A great race prep without "going crazy."
Ok, we are assuming the skis are in pretty good shape: waxed at least most days, with smooth bases and edges. No repairs in other words. We will prep Edges, Bases, and Wax in 30 minutes or so.
1.) Edges: Total time per pair (with practice) = 10-12 minutes.
a.) Deburr: Using a medium/coarse ceramic or diamond stone, remove any burrs and rust from the edges. You should be using a guide for this so that the edge geometry is not accidentally changed. I deburr the base edges of both skis first, then I switch tools and deburr the side edges of both skis. Remember- you are only deburring. It should only take less than 1 minute per edge. This deburring is done to preserve your tools and hands.
b.) Sharpen: ALL SHARPENING IS DONE ON THE SIDE EDGE! I can't emphasize that too much. Leave the base edge alone except to smooth/deburr.Take you SIDE edging tool and a file (if very dull) or a coarse stone (if less sharpening is required) and take 3-4 passes down each edge, cleaning the stone or file between each edge. If adequately sharp, move on to C, otherwise repeat the process on the edges that need more love.
c.) Polish: Sharpening adds a new burr to the edge, which now needs to be removed. Use a medium/fine stone on the side edge and a fine stone on the base edge for this work.
2.) Bases: Total time per pair= 5-7 minutes.
a.)Scrape: With a sharp plastic scraper, carefully scrape away dirt and debris working from tip to tail. Repeat 2-3 times.
b.) Brush: Using a brass/bronze brush with fairly stiff, short bristles, brush the skis from tip to tail 3-4 times. LIGHTLY scrape with the plastic scraper to remove debris.
c.) Polish Using an automotive polishing cloth (or ski polishing cloth- which ever is handy), polish the base of the ski back and forth until there is very little resistance. Very lightly scrape with plastic scraper.
3.) Wax: Total time per pair= 10-15 minutes
a.) Warm Scrape: Using a waxing iron and the "wax of the day," drip plenty of wax (around 20 grams or so) onto the ski, then work back and forth until the wax is well distributed and warm. Make 1 last fast pass along the ski and grap your scraper. While the wax is still liquid/molten, scrape it off completely. This helps to clean and condition the base.
b.) Wax: Grab the wax of the day and repeat "a" above- except let the wax cool before removing it. For a warm (25 degrees and above) wax, let it cool as long as possible before scraping. At least 30 minutes. For colder waxes, remove some of the excess soon. Cold waxes will chip if worked when cold.
So in about 30 minutes (except for cooling time), you now have a smooth, sharp, well waxed pair of skis. Relax knowing your racer's gear is ready!