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Handcrafted Blades by Ross Leidy

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    Posted: 07/13/2015 at 4:28am
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Edited by Yakult - 07/13/2015 at 4:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 9:34am
Since this is a part-time endeavor for me, most of my spare time goes into just building the blades.  For new compositions that I'm considering adding to my lineup, I'll get the blade into the hands of some more experienced players for evaluation.  I've received a lot of very helpful information that way.
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Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Tassie - Oh, that's right - you did see this one before.  It is indeed the one that I built at the same as I was building your last one.  Yes, WRC outer, Douglas fir medial, Kiri core.   I've not had a lot of playing time with the blade since then - busy life.  But, it is fairly fast - a solid OFF, maybe edging into OFF+.  This is not surprising with its 7mm thickness.  Very flat rebound.  The stiffness is countered with the 1mm thick soft WRC outers, so it can generate some nice spin.  I don't remember the exact weight - I'm guessing mid to upper 80's.
Ross,
With all the blades you build - do you have any standardized tests that you use to test the play ability of the blades? 

Thanks
PS: As usual amazing looking blade. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/20/2015 at 8:40am
Tassie - Oh, that's right - you did see this one before.  It is indeed the one that I built at the same as I was building your last one.  Yes, WRC outer, Douglas fir medial, Kiri core.   I've not had a lot of playing time with the blade since then - busy life.  But, it is fairly fast - a solid OFF, maybe edging into OFF+.  This is not surprising with its 7mm thickness.  Very flat rebound.  The stiffness is countered with the 1mm thick soft WRC outers, so it can generate some nice spin.  I don't remember the exact weight - I'm guessing mid to upper 80's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2015 at 3:34am
Hmmm... Beautiful - as always. Three ply? Kiri core? Douglas fir medial? WRC outer? (I think I've seen somethin similar somewhere.)

Any thoughts on how it plays? Weight! Thickness?

Edited by Tassie52 - 05/19/2015 at 8:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/18/2015 at 10:52am
I don't often get the time to work on a blade for myself, but a couple months back I had chance to build this one.  Since I haven't posted any photos in a while, I thought I'd share this one.  The handle is the vase anatomic style.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Argothman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2015 at 7:25pm
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Originally posted by Argothman Argothman wrote:

Would you ever consider being sent a blade and putting a new handle on it? This is not something I would do now, but if I ever become a successful tournament player I would definitely fork out some money on something personal like this. :)
 
I've done this a couple times, but prefer not to do it.  I don't like to take the chance of damaging someone else's blade when removing the old handle.


Fair enough. No sense in messing with things that don't really need to be messed with, after all!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2015 at 5:00pm
Originally posted by Argothman Argothman wrote:

Would you ever consider being sent a blade and putting a new handle on it? This is not something I would do now, but if I ever become a successful tournament player I would definitely fork out some money on something personal like this. :)
 
I've done this a couple times, but prefer not to do it.  I don't like to take the chance of damaging someone else's blade when removing the old handle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Argothman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 10:55pm
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Originally posted by Argothman Argothman wrote:

Hey Ross, do you make and sell handles alone that can be attached to an existing blade? I love my blade, but these handles are exquisite, and I'd love to have one on my main racquet.
 
Unfortunately, no I don't.  There are a couple reasons:  The sealing/finishing happens after the grips are attached to the blade and I've completed the final smoothing.  Retro-fitting a set of pre-finished grips to a blade is difficult to do without removing some of the finish.  Also, the majority of the time (and therefore, cost) involved in building the blade due to the labor associated with the handle.  The price I would need to charge for the grips alone would be more than folks would be willing to pay.


