52 steps for the ultimate skiing pleasure
It takes 52 work steps and a total of seven days for Achim Vogt to produce a pair of skis. The working time alone amounts to six hours. With the exception of the finishing touches, for which Martin Tischhauser is responsible, the man from Balzers does all the work at his workshop in the industrial area of Schaan. Before he can start on the actual production process, however, Vogt has a lot of preparatory work he must do – such as making the wood cores or bending the ski edges.
Consultation with the customer and design
Achim Vogt notes down the customer’s requirements in terms of design, handling characteristics and intended use. Then he works out the layout of the skis and prints the design in original size on paper before transferring it, in several steps at a later stage, to the ski surface.
Preparation and gluing
Since it takes a total of three days to complete the process of printing the design onto the ski surface, Vogt uses this time to prepare all the materials he requires to promptly start gluing in the next production stage. Afterwards, he inserts the prepared items such as the ski base, ski edges, Titanal shell, fibreglass, wood core with sidewall, foils, rubber and ski tip inlays, and a protective end cap into the structural shape of the particular model.
Compression and heating
The composite ski sandwiches are now inserted into a ski press, made by Vogt himself. Individual components are fused into a single unit at a heat of 140 degrees and under the pressure of 10 bars (the equivalent of roughly 0 tons in the case of a 170 cm long ski).
Cleaning and sanding
Vogt uses a machine and his hands to rid the «raw ski» of any superfluous material. He crafts it into its final shape and adds a serial number to the new piece of sports equipment. Fine sanding of the edges and surface are then carried out by Martin Tischhauser, who was already in charge of Vogt’s race equipment during the latter’s active racing career.