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Ask DocSk8 (Expert Indoor Skate Building Advice) This forum is different then the other SkateLog forums in that it is not a discussion forum, but rather a place you can ask skate building expert Fred "DocSk8" Benjamin about building and repairing indoor speed, derby, and jamskate quad roller skates. Please start a new thread for each new question.

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Old January 13th, 2015, 10:04 PM   #1
maytoxrok
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Default Quad Speed Boot/plate mounting

Hey Doc! I know you have probably answered this question a MILLION times so I am sorry, if you want to just paste a link for me I totally understand. But my question is how do YOU suggest mounting a plate to a boot for speed skating?
I have read online and finding the center point seems to be the most important part. Is there a good way to do it without the Snyder Marking tool? Do you suggest the 1/4 tow in method? I am a mens size 12 speed skater, I was planing on buying a Proline size 8 plate which should put me slightly over the ball of my boot. I have a size 11 Reactor currently which measures 7.75 and it puts me right under my ball. From what I have read for speed it is best to be slightly forward of the ball. whats your opinion there? And is there a good number how far to mount off the heal of the boot? I will be mounting my wifes and kids boots too so I just want to make sure I get it right! All of our boots are Riedell 695's. Also, just curious what is your opinion on 8mm vs 7mm bearings? Thank you so much sir!!

-Mike M.
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Old January 14th, 2015, 03:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by maytoxrok View Post
Hey Doc! I know you have probably answered this question a MILLION times so I am sorry, if you want to just paste a link for me I totally understand. But my question is how do YOU suggest mounting a plate to a boot for speed skating?

Yeah, I have answered that more than once.... And continually get unnecessary crap from a couple of SkateLog Forum's Doc Sk8 wannabes... I'll be willing to bet you get PMs warning you NOT to do what I do...and then offering you their "expert" services.


I have read online and finding the center point seems to be the most important part. Is there a good way to do it without the Snyder Marking tool?

Understand, the Snyder tool was not designed as the universal panacea for sk8 plate alignment it has become due to laziness and/or ignorance of how sk8s and feet really work together.

I recently acquired a Snyder marking tool. To mark the center of the heel. Works real good for that on conventional shoes. Not so hot for Bonts. Still don't use the center line it produces. Why?? The center line it makes is dependent on 2 main factors.
1) the center of the ball of the sk8rs foot MUST be @ the widest part of the boot... in most cases, it is not.
2) the sk8r actually wants their front axle @ the center of the ball of your foot. That location was deemed the optimum location for art sk8rs.

You know what opinions are like right? Unfortunately, over time, this opinion has become a defacto law among many old school sk8 builders, who teach others it is the only way to go.. Trust me here, it is not.


Do you suggest the 1/4 tow in method?

I have no idea what that might be. Care to expand??

I am a mens size 12 speed skater,

Are you certain?? How did you determine that size?? If that is based on your street shoes, I would venture to say your sk8 boots are going to be too big, which will screw up the plate sizing and location.

I was planing on buying a Proline size 8

Do you mean an 8" wheelbase Pro Line?? If so, you may wish to reconsider. The longest wheelbase I have ever mounted on a 12 is 7.5" I have a customer that runs a 7.25 Snyder Imperial action plate on his 14s, and have built multiple size 12s with 7" wheel base plates for speed, derby or just plain fun.


plate which should put me slightly over the ball of my boot. I have a size 11 Reactor currently which measures 7.75 and it puts me right under my ball.

Any plate can be aligned slightly ahead of the ball of the foot. All depends on where you have the back of the plate.. Of the 2 locations the front is critical, the back not so much.



My size 9 395s with an early short nose Reactor.

From what I have read for speed it is best to be slightly forward of the ball. whats your opinion there?

That is pretty much with what I go with, for everything.

And is there a good number how far to mount off the heal of the boot?

The heel falls where it falls. That is not a player in the alignment equation @ all... Unless you get on a too short plate. Then it becomes interesting..


I will be mounting my wifes and kids boots too so I just want to make sure I get it right! All of our boots are Riedell 695's.

Already bought the boots?? Hmm, I hope the sizing is accurate and not too loose. Speed sk8ing does not like a "street shoe" fit. And if you bough the kids boots with room to grow in, that does not work real well either. When my daughter was competing on inlines I was replacing her shoes twice a year... She was pretty good @ it so she got good stuff, that fit right. Paid off too.. She went to Nationals every year she raced.


Also, just curious what is your opinion on 8mm vs 7mm bearings?

These days, the only difference between 7 and 8mm sk8 bearings is the size of the holes. Some folks think the bigger hole in the 8mm bearing lets the inner race flex more...IDK. I prefer the 167 / 688 size micro bearings myself and these have absolutely the thinnest walls of any sk8 bearing. Can't tell any difference.

Thank you so much sir!!

-Mike M.

