skates. LOL I think he might get another 4 - 6 hours out of them on that 'clean' ice where the school is located.
  13. Trainer Guy, I don't wish to be argumentative, however in my experience, I disagree on several opinions of experienced skate techs (yours and others) of any skate sharpening process involving spin dressing....FBV or ROH. I pride myself on being very objective and also believe in new technology. I believe that that a single point diamond stylus produces a much smoother, cleaner, finished surface of a skate grinding wheel than any spin dressing system. This smoother surface can produce cooler cutting, a smoother running surface (hollow), cleaner edges than a spin dressed grinding wheel of any grit or composition. This grinding wheel surface when properly 'dusted' with a SPD will remove less steel than a properly dressed spin dressed grinding wheel. I also believe that a SPD, when properly used will out last a spin dresser in repeatability of grind and also useful life expectancy The grinding wheels themslves will also have a longer life. Even the most 'careful', meticulous feeding and soft touch when using a spin dresser removes a considerable amount of material from a grinding stone. The cutting material embedded in the spin dresser wears and looses shape....both ROH and FBV cuts. Also, the internal bearings wear. I'm basing these beliefs on my own personal experience with Blackstone, Blademaster CAG and Fleming Gray machines. Retailers are 'reluctant' to replace these expensive spinners. About 50 of my loyal customers have 'tried' FBV over the past 4 years (at my suggestion!!!) and all but 4 have come back to me for ROH sharpening. That is less than 2% of my permanent, established customer base. Most of my customers are competitive level AA, AAA minor hockey players, Junior B and C players, on ice officials. I have a few college, OHL, AHL and NHL players that I service during summer off-season skating and local hockey schools. I do some skate work for the University of Windsor Lancers Men's hockey team. They use a very expensive, portable, Blackstone spin dresser machine This team uses ROH spinners.......not FBV spinners. Those 24 rostered players are mostly ex OHL players (and ex Jr.A. players from across Canada) and ALL prefer ROH over FBV. They also PREFER it when I do their skates on my own SPD machines. They say their edges are crisper and last LONGER on my SPD machines than when sharpened on the spin dressed machine. This includes last year's CIS player of the year. These men can SKATE !!! This team's WIN record is impressive. Especially when comparing their annual budget with other CIS teams. Some CIS teams have stick budgets larger than this team's entire budget. A major reason that RETAILERS like FBV or (BVD, blademaster's name for FBV) is that this process has been hyped up and shops charge more for the FBV process. The process also REMOVES more steel from the skate blade than ROH grinding. That brings in revenue for replacement runners. Also, the larger shops and especially 'big box stores' can more easily 'train' (LOL) their staff to dress wheels with spin dressers than with SPD dressers. Hand and finger injuries to staff and repairs to equipment are lessened with spin dressing's system of turning a dial to advance a dresser to contact a spinning grinding wheel. The hands are removed from the process of dressing with a SPD. Loose styluses accidently 'dropping' onto the 3,000 RPM wheels spinning an inch from a teenager's hand and fingers when dressing, etc. I've witnessed this several times!!! My personal skates were FBV sharpened locally by both Joe Frei Sr. and Joe Jr. at Brian's Custom Pro Shop in Windsor, Ont. These guys are big names internationally in skate sharpening, fitting and repairs. That was in the summer of 2011. I wasn't impressed with how quickly the FBV edges lost crispness. A few weeks later I was in Whitby, Ont. to attend the Lacrosse Procincials in August. I had heard about an Oshawa guy's reputation from some guys who played for the Oshawa Generals. He was the owner of a place called 'Pro Cut'. I took my skates to him. He was restoring an antique INDIAN motorcycle in the back of his shop....sweet bike. I told him my FBV story. Same FBV result......soft edges after about 3 hours on the clean, de-ionized ice at Windsor's WFCU Center. I have read lots about FBV over the last 6 years or so. Hockey is a competitive sport, new modern equiptment has changed the game for the better. Except for those LETHAL, serious injury producing, plastic capped elbow pads and shoulder caps......but that's another story! I'm all for change and new tecnology making hockey, the world's BEST sport an even BETTER game. But, I just can't swallow FBV. From what I hear and see, the FBV market is 'softening'. ROH sharpening is still the overwhelmingly preferred skate grind of the millionaires in the NHL and their equiptment managers. I am in Toronto several times a year. I sure would like to see your FBV process when I visit Toronto. I'll buy you lunch and coffee at Timmy's if YOU do my skates with FBV. THEN.......I'll know !!! I'm old, sharpened my first pair in 1968......but I'm never too old to be taught a trick or two.
  14. There are several reasons that I am not a 'fan' of either Blackstone's FBV, or Blademaster's BFD product. Both of these companies produce wonderful skate sharpening machines and accessories for these machines. However, the 'process' of Blackstone FBV (BFD.....Blademaster) involves dressing the skate sharpening wheel with a 'form dresser'. Form dressing wheels can be problematic. Firstly, a form dressing wheel CANNOT 'dress' a cutting wheel as well as a single point diamond stylus. Secondly, a form dressing wheel begins to deteriorate quickly with use. Both the cutting surface and internal bearings of form dressing wheels begin to wear from the beginning of use, until the operator 'decides' to replace the dresser. With Blackstone FBV dressers costing about $70.00 and Blademaster BFD dressers costing about $125.00 operators are reluctant to throw used dressers in the garbage or recycle bin. An operator must be equipt with a form dresser for every 'grind' that is offered. That means that the RETAIL establishment or hockey club must buy at least 6 dressers.......even MORE for satisfying some goaltenders or figure skaters. Team equiptment managers using FBV must obtain a separate dresser for EACH player's different grinds as well. For example, the college team that I do skate work for has over 20 players on the roster. They want about 5 different ROH's on their skates......plus some goaltender's steels need their own dressers (thicker steel). Most players on this team are at 5/8" ROH, but we sometimes change this up or down for different ice conditions. When FBV (BFD) began hitting the sports stores and NHL team rooms (about 5 years ago) it was going to REVOLUTIONIZE the traditional ROH grind. Despite all the PROMOTIONAL 'hype' that was used on hockey blogs, U-tube videos, newscasts, photos and glowing stories from some NHL players, equipment managers, etc. Despite millions of dollars in marketing, media hype, dozens of NHL teams (and some colleges), even 'Skating Labs' being 'given' $20,000 Blackstone machines, it did not make traditional sharpening obsolete. The 'honed' finish that a competent skate tech can put on a blade using a diamond stylus is VERY smooth........it CAN and should be polished like a mirror! A form dresser CANNOT do this. I have used both the Blackstone FBV and Blademaster BFD and ROH form dressers. The hockey store that I did skate work at had BOTH machines. I am NOT convinced that FBV is a BETTER product than the traditional ROH process that I perform on skates. For comparison, I have had my own skates sharpened with FBV.......here in Windsor by a dude that is 'world famous' and even up in Whitby, Ontario (PRO CUT) by the owner who was considered THE BEST at FBV. The ONLY difference I noticed was that in BOTH instances my edges did NOT last as long as my ROH hollow. Furthermore, once the edges started to 'go south' and slip.......they really went souith quickly. For this reason, I suggest that TRAVEL hockey players.......those AAA, AA, kids that travel out of town every other weekend for several league games at tournaments do not use FBV. After a game or two, the edges can 'go south', then you have to find a person to do FBV out of town. My opinion. Now, with quick change blades, this isn't as much as an issue with SOME travel players.......as they carry an extra set of blades. So, unless your team has an equipment manager and a machine at your disposal 'on the road' FBV might not be your best choice.
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