Making a Table Tennis Bat

Table Tennis Equipment

Last updated 4 years ago

Parsa Badiei

Parsa Badiei Asked 4 years ago

How can I make a bat?


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb Answered 4 years ago

Good question Parsa,

I imagine with some good woodworking skills you could make a good blade. However the rubber is an extremely important part of a table tennis bat and I have no idea how you could make a quality table tennis rubber. I guess that's why most of us simply buy our equipment.

Does anyone out there have any experience making their own table tennis equipment?


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Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Posted 4 years ago

I'm making my own blades now, just for fun.  It is simple enough, and quite satisfying, to make a basic blade but it is not cost effective.  I have found with a bit of experimentation with different plies and thicknesses and combinations that you can drastically affect the speed of the blade and depending on what you use as the top ply, the spin and feel as well.  However, I can also confirm that in fact Jeff and Alois are right when they say the blade really is the minor player and the rubbers have by far the greatest influence on how the bat plays. Using the same rubber on to vastly different blades reduces that difference significantly.

I use various combinations of balsa, basswood and different hardwoods. There is a post on another site (Link below) that describes the process from end-to-end using more sophisticated wood working tools (and skills) than I have but the principles are the same.  Instead of using a vacuum press I just use two pieces of 25mm MDF and 6 clamps as a press and instead of the router (which I have only just purchased) I have used a simple jigsaw. The core is primarily balsa but some designs have a 0.5 mm hard wood sandwiched between 2 balsa plies making up the core. I use balsa for my handles too as it provides great feel and keeps the weight down. For ideas on different plies and combinations to try, troll through the Re-impact site, also linked below.

TT blade contruction technique

Re-impact

Good luck and have fun.  Oh, and I use commercial rubbers.

 

 

 


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Nice work Rohan. That sounds like a lot of fun!


Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Posted 4 years ago

It is Jeff, but they are only for fun at home and for the family (garage players) to use.  I still rely on my PS Rook for playing matches at work and the club - I need the consistency and control the Rook provides :)


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Awesome. Nice to know :)


Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Posted 4 years ago

Just to add to the above, I experimented some more over the weekend by swapping rubbers on the same blade - Xiom Vega Intro to Mark V to Friendship 729.  in Each case the BH rubber was the 1.5mm (or thereabouts) version and the FH was the 2.0 mm version.  Each rubber change changed the feeling and performance of the blade entirely.  The Vega made the bat crisper and faster that the other two rubbers and the ball arced higher. The Mark V (GPS on FH and original on the BH) had a softer, spongier feel (more dwell?) and was more controllable (a bit slower too) with a lower ball flight while the Friendship is about the same speed as the Mark V, only not as grippy and with a higher ball throw.

The differences were significant enough for someone of my skill level (developing beginner) to be able to easily discern them. I then put the Vega on a cheap, $20 Dragonfly blade (disassembled pre-made bat) and really could not tell the difference between that and the Vega on my very different home made bat.  This really cemented the idea for me that the rubbers definitely are are the biggest factor by far in how a bat feels and plays.


Jeff Plumb

Jeff Plumb from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing your experiences. It sounds like a fun experiment!



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