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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2020, 06:41 
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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2022, 18:29 
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A bit of a beginner's question, what kind of woodworking equipment would you need to cut thin wood boards (3-4mm) out of a big plank (2+cm)? I would try and find a woodworking shop that has these machines. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 17 Jun 2022, 19:21 
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rova wrote:
A bit of a beginner's question, what kind of woodworking equipment would you need to cut thin wood boards (3-4mm) out of a big plank (2+cm)? I would try and find a woodworking shop that has these machines. Thanks!


The process of cutting a thick square board (eg: 100mm wide x 1000mm long x 20mm thick) into thinner or smaller slices (or veneers) (eg: 100mm wide x 1000mm long x 1.5mm thick) is called resawing.

Resawing is best done on a bandsaw, using what's called a 'cutting fence' to control the wood as you go.

Resawing wood is not a job suitable for a cheaper bandsaw - you really want something decent. Also I would not try to do this without some proper lessons first, lest you lose a finger or two.

If you are thinking of making your own blades with it, you will need a bandsaw where the throat width (ie the distance across the cutting surface between the bandsaw blade itself and the inside edge of the bandsaw) is at least 250mm, as this is the minimum length of a standard size blade (260mm or 265mm is a little more like it frankly).

If you are thinking of having others do it for you, ask them what size wood they can resaw.

Don't be surprised if it takes you a while to find a place - manufacturing veneers is really a specialty job, though if you are careful and skilled, you can still get a great result using basic equipment.

TO do it yourself will require you to buy a bandsaw - renting one is not advisable (though technically possible).

To buy a decent bandsaw (new) that should do the job will cost you $650 at the very least. Check online for decent brands / reviews before you buy, and don't go for anything that has less than a 750watt motor, as it will be underpowered.

Stay away from anything cheaper or smaller that you might see at Bunnings. They are woefully underpowered - you will need a sharp blade, a steady hand, a feather-board, a push pad, and a LOT of patience and practice.

To buy something bigger (and more useful) will cost you well over $1k - $2k, and you might conceivably end up needing 3-phase power in your workshop as well, depending on the unit you buy. Bandsaws can be power-hungry buggers, as you need a fair bit of grunt to re-saw the denser wood species out there.

Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2022, 18:24 
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Has anyone done much building using high density styrene foam as the core? I'm thinking something like 6mm and I was going to use a double stitch carbon fabric. I guess I will have to use Vpoxy instead of laminating resin because I am worried that the resin may chemically react with the styrene. Vpoxy should give me the bond strength required. I will then try it with a single outer walnut veneer as a base model. The logic in this is the styrene should keep the weight down and I expect it will give me a little more dwell time than 6.5mm balsa that I normally use. I expect the carbon fabric will stiffen it and take most of the deadness out of it. The thin walnut outer in conjunction with the carbon should give me good hitting power. I may need a second veneer. In theory all this sounds like it should work but I wondered if anyone has tried doing this? If so, are you using a particular type of styrene? There are numerous grades. I expect the highest density would work if it is procurable in a thin sheet.
I cannot see any thin styrene online that is very high density. Because styrene is rolled under pressure into sheets I do not think it will be wise to cut or sand a wide sheet down because it will lose its tough, sealed outer surface.
I should say I play mostly defensive with hard bh/fh when needed and use LP/SP so I expect that this material will work for me. I don't play tournaments any more so am not worried about legalities. Just like trying different materials and building bats! I think this would be an interesting experiment.
I mention this because it looks in one of Ross' photos that he might have tried it.


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 Post subject: Re: Make your own blade
PostPosted: 03 Aug 2022, 14:08 
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MalR wrote:
Has anyone done much building using high density styrene foam as the core? I'm thinking something like 6mm and I was going to use a double stitch carbon fabric. I guess I will have to use Vpoxy instead of laminating resin because I am worried that the resin may chemically react with the styrene. Vpoxy should give me the bond strength required. I will then try it with a single outer walnut veneer as a base model. The logic in this is the styrene should keep the weight down and I expect it will give me a little more dwell time than 6.5mm balsa that I normally use. I expect the carbon fabric will stiffen it and take most of the deadness out of it. The thin walnut outer in conjunction with the carbon should give me good hitting power. I may need a second veneer. In theory all this sounds like it should work but I wondered if anyone has tried doing this? If so, are you using a particular type of styrene? There are numerous grades. I expect the highest density would work if it is procurable in a thin sheet.
I cannot see any thin styrene online that is very high density. Because styrene is rolled under pressure into sheets I do not think it will be wise to cut or sand a wide sheet down because it will lose its tough, sealed outer surface.

I should say I play mostly defensive with hard bh/fh when needed and use LP/SP so I expect that this material will work for me. I don't play tournaments any more so am not worried about legalities. Just like trying different materials and building bats! I think this would be an interesting experiment.
I mention this because it looks in one of Ross' photos that he might have tried it.


Personally I've never tried foam cores in a blade, and I honestly don't know many others who have either. Given the ITTF's 85% timber rule, I just don't think it's something that most blade makers have bothered to try.

I imagine that you are correct though, and that the styrene wouldn't stand up well to epoxy ...but I honestly don't know for sure - really I'm guessing.

But TBH, even with the carbon fibre twill medial layers, I very much doubt you will get the playing feeling you are describing. As a general rule of thumb, big differentials in density and hardness between outer layers and your core will give your blade a very "hollow" feeling... This is especially noticeable with hard outers like walnut, jarrah or Tassie Oak. You're not including any softer mid-density medial layers, so I imagine the vibrations are going to be all top-end / high frequency, with no lower to mid-range feedback at all.

Rather than go with a synthetic foam core, may I recommend you try looking for some ultra-low density balsa instead? Most store-bought balsa is in the mid-density range of 140-160 kg/m3, but it can go as low as 65kg/m3 or as high as 300kg/m3. The ultra light stuff feels a lot like styrofoam when you pick it up and has huge natural flex to it. It should give you most of the weight gains you're after, it won"t be chemically compromised by the epoxy, and you'll end up with a blade you can actually use in competition (though I acknowledge that's not a requirement for you.) It still won't give you much low end feedback mind,bbut such is the lot of ultra-light blades in general.

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