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 Post subject: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:24 pm 
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I’m a newb to splitting and have logged only 5 days on my split so far. That is mainly due to the process of slowly acquiring all the gear and knowledge. With that I should say I’ve been snowboarding for over 20 years and would describe my snowboard self as a washed-up-getting-older-powdog-big-air-chucker who’s had some knee surgeries and it’s getting painful dealing with the afternoon chop on any given powder day at the ski hill :cry: . On the 5 days on my split, I rode amazing terrain, launched a few good drops, never crossed a track, got a ton of exercise, and my knees felt like a million dollars at the end of the day. :headbang: So I was hooked…only problem is that I didn’t do my homework and as a 1st board bought an old used Burton with the obsolete Burton interface. The board itself is mint and I doubt it had been used more than 5 times before I got it. I made the interface work but did not find it particularly easy to use and found it very time consuming and annoying to get out my little spatula and clean out every last bit of snow from the moving parts. One day one of my plates did freeze up so that I couldn’t open the clamp enough to easily secure the binding and it was a challenge. I realized that eventually I was going to be stranded because of this and didn’t like always having the slight anxiety about getting the bindings on at the top. While all the other guys were eating, drinking, etc. I was fussing away trying to get my transition going. I ended up opting out of a really good hut trip this year because I didn’t have the confidence in the Burton interface and that felt bad enough that I knew the Burton Interface had to go!!! :banghead:

Being a mechanical engineer I was really into the elegant simplicity of the Spark bindings and decided that was for sure the way to go…but the cost was pretty high so I wanted to keep my board and do the conversion. On Amazon you can find Bent Metal Restraints from 07/08 for like $59 so I went with those and just bought the baseplates and crampons from Spark R&D.

What I ended up doing is not really any different from what others have done but I figured I’d add to the body of knowledge by documenting it so that others can keep those old Burtons out of the landfill and up in the pow staches where the late Mr. Kelly would have wanted them. :bow:

So as has been pointed out in a couple of threads on here, you can use the Voile Universal pucks however you’re quite limited in stance options. I lucked out here as I actually do ride a 21” stance with only slight angles both front and rear. Here is a shot of my Split 66 next to my Custom 66. This stance ends up being almost exactly 21” wide and is about 3-1/4” back of the tip-to-tip center point. This is close to where I had it with the Burton interface and I liked it.
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21” stance, 13º front, -3º rear about 3” back of the tip-to-tip center

Here are some shots of the Voile universal pucks: First the rear is pretty standard. I think it’s about -3 degrees to get a tiny bit of duck foot. I find this relieves the inside rear knee strain when you land harder than you anticipated you were going to.
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Rear Universal Plates layout

The front took a little more creativity but this is without any drilling of the plates. So this gives about 13 degrees on the front foot and notice that the single vs. double row plates are used differently than the rear foot. This is a little different than I’ve seen on other posts. It amazed me that this worked because not only do the plates have to be aligned, but the distance from the toe-to-heel edge of the pucks has to be 7-5/8” to locate the binding so that the pin locks it in place.

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Front Universal Plates layout

I actually was going to machine some Delrin pucks to get a custom stance and I still might as I’ve bought the material already and as shown, if you like a 21” stance you can actually get 4 inserts per puck (4 in each half) and have pucks that run the entire length of the binding. I would think that would increase the torsional stiffness which is always good. That part is still to come after I log some spring days on this and see how it feels. BTW: I’ve made a parametric model of this in my CAD package so if anyone wants drawings of the pucks they’d need to machine to get a particular stance that they want just ask. I can just change the stance in the assembly and the drawings make themselves.

