There are three basic types of ice skates: hockey skates, figure skates, and speed skates.
Ice skates are constructed of leather, nylon, plastic, steel, and various other synthetic materials
Knit nylon and molded plastic are commonly used for hockey and speed skates.
The leather and nylon are specially treated for water-resistance.
Blades are generally made of tempered steel and coated with a high-quality chrome, though some blade manufacturers may add titanium to the metal.
4 The boot is shaped by placing it on a last, which is a plastic foot form corresponding to a particular shoe size and width.
First an insole is tacked onto the last.
Then the boot is pulled tight, by hand, over the bottom of the last.
A worker then makes sure that all wrinkles are eliminated, working from the arch to the heel then from the arch to the toe.
Tacks or cement adhere the arch, heel, and toe to the insole.
The boot, still stretched over the last, is placed into a drying chamber.
Heat is applied to set the boot to the length and width of the last.
The boot is placed upside down on a peg under an electric grinder to remove the leather finish from the boot bottom.
The grinding process causes a crevice to form across the middle of the boot bottom where the foot's natural arch occurs.
This crevice is packed with a synthetic filler and an 18-gauge spring-steel arch support shank.
A leather or rubber sole is then attached to the boot with a urethane base cement.
The heel (where applicable) is constructed by gluing square stacks of leather or water-repellent fiberboard on top of each other.
The heel is glued onto the boot and then six to ten long nails are driven through the heel, outsole, and insole.
Finally, the heel is trimmed and smoothed.
The sole and heel plates of the blade are lined up with the sole and heel area of the boot bottom.
A worker then screws the blade onto the boot using a high-speed drill on a foot-powered press.
Only a few of the screws are inserted into the boot; the remainder are packaged with the ice skates. This allows the skater to adjust the blade as necessary before the remaining screws are inserted and tightened.
However, the blades of skates fitted with rubber soles are permanently attached with rivets.
The completed skate is hand-polished and sprayed with a solution to make it shine. Laces are threaded through the eyelets.
The skates are then boxed for shipping.
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