Most ski and snowboard technicians have used, in the past, repair tools with 11.5mm dia. (½”) repair rods, where the temperature of the extruding head was dependent on the temperature of the material being extruded. When this extruded material came into contact with the skis or snowboards (which were both relatively cold) the repair material experienced a drop in temperature of anything up to 30ºC / 86ºF.
This, in turn, made it difficult to ‘work’ the area under repair to achieve a satisfactory bond, or weld, between the repair material and the ski or snowboard base material. It would typically take a few minutes for the extruding head on this type of tool to recover to its original temperature.
With the TEC II having a heated extruding head, the temperature drop of the extruded material is only about 5ºC / 41ºF. This means that the extruded material stays more fluid and workable, giving a much better bond, or weld, to the ski or snowboard base material. Also, this small temperature drop means that it takes only seconds for the working temperature of the tool to recover.
Looking again at the older types of repair tools, the trigger mechanisms were ‘heavy’, requiring a reasonable amount of trigger pressure on the part of the technician to extrude the repair material - even when the tools were at their correct working temperatures. However the trigger mechanism on the TEC II is extremely ‘light’, leading to complaints from technicians unfamiliar with this tool that it extrudes too much repair material.
The TEC II now has a trigger movement restrictor screw, which the technician can adjust to control the volume of material being extruded. Only very light pressure is required on the trigger to extrude sufficient material to carry out a satisfactory repair. Remember, the extruded material from the TEC II is very much more fluid than from other types of repair tool.
When using the TEC II it is recommended that the user works away from themselves, using the arrow on the front of the heated head as an alignment guide to the area being repaired. It is also recommended that the front of the heated head is kept about 1 - 1.5mm. above the base material (but it is important that the back of the head remains on the base at all times) - this is to allow a limited amount of repair material to spread out on to the adjacent base.
When repairing deep base gouges in the past it was recommended that the repair material be ‘built up’ in layers, so that air was not trapped beneath it. However, using the TEC II method described above, a deep gouge can normally be filled in one pass. This is because the extruded repair material is considerably more fluid than with other repair tools, allowing it to flow more freely into the gouge and driving the air out in front of it.