In the first part of the classs we all were given pre-cut paper-birch slats that were roughly shaped. Master instructor and co-founder of the North-House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN is Mr. Mark Hansen. He had made hundreds of traditional, skis, and all kinds of boats by hand. A really nice man and a wealth of knowledge and experience...and really funny!
Apprentice under Master Instructor Mark Hansen, Ian Andrus explains the process of tree/wood selection, and optimal grain characteristics for bending and making into skis, he also explains how to set up molds for skis.
After the skiis are made, I am going to add natural "Glide Wax" to my new hand-made birch skis before lace the bindings in. My goal is to try and treat these as primitively as possible, so instead of commercial ski/snowboard wax I am using a concotion of melted beeswax and tallow (3-4:1); more wax than tallow.
Treating the skis in this way adds more control and manueverability on the skis...wax won't make you go fast. It just lets you go fast when you need to as well it also helps to seal these wooden skis from snow, ice, and water.
Here is also a link on the commercial process of waxing skis/snowboards for the record: www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/glide-waxing-skis-snowboard.html
Be sure to visit: www.NorthHouse.org