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Author Topic: New jacksons blade loose  (Read 379 times)

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Offline Jacquiejj

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New jacksons blade loose
« on: February 10, 2018, 08:15:07 PM »
So I tried my new jackson elle fusions today and when i got on the ice it was odd. First i felt like the ice was so thick like i couldn't get momentum at all. In addition my right skate felt like driving a car with a flat tire. I discovered after, that the screws holding my blade were loose. I'm hoping that was the problem. I am surprised that jackson didn't have these tightened securely. Is this common with new skates? And at what point do i put in the remaining screws? I did have them sharpened before skating and they didn't notice the loose screws....hmmmm?? What causes the blade to loosen? do i need to carry a screwdriver when i skate now?

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 09:46:33 PM »
They should have been secured by whoever sold them to you.  The blade is premounted on the Elle's and the remaining holes in the toe and heel plates are meant to be used if you need to change the mounting position.  If you don't have them checked by a tech periodically, then yes you should carry a screwdriver and make sure they're tight.  Whoever sharpened them probably should have also checked that.  I wonder if they are loose, how good a job the sharpener did?

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 02:59:10 AM »
If you tighten them yourself, be sure to press hard on the screwdriver. Leather holes strip very easily without pressure. In addition, if you tighten too much, that strips the holes too. It is a pain in the neck to fix stripped holes.

Which is why, if you are not used to this, it is important your skate tech does it for you, at least at first.

BTW, I routinely re-tighten mine fairly often. If you let them come loose, things can get very messed up.

I would say you put in the remaining screws as soon as you are reasonably certain the blades are in the right place - e.g., you feel balanced on one foot glides, forward and back, and the alignment seems right. If possible, a good skate tech would watch you skate for a few minutes, make obvious adjustments, ask how it feels when you skate, and put in the extra screws then and there. If you haven't a skate tech, you have to do it yourself.
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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 07:35:26 AM »
So I tried my new jackson elle fusions today and when i got on the ice it was odd. First i felt like the ice was so thick like i couldn't get momentum at all. In addition my right skate felt like driving a car with a flat tire. I discovered after, that the screws holding my blade were loose. I'm hoping that was the problem. I am surprised that jackson didn't have these tightened securely. Is this common with new skates? And at what point do i put in the remaining screws? I did have them sharpened before skating and they didn't notice the loose screws....hmmmm?? What causes the blade to loosen? do i need to carry a screwdriver when i skate now?
The Fusion sole is described here:  http://www.jacksonultima.com/static/images/jackson_fusion_sole.pdf .  It is not made of leather; it is made of a nylon composite with a rubber inlay.  The amount of pressure and torque needed to properly secure screws in a Fusion sole will likely be different from that in a traditional leather sole (I have no experience with the new Fusion soles myself; just drawing from my design experience with many different materials). 

Note that both traditional leather and the Fusion sole are fabricated from compressible materials.  When a new blade is attached, there will be a break-in period in which the sole sets to accommodate the blade.  Initially, it is important to check the screws before each session; eventually the sole will nominally stabilize, and you can check less frequently if you wish.  A decent skate tech should have checked the screws before handing the skates over to you:  some additional required tightening after your first session is to be expected, but the screws should not be real loose during your first session.

My boots so far have had only traditional leather soles.  I'm probably atypical, but I check the screws the day before each session (this gives me time to make repairs if needed).  Takes only a minute; and does no harm (as long as you don't overtorque and strip holes).  I've found that even long after the break-in period, screws tend to loosen when I fall, likely due to shock and the blade striking the ice at an odd angle.  Depending only on a tech to tighten the screws when you bring the skates in for sharpening is not a good idea.

With your new Elles, how many screws are installed in the sole plate and the heel plate?  Typically, in the sole plate, there are 2 elongated slots (for temporary mount) and 6 countersunk circular holes (for permanent mount); typically, in the heel plate there are 2 elongated slots and 2 countersunk circular holes.  Typically not all screws are installed.  If you buy a separate boot and blade (not a pre-mounted kit such as the Elles), typically only the temporary mount screws (2 on the sole plate and 2 on the heel plate) are initially installed.  When any needed adjustments have been made and you are satisfied with the mount, you then install additional permanent mount screws, e.g., 2 permanent mount screws on the sole plate and 1 permanent mount screw on the heel plate (different techs have different preferences).  I'm curious as to how many screws are installed in your pre-mounted kit.