Would you ever consider being sent a blade and putting a new handle on it? This is not something I would do now, but if I ever become a successful tournament player I would definitely fork out some money on something personal like this. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 4:28pm
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Hi Ross,
Is there a reason you don't use Kiri as core? I thought Butteryfly uses this a core for their blades?
Thanks
 
I use mostly kiri for the core of my blades.
oh, I looked at your website and under core - Kiri was not listed. 
That's why I asked. 
Thanks
 
My website definitely needs to be updated.  I just wish I had more time!  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 4:11pm
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Hi Ross,
Is there a reason you don't use Kiri as core? I thought Butteryfly uses this a core for their blades?
Thanks
 
I use mostly kiri for the core of my blades.
oh, I looked at your website and under core - Kiri was not listed. 
That's why I asked. 
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 3:59pm
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Hi Ross,
Is there a reason you don't use Kiri as core? I thought Butteryfly uses this a core for their blades?
Thanks
 
I use mostly kiri for the core of my blades.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 3:49pm
Hi Ross,
Is there a reason you don't use Kiri as core? I thought Butteryfly uses this a core for their blades?
Thanks
Butterfly MPS
FH: Donic Acuda S1
BH: Palio CK531A OX
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 3:37pm
Originally posted by Argothman Argothman wrote:

Hey Ross, do you make and sell handles alone that can be attached to an existing blade? I love my blade, but these handles are exquisite, and I'd love to have one on my main racquet.
 
Unfortunately, no I don't.  There are a couple reasons:  The sealing/finishing happens after the grips are attached to the blade and I've completed the final smoothing.  Retro-fitting a set of pre-finished grips to a blade is difficult to do without removing some of the finish.  Also, the majority of the time (and therefore, cost) involved in building the blade due to the labor associated with the handle.  The price I would need to charge for the grips alone would be more than folks would be willing to pay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Argothman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 1:08pm
Hey Ross, do you make and sell handles alone that can be attached to an existing blade? I love my blade, but these handles are exquisite, and I'd love to have one on my main racquet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aeoliah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/06/2015 at 9:16am
I was trying to avoid thick bladeOuch.
Perhaps I will follow your suggestion to have a thicker Kiri on Rapscallion. maybe I can have something around 7mm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/05/2015 at 2:45pm
Originally posted by liulin04 liulin04 wrote:

holy cow, Ross has outdone himself yet again! Simply marvelous!!!
Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/05/2015 at 2:44pm
Originally posted by aeoliah aeoliah wrote:

Hi Ross what is the fastest blade that you have made so far ? Please inform me what is the composition and weight.
 
That's difficult to say since many of the blades that I build are one-offs and I don't get to try them.  However, of the ones that I've used, I'm going to say that Effortless is the fastest.  It's a 3-ply that's meant to capture the softness and speed of a 1-ply and the stability of a multi-ply.  It's WRC-Kiri-WRC, about 9mm, and mid-to-upper 90's.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liulin04 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/04/2015 at 10:46pm
holy cow, Ross has outdone himself yet again! Simply marvelous!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aeoliah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/04/2015 at 10:21pm
Hi Ross what is the fastest blade that you have made so far ? Please inform me what is the composition and weight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/10/2014 at 1:37am
It's agony waiting, but one of the positives of Ross having an extensive waiting list is that it gives me time to think and plan.  By the time Ross was ready for me, I already had a number of designs.  I shortlisted four quite different ideas and then Ross and I discussed which one we wanted to undertake.

Original idea for Weave:


One of the other possibilities:

 


Once we had settled on the general design, we refined it in various ways.  One significant part was trying to determine which timber would be used.  The shape (shown here as Barna-knife - Barna for the blade shape and knife for the handle) had already been worked on for Lily, so it was refinement rather than starting from scratch.

Here is the final Powerpoint slide I sent to Ross.  Compare it with the final product and you'll see how Ross turns dreams into reality, and then some. 


