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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 00:01 
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Would a thin defensive balsa blade be appropriate for hardbat or are other wood compositions preferred? Thanks!

Joe

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 05:00 
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Hi gaijinjoe!

I played with a Donic Cayman Balsa quite a bit, and I used Friendship 799 SP OX on it for a while and did not like the feel of the blade for OX rubbers. The Donic Cayman is an ALL+ blade, so it did not give me the control that my other blades did for the OX rubber. I then tried the OX on a Gambler Kevlar DEF blade, at this was much better, with a softer feel and able to generate more spin and control.

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 09:52 
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Sir, thanks! I have a Gambler KV and a Toxic 3 as well as my current TSP Black Balsa 3.0. I haven't seen other posts of people using balsa for hardbat so I thought I'd ask before trying it out.

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2013, 14:31 
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gaijinjoe wrote:
Would a thin defensive balsa blade be appropriate for hardbat or are other wood compositions preferred? Thanks!

Joe


Blade choice in hardbat is very personal. I know people who use very thick and fast one-ply blades. I tend to prefer using slower defensive blades. And a little known custom knifemaker, Tim Wright, makes his own balsa core blades that I know are appreciated by himself and a few others. I'm pretty sure that Jeff Johnston (U.S. hardbat player) plays with balsa blades.

My general suggestion is that you start with a five-ply all-play blade - oversized if you intend to chop. Play with it a while and go from there.

The classic American hardbat blades are well represented by the five ply and three ply Hock blades. The first is simply five equal layers of Basswood. So basically it is a larger than normal all play. The three ply is a custom made veneer that is slower and has some flex to it. It has a very good reputation for chopping. Hock never made anything much faster as far as I know. So for the classic playing style these two blades covered the range of what was commonly used. Of course, that's not to say that you might prefer something faster. Like I said, I know a very good player who prefers a fast, thick, one-ply.

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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2013, 09:46 
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wturber wrote:
I'm pretty sure that Jeff Johnston (U.S. hardbat player) plays with balsa blades.

Do you know what blade he uses?

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PostPosted: 03 Aug 2014, 18:09 
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Anyone know what the old McCrossen blades were made of? My guess is they were similar to Hock's blades, but you never know. Can't say I've ever seen one come up for sale on ebay.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2015, 00:42 
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Hi Iskandar,

The MacCrossen blafdes, made by John Pershing and Ed MacCrossen in Milwaukee from about the late 1930s to the early 1950s, are indeed quite rare. They are highly prized, but unlike the Hock blades, the 3-ply blades were prone to warpage.

As best I remember, the MacCrossen brothers' blades were basically 3-ply, the inner ply being probably basswood, the outer plys being birch, mahogany, spruce, ash, and possibly poplar for their less expensive blades. Some of their pre-World War II blades which were 9- and 11-ply respectively, are extremely rare and quite valuable. The MacCrossens glued each indivual veneer of birch with hide glue, making an extremely fast, resilient, compact headed, and fairly light blade (about 85-90 grams), A shortage of wood after World War II, plus possibly their price ($6.00 per blade), resulted in their being discontinued.

The 1940s MacCrossens came in, again as best as I remember, four models: the Barna, the Holzrichter, after the American player Bill Holzrichter, the Chief, and the Ace. Steve Berger, the 2000 National Hardbat Singles Champion, played for a while with a MacCrossen that may have been made for the American champion Leah Neuberger.


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2015, 02:21 
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Is this Berdnt from Usenet? Welcome!

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2015, 05:10 
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The question is similar to "would hard or soft sponge work under an inverted top sheet ?".

The answer is both hard and soft sponge work for different people depending on your techniques.

With hardbat having no sponge the racket itself "kind of" performs the function of the sponge, so the answer is yes, a thin balsa blade will work for some people depending on their techniques.

Probably not the definitive answer you were looking for.

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