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 06:21:19 PM »
I also wonder if they had been sharpened at all!  The factory sharpening on any blade is never so good -

Good luck with your new skates!  I hope you get it figured out.

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 06:36:36 PM »
TStop4Me, since you are knowledgeable about designs using screws, could you guess proper technique for not stripping screws when mounting blades in a plastic composite sole such as  occur in Fusion? Or does it depend on the specific materials too much to guess?

I don't see anything on Jackson's website about this, so perhaps that means normal leather sole techniques work, but maybe they have something somewhere that I didn't find.

I tried to look it up. The literature  speaks of it being very easy to strip plastic screws and holes in plastic materials, and it seems to be a remarkably common problem, perhaps because people are used to working with steel screws and threads, which are more durable, but it doesn't give any practical advice that I have found for avoiding the issue, just for fixing the problem. THe literature pertaining to fixing stripped holes and stripped screws, or making sure they never slip, uses materials that are too difficult to remove for use in skate blade mounts (e.g., Superglue, West Systems Epoxy, Heli Coils, etc.), since the skater will probably eventually want to replace the blades.

Elgin Fastener group, and a few other places, advocates lubricating screws in general before tightening (http://elginfasteners.com/markets/fastener-joint-failure-evaluation) - but since the whole problem here is that screws work their way loose, and we don't want them to come loose until we choose to remove them, I assume that is completely wrong for us - correct? (Some people speak of using wax or soap as a screw lubricant...)

AFAICT, many roller (quad and inline) skate mounts deal with plastic composite soles in a different way - by drilling holes for bolts all the way through, and tightening the bolts with specialized nuts, from inside the boots. Since there are no threads in the plastic, there are no threads to strip. You could do that with skates - I've know people who have done it even in leather skates, because they wanted to interchange blades more quickly - but it is too complicated and requires too much work for most people. For one thing, you need to create a recessed hole inside the boot, under the insole.

Likewise, with rental skates, and some hockey skates, skate techs routinely remove and install rivets in various types of synthetic soles - but they have expensive bulky tools to do the job.

I assume the original poster wants something simple and quick, using ordinary skate screws, and no expensive materials or tools.

The problem here is you can't feasibly experiment, because mistakes are too costly.

Most Graf skates have synthetic soles. They have their own screws (http://www.grafskates.ch/en/inside-graf/grafskates-technologie/anatomy-of-the-graf-skate) they want you to use. But notice that they do advocate drilling a pilot hole for each screw, just as you would in leather or wood. I can't find any special instructions they give.

I also wonder if they had been sharpened at all!  The factory sharpening on any blade is never so good -

My experience with Jackson Ultima blades, if that is what the o.p. is using, is that the factory sharpening has been excellent in every respect. My personal experience was only with old Matrix I blades, which I still use, but this experience has been confirmed with more recent blades by several skate techs as well. (Some have said that Paramount blades have good factory sharpening too, but most skate techs I've talked to feel that MK and Wilson blades should be resharpened to fix certain inconsistencies.) Cheap Jackson rental skate blades do need to be sharpened, but I assume no one would order Fusions with rental level blades.
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Offline Jacquiejj

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 03:22:26 AM »
So my blade ptoblem continued today. To first answer the question...there were 2 screws in the sole and 2 in the heel. Now where i am we haver no pro shop that is primarily for figure skating. We have a hockey shop and it is the only go to place for skate help....so i was told to skate for sevetal times before i put in the remaining screws.  So today i go to the rink and as soon as i get on the ice i know something is still wrong with my right skate. The left skate is perfect no issues i could skate all day on the left. But the right...i felt like a car with bad alignment. I tried relacing, tightening, loosening...nothing worked. So i went back to the hockey shop...who just seemed to be annoyed by my presence and my desire for help. They found a stripped screw and said it wasn't in straight and said that it was probvably moving while i skated. So he put in a couple more screws and said to put the others in after i skate a bit. So after spending money to skate already..i returned to the rink, paid again and tested the skate. It was better but I'm still not sure its right. I'm so frustrated and i dont know what to do. I don't know at this point if its still off.or if i want to just ignore the problem. I spent all i had to get decent skates and i didn't forsee these issues. I bought them online because we have no shops and the return policy is so complicated and confusing. And if I sent them back it would be months before i got anything back. I want to fix this problem here but i don't understand what is wrong. Please help!