The finished product:


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2014 at 3:27pm
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Originally posted by Tassie52 Tassie52 wrote:

Say hello to my latest Ross Leidy blade:

 
Tassie - I must say, I am quite pleased with how your blade turned out.  Kudos to you for the handle shape and design, which is spectacular.   Best of luck as you get acquainted with the "Billie". 
Ross,
How was the handle described to you. Did he send you a sketch or photoshopped image?
I am trying to understand how someone would describe it to you.
Thanks in advance
 
Tassie is a master at using MS PowerPoint and was able to provide mockup images of just what he wanted to achieve.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2014 at 2:00pm
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Originally posted by Tassie52 Tassie52 wrote:

Say hello to my latest Ross Leidy blade:

 
Tassie - I must say, I am quite pleased with how your blade turned out.  Kudos to you for the handle shape and design, which is spectacular.   Best of luck as you get acquainted with the "Billie". 
Ross,
How was the handle described to you. Did he send you a sketch or photoshopped image?
I am trying to understand how someone would describe it to you.
Thanks in advance

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2014 at 8:54am
Originally posted by Tassie52 Tassie52 wrote:

Say hello to my latest Ross Leidy blade:

 
Tassie - I must say, I am quite pleased with how your blade turned out.  Kudos to you for the handle shape and design, which is spectacular.   Best of luck as you get acquainted with the "Billie". 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2014 at 3:29am
How about Billy Goat (Greatest of all todate)!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2014 at 3:01am
Hands up all those who would like an update and some more photos!  I thought so.  Smile

Today we (my new blade and I) went for a training session.  An hour and a quarter of footwork drills later, I have some initial impressions.

1.  This blade is beautiful!



2. Speed - this is the fastest blade I've had from Ross.  The three Sotto Voces I have are all quite different and none of them uses one of the more common surface plies (I suspect that my blades with Huon Pine and Willow are unique, and there probably aren't too many with Redwood either), so it's probably not fair to suggest that this blade is faster than all sotto voces, but it is still my fastest.  Its sound is higher pitched both with JRSDallas's patented head boinking test and when bouncing the ball on the blade.  Loaded with rubber, it's still the highest pitched of my blades.

How fast?  I'm too much of a rank amateur to give a definitive answer, but clearly in the OFF range somewhere.

Because today was training only, I can't say how this is going to translate into game play.  Later in the week I should have some idea.

3.  Ball trajectory - low! (I use an exclamation mark because I wasn't expecting this.)  This was quite apparent from the outset - lots of balls clipping the top of the net.  The harder the ball came at me the flatter it went back.  Once I adjusted, all was well.

Given that today's session was spent at the table, I have to wait to find out what this means for playing away from the table.  Given the speed of the blade, I suspect that ball trajectory is simply going to mean adjusting to hitting longer.  Time will tell.

4.  Feel - crisp!  (Another exclamation mark.)  King Billy Pine is relatively light and rated as soft (40 pcf and Janka 430 - harder than Western Red Cedar, softer than Mahogany and Alaska Cedar).  The outer layers are 1mm thick, but the combination with 3.8mm Kiri and two layers of Douglas Fir provides good stiffness.  How is this going to play in the short game?  I don't know.  Again, time will give some answers.





5.  The independent umpire - "This is a really good blade."  Words from Eddie Kasser, ex-Australian player.  I'm fortunate to have Eddie for a coach.  I haven't quite worked out why he spends his time with me when I'm such a slow learner.  I'm starting to think it might be because he likes to play with my Ross Leidy blades!

He commented that the blade is "plenty fast enough" and marvelled over the quality of the craftsmanship.  He asked me a number of times, "Where did he learn to make blades like this?"  He also commented that this is nothing like anything that comes out of the Butterfly factory.  LOL

I made Eddie give me back my King Billy special.  LOL

I'm still working on a name for this one.  Billie (female form of Billy, as in King Billy)?  Billie Weaver (given the magnificent job of weaving Ross has done in the handle)?

Other suggestions will be considered.




Edited by Tassie52 - 12/09/2014 at 3:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2014 at 3:50pm
oh my gosh this is probably the best looking blade I have ever seen in my life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AcudaDave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2014 at 2:37pm
Beautiful blade and especially like the look and shape of the handle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2014 at 1:55pm
I suggest a special category of TT competition - hardwood TT championships. These blades are just to pretty to be hidden by rubber (or grip wrap fatt Angry ) - play using just the wood. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2014 at 11:45am
It just doesn't get any better than that but leave it to Ross he will continue to amaze us.
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