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Sparx Skate Sharpener - At home sharpener

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10 hours ago, marka said:

Howdy,

I think the only "Must have" is an edge checker.  I have both the Sparx as well as a cheapie ebay one.  The ebay one is fine (its easy to check these... Put it on the skate facing one way, then put it on the skate on the same side of the runner facing the other way and see if it shows the same thing).  The Sparx one is much nicer to use (mostly down to the spring loaded clamp that holds it on the runner, but also that its wider than the cheapie), if you don't mind the price.

The older Sparx edge checkers utilized a spring loaded clamp.  Current ones have a thumb screw similar to most edge checkers. 

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18 hours ago, Leif said:

That’s the one I have, but I paid much less for it. 

Ya, I bought one of those a few years ago on ebay half that price.

As far as other accessories, I'm always using the blade holder. 

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On 1/1/2022 at 11:47 AM, bcboy20 said:

Hey, I got it to stop. What I found was when I had the machine run without the glass, it seemed like it was sticky and couldn’t pull the ring back to home along the blade.  I started to use a skate guard and pushed it and it had no problem. I ended up cleaning the whole machine inside and out, then used just a tiny bit of grease on the inside along the rail that it runs on.  Moved it. Sick and forth a bit and runs perfect again now. 

Did you end up taking the machine apart at all for cleanup? I vacuumed it clean and it briefly worked but back to stuttering on return. I am thinking there still might be gunk somwhere I can't get to, but would rather not just start taking it apart if not necessary. Will give the grease a try though!

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I don’t suppose anyone has some reliable information as to the typical life span of the original Sparx? Mine is over three years old, and running sweetly, one sharpen a week with long breaks during lockdowns! Also, is it easy to open it up to clean? I’d rather leave it be unless it is a risk free task.

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1 hour ago, Leif said:

I don’t suppose anyone has some reliable information as to the typical life span of the original Sparx? Mine is over three years old, and running sweetly, one sharpen a week with long breaks during lockdowns! Also, is it easy to open it up to clean? I’d rather leave it be unless it is a risk free task.

I can only speak anecdotally in terms of a heavy work load over an extended period of time (I use mine for maybe 4-10 passes per week).

I have a rink near me with 8 ice surfaces that has had 4 original Sparx machines for years now (originally purchased to lighten the load on manual sharpening during tournaments held there).

As well as a hockey retailer right down the road from this rink that has 4  machines running fairly constantly as well. All machines are home units, and not the commercial version.

By all accounts, the machines have been virtually problem free. The only real maintenance done to them is vacuuming the machines out, and tray/filter checks/cleaning. 

Not one machine has had major issues, and these are getting far more use than anyone in their home setting.

Like them, or hate them, I don't think anyone can really question the build quality and reliability of these machines. 

As far as opening it up to clean, if the machine is running fine, and you clean it regularly, I wouldn't bother or worry about getting inside it. The internals are fairly sealed and closed off. So to be honest, I wouldn't worry about it unless there is a need to open up the unit. 

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5 hours ago, OzziesDad said:

I have a rink near me with 8 ice surfaces

As well as a hockey retailer right down the road from this rink

 

That could only describe Blaine!

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On 5/7/2022 at 2:58 PM, shoot_the_goalie said:

I was thinking Marlborough...only place I know that has 8 sheets and Sparx represenation.

Same here. I believe it's the only 8 sheet complex in NA. 

The bit about a retailer being right down the street was the kicker for me.

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9 hours ago, stick9 said:

Same here. I believe it's the only 8 sheet complex in NA. 

The bit about a retailer being right down the street was the kicker for me.

Really? I thought the Blaine Super Rink (home of the USA women's national team) at the National Sports Center was the only place with 8 sheets under one roof. It's been there for 30 years. I guess I learn something every day! Pure Hockey is near the Super Rink as well as the famous Lettermen Sports. Pure Hockey had Prosharp sharpeners, I assume they have Sparx now. Lettermen's has a few Sparx.

 

https://www.nscsports.org/indoor-facilities

NSC is a crazy place on over 600 acres. It's so massive with so much going on I know people who have been there for numerous events that have no idea there's even a 300,000 sq ft ice facility on the site! There's the hockey rinks, PGA Tour designed 18 hole golf course, 52 soccer fields, 5500 seat stadium, and a 450' long dome. Until 2020 there was a full size wooden velodrome.

Edited by 218hockey

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I did a couple of searches on this, but couldn't find anything on here. Apologies if it's already been discussed. 

When doing multiple pairs of skates (not even anything crazy, like 2-3 pairs), the heat presumably bonds the wheel to the arm of the machine making it impossible to get off without letting it cool for 5-10 minutes. That is an easy solution if there's time, but if it's before a game, sometimes we're running through 10+ pairs of skates with limited time. 

Has anyone else experienced this? Any solutions/thoughts would be much appreciated.

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On 9/15/2022 at 1:48 PM, a komets fan said:

I did a couple of searches on this, but couldn't find anything on here. Apologies if it's already been discussed. 

When doing multiple pairs of skates (not even anything crazy, like 2-3 pairs), the heat presumably bonds the wheel to the arm of the machine making it impossible to get off without letting it cool for 5-10 minutes. That is an easy solution if there's time, but if it's before a game, sometimes we're running through 10+ pairs of skates with limited time. 

Has anyone else experienced this? Any solutions/thoughts would be much appreciated.

Heat causes metal to expand. You need to let it cool. 

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On 9/15/2022 at 4:48 PM, a komets fan said:

I did a couple of searches on this, but couldn't find anything on here. Apologies if it's already been discussed. 