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 06:57:09 AM »
So my blade ptoblem continued today. To first answer the question...there were 2 screws in the sole and 2 in the heel. Now where i am we haver no pro shop that is primarily for figure skating. We have a hockey shop and it is the only go to place for skate help....so i was told to skate for sevetal times before i put in the remaining screws.  So today i go to the rink and as soon as i get on the ice i know something is still wrong with my right skate. The left skate is perfect no issues i could skate all day on the left. But the right...i felt like a car with bad alignment. I tried relacing, tightening, loosening...nothing worked. So i went back to the hockey shop...who just seemed to be annoyed by my presence and my desire for help. They found a stripped screw and said it wasn't in straight and said that it was probvably moving while i skated. So he put in a couple more screws and said to put the others in after i skate a bit. So after spending money to skate already..i returned to the rink, paid again and tested the skate. It was better but I'm still not sure its right. I'm so frustrated and i dont know what to do. I don't know at this point if its still off.or if i want to just ignore the problem. I spent all i had to get decent skates and i didn't forsee these issues. I bought them online because we have no shops and the return policy is so complicated and confusing. And if I sent them back it would be months before i got anything back. I want to fix this problem here but i don't understand what is wrong. Please help!
(a) Were the initially installed screws (2 on sole plate, 2 on heel plate) all installed in elongated slots (temporary mount)?

(b) You mentioned in the first post that you had the blades sharpened, but now you say there is no (figure skate) pro shop near you.  So who did the sharpening?  The mail order house, or the hockey shop?  If the hockey shop (or a bad mail order house), you could be facing more serious problems.

(c) It will be very difficult to diagnose what's going on over the net; lot's of variables.  Do you know anyone there (perhaps a coach or an experienced skater) who knows how to mount and adjust blades properly, and check for proper sharpening?  Right now, depending on how many screws have been installed, if you need to move the blade, you'll probably need to permanently plug previous screw holes ... which gets further complicated since the Fusion sole is new on the market.

(d) How experienced a skater are you?  That is, do you know when something for sure is off, or are you still learning basics (so you don't know whether it's the equipment or your technique)?

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 06:59:44 AM »
TStop4Me, since you are knowledgeable about designs using screws, could you guess proper technique for not stripping screws when mounting blades in a plastic composite sole such as  occur in Fusion? Or does it depend on the specific materials too much to guess?
Depends on the specific material.

Offline Jacquiejj

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 10:42:22 AM »
The original screws were temporary mountings from factory. The hockey shop did the first sharpening. At this time I  don't know any coaches/skaters.. as far as my experience...I am adult skater returning to the sport. I skated in my teens but was injured by another skater resulting in injury and never returned to the ice. I never thought I would be able to skate again but was pleasantly surprised when i did these 20 yrs later. Im Definitely a beginner but I do know that my initial issues were do to the blade issue. At this point it could be both blade issues and my lack of knowledge...but i feel pretty good about knowing what feels wrong to certain aspects. My initial issues were very clear to me that it was the blade.

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2018, 11:04:40 AM »
Sorry this happened to you.  If the blade feels wrong, it probably is off - either in the alignment or the sharpening.  Kinzie's Closet is a reputable seller, so contact them immediately and describe the problem.  The problem with buying online (I know, you had no choice.) is that there's no "fitter" to check sizing and do quality control things like making sure screws are in tightly.  Online retailers simply pull a box from a shelf, (hopefully) make sure the right skates are inside and packed well, then box and ship.  That's why it's cheaper to buy online, which is great if you know what you're doing, not so great when you're relying on them for guidance.  I get it: you have no pro shop nearby.  It's very common.

