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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2018, 19:03 
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I think it is the tickness + harness of the mahogany + the fiberglass that gives the power.
I am building now a second version of it, with this recipe:

meranti 0.55mm
fiberglass 120 gsm
endgrain balsa
fiberglass 120 gsm
meranti 0.55mm

and it is softer and springier/bouncier in the same time.
Without handles it weighs ~46 grams and the tickness is ~6.1mm.

Here is how it looks without handle:
Attachment:
IMG_20181029_224347.jpg
IMG_20181029_224347.jpg [ 994.03 KiB | Viewed 257 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_20181029_224420.jpg
IMG_20181029_224420.jpg [ 315.18 KiB | Viewed 257 times ]


And here is the endgrain core with covered with fiberglass during lamination:
Attachment:
IMG_20181028_232906.jpg
IMG_20181028_232906.jpg [ 734.39 KiB | Viewed 257 times ]


Anyone of you used meranti before as an outer veneer?
According to https://www.wood-database.com/white-meranti/ it has a Janka hardness of 4670N and 10,24 Gpa for the elastic modulus which is not far from mahoganny, which I used for the first blade built and also seen here in some other builds.


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2018, 23:35 
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I have question for you guys, which in fact it is a design quest.
I need to make a blade and I am not sure if the design I have tought about is ok.

I have a colleague that uses a cheap bat, that type that costs ~7USD (blade+rubbers) and can be bought from every shopping malls.
As I identified this is an all basswood, 5 layer. Top veneers are 0.8mm, the core is made from tree somewhat identical layers 1.x mm. I say 1.x because there layers vary a bit, do not look uniformous. Total tickness is 5.4mm. Rubbers are somewhat grippy with 1.2mm sponge. Total blade weight is around 150-160 grams.

And he wants some new blade. He played with my first blade (mahogany-fiberglass-balsa) and he does not like it.
He does not like the speed of the blade and does not like the feedback/clicksound generated by the fiberglass.

As regarding his playing style, he likes to use the force and he plays in a defensive style. He has some years of experience and played in a few tournaments when he was in highschool. He can do all the hits technically correct and he has the habbit of serving the ball totally different from hit to hit in order to create deception and finally he likes to make a final unexpected powerfull hit, that is not intercepted by the oponent. I big hard smash.

The problem he has with his blade is the final smash. He can use it properly for the first serve since however he hits he can keep the ball on the table due to the dampening of the basswood and thin rubbers. But for that final smash he wants more power. Basically when he hits hard he wants the ball to go, but otherwise to be able to keep the ball on the table without controlling himself too much. Also he is used to play with something soft(ish).

So I tought of a design like this for him:

lime (the european version of basswood) 0.6 mm
lime 0.6mm at 90 degrees
balsa 4mm
lime 0.6mm at 90 degrees
lime 0.6 mm

Glue will be epoxy. The blade should end up at 6.5mm.
The lime layers and the balsa at slow speed should be able to dampen the force put on the ball, stay controlable and be soft.
At high impact the spring effect of balsa and the tickness of the blade should provide the power for the smash trick he does.
The lime is 2 layered at 90 degress because I want to enlarge the sweet spot.

But ... is my logic OK for this design case?
I only built 4 blades (2 are even unfinalized) till now, so I may be wrong.
Should I consider switching one of the Lime layers with Limba/Koto/Anegre/Cherrywood? Thinner/ticker core? Maybe a layered balsa core? Maybe a thinner ayous core?

On the other hand I have some 4mm Lime veneer which feels very spongy but elastic/bouncy in the same time. Maybe that can be a starting point for something.


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 01:30 
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Meranti? Have a look at the Yinhe N11 - that uses meranti as the face plies. This was my favorite blade up to maybe a year and a half ago (can't remember exactly when I switched) - I had (have) three of them. They all weighed around 79-80 grams and had great feel for looping. Not sure if you can get the old N11 anymore, the new N11s seems to be the same blade, but the faces aren't as mirror-smooth and they seem a little heavier. The old N11 was tactile heaven when you removed the cellophane wrapper, it was mirror smooth (Yinhe has build quality second to no one). It's a $10-11 blade, so you don't have to think too much before buying one. The 896 is the exact same blade with different face wood (I don't remember which) but the N11 was so much nicer in terms of feel.

Meranti is a south east asian wood, also known as lauan, and often used as door skins in the US. Lots of cheap meranti plywood available, but no veneers as far as I've seen. Where do you get your veneers from?

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 01:46 
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adyy wrote:
I have a colleague that uses a cheap bat, that type that costs ~7USD (blade+rubbers) and can be bought from every shopping malls.
As I identified this is an all basswood, 5 layer. Top veneers are 0.8mm, the core is made from tree somewhat identical layers 1.x mm. I say 1.x because there layers vary a bit, do not look uniformous. Total tickness is 5.4mm. Rubbers are somewhat grippy with 1.2mm sponge. Total blade weight is around 150-160 grams.