Image

Ok so now on to the touring setup. I have read some posts on here and seen that this has been done before in different ways. Some people drill their boards, others use heli-screws, others make adapter plates, or some combination of the above. I went for an adapter plate way. This was because the base of my board, despite old, is still mint and I just didn’t want to compromise the board at all if possible. I went with ¼” Delrin as the material as the directions of loading that I’m anticipating suggest to me that it is strong enough. Please note though: I didn’t do any detailed calculations and I will have to guinea-pig these and report back. That should likely be after this weekend. I wanted to get the spacing right so that the Spark Mr. Chomps crampons would work and to try and keep the toe pivot point in touring mode close to where it was with the Burton Interface. Here is the model I made showing how it worked out for me:

Image

The adapter plates are nothing special. I have access to an old haggard drillpress-mill so simplicity was all I was after. Basically each of these parts is just a rectangular piece of Delrin with appropriately drilled and countersunk holes to secure the adapter plate to the board using the stock Burton inserts. I went with 6mm t-nuts to secure the Voile brackets to the adapter plates so the adapter plates are slotted on the bottom for the t-nuts.. I cut the toe pieces to shape on a band saw after drilling all the holes while it was still a rectangle and might still clean them up removing excess material with a Dremel. Here is a picture of the toe piece adapter plate with Voile bracket.

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Front touring bracket with adapter plate.

These really were a labour of love for me in terms of fasteners as I had to cut each screw and t-nut. What a pain that was and only because metric stuff is harder to source. I went to McMaster.com and found some 6mm weld-in slab t-nuts (part # 90594A330) These t-nuts are a bit too long so they all needed to be cut. If you can source 6 mm flathead screws in 10mm length you won’t have to cut them. As I am in Canada, the only ones McMaster had in 10mm length were going to cost me some 170% anti-dumping duty so I just cut down 14mm ones with a hacksaw.

Here is a drawing of this part in case anyone is interested in not having to measure it all up for themselves.

Image

The heel adapter is even more simple. I’m just leaving it rectangular as the surface provides a nice place to support the climbing bar when the crampon is contacting it. This seems kind of flimsy, but when you look at the direction of loading on the climbing bar (when it is up) the adapter plate gets almost pure tension and the moment bends the plate down onto the board so my judgment tells me it will be fine, but again, I’ll report back after I comfirm this.

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Close up of heel adapter plate with Voile heel bracket

Here is the drawing I made of this very simple part.

Image

This spacing works well with the crampons.

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Crampon Spacing - Top

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Crampon Spacing and Bite - Side

I guess a disadvantage to this method is that the touring brackets sit ¼” above the board and so you don’t get as much bite from the crampons but as shown there is still quite a bit of engagement.

Image
Sparks with Restraints Mounted and Ready.

Also these plates add a bit of weight when compared to just drilling your board. I weighed my board with the Burton Interface and pair of Missions and it was 14.8 lbs. With these adapter plates, the Voile setup, and the Spark/Restraints the final weigh in was 13.6 lbs so not a huge weight savings, but still 1.2 lbs isn’t bad. I like the fact that my base is still perfectly clean :D but to each their own.


The one good thing about the old Burton Interface was that is used mechanical leverage to clamp the board halves together. I’m really curious to see how the ride will change without this effect. I rode this board on some hardpack a couple days (with the Burton Interface) as we were accessing the backcountry from a ski hill and I was pretty impressed with how well it held an edge. Along these lines, as I was cleaning up this project I took a look at my old Burton Missions and had a bit of a mindspark on another simple low-weight mod to maybe address that lack of clamping force. This is still in the design stage but check it out nonetheless. Here is the buckle removed from the binding high back and with a slotted t-nut (I think M5) that came with the Bent Metal Restraints.

Image
Burton Mission high back buckle

The old Burton boards use these Chinese hooks with protruding nuts on top. This got me wondering…

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Burton Chinese Clamps with Mission highback buckle

The highback buckle is actually narrow enough to fit between the nuts on the Chinese hooks. It would be pretty easy to just get some longer screws and to make some tiny adapter plates to allow the buckles to be used to really cinch the board halves together.

Here is my idea: You thread the t-nut onto the threaded rod on the buckle to the correct orientation and depth and then epoxy or JB Weld it so it’s permanent and cut the remainder of the threaded rod off. The buckles come off when in touring mode and you just keep them in your pocket. When you’re putting the board halves back together you just slide the t-nut into the slot on the one adapter plate and clamp them together. You can generate a lot of force with these.

