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Handcrafted Blades by Ross Leidy

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    Posted: 08/09/2014 at 10:22am
Dear Mr. Leidy, I am terribly sorry I can't upload the blade's picture. the maker didn't allow me to do, sine this blade is some kind of prototype he made; he only made 5 of it, and gave to several both active and retired province/national player in here. Actually I'd love to receive any comments and thoughts regarding this blade's structure by showing the pictures of it, but he didn't allow me to :( but maybe I'll break his rules a bit, by describing this blade :p

It is a 5 ply composite blade, I can't measure its thickness (again, because I lost my caliper), but by looking at it it is approx. 6.5-7.0 mm thick. the top ply is ayous (pretty weird though since I never seen myself blades with ayous top ply), thin titanium layer (I don't now it's a thin plate, mesh, or maybe other form of titanium, he won't tell me), and Pine as its center ply

The most peculiar thing I find in this blade is the core/center ply. it is a single layer core like any normal 5 ply composite blade, but the strange thing is that it is formed by 3 pieces of wood ply. the only thing he said that he specifically arrange the wood alignment of each layer

What does the center ply do with such adjustments like that ? thanks :D



Edited by comodoensis - 08/09/2014 at 10:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote comodoensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/05/2014 at 5:56pm
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:


With increased thickness of the walnut ply the blade will become heavier, stiffer, harder (to a point) and faster.

Thanks again Mr. Leidy :D

So, with the same thickness, walnut, instead of limba, will make the blade stiffer, harder feeling, faster, heavier ? :D

I've roughly measured the original top ply thickness is around 0.4-0.5 mm (I can't get and actual measurement since I lost my caliper that I usually use for automotive purpose, I got a soft side for doing some moped mods too LoL) I measured it on my previous Infinity (I have 2 Infinities actually, the one that's going to be modified is the AN handle one :D). How thick should the walnut veneers supposed to be in order to achieve some speed boost, yet not making the blade to stiff ? Or maybe could you suggest what treatment/mods we should do to the walnut veneers to make them work optimally ? I really don't want to lose the 'feel'/touch (the only way I can describe this feel is : it feels really able to grab the ball which makes the blade more spinny than other blades, with same thickness and wood composition in my cheap-prized-blade collections), but I'm really looking forward for some extra speed from this mod :D

I know this might sounds crazy, but maybe it's just me being to naïve in my personal quest : a near-blazing-fast 5-ply all-wood blade with good dwell and flex, though maybe I can handle some 7-ply all-wood/composite blade with thickness around 6mm max for extra speed department, but that's not an option, since it's so hard, nearly impossible to find blade with AN handle around here, and I'm sort of running out of cash, also I have to save some cash to buy forehand rubber's replacement soon, and the cost for this mod is only approx. $10. It's quite a lot of money here though for a college boy with some finance problems caused by hobbies like me LoL.

Anyway, in few days I will receive 2 blades from my friend. One is a blade from 70's custom-made blade for ex-CNT trainer (don't know who used it and who made it, but that's all what my friend said to me, and it evidently seems true to me, since the usage of basswod top ply, that feels classic LoL), and the other one is one of the blade crafted by this 'blademaster'.

If you don't mind, can I post the blade's pictures here mr. Leidy ? I really appreciate any comments and thoughts from you and other members as well :)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/05/2014 at 8:57am
Originally posted by comodoensis comodoensis wrote:

Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Heating the blade may soften the glue, but not just the top layer of glue. However, if your friend is used to doing this kind of repair, I defer to his expertise. I'd suggest looking for veneer that's the same thickness as the existing outer ply. If you can only find thicker veneer, I wouldn't go past the standard 0.6mm thickness. Good luck!

Thank you for your great knowledge and suggestions mr. Leidy :D

How will the top ply thickness effect the blade characteristics after it is changed to walnut ?
 
With increased thickness of the walnut ply the blade will become heavier, stiffer, harder (to a point) and faster.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote comodoensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/05/2014 at 4:12am
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Heating the blade may soften the glue, but not just the top layer of glue. However, if your friend is used to doing this kind of repair, I defer to his expertise. I'd suggest looking for veneer that's the same thickness as the existing outer ply. If you can only find thicker veneer, I wouldn't go past the standard 0.6mm thickness. Good luck!

