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  • Bolt-on Duckbutts

    It seems like the number of folks calling for a lightweight NTN boot -- here and elsewhere -- has really grown recently. That, coupled with the news that anything new from Scarpa is still a few years out, led me here: 3D printed, bolt-on duckbutts for bellow'd AT boots like the old Scarpa F1.


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    How do they ski?
    In a Meidjo, really really well. Feels kinda like my old blue T2's, though with more torsional rigidity. Flexes waaaay more roundly than my TX's -- definitely no tippy-toe issues. I haven't used them with my Rottefella Freedoms yet, as the stack height of the boot toe is a bit thick and needs to be shaved down a hair.

    How durable are they?
    I don't know, we'll see. So far I've only been skiing them on the WROD, but nothing looks structurally fatigued yet. The bottom face of the duckbutt in the last photo looks more worn than it is, as I sanded it down a hair to make it fit the Meidjo's butt hook a little better, and sanding exposed the natural white plastic. That said, a few walks across the gravel parking lot did put some minor nicks in it, not all that different from what happens to the duckbutt on real NTN boots. I have no idea how well it would survive real scrambling across scree in the backcountry. I do have rubber sheeting to glue over the recessed face with the screwheads, just wanted to show it without.

    What are they made of?
    I drew them in SketchUp, then printed them at Shapeways dot com -- thanks jasonq for the 3DP advice -- using their "Versitile Plastic," which is laser-sintered PA12 polyamide, a type of nylon. Costs about $20 per butt. They also offer a "Professional Plastic," using HP MJF, which makes each butt cost about $40. No idea if it would be any better.

    But why?
    Mostly just to see if it could be done. I used my clapped-out F1 Races because they're the boots I felt most like hacking up. In reality, there currently aren't duckbutt bindings light enough to properly pair with this particular setup. I guess the next step would be to bolt the butts on a bigger boot, like a Scarpa F3, that can properly drive a Meidjo & bigger ski. EDIT: Also, on the remote chance that Scarpa is paying attention, I'm hoping to demonstrate that people REALLY want lightweight NTN boots! Sooner rather than later! And, until then, people will do dumb stuff like this to have a pair!
    Last edited by bobbytooslow; 19th November 2018, 11:45 AM.

  • #2
    Totally cool ! A lightweight, bellowed boot, with a duckbutt ! This is what Scarpa needs to give us.

    In reality, there currently aren't duckbutt bindings light enough to properly pair with this particular setup.
    don't you think the Meidjo is "light enough ?"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by chamonix View Post
      don't you think the Meidjo is "light enough ?"
      I'm an unabashed weight weenie, no doubt. The Meidjo is awesome, but you can't take full advantage of its awesomeness with such a light boot -- especially a clapped-out, 10 year old race boot -- so I'd be carrying around a couple extra hundred grams for nothing. My DIY TTS weighs 235g on the up, and I really believe I can get it down close to 100g. Stay tuned. I have made some drawings for a removeable duckbutt hook/cable, but that's on the back burner for now.

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      • #4
        Nice job, I thought about that when I saw Pierre G's telemark carbon boot - but I thought it would be way too complicated to add a duckbutt to any boot. I guess you will beat me in getting that ultra-light-removable-cable TTS set-up ready. I have the idea, and I now have the correct tech binding, unfortunately I also have three manuscripts to submit before the end of the year...

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        • #5
          The home brewed innovations of forum members never ceases to amaze me.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chamonix View Post
            Totally cool !
            Totally!..................Totally.

            Edit to add, and if durability a problem, maybe SS T-nuts through the shell (would want t's flush with shell so would change angle of holes in printed piece. Had idly thought something like this to use with f1s in a DIY plate spring binding. Idle < active!
            Last edited by Charley White; 19th November 2018, 11:06 AM.
            nee, Whiteout

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            • #7
              Originally posted by iBjorn View Post
              it would be way too complicated to add a duckbutt to any boot
              You're right, properly locating it on the boot sole was quite the painstaking process. Measure 8 times, drill once. Not an easy fix if you screw it up.



              Originally posted by Charley White View Post
              maybe SS T-nuts through the shell (would want t's flush with shell so would change angle of holes in printed piece)
              One step ahead of ya! And yep, the thru-holes in the duckbutt are molded perpendicular to the boot sole rather than to the duckbutt's outer face.

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              • #8
                Speedyrobert,

                Rad! Totally friggin' RAD!

                ain't no turn like tele!

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                • #9
                  Very awesome! I wish there was some sort of award or prize we could give you! Way to think outside the box and not only that but follow through and build it! Love it.

                  You mention F3 - I don't think I get the F series boots. There is an F3 for sale at my local used shop. It might be half a size too big. But I tried it on and it felt weird in how it flexed (although I didn't have it in a binding). I was tempted to put in my liners and carpet test them in a ski but figured the F3 would be TOO SOFT. Do I have that backwards?

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                  • #10
                    Wow! Excellent!
                    BTW I was told that the F3 was softer than the F1... Now I have a doubt...

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                    • #11
                      Pair a production boot like that with a lightweight version of 22 designs Lynx, (or a reliable Meidjo) and I would do longer tours on teles again.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chamonix View Post
                        Pair a production boot like that with a lightweight version of 22 designs Lynx, (or a reliable Meidjo) and I would do longer tours on teles again.
                        That comment is too cautious and full of conditions to be believed.

                        ain't no turn like tele!

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                        • #13
                          Bolt on duckbutts...

                          ... sounds seriously kinky!

                          Must be a post-leather tele thing...

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                          • #14
                            Bobby,

                            Nice job on the bolt on duck butt! That is some awesome initiative you took there. I was tossing this idea around 3 years ago and discussing it in the comments section of the: Earn Your Turns/ Meidjo Update details for v2.0 article. I was communicating the idea with Johan Yveborg in the comments section after the article. I never pursued the idea for fear of screwing up my only pair of still fairly newer F1's at the time.

                            It looks like you bolted them to the F1 Race? I was going to do the mod to my regular F1's (with the stiffer midsole and Pebax tongue) version. I also thought that I could with heat and maybe some solvent peel back the Vibram outsole and re-glue it to the bolt on duckbutt. I'm glad to see you embedded T-nuts in the boot shell, did you also use any adhesive bonding the DB to the shell?

                            After seeing your execution of this I may have to take you up on a pair of these bolt on DB's. How do you think the plastic you're using on yours now will hold up and is the more robust Professional and or premium plastic going to be that much tougher? Are these plastics all variations (Pebax is a nylon) of nylon?

                            Excellent job on this project! Thanks for posting this.
                            Function in disaster, finish in style.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Allan! I think the plastic will do fine walking on snow, across the parking lot, hanging at the bar, etc. I suspect that an epic hike on loose, jagged rock might not be the best idea. Perhaps jasonq can drop some knowledge re: plastics & finishes.

                              I used my F1 Race because it's my most-trashed boot. Also, if its thin sole can handle the modification, boots with burlier soles should be fine. It doesn't seem to have affected the flex one way or the other. I haven't glued it on, just in case I want to swap it out. Removing the Vibram rubber was pretty easy with a heat gun and utility knife, just gotta be careful you don't cut down into the pebax too. I think putting the Vibram rubber back on would space the duckbutt too high off the binding. I just left room for 1/8" sheet rubber.

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