03 Black - Built Up Grip and Lead Tape

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by dsmercado, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. dsmercado

    dsmercado Rookie

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    Let me start off by saying that I have big hands. Whenever anyone sees any of my tennis racquets they say "no way! that's too big for you". Then I pick up the racquet and another believer is made. :)

    I got a pair of 03 Blacks recently. I love them. I settled on the string hole inserts. The ports were too muted for me. I like the crispness of the holes.

    The original grip size was 4 and 5/8. My tennis shop built up the grip with 4 grip sleeves each. Each sleeve builds up about one grip size, 1/8 of an inch. So the grip should be about 5 and 1/8. I added a Prince DuraTred overgrip and it should be a hair bigger than that now.

    My buddy at the tennis shop and I both noticed that there was a good amount of weight added to the grip of the racquet. So we added lead tape at 12 o'clock. Two six inch strips on each racquet (1/2 inch diameter strips). I think this offsets the extra weight in the grip but not sure if it's enough. I know the 03 Black is head light to begin with, but I'm wondering if my racquets are still too heavy in the grip.

    I'm wondering if I should take some swings with a "normal" 03 Black, but naturally the grip will be too small. I'm sure the best thing is to weigh the racquets, but I'm not sure.

    Any advice or opinions are greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    I would hope that you are weighing the racquets when you are adding weight. While you won't be able to get the racquets to the same weight as the original Black, obviously, you can get them back in balance. This requires a balance board, and they may have such a thing at the pro shop you frequent.
     
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  3. dsmercado

    dsmercado Rookie

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    Thanks for the response.

    By the same weight, you mean you don't think I'll be able to replicate the same weight balance as the original 03 Black?

    Do you think a balance board is common equipment for tennis shops? I'll have to ask them if they have one.
     
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  4. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    No, I mean weight weight. The balance can be duplicated, but the actual weight of the racquet will always be higher unless you take away equal portions.

    IMO, every respectable tennis shop has one. But, you never know.
     
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  5. dsmercado

    dsmercado Rookie

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    I'm ok with the extra weight. I feel like my swing speed is the same with my current racquet as it is with the demo racquet. I think I'm just trying to get back to the original weight balance. I liked how the demo version felt. I figure I get back to the original weight balance and then tweak from there.

    I hope my shop is respectable. :)
     
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  6. dsmercado

    dsmercado Rookie

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    OK my shop is respectable. Phew! That's a relief!

    They have a balance board and I will be dropping by there on Friday.

    Thanks YULitle for your help!
     
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  7. tedescm

    tedescm New User

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    Have you considered.......

    Have you considered building up the grip with strips of 1/16-inch bass wood strips from a hobby shop? Basswood is light and strong. You can also use balsa wood but it’s a bit soft.

    You measure the width of each bevel with a ruler or micrometer. Then you cut the strips of wood and glue (five minute epoxy) them on the bare grip. Put one strip on each of the four sides. When it’s dry, make a sanding block (a small piece of wood with a flat bottom). You will also need apiece of course sanding paper. Get the one with the glue on bottom.

    Now, you sand each side down to the point where the rails are even with the opposing bevels and then repeat the process.

    It’s a lot of work but it really works well. If you start with a 4-5/8 grip you end up with a about a 5-1/8 inch grip. The good part is that the new grip looks and feels like an original grip and you can feel the bevels. It adds almost an oz to the with of the racquet. It’s best to start with a racquet that’s evenly balanced. That way you end up with one that’s about 8 to 10 points head light.

    If you’re interested, I’ll give you more specifics. I would suggest practicing on an old broken or worthless racquet.



     
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  8. dsmercado

    dsmercado Rookie

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    tedescm,

    Thanks for the input. Sounds like a good amount of work and I'm not the handiest of people. :)

    A few years back, I had my grip built up with balsa wood by a tennis shop. It did feel pretty good. Unfortunately, they have new owners and I don't really trust them so I have a new shop that I frequent.

    I think my shop did a good job with the sleeves. They took the original grip off and melted the sleeves on with a heat gun. Then they replaced the original grip and it still feels like the original grip without the sleeves. The bevels are still there but I'm sure this method adds more weight than the wood would.

    How long would this whole process with the wood take?
     
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  9. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    You dont have to go to a shop to check your balance. All you have to do is find out were 13 1/2 inches is on your racquet.Then i use a piece of 1/2 inch plastic pipe about 15 inches long.

    You lay the pipe on a table then lay your racquet on top of the pipe+ move it until it balances out.Once you have it level measure from the 13 1/2 inch mark+ that will tell you the balance.

    On the speedport blacks it should be about a half inch towards the handle from the center point, every 1/8 inch is one point.My speedports are 4-5 points headlight, so yours should be real close to that.So you can adjust the weight to make the balance the same as the factory racquet.
     
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  10. racquet_jedi

    racquet_jedi Professional

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    Wow, that means you have the same grip-size as Ivo Karlovic...:wink:
     
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  11. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    Man, have you ever considered playing the piano? I can't reach some of the stuff because I have relatively small hands (4 1/2 grip size)
     
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  12. dsmercado

    dsmercado Rookie

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    I wish I was as tall as him. :)

    That would probably hamper me on the tennis court but then maybe I could dunk a basketball.
     
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  13. dsmercado

    dsmercado Rookie

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    I actually took piano lessons as a kid, so I can still play somewhat now.

    I'm strictly a Rock Band drummer on PS3 now.
     
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  14. tedescm

    tedescm New User

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    Build Up

    I've done this numerous times and it takes me about 1.5 to 2 hours. It sounds complicated but it's really not...

    The advantages to this method are it produces a lighter buildup and you still have the bevels. When you put on 4-heat shrink sleeves you loose the bevels.

    Mike



     
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