Thank you for your great knowledge and suggestions mr. Leidy :D

How will the top ply thickness effect the blade characteristics after it is changed to walnut ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/04/2014 at 8:42pm
Heating the blade may soften the glue, but not just the top layer of glue. However, if your friend is used to doing this kind of repair, I defer to his expertise. I'd suggest looking for veneer that's the same thickness as the existing outer ply. If you can only find thicker veneer, I wouldn't go past the standard 0.6mm thickness. Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote comodoensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/04/2014 at 3:14pm
Originally posted by Ross Leidy Ross Leidy wrote:

Has your friend removed the top ply from a blade before?  I suppose it could be done, but it sounds like a good way to ruin a blade.    To do it right, he'll need to remove the handle grips, too, in order to get a continuous ply of walnut applied over the whole blade.  Good luck with the project!
The walnut that you've found is most likely the "standard" thickness of 0.6mm.

Yes mr. Leidy, logically, it seems I'm going to have my blade handle detached first by him, then I have no idea on what he's going to do next but the idea is to fully changes the top ply with the walnut veneers I've found, though sadly I'm not lucky enough to find one more from those leftover veneers that have evenly aligned grains (I guess I'll have to put the veneer with good grain alignment on the forehand side, just for aesthetical purpose though LoL).

From what I heard and saw from my friend who used to love to make many mods with factory-made blade, the easiest way to detach any plies used on a blade is just simply heat it up with a hair dryer. Never try it myself though, I guess in the future I ought to try it myself, which means I got to have an experimental blade to do this trick (maybe I'll just scavenge those big carton boxes lying at my friend's tt shop, hoping there's another old pf4 left, usually I get those at $3-5, so nothing to lose then LoL) 

My attacking style mostly depends on loops, chinese-style loopdrives (since I've developed to use hard, tacky chinese rubber from the first time I re-started to play table tennis after +- 10 years (or shall we say, my teenager times, since I prefer to do soccer and basketball at that time LoL) not playing table tennis, sometimes boosted, sometimes not, depending on what rubber I'm using) and if I was forced to do smashes, I sometimes twiddle, use my short pips side to make some disturbing effects and make some confusion for opponents on what ball is coming to him/her :D and somehow l developed a kind of 'allergic' against blade that has thickness over 6.5mm, whether it's 5-ply, 7-ply, or more, it feels weird for me somehow (except for those Clippers, I still can manage it), maybe it's just a kind of my personal preferences on my ideal blade supposed to be LoL

Do you have any suggestions about the walnut veneers' thickness to make a good looping blade yet have some more speed compared to original Infinity VPS V ? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/04/2014 at 10:36am
It seems to me the labor involved in removing the top plies exceeds by far the cost of building a new blade...and you would end up with 2 of them.
If not it probably means the removal will be uneven.
I took off the top plies of a tb zlc once and it takes forever if we care about taking it all off AND not taking any of the 2nd plies off (it was easier in my case since the carbon was right behind).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/04/2014 at 8:24am
Has your friend removed the top ply from a blade before?  I suppose it could be done, but it sounds like a good way to ruin a blade.    To do it right, he'll need to remove the handle grips, too, in order to get a continuous ply of walnut applied over the whole blade.  Good luck with the project!
The walnut that you've found is most likely the "standard" thickness of 0.6mm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2014 at 11:27pm
i think from what ross has told me the thinnest ply he can have using his machine is 0.8 - 0.6mm ... maybe 0.6mm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote comodoensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2014 at 11:20pm
Originally posted by yogi_bear yogi_bear wrote:

walnut is stiffer than limba and has more kick to the ball. if you would have spruce as your next layer it would behave like a YEO which is faster than the infinity. it would be a bit harder to chop with a walnut compared to a limba

Can you give suggestions on how thick the walnut veneer should be ?

Anyway, I always enjoy reading your reviews, it's a great honor to get reponse by you :D



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yogi_bear Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2014 at 8:55pm
walnut is stiffer than limba and has more kick to the ball. if you would have spruce as your next layer it would behave like a YEO which is faster than the infinity. it would be a bit harder to chop with a walnut compared to a limba
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote comodoensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08/03/2014 at 4:47pm
greetings mr. leidy :D

After reading pages of this great thread I came across something in my mind, and decided to ask for opinion in this thread.

My current blade is stiga Infinity VPS V, and I feel the lack of speed when I get 2-3 steps from the table. the spin's tremendous though, it mostly overwhelms players at my current level. I mostly use hard, tacky rubbers on my forehand (usually dhs hurricane 3 neo, galaxy apollo I, and I'm currently using xiom tau, and decided to settle on this one for a while despite the price) and short pips with 2mm sponge on the backhand side, currently using double fish 820a  with 2mm reactor sponge. I mostly loops and flat hits with this pips, but sometimes I 'fish's or chops with my backhand (and forehand, rarely though since I prefer to counter-topspins any balls coming to my forehand side) for a change of pace (a 22-years-old ocassional-chopper, the only one at my college, and I often get scolded by my coach for my chops, since I'm one of the most agressive-minded player in the college, he thought that I don't really need to do any chops/slices, while on the contrary sometimes I feel I need to be able to chop for some variation in backhand department, despite the fact I'm being the only crazy guy who tries to backhand loop with short pips mid-far away from the table, and successfully doing it consistently in a funny way though LoL)

One day I found some walnut veneers, and this thought cane across my mind : 'if I somehow get to manage this veneers to replace the original one, I might get a one beautiful blade', since the top ply of my blade had chipped off at several places.