When doing multiple pairs of skates (not even anything crazy, like 2-3 pairs), the heat presumably bonds the wheel to the arm of the machine making it impossible to get off without letting it cool for 5-10 minutes. That is an easy solution if there's time, but if it's before a game, sometimes we're running through 10+ pairs of skates with limited time. 

Has anyone else experienced this? Any solutions/thoughts would be much appreciated.

You could try swapping rings every 1 or 2 sharpenings, either to a diffierent radius or another ring of the same radius. That would give it a chance to cool.

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Perhaps a small battery operated fan to be used to help cool it down when you need to do the change over.  Doesn't take much to dissipate heat if you have something like that blowing on it for a minute or two.

Also, maybe try a high heat lubricant on the wheels inside, WD 40 makes one as well as others ( simple google search ) may help it slide on and off just a little easier in this instance.

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On 9/15/2022 at 4:48 PM, a komets fan said:

I did a couple of searches on this, but couldn't find anything on here. Apologies if it's already been discussed. 

When doing multiple pairs of skates (not even anything crazy, like 2-3 pairs), the heat presumably bonds the wheel to the arm of the machine making it impossible to get off without letting it cool for 5-10 minutes. That is an easy solution if there's time, but if it's before a game, sometimes we're running through 10+ pairs of skates with limited time. 

Has anyone else experienced this? Any solutions/thoughts would be much appreciated.

Can't say I've ever experienced this, or heard of anyone that has. 

It's a pretty tight fit in the first place. After all, I don't think you'd want any perturbations in the grinding ring during the sharpening process. 

I usually just grab the arbor with my left hand and rotate the ring with the other until it wants to slide off. Maybe you're being too gentle? Not saying this is you, but I've noticed a lot of folks really baby these things as they tend to do with large investments. It was designed to be used and abused. Give 'er a good tug! 

Edited by pgeorgan

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On 9/15/2022 at 4:48 PM, a komets fan said:

I did a couple of searches on this, but couldn't find anything on here. Apologies if it's already been discussed. 

When doing multiple pairs of skates (not even anything crazy, like 2-3 pairs), the heat presumably bonds the wheel to the arm of the machine making it impossible to get off without letting it cool for 5-10 minutes. That is an easy solution if there's time, but if it's before a game, sometimes we're running through 10+ pairs of skates with limited time. 

Has anyone else experienced this? Any solutions/thoughts would be much appreciated.

Yep, I have that happen as well, although so far I was always able to pop it off. It doesn't bond or anything, but the piece the rings sit on (with the cooling fins) expands more than the ring and kind of locks it in place. You could possibly put an icepack or something on it (the silver ring behind the sharpening ring) or just do the rings with fewer skates first to reduce the need to swap. I doubt you're going through 10 different hollows. This way you can probably pop it off and then squeeze the next one on. 

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How many different hollows are you going through, and why does a bulk sharpening have to happen right before players are on the ice? 

Kinda sounds like the issue is less the Sparx design, and more logistical planning. 

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On 9/15/2022 at 4:48 PM, a komets fan said:

I did a couple of searches on this, but couldn't find anything on here. Apologies if it's already been discussed. 

When doing multiple pairs of skates (not even anything crazy, like 2-3 pairs), the heat presumably bonds the wheel to the arm of the machine making it impossible to get off without letting it cool for 5-10 minutes. That is an easy solution if there's time, but if it's before a game, sometimes we're running through 10+ pairs of skates with limited time. 

Has anyone else experienced this? Any solutions/thoughts would be much appreciated.

I've only had mine since February 2022 but I have 2 pairs of skates (one for playing and the other for officiating). I haven't experience any sort of overheating to this point yet. I assume you have the Sharpener for a team? How many passes are you doing per skate? A portable unit like the Sparx is probably prone to overheat quicker than a pro-shop "stand still" unit when making many passes on many skates. At least that's my guess.

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18 hours ago, 215BroadStBullies610 said:

I've only had mine since February 2022 but I have 2 pairs of skates (one for playing and the other for officiating). I haven't experience any sort of overheating to this point yet. I assume you have the Sharpener for a team? How many passes are you doing per skate? A portable unit like the Sparx is probably prone to overheat quicker than a pro-shop "stand still" unit when making many passes on many skates. At least that's my guess.

It's not so much that the unit as a whole overheats, but the part the rings attach to is (in my opinion) specifically designed to absorb heat away from the rings that's caused by friction. Seeing that part is solid metal and the rings partially plastic, it expands a tiny bit more than the ring and they get "sticky". I would guess that happens at around ~12-15 passes in quick succession. I usually do 2-4 per skate for my teammates before games and after couple of pairs the 1/2" ring needs to be pried off. I never had an issue grabbing it with a towel though and pulling it off with a little force.

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I've run into the same thing. Not to the point where I need to pry the wheel off, but they are difficult to swap after multiple passes.

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On 9/22/2022 at 2:56 PM, Malarowski said:

It's not so much that the unit as a whole overheats, but the part the rings attach to is (in my opinion) specifically designed to absorb heat away from the rings that's caused by friction. Seeing that part is solid metal and the rings partially plastic, it expands a tiny bit more than the ring and they get "sticky". I would guess that happens at around ~12-15 passes in quick succession. I usually do 2-4 per skate for my teammates before games and after couple of pairs the 1/2" ring needs to be pried off. I never had an issue grabbing it with a towel though and pulling it off with a little force.

Ah. I see. I can see this. I don't put my machine through those kind of paces so it is shocking that I don't have any of those issues. It would be interesting to see/hear if Sparx has had teams/clubs having similar issues.

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