Have fun..
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Old January 14th, 2015, 10:09 PM   #3
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Hey again! Let me start by saying THANK YOU for replying to my questions and helping me out with advise. It's so hard to find someone willing to give their time and help other people so for that you are awesome! Anywho, so far I haven't got any personal message from anyone lol. I wouldn't send my stuff to them anyway, I am just one of those guys that has to do everything myself. I just love learning stuff and I am great with details.
so, about the centering, is there a way to get the center of the heal without a Snyder marking tool? Also, how do I measure the center of the ball of the foot at the wides part of the boot? I'm sure what I am asking you is like asking a magician how he does his tricks lol. But rest assure I am only doing this on my own states and my families. I am great with my hands and a drill is like me right hand, I just need to know how to get my measurements and I'll be set!
About the "1/4 inch tow in method" I seen it on a yourtube video for mounting plates. They said to make your center line with the Snyder tool then measure 1/4 inch in (toward the inside of the boots) and draw your line from it and your heal center.
I don't need any special mount specs really just a good standard way to do it ya know?
And about my plate measurement, I am sorry but I gave you a wrong number. I am a mens 12 boot. I currently have black 695's in mens 12 and have skated that size since I was about 14. I am just currently in the process of ordering new Custom lab 695's from Riedell. My current plate is a Reactor size 11, which is just under 7.5 inches. So I believe I will go with a 7.5 Proline for the new boots. The boot I am buying is going to run me about $599 so when I drill holes I just want to know that I am only drilling once!! In fact it will be very hard to drill in these boots even when I know it's marked perfect lol!
Again thank you for all your help! I am good friends with the owner of my local rink and I believe they might have a Snyder tool I can use for the centering of the heel but honestly if there is a way I can measure it all myself from home I would prefer that! Center of the ball of the heal from the widest part and all.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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Hey again! Let me start by saying THANK YOU for replying to my questions and helping me out with advise. It's so hard to find someone willing to give their time and help other people so for that you are awesome! Anywho, so far I haven't got any personal message from anyone lol. I wouldn't send my stuff to them anyway, I am just one of those guys that has to do everything myself. I just love learning stuff and I am great with details.

Sounds familiar. That is how I got started in this.

so, about the centering, is there a way to get the center of the heal without a Snyder marking tool?

It can be done visually, but it's an acquired skill. You know, practice.

Also, how do I measure the center of the ball of the foot at the wides part of the boot?

Finding the location of the center of the ball of the foot is not a measuring exercise. It's feel. Once you feel the location you can mark it on the edge of the sole. Again, it's an acquired skill.

I'm sure what I am asking you is like asking a magician how he does his tricks lol. But rest assure I am only doing this on my own states and my families. I am great with my hands and a drill is like me right hand, I just need to know how to get my measurements and I'll be set!

Be that as it may, you may not have that intent but you are not the only one reading this post, are you?? Besides, I have pretty much scattered everything I do over the forum. It's there, you just need to put the effort into finding it.

About the "1/4 inch tow in method" I seen it on a yourtube video for mounting plates. They said to make your center line with the Snyder tool then measure 1/4 inch in (toward the inside of the boots) and draw your line from it and your heal center.

Really, measure 1/4 inch in from the Snyder line?? Measure from where?? Sounds like a complicated geometry problem. On top of that, the Snyder line is based on assumptions that are less than correct in most cases. So measuring in 1/4" from a line in the wrong place sounds like a a recipe for more incorrect alignment. On top of that is 1/4" universal for all shoe sizes?? I would think not.


I don't need any special mount specs really just a good standard way to do it ya know?
And about my plate measurement, I am sorry but I gave you a wrong number. I am a mens 12 boot. I currently have black 695's in mens 12 and have skated that size since I was about 14. I am just currently in the process of ordering new Custom lab 695's from Riedell. My current plate is a Reactor size 11, which is just under 7.5 inches. So I believe I will go with a 7.5 Proline for the new boots. The boot I am buying is going to run me about $599 so when I drill holes I just want to know that I am only drilling once!!

I understand your concern... But I have soles that have 16-20 holes from various plates being mounted. That is not an issue unless you use conventional mounting hardware.


This gives me a thought. (rare as those are!!) Get some old boots and practice.. That's what I did. and while you are at it, do a search for Tee nuts.

In fact it will be very hard to drill in these boots even when I know it's marked perfect lol!

That's why you have someone that knows what they are doing do it.

Again thank you for all your help! I am good friends with the owner of my local rink and I believe they might have a Snyder tool I can use for the centering of the heel but honestly if there is a way I can measure it all myself from home I would prefer that! Center of the ball of the heal from the widest part and all.
There is, but like I said, you will need to find the answers. BTW I ignore the center of the ball of the heel. That is NOT where you want the plate to be.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 11:04 PM   #5
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Okay Doc, I am officially LOST after reading TONS of threads! haha! I feel like I've officially went insane. who's right and who's wrong, its CRAZY!!! lol. I am now more than willing to consider having it done professionally. I sent you an email too, just wanted to follow up on the forum. Hope you hear back from ya on the email. Thanks again!
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Old January 17th, 2015, 12:06 AM   #6
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Default Email answered.

Use the digits provided earlier.
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