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View Full Version : Care of Fairway (and other?) leather grips


Keifers
09-11-2007, 09:38 PM
Rummaging through some (very) old tennis stuff, I came across a tag that must have come with a racquet I bought. Here's what it said, hope you find it interesting...

<quote>
The Fairway grip is the best in the world.

It is produced from the finest calf skin obtainable and will retain its tackiness indefinitely, provided you look after it.

You will find after considerable use your grip appears to be losing its “tack.” This is only because it needs cleaning and the best way of doing this is to saturate a cloth in methylated spirits (denatured wood alcohol) and rub it over the grip (this will remove all the dirt which has collected on the surface).

Allow about half an hour for the spirit to evaporate from the leather, then apply a small quantity of castor oil.

Allow eight hours for the oil to penetrate into the leather and your grip will be ready for use and will again feel as good as new.

Do not apply too much castor oil as this will result in making the grip greasy.

We strongly advise you to ask your Professional to carry out the treatment recommended by us in this folder.

E. B. BALMFORTH LTD
2/4 MEANWOOD ROAD
LEEDS LS7 2AD
<unquote>

Has anyone tried this with their leather grips? Did it work well?

And would TW recommend this kind of care for its Private Label leather grips?

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Added on 9-15-2007:

I tried Denatured Alcohol from Ace Hardware today and it removed some of the color of the leather grip. So be warned. Will report back on using mineral spirits instead, mentioned by sigep1967 in post #2 below.

sigep1967
09-12-2007, 05:12 AM
I bought some fairways from a guy in GA and what he said was not to use Alchol but to use mineral spirits instead. I have done this on my original redondo grips and it does make them good as new or better. The Castor oil is very sticky and makes the leather soft and very tacky. When I first bought my fairways they were very dry from being several years old I guess and I applied the castor oil pretty thick on them and they are great now. Maybe a little slick when you first start but as soon as you start sweating a little they seem to just stick to your hand.

Keifers
09-12-2007, 10:50 AM
Thanks for posting your experience. Can you tell me where you bought the mineral spirits and castor oil?

Also, did any of the color come off when you applied the mineral spirits?

Thanks.

Cruzer
09-12-2007, 03:52 PM
I have cleaned my leather grips using the method recommended by Balmforth and it works very well.

drakulie
09-12-2007, 06:03 PM
thanks for posting this keifers!

Keifers
09-12-2007, 11:12 PM
^^^ You're welcome, drak. Glad to do it. :D

Keifers
09-12-2007, 11:14 PM
I have cleaned my leather grips using the method recommended by Balmforth and it works very well.
Thanks... good to know..

Klatu Verata Necktie
09-14-2007, 05:32 PM
Do any of you use the leather grip without an overgrip?

hrstrat57
09-14-2007, 05:43 PM
I never use an overgrip on my leather grips so this is huge info for me.....thank you very much...

By the way I just put a new babolat leather grip on my i prestige, bought it at tw.

It is absolutely fantastic...the stick is perfectly balanced now and feels great!

Keifers
09-14-2007, 09:56 PM
^^^ You're welcome, hrstrat... glad to share it...

I bought a bab leather grip from tw recently. About to put it on a Head Ti.Classic to make it more head light.

Keifers
09-14-2007, 10:08 PM
Do any of you use the leather grip without an overgrip?
Right now, I have only one racquet with this set up -- an SV PS 85 with a beautiful original Fairway. Several others with an overgrip over leather.

I have a couple of other sticks that I want to use/set up with leather only -- a Prince graphite racquet from the late '80s and the abovementioned Head Ti.Classic.

Klatu Verata Necktie
09-15-2007, 04:58 AM
Right now, I have only one racquet with this set up -- an SV PS 85 with a beautiful original Fairway. Several others with an overgrip over leather.

I have a couple of other sticks that I want to use/set up with leather only -- a Prince graphite racquet from the late '80s and the abovementioned Head Ti.Classic.

Is the Fairway leather soft enough that it doesn't give you blisters when you use it without an overgrip?

Keifers
09-15-2007, 06:14 AM
^^^ Here's what another member wrote in a thread in the Racquets forum:

Leather warms up, and then feels NOT hard... rather it becomes supple and absorbent and cushioning and communicates a lot of the feel... try NOT putting an overgrip on the leather.

...
A very good description. I would only add that while it feels slippery initially, within just a minute or two, the leather becomes very nicely tacky -- which should prevent blisters (depending on how soft your hand is to begin with ;) ).


[Here's a link to that thread: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=156841]

ShiroRm
09-16-2007, 02:11 AM
In my experience, grip size is a factor to consider in order to use leather conveniently.
The first time I used bare leather, I put it on a 4 3/8 grip (I was using this size at the time). After the first hour of play, I noticed that it not only caused me blisters on the palm, but it almost removed the flesh from one phalanx of my middle finger too. That happened because the grip was small for me, so that its sides didn't offer enough room for the phalanxes of some finger and for the palm and the bevels (that are more defined using leather grips) pushed directly the flesh on some bones.
I didn't manage to tolerate leather even using an overgrip, because the grip still caused me blisters at least.
I finally got to use bare leather without any problem, when I bought new racquets with a 4 1/2 grip and put one layer of atlethic cloth tape on the handle to increase its size a little more.
So, if you're using a smaller grip than your correct size, I suggest you to pay attention to the position of the bevels when you hold the racquet: if the bevels touch the center of some of your phalanxes or are just under the joint between two phalanxes (or two bones of the palm), there you could have blisters, at least