And he wants some new blade. He played with my first blade (mahogany-fiberglass-balsa) and he does not like it.
He does not like the speed of the blade and does not like the feedback/clicksound generated by the fiberglass.


Umm... tell him to order one of these: :lol:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SANWEI- ... 74001.html

adyy wrote:
On the other hand I have some 4mm Lime veneer which feels very spongy but elastic/bouncy in the same time. Maybe that can be a starting point for something.


Again.. where are you getting your veneers? When I was living in the US I actually found a company selling veneers in town - actually, they were at the EDGE of town.. and they sold stuff in industrial quantities. I wanted a few sheets of anigre, but what I ended up with was an armful of walnut and maple for free from their trash bin! All their veneer was a standard thickness (I forget what it was - somewhere between 1/32" and 1/16"), so I wonder where people are getting 0.2mm veneers. What I mostly used for my blades was birch plywod - the 1/64" (0.4mm) and 1/32" (0.8mm) were 3 plies.

Incidentally, if you're tired of balsa, you can obtain thin paulownia (a.k.a. kiri) sheets here:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/HAUBAY- ... 47693.html

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 01:56 
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From these guys:
https://www.veneer-world.com/en/Search/LightRedMeranti
They can sell veneer by one sheet, just go on the B2C Shop section and see what you can find available.

My great luck is that one of their factories is in my city and I can visit the factory and choose, if they have spare volumes.
Next week I will go for some Limba, Anegre, Zebrano (all ~0.6mm) and Norway Spruce (Picea Abies) 1.4mm.

Last time when I visited they had Meranti and Koto in stock that could be bought by sheet, not by big packs.

I also got at that point 2 small sheets of Palisander, as a gift and I have no idea what to do with it.
https://www.wood-database.com/madagascar-rosewood/


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 02:08 
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I allready ordered Pawlonia(Kiri) from here:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/paulown ... 4c4dgYzpde

But it's good to have options. Anyway the Pawlonia(Kiri) I have will stay unused for some time since I have no project in mind.
Also we have here in the city a company that owns some pawlonia forest in Spain and sells timber.
The problem is that I bought a piece of timber from them and I found no people capable of cutting it to 3mm tickness.


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 07 Nov 2018, 02:17 
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iskandar taib wrote:

Umm... tell him to order one of these: :lol:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SANWEI- ... 74001.html



I will not. I want to design something, build it and get feedback.
P.S. I think he had something like this a few months ago, but lost it somehow.


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2018, 03:01 
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This is cool. Looks like they're European, wonder how far they'd ship and what it would cost.

Palisander? I think HRT sells a palisander-faced blade - apparently it's related to rosewood, which is very commonly used as blade faces. Rosewood and ebony blades are quite expensive - never owned one, so I don't know what they do or why a lot of the top pros use rosewood/ebony blades. End grain balsa is fun - unfortunately the thinnest I've seen is 1/4" (6.5mm). I did send some pieces to a balsa mail order company (they advertised in model airplane magazines) and they sanded it down to 3/16" for me. TSP uses it in their balsa blades.. the thinnest one has, IIRC, a 3.5mm core. I discovered the hard way that wood glue (e.g. Titebond or Elmer's Wood Glue) does NOT stick very well to it, the blade delaminates after a while, or when you're changing sheets.

If you want to use really, really lightweight carbon or glass cloth, try tissue (also called veil):

http://cstsales.com/a-fiberglass-tissue-veil.html

http://cstsales.com/a-carbon-fiber-tissue-veil.html

I suspect this is the "light carbon" that, say, Sanwei uses.

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2018, 06:55 
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Click their site and see. I think they can ship everywhere as long as you are willing to pay.
Yes, they are the biggest wood specialized company in Europe. The factory I have here in the city produces veneer, plywood and specialty timber (whatever that means).

Yes, palisander. Around 2.5 times harder than walnut. As I have read these types of blades (soft core with ultrahard surface) are good for long pips. Why? Maybe Kees can explain us.

The endgrain you seen in my pictures is custom made by me and is 5mm. I wanted to see how it feels that bounce efect that it creates. 1/4 should be fine, you should be able to make something like TSP Black Balsa 6.5. Have you built something? Any pictures?

Thanks again for the links. But 0.3oz isn't it too thin? It barely has any tickness. Does it make any visible improvement? Or it just helps the epoxy to maintain integrity/secure bond?
Do you know what I would test? Vectran, aka Arrylate. Or high-modulus carbon, like Toray M40J. Have you seen something like that somewhere? Did you tested?


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2018, 16:00 
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For what it's worth, some of the Chinese national team players use rosewood or ebony faced blades (Xu Xin, for instance). They don't use long pips. Not sure why they like those blades, however.

