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Make your own blade - Is marine Epoxy the best ?

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MRen View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10/11/2023 at 12:43am
I read somewhere that marine epoxy is the best for making blades because it weighs the lowest .
What is your opinion ?

If this is the case , why do many blade makers use some sort of wood glue or hide glue or whetever else ?

What are the best epoxies and glues that you recommend (to keep weight low) ?

Also is there some cheap clamp I can buy to clamp the blade while the glue is curing (setting or bonding or whatever you call it)  ? 
I am clueless in this area and I wonder if I can just place some heavy weight on top the blade such as bunch of heavy hardcover books. This is what I do when I put on a new rubber but I see some starnge characters coming to clubs with clamps on their racket & remove them before play & put them back as soon as they are done LOL

Thanks
  


Edited by MRen - 10/11/2023 at 1:08am
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stiltt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2023 at 4:21am
Borko the blade maker used to say that epoxy is like having a composite ply. It was exaggeratd but it made his point pretty good. Wood loving purists will prefer all wood and stay away from composites because passion and also their perception of getting more feel and control.

Once I was bitching about core made out of mutlple pieces to save on wood, I thought there was value in one piece cores. I later learned that wood glues create a bond that is stronger than the bond between 2 wood cells so 1 piece core is just luxury, not an actual factor in performance. 

If wood glues are that strong, there is no need to get epoxy for all wood blades since it's more expensive and harder to work with. For composite blades, we can't avoid epoxy.

The clamp you are talking about is the clicky press, not good for blade building because it does not cover the handle. Heavy books will work to learn and have fun experimeting, you can always buy something better if it becomes a serious thing. 

Searching for "clamp veneer" gives interesting results. That could be an interesting sledgehammer blade to play at 7m55s  https://youtu.be/dVJ9feaGN5U?t=475 Maybe an overkill ? Big smile

Ross Leidy uses a vacuum press to glue wood veneers with epoxy, it is the absolute best way if money is not an issue.


Edited by stiltt - 10/11/2023 at 4:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MRen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2023 at 11:58am
Thanks  for input

Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

Borko the blade maker used to say that epoxy is like having a composite ply.
I remember reading about this somewhere
There was also suggestions that there are some steel or such enforced epoxies which may make a composite layer unnecessary LOL 

Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

Once I was bitching about core made out of mutlple pieces to save on wood, 
 
Is this approved under the ITTF rules which proposes a continuous uniform layer ?
However is some umpire or opponent going to remove the edge tape and search for split layers in your blade LOL  
But I did notice that it is harder to find wood veneers (core such as balsa) large enough (like 8 inch by 12 inch or such)  
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

If wood glues are that strong, there is no need to get epoxy for all wood blades since it's more expensive and harder to work with. 
What wood glues are less expensive ?  Does a few pounds make a difference if one will go out of their way to make their own custom blade rather than buy one ? 
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

For composite blades, we can't avoid epoxy.
Why not ?
I was curious if manufacturers use mostly wood glue or epoxy or something else
Also if Borko (who is that) says epoxy is like a composite layer , why does one need a composite layer at all to start with . Ha HA just joking


Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

The clamp you are talking about is the clicky press, not good for blade building because it does not cover the handle. 
You make a good poin but I am not that picky.   If I care I can use a clamp from hardware store for the handle part .

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jddavid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/22/2024 at 4:46pm
I don't know anything about Marine epoxy but made my first blade with 30 minute Bob Smith Epoxy and cut notches in a popsicle stick to trowel it on and clamped it between two boards with a bunch of hand clamps.  It was 3 mm Paulownia core, 0.5 mm carbon (ready made), and Koto veneer.  Basically it has two to four layers of uneccessary epoxy, since the epoxy used to form the carbon fiber is all the glue you need if you buy unimpregnated carbon and build yourself a vacuum press.

The best core for strength to weight ratio is endgrain balsa, but it can be pricey to order or dicey to make your own as one of the chunks of balsa I ordered was noticably heavier.

My next blade planned will be a Balsa end grain core that I made by gluing three balsa chunks together and running it through a band saw.  I will seal it with an epoxy/Caboseal mixture with exess wiped off with paper towel and vacuum press it with a peel ply layer to wick up more epoxy.  I'll then place two carbon fiber sheets between plastic and use a plastic squeegee to spread all exess to the edges which I'll cut off and then sandwich them (slightly offset left and right so there are fibers running in every direction) between the core and a cedar veneer under a vacuum press and roll out the air bubbles with a Kutchen roller once the vacuum is on.  I will use 1/4" glass for the base with tacky tape sealing the sheet plastic top.  The vacuum will be the intake of my air compressor using a negative pressure gauge to monitor for leakage when under pressure and I close the shut off valve and turn off the compressor.  My biggest concern is that 30 minute epoxy is not enough working time, but the hour epoxy is real pricey.

The reason for all this is that I want a much longer than normal paddle; otherwise it's hardly worth all the effort.
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