Simoni Skate Shop

By: Simoni  09-12-2011
Keywords: Leather

Boot Care:

When you purchase new boots, the leather may be very stiff and they may hurt your feet because of a pressure point where the boot has not taken the shape of your foot yet.  This can also happen when purchasing used boots.  The pressure point can be eased using a tool that applies pressure to the problem area from inside the boot, slightly stretching the leather and relieving pressure on your foot.  This process does not damage a new boot.

From time to time you may tear a hook or eyelet from your boot.  In most cases these can be replaced with a hook or eyelet of the same size. Occasionally they must be replaced with a slightly larger one because the original hole has become elongated or torn.

Taking care of your boots includes cleaning them when you are finished skating.  Removing your skates and place them in your skate bag, with little more than a finger wipe to remove snow and ice, will cause your blades to sweat in the relative warmth of your skate bag.  This moisture is absorbed into the leather.  Eventually, this will cause the leather to crack and rot particularly around the screws that hold on the blade.

In most cases, this damage can be repaired by removing the cracked or rotted area of the boot sole, properly preparing and filling the hole, then remounting the blade.

Tip!   -  If at all possible, before putting your skates in your skate bag, warm the blades by running warm water over them until they no longer feel cold to the touch. This will reduce the condensation or "sweating " that causes leather rot.  When arriving home, take the skates out of the bag to air dry.  (I did it for years, and I rarely had to have a screw hole plugged. (Al Simoni))

Most good boots are made from leather, so is the sole, and the boot is attached to the sole using nails and glue.  When finished a skating session, if the moisture on the boots and blades is not properly wiped off and not left to dry in the open air, the boot leather may rot causing some very serious safety and functionality issues with them.  Below are a couple of shots of very serious boot damage due to, for the most part, not properly wiping off moisture and not leaving the skates to dry in the open air.

In this picture we see that the leather has separated from the sole of the boot and the area around the nails that hold the boot in position on the sole and also assist in holding the boot to the sole, is rotted.  This process starts when the skates are not properly dried after a skating session.  It should also be noted that glue is also used to assist in holding the boot to the sole.

During and after a skating session w ater starts to seep into area between the sole and the boot by means of capillary action.  Using a chamois or terry cloth, or any highly absorbent material will help draw the excess moisture away from the boot, sole and the seam between the two.

When drying your boots pay particular attention to the seam between the sole and boot. Having the sole of the boot sealed when they are new with a product like Sno-Seal helps to prevent this kind of damage but is not meant to eliminate the need for properly drying them when finished a skating session.

Occasionally Sno-Seal may be re-applied to assist in keeping moisture between the boot and sole but only after the boot and sole are completely dry.  Re-applying Sno-Seal to a wet boot and sole will seal in the moisture causing this kind of damage to occur very rapidly.

This type of damage is very difficult, if not, in some cases, impossible to economically repair or be 100% reliable after the repair has been made.  This type of damage, as you can imagine, also creates a severe safety concern for the skater.

NOTE:  Although Simoni Skate Shop has repaired skates in this condition, we assume no responsibility and provide no guarantee for either the skates reliability or the skater's safety once repair has been made to skates with this type of damage.

Blade care

Blade sharpening is a cross between an exacting science and an art.  Putting a good edge back on a blade by machine grinding the hollow or radius is only the first step in achieving a superior sharpening.  After grinding the hollow, each blade at Simoni Skate Shop is hand dressed to de-burr the outer edge of the blade and polish the cut surface and edges to ensure that you achieve maximum flow and even edge grip over the length of the blade.  Providing this superior level of sharpening can only be achieved by sharpening and finishing the blade by hand.

Note: All skates sharpened at Simoni Skate Shop are ground by Allen Simoni on the Fleming Gray(tm) FG-5grinding machine seen below.

The Fleming Gray (tm ) FG-5

After the blades are ground, they are dressed, by hand, using a variety of stones, buffers, and compounds
to ensure that the skater experiences maximum flow and even edge grip over the length of the blade.

You may require a rocker other than that which is provided by stock blades.  If that is the case, we can discuss the modifications that need to be made and make gradual changes until you get the "feel" that you like.

"I just got these skates and they don't feel right"  -  It's possible that your blades require a mounting adjustment.

If you just purchased new skates that don't feel quite right and you suspect that the blade may be mounted incorrectly you should return them to dealer from which you purchased them and have them make the correction for you.  If, for any reason, it's not possible to take them back to the original dealer, or if they are used skates, Simoni Skate Shop can make the necessary adjustments for you.  If you have any special concerns regarding blade mounting I can arrange to meet you at one of the local arenas in the Hamilton area to asses your issue and determine what must be done to correct any mounting issue you may have.  Please call me at (905) 388-2944.

Damage can occur to any blade for a number of reasons.  If you find that one or both of your blades has been bent, the damage can be assessed.  In almost all cases it is possible to straighten a bent blade.