Ask one of the figure skating coaches or a high-level skater/parent for advice on where to get skates or have blades sharpened.  Often, in places where there are no figure skating pro shops locally, a coach or parent steps up and becomes the de facto figure skating "Equipment Technician."  It's not advertised or promoted other than by word-of-mouth, so you have to ask around.  If you can get the skates fixed locally, Jackson or Kinzie's Closet could reimburse you for the service.

Hockey pro shops can be very helpful, if you talk to the right person.  Find out who the owner/manager is and schedule an appointment rather than just walking in.  (I realize you were desparate, no worries.  Been there, done that while traveling, but I know a little more about figure skating needs.)  The owner/manager has a vested interest in not ticking off the rink's clientele.  They're usually more experienced and knowledgeable than the high school hockey boys who disdain figure skating.

As for the sharpening, it's unlikely the hockey shop would have loosened the screws to sharpen, but it's possible.  However, you should check to see if the sharpening was done properly - make sure the chrome reveal line is fairly even all the way down the blade.  If the line tapers at the tail of the blade, the shop damaged the blade when sharpening.  If the rocker (curve behind the toe pick) is flat or has a dip, they damaged the blade.  Have the pro shop guy measure the blade's edge evenness - if the edges are uneven, they damaged the blade.  (The loose blade is a contributing factor in that case.)  You'll need to address any sharpening issue with the pro shop owner/manager, emphasizing that this was a brand-new blade.  They should make good by repairing/replacing the blade if they caused the damage.

Definitely contact Jackson and Kinzie's Closet to say the blade screws arrived loose/stripped, which is a manufacturing/distribution error.  If it led to the blade sharpening being done poorly, Jackson will blame the pro shop for not checking the screws first and the pro shop will blame Jackson for shipping a defective product.  Blame does no good - you paid for good skates and you should get good skates.  Take the high road and ask "What can we do that will make these skates work properly?"

Good luck!
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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 01:52:50 PM »
Definitely contact Jackson and Kinzie's Closet to say the blade screws arrived loose/stripped, which is a manufacturing/distribution error.  If it led to the blade sharpening being done poorly, Jackson will blame the pro shop for not checking the screws first and the pro shop will blame Jackson for shipping a defective product. 
Loose mounting screws would not mess up the sharpening.  During sharpening, the blade is clamped onto a skate holder, and the tech moves the skate holder along a guide (bed, rail, or arm).

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 01:56:20 PM »
Assuming the sharpening was done properly.  I've seen people sharpen with no blade jig.  If you're holding the boot and the blade's loose, it'll make one edge lower, or switch the edging, front-to-back. 
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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 02:04:40 PM »
The original screws were temporary mountings from factory. The hockey shop did the first sharpening. At this time I  don't know any coaches/skaters.. as far as my experience...I am adult skater returning to the sport. I skated in my teens but was injured by another skater resulting in injury and never returned to the ice. I never thought I would be able to skate again but was pleasantly surprised when i did these 20 yrs later. Im Definitely a beginner but I do know that my initial issues were do to the blade issue. At this point it could be both blade issues and my lack of knowledge...but i feel pretty good about knowing what feels wrong to certain aspects. My initial issues were very clear to me that it was the blade.
Just to let you know how complicated this can get, here's a recent post from another skater with blade problems:

http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=7971.0

She first thought it was simply a matter of aligning the blades, but it turned out the blade was so poorly mounted it was bent, and the sharpening was messed up.  But both she and her coach first thought the blades were straight and the sharpening was OK.  You really need to know what to look for, and the proper tools as well.  If you can't do it yourself, then you'll have to travel to where there is a competent tech.  Note:  All it takes is one really bad sharpening to wreck a brand new set of blades for good.

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 02:09:49 PM »
Assuming the sharpening was done properly.  I've seen people sharpen with no blade jig.  If you're holding the boot and the blade's loose, it'll make one edge lower, or switch the edging, front-to-back.
I've never seen that.  Even with properly tightened screws, I don't see how anyone can get a decent sharpening by holding the boot and guiding the blade freehand against the wheel.  That's totally insane; they shouldn't be in business.

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 05:42:05 PM »
I completely agree with FigureSpins's advice. You simply have to seek out the advice of the better skaters or coaches, and talk to the guy in charge too.