What I'm curious is, how will walnut veneers behave if it is put on top of spruce layer as the top ply of the blade if compared to limba ? I am very grateful if anyone share their thoughts about what I'm going to do to my blade, and please give me suggestions on the appropriate thickness for the walnut veneers according to my playstyle :)

In few weeks I might send my blade to one of my friend who's well known here to be one of the 'blademasters' (somehow the way I called him 'blademaster' is sooooo epic LoL) recommended by several provincial athletes around to do this mod. I'll send some pictures later ;)


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LOG1C1AN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/28/2014 at 1:32pm
Originally posted by emihet emihet wrote:

looks lie a burgundy suit with a black tie


It reminds me of a nice cloth bookmark laying against a beautiful leather book cover.

Amazing work as always Ross.
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looks lie a burgundy suit with a black tie
Stiga Clipper Wood,Butterfly Power Drive, Viscaria, ASTI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2014 at 10:49pm
oh my this has got to be the most wonderful handle I have ever seen in my life; just when we think he won't be able to push the limits of his talent any further, Ross just does.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2014 at 9:04pm
This handle is just sheer class. Wonderful, wonderful work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2014 at 8:46pm

Member Reinecke asked for a handle design that was an homage to the Mizutani Jun Super ZLC handle.  Here's what we came up with.  The handle is dyed-red Black Ash burl, Yellowheart, and Gaboon Ebony.







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/26/2014 at 8:42pm
Originally posted by W0LovePP W0LovePP wrote:

Hi, Ross,
 
Have you ever used Western Red Cedar as a (thick) core in your blades? If so, how does it compare with kiri, or balsa (all three are soft)?
 
 
Indeed I have.  It's heavier than both kiri and balsa, and results in a more solid and springy core.   Tamed with some limba outers, it makes a nice blade.


Edited by Ross Leidy - 07/26/2014 at 8:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W0LovePP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/25/2014 at 12:49pm
Hi, Ross,
 
Have you ever used Western Red Cedar as a (thick) core in your blades? If so, how does it compare with kiri, or balsa (all three are soft)?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ross Leidy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/23/2014 at 2:20pm
Originally posted by rusttt rusttt wrote:

Okay ChrisUK, I had to post mine since it's like the evil twin of yours.  

Composition is ipe, white ash, white ash, kiri, white ash, white ash, ipe.  Handle is ebony, blue maple outer stripes and a canxan negra burl center stripe where you have sapphire dyed maple.  I jokingly called it Violince since it's pretty much a supercharged Violin.

It came out a little heavy at 98g and I put about 100g worth of Tibhar 1Q/XD on there so it's not for the feint of heart (or arm). I thought it would be a pretty novelty and I was curious if fatt was on to something with the super hard wood/hard sponge theory, but I honestly didn't expect to use it that much.  Fact is, I haven't picked up any of the other blades in over a month now because I love this combo so much!  Not only that, I haven't bought any more blades or rubbers after averaging 3-4 blades a month since January with rubbers to match.  I figure Ross has already saved me about $400! 

It has great power when asked, which I expected, but the big surprise to me was how good it is for touch shots, and flicks.  I thought the ipe on the top layer would lead to low dwell time and low spin, but I can get stunning amounts of spin on a full swing. I also feel more in control and I am hitting sharper angles than with other blades.  My regular opponents have commented on the serve returns and placement improvements in my game and I really enjoy the stunned looks they get when their "winner" comes back with force and accuracy off of a block.  The only shot that's really suffered is my occasional backspin vs. backspin shot which tends to float long with this setup.  I'm trying to switch to hitting/lifting those now but it's not quite there yet.

Thanks to fatt for the inspiration and to Ross for saving me money and for what is so far my favorite blade.
 
Thanks for the feedback on the blade - I'm glad it's working out well.  Please consider me again in the future when you'd like to save more money.  Wink
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Oh god... 😳
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Originally posted by rusttt rusttt wrote:

Okay ChrisUK, I had to post mine since it's like the evil twin of yours.  

Composition is ipe, white ash, white ash, kiri, white ash, white ash, ipe.  Handle is ebony, blue maple outer stripes and a canxan negra burl center stripe where you have sapphire dyed maple.  I jokingly called it Violince since it's pretty much a supercharged Violin.

