Mounting Blades (Fred Bartick)

Fred Bartick, a Minnesota-based (Bloomington, MN) skate technician with over 35 years of experience, continues his discussion of boots and blades with details about how to properly mount blades on the boot. (See Part 1 of the series here and Part 2 of the series here.) Fred explains how he uses the widest part of the heel and ball to find the center of the boot. After marking the center of each, he puts a straight edge on and draws the desired blade position with a pencil or pen on the edge of the boot so it’s easy to see with the blade in place. Fred acknowledges that some some skaters need a special mounting that is different than the standard center mount, but most skaters have great success with the standard mounting.

Fred also discusses the variability of the front plate position with respect to the actual blade. Only the position of the blade itself on the boot matters, so the plate positioning on the boot will likely change from mounting to mounting. Fred says, “It’s the actual part of the blade that’s engaging the ice that you want centered on the boot. The plates can vary side to side.” There is also some variability in sole to boot wideness/position on any given skating boot, and this can also be taken into account for some mountings.

Next, Fred discusses temporary blade mounting using the slotted holes. This can be helpful not only for final positioning, but also for testing on the ice prior to final mounting. Fred recommends against using all the screw holes in a permanent mounting, as having fresh sole for future holes may be helpful or necessary if changes need to be made later or screw holes (usually leather soles) get stripped. He explains in detail which holes he prefers to use both for 6-hole front plates and 8-hole front plates.


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