Image

So these little adapter plates would just sit on top of the existing Chinese hooks and use the same nuts but with slightly longer bolts.This design will require getting the distance between the inboard end of the t-nut slot and the outboard end of the other clamp "just right" and so my plan is to design it a tad long and then make that final cut of the slot in very small increments to make sure there is good clamping force. More to come there and I'm not sure just when.

I find these types of projects fun, and as a grad student writing my thesis, it’s a great way to procrastinate which is a necessary part of the process involved with keeping one’s sanity. Happy splitting everyone and I will update this thread after I test these out and/or improve any designs.

Also, if anyone wants these drawings in a pdf format with better resolution just send me your email address.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am
Posts: 2388
Location: California
Damn, nice second post. Exactly what splitboarding needs--more shredding mechanical engineers. Now let's see some pow stoke.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:08 pm
Posts: 378
Location: near munich
perfect docomenntation of your work :thumpsup:

you love your old board ..... years ago i make this change some time old burton to voile ....
so much work
to day i think dont ride a dead horse ...

on your last picture ( 2 blocks) are a good ideea ... take a pin a cross the 2 block s for center and hold


burton

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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:58 am
Posts: 9
Ecobrad wrote:
Damn, nice second post. Exactly what splitboarding needs--more shredding mechanical engineers. Now let's see some pow stoke.


Thanks bro. I don't have too many photos of the pow stoke yet...lots of photos of the skin up, hanging out up top, but then we typically just bomb the goods without stopping for photos. After reading some of the amazing trip reports though I'm thinking that's going to have to change.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:58 am
Posts: 9
burton wrote:
perfect docomenntation of your work :thumpsup:

you love your old board ..... years ago i make this change some time old burton to voile ....
so much work
to day i think dont ride a dead horse ...

on your last picture ( 2 blocks) are a good ideea ... take a pin a cross the 2 block s for center and hold


burton


Thanks for the feedback, yeah you're right, adding a locating pin would be an improvement. I'm going to add that for sure as it is also easy.

It's not so much that I love "that" board, it's just that my recent uptake of splitting has brought me back to a level of stoke on snowboarding that I haven't had since I rode 150 days/year 10-13 years ago. The board (...the dead horse?) while old, is in really good shape. As a newb to splitting I am still "needing" a ton of gear which is all expensive. Maybe once I'm set up gearwise I'll start looking around for a modern pow-tapered split, but in the mean time I'm going to shred some rad on the old burton.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:57 pm
Posts: 7
I like the idea with the clamp from the highback but I don't think it would do a whole lot in that location. Those yin yang hooks do a pretty good job holding the halves together, much better than voiles chinese hooks. Ill bet if you did the same thing but placed between the bindings it would add a good deal of rigidity where its needed. It would mean drilling in to the board but it would probably accomplish much more.


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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:08 pm
Posts: 378
Location: near munich
i think your ideaas are very good - i mean with ded hours - your energie is better on a new board .
BUT THE OLD BURTON IS A CLASSI A AND SOME TIM I LOOK FOR IT IN ORGINAL CONDITION FOR MY HALL OF FAME
i wait for the next pictures of your modifikation splitblock :thumpsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:00 pm
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Location: Portlandia, Orygun...
Nice!!! Looks like you spent way more time doing the conversion than I did, but then again, I am just a HVAC Tech who likes to drink beer while drilling holes in snowboards!! :bananas:

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 Post subject: Re: Another Old Burton Interface to Spark-Voile Conversion
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:19 pm 
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Posts: 9
Otto wrote:
Nice!!! Looks like you spent way more time doing the conversion than I did, but then again, I am just a HVAC Tech who likes to drink beer while drilling holes in snowboards!! :bananas:


Thanks glad you like, I'm a CAD monkey at heart so this stuff is 2nd nature and come to think of it drained a few while doing this. :guinness: It was about 5 hours measuring with calipers and just making a model , then it took about 6 hours probably in the shop.

It's a pretty standard engineer move to get so hung up on one detail, i.e. like not wanting to drill the base, that great masses of time and money are spent doing it the hard way. I still think it was worth it but will never do it again if that makes sense.

I've been out on it twice since the conversion and it works like a hot damn :thumbsup: I'm still pretty slow at transitions but am looking forward to getting lots more practice. :D


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