It came out a little heavy at 98g and I put about 100g worth of Tibhar 1Q/XD on there so it's not for the feint of heart (or arm). I thought it would be a pretty novelty and I was curious if fatt was on to something with the super hard wood/hard sponge theory, but I honestly didn't expect to use it that much.  Fact is, I haven't picked up any of the other blades in over a month now because I love this combo so much!  Not only that, I haven't bought any more blades or rubbers after averaging 3-4 blades a month since January with rubbers to match.  I figure Ross has already saved me about $400! 

It has great power when asked, which I expected, but the big surprise to me was how good it is for touch shots, and flicks.  I thought the ipe on the top layer would lead to low dwell time and low spin, but I can get stunning amounts of spin on a full swing. I also feel more in control and I am hitting sharper angles than with other blades.  My regular opponents have commented on the serve returns and placement improvements in my game and I really enjoy the stunned looks they get when their "winner" comes back with force and accuracy off of a block.  The only shot that's really suffered is my occasional backspin vs. backspin shot which tends to float long with this setup.  I'm trying to switch to hitting/lifting those now but it's not quite there yet.

Thanks to fatt for the inspiration and to Ross for saving me money and for what is so far my favorite blade.



What a beautiful blade!  Well done Ross!
Jun Mizutani Super ZLC w/ T05/T64




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SolidEvolution Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/23/2014 at 1:37pm
Originally posted by ChrisUK ChrisUK wrote:

Is there nothing he can't do?

This is actually something I would like to find out.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisUK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/23/2014 at 4:36am
Here's a little video of the blade in action verses the experimental blade :)

Direct link here - http://youtu.be/mPMYrhmlzf4




Edited by ChrisUK - 07/23/2014 at 5:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisUK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/17/2014 at 1:05am
Here are some completed photos of my blade. Many thanks to Ross for making such a stunning blade! Is there nothing he can't do?









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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisUK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2014 at 11:23am
No by Ross. The blade is sealed and he is building up the poly lacquer on the handle.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W0LovePP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2014 at 10:46am
Originally posted by ChrisUK ChrisUK wrote:

Here's another shot after an application of lacquer

 
Lacquer by you or by Ross? I thought that he already sealed the blade.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisUK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/16/2014 at 9:37am
Rusttt - Actually I have already seen your wonderful blade as Ross sent me a photo when we were trying to decide on handle stripe ideas.

It's great to hear that you're having so much success with your blade and I'm not surprised. The quality and finish of Ross' blades are second to none. 

I should hopefully be able to post some final photos of my blade within the next 24 hours as Ross advised me today that it has been finished. So I'm eager to share this wonderful piece of art with you all!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/15/2014 at 11:30pm
The ipe wood looks so black when we look at it as an inner ply but it presents such a beautiful brown as an outer.

I was surprised to learn that it is inexpensive to the point it is used as hardwood for decks. It will go all grey though with the weather's action. We almost chose it before opting for trex last month; grey trex. I am sure you care very much. The color of my deck; wow!

That blade is so gorgeous I want to melt Cry.

I bet it would be the absolute preferred for a LP player using falco boosted Hurricane on the FH.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rusttt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07/15/2014 at 8:34pm
Okay ChrisUK, I had to post mine since it's like the evil twin of yours.  

Composition is ipe, white ash, white ash, kiri, white ash, white ash, ipe.  Handle is ebony, blue maple outer stripes and a canxan negra burl center stripe where you have sapphire dyed maple.  I jokingly called it Violince since it's pretty much a supercharged Violin.

It came out a little heavy at 98g and I put about 100g worth of Tibhar 1Q/XD on there so it's not for the feint of heart (or arm). I thought it would be a pretty novelty and I was curious if fatt was on to something with the super hard wood/hard sponge theory, but I honestly didn't expect to use it that much.  Fact is, I haven't picked up any of the other blades in over a month now because I love this combo so much!  Not only that, I haven't bought any more blades or rubbers after averaging 3-4 blades a month since January with rubbers to match.  I figure Ross has already saved me about $400! 

It has great power when asked, which I expected, but the big surprise to me was how good it is for touch shots, and flicks.  I thought the ipe on the top layer would lead to low dwell time and low spin, but I can get stunning amounts of spin on a full swing. I also feel more in control and I am hitting sharper angles than with other blades.  My regular opponents have commented on the serve returns and placement improvements in my game and I really enjoy the stunned looks they get when their "winner" comes back with force and accuracy off of a block.  The only shot that's really suffered is my occasional backspin vs. backspin shot which tends to float long with this setup.  I'm trying to switch to hitting/lifting those now but it's not quite there yet.

Thanks to fatt for the inspiration and to Ross for saving me money and for what is so far my favorite blade.


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