If you skate, your blades will get nicked and gouged from time to time.  Most of this type of damage can be repaired with one sharpening.  However, in extreme cases to remove serious edge damage with one sharpening drastically reduces the life of the blade because of the amount of material that must be removed from the blade.  That costs you money!  Where extreme damage has occurred it is possible, by properly dressing the blade after sharpening, to "minimize" the effects of the damage without removing the damage completley.  The damage would therefore be corrected over a number of sharpenings and the life of the blade would be retained.

Tip!   -  Never store your skates with the guards on the blades.  Doing so causes moisture to rest between the steel blade and the guard which causes the blade to rust.  Store the skates with blade covers made with a soft, moisture absorbent material or with nothing on the blades at all.  Doing so will help to ensure that the blades dry rust free.  Also, if possible, when you are finished a skating session, warm the blades under warm water before wiping them off.  Doing so will drastically reduce condensation and the possibility of rust developing on the blades.

Note: *

All skates sharpened at Simoni Skate Shop are ground by Allen Simoni on a Fleming Gray(tm) FG-5grinding machine.  After the blades are ground they are dressed by hand to ensure that the skater experiences maximum flow and even edge grip over the length of the blade.

Thank you, Allen Simoni

Bite Angle vs Radius of Hollow

Bite angle vs radius of hollow?  What does all that mean?  Simply put, bite angle determines how sharp your blades feel.  The greater the bite angle, the more "bite", or the sharper the blade feels.  The bite angle is determined partially by the radius of the hollow on the stone used to sharpen the blade.  The radius of the stone may be dressed from ⅜" up to ¾" for practical purposes.  The radius of the stone is not the only factor in how sharp the blade feels.  The width of the blade also plays an important part of how sharp the blade feels because it directly affects the bite angle of the blade.  The "Bite Angle" is the primary factor in how sharp the blades feel, NOT the radius of the hollow!  The radius of hollow is adjusted to achieve a specific bite angle.


Some blades, like the for example, which are wider at the toe pick than they are at the heel provide a greater bite angle towards the front of the blade and less towards the rear.  Some skaters prefer a little more "bite" towards the front of the blade than they do towards the rear for various reasons.  For those skaters, a blade like the

Note: The blade is made in the United Kingdom by

Simoni Skate Shop is now offering cryogenic treatment for figure skate and hockey skate blades.  This process can increase the length of time between sharpenings by up to 75%.  Cryogenically treating blades provide many benefits.  They are:

  • Stress relief
  • Change in density
  • Increased durability
  • Dimensional stabilization
  • Improved wear resistance and tensile strength
  • Closes grain structure of ferrous metals
  • Increases lubricity and part stabilization
  • Controls wear by producing a tough surface

Blades that have been cryogenically treated have a more smooth finish once they have been sharpened than those that have not been treated.  This creates better flow for the skater.  This process causes absolutely no discolouration of the blades.  The only way one can tell that a blade has been cryogenically treated is by the increased time between necessary sharpenings and the fact that they flow better.

In short, what this all means to the skater is a blade that will hold a sharpening longer, last longer and flows better.

This process is very time consuming and is only performed over a weekend.  The blades must be off of the boots to cryogenically treat them.  Skaters wishing their blades to be cryo-treated must have their skates to Simoni Skate Shop no later than 4:00 p.m. on a given Thursday, and will not be completed for pickup until the following Tuesday.  The ideal time to have blades cryo-treated is when they are new, before the blades have been mounted to the boots.

If you are planning to have your blades cryo-treated please contact us early in the week so that your blades can be put into the production schedule for the weekend.

Information on scheduling blade treatment can by made by contacting us at or by contacting Allen Simoni by phone.
The charge for cryogenic blade tempering is $40.00 per pair for blades (new or used) going on new boots.  There is an additional $35 charge for remounting blades after cryo-treatment if the boots and blades were previously assembled.

The Payback!

A conservative view on the payback of this process is as follows assuming only a 50% increase in time between sharpenings!

Blades being mounted on new boots:

Cryo-treatment = $40
Sharpening = $10 per sharpening
Savings between sharpening: $5
Payback = $5 x 8 sharpenings = $40
Cryo-treatment paid for in 8 sharpenings!

Blades being remounted mounted on previously assembled boots:

Cryo-treatment = $40
Remount blades on previously assembled boots $35
Total = $75
Sharpening = $10
Savings between sharpening: $5
Payback = $5 x 15 sharpenings = $75
Cryo-treatment paid for in 15 sharpenings!

The Gains!

Once the cryo-treatment is paid for you gain %50 more time between sharpenings!  That's like saving $5 per sharpening.  Also, since the blades are being sharpened less frequently, and less material is being removed per sharpening, the blades last longer.

NOTE: These calculations are very conservative.  More typical increases between sharpenings is in the 65% range.

Inquiries regarding any of the services provided by
Simoni Skate Shop can be made by contacting:
Allen Simoni
(905) 388-2944

The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Leather

Contact Simoni

Email - none provided

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