But in fairness to those "high school hockey boys who disdain figure skating" who sharpen skates, I believe that the fault still lies mainly with management. I believe most people love to do a good job, at almost everything they do. But if they aren't well trained, they can't.

Jacquiejj, if none of the better skaters or coaches have useful advice or help, maybe they get together and send someone to a distant sharpener with all their skates, or send them mail order to another shop. Perhaps you can go in with them on that, with a brief explanatory note attached your skates.

There is one problem with even some experienced skate techs that may not be immediately obvious to you. It is not particularly uncommon for hockey sharpeners to remove a mm or even two (about 0.039 -  0.078 inches), and occasionally more, of steel, to get rid of the nicks that develop in rough hockey play. That is about 13 - 26 times the 0.003 inches or so that should typically be removed from a regularly sharpened figure skate. So instead of your expensive blades lasting perhaps 30 or 40 sharpenings before they need to be replaced, they may last 3 or 4. If they know their business well, this won't happen: a GOOD hockey sharpener would look at the nicks to see how much has to be removed. But if not, it just might. Ask the pro shop boss about this issue.

Maybe there is a way for you to earn a little extra money for skating equipment or lessons - if no one else has stepped in to mount, maintain and sharpen figure skates well, maybe you could fill that market void. Offer to become a pro shop employee who will go out of your way to learn how. (If they don't know how to sharpen figure skates well, they might not know how to sharpen hockey goalie skates well, because they are sharpened quite differently too. Ask some goalies how well the pro shop does on those. So you could offer to learn that as well.) Or work outside the pro shop - but the pro shop probably has a concession on working and marketing at the rink.

That said, the idea that your skates have been  sharpened badly is purely speculative. You really need to work up the courage to talk to the other skaters at your rink, and ask them about your pro shop and your skates. Most skaters are wonderful, friendly people, and love to help.
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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 07:01:56 PM »
But in fairness to those "high school hockey boys who disdain figure skating" who sharpen skates, <snip>

The OP said she asked for help with the loose screws and the shop staff didn't want to get involved.  I didn't say that's who sharpened the skates. 

I can understand their position: if all your knowledge is in hockey skates with riveted blades, you'd run scared at the sight of a screwdriver.  I advised her to contact the manager/owner and make an appointment. 

I've never seen that. 

Obviously, I have.  It wasn't pretty.  Of course, they were "manly men" who didn't wear eye protection or gloves.  ROFLOL!

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2018, 10:03:47 PM »
Obviously, I have.  It wasn't pretty.  Of course, they were "manly men" who didn't wear eye protection or gloves.  ROFLOL!
Yeah, know what you mean.  I served a rotational stint as safety monitor for my lab, with strict orders from execs to enforce OSHA compliance.  Lots of confrontations, because the old techs thought safety gear was for wimps.

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 12:05:18 AM »
Thank you everyone for your information and advice, i truly appreciate every word. I think i will start by contacting kenzie's closet and depending on what they say i will go from there. I think i will also try skating again this weekend and see if i notice a change or improvement. I will also take your advice and see if i can find some skaters in my area that might have some contacts. Thank you for educating me on many things. Knowledge is power and I'm grateful to learn all I can. Thank you again!

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2018, 04:31:58 PM »
I hold management responsible for all aspects of the customer experience. Good training and staff selection includes good manners.

But I too need help with loose screws - in my head. :)

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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2018, 08:56:42 PM »
Assuming the sharpening was done properly.  I've seen people sharpen with no blade jig.  If you're holding the boot and the blade's loose, it'll make one edge lower, or switch the edging, front-to-back.

"Some Kid" sharpened mine at the rink one time. I'd left them specifically for one person to sharpen and he didn't make it in. The kid offered, I said NO, he did it any way. Took my left outside edge off. I could tell something was wrong, but my coach told me it was all in my head. It was the left outside edge. You know, the one you're supposed to be on going into a scratch spin. I skidded off one day spinning and broke my ankle. After I made it back to the ice, I *made* my coach look at them, and she saw the missing edge. She felt so bad for pushing aside my concerns.
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Re: New jacksons blade loose
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2018, 09:01:53 AM »
 :o did "some kid" or the rink at least apologize, if not put out for new blades? Not sure how they could make good on a broken ankle, but an apology would be a start.