Yes, I made a large number of blades around 1998-2000. They kinda look crude and ugly, just plain balsa handles (because I could carve those with a knife). If you peruse through this thread you might see a picture or two, including one of the end grain balsa blades. I've got lots of material to make more, I think this time I'd tend to use the 1/64" birch ply faces.

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2018, 18:13 
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How is birch behaving?
From what I see here: https://www.wood-database.com/yellow-birch/
the YellowBirch is pretty hard and stiff. Looks like it is stiffer/harder that koto/limba and closer to WhiteAsh and american walnut.


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 08 Nov 2018, 20:36 
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iskandar taib wrote:
If you peruse through this thread you might see a picture or two, including one of the end grain balsa blades.

I am reading this thread, I am on slide 10. :D

Meanwhile, a good composite shop:
https://shop1.r-g.de/en/list/Fibre-reinforcements/Carbon-fibre/CSM---non-wovens
It is considered the best European composites shop, but since it's german the shipping is not cheap.

Another one, that is ok here in Europe is this one: http://easycomposites.co.uk/
It has cheaper shipping prices that R-G and they respond very fast to e-mails.

As I see you played a bit with composites. After your experimentation, do you have some rule of thumb regarding choosing the proper weight of them?
Also, did you used Kevlar/Aramid? Does it has that much dampening properties it should?


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2018, 02:37 
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I used what was easily available. My other hobby is building model airplanes. The first blade I made was sort of an emergency - I'd lost my normal bat and needed one in a hurry, so I went down to the local hobby store and bought some birch plywood (I already had balsa). I didn't even have my bandsaw yet, I cut it out with a hobby knife. It looked horrible and the handle was slightly crooked, but it played a lot nicer than the blade I was using at the time (I think it was a "Yasaka 6X"). Many years later I started experimenting in earnest, trying different core and face thicknesses, even trying to get my hands on other woods. Yes, I've tried kevlar/aramid, also as a veil rather than a cloth. Aramid has a big problem - it's very hard to cut. A sharp knife will cut veil, but if you try to cut cloth with a knife you end up with a frayed mess. Companies that sell equipment for aircraft homebuilders will sell you a set of "Kevlar Shears" for about $50, but I've been told a good set of Fiskars shears will also work, as long as you ONLY use it for kevlar. I didn't try any of the heavier cloths (carbon or glass) because I'd heard that carbon blades were too fast and too "unpleasant". The heavier carbon and aramid cloths were also QUITE expensive back then. I tried to get my hands on some other stuff, such as Spectra cloth. Really hard to get.

One thing I'd like to do someday as an experiment would be to buy some 2mm carbon/epoxy sheet and just cut a blade out of it (I'll probably have to borrow someone's jigsaw and ruin a few blades to do it). This would TRULY be a "flexible" blade (I mean, it'll actually flex like a spring if you try to bend it). I also expect it'll be weird enough to be unusable.

Iskandar


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2018, 09:54 
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Hmm, 3mm carbon/epoxy laminate used as a blade. :)
I had an idea like this a few weeks ago (before I had read that ITTF rule of 85% wood) that a possible prototype can be: carbon-core foam-carbon. Or carbon-some honeycomb-carbon.
Maybe this way we would understand why those chinese players used hard wood blades. Maybe it's something like a powerfull/fast linear blade, with duel.

Since you used kevlar, did it changed radically the laminate? Or just a touch? Does it make any specific sound?

As I have seen in my builds, the fiberglass has specific sound, something like a sharp bang. Carbon (as I have read) has a sound like a ping.

Meanwhile I almost finished 2 prototypes (pictures Tomorrowland) and the lime-lime-balsa has gone to glueing and now it's in the press. I am curious how it will end up.


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2018, 17:06 
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Yeah, I didn't say it was legal for tournament use. But it'd be an interesting experiment, since people keep talking about blade "flex" when blades don't really flex. If you want to experiment with foam cores, that'd be interesting too, though also "illegal". Foam for cores is available in many different varieties and densities, beginning with insulation foam from the building supply stores to more expensive stuff like Rohacell from homebuilt airplane supply places. I'll bet it'll be "even more balsa" than balsa.. :lol: Back in the 1980s, there were ads in Table Tennis Topics where you could send a self-addressed, stamped envelope (remember those??) to get some advertising sent to you. A couple of those ads were from very small companies making and selling blades - and one of them, I remember, used foam cores. They weren't cheap so I didn't order one. About a couple years later apparently someone complained because USTTA declared those blades illegal for use in their tournaments (there was a wood rule even back then).

I don't remember much about the kevlar veil blade. I remember carbon veil did make the sound of the blade sharper, but veil is pretty thin stuff so if it made the blade faster it wasn't by much. Those balsa/birch blades with the 1/4" core were terribly fast to begin with.

Iskandar


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