DIY: Balance Board

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by Craig Sheppard, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    So after messing with a bunch of lead tape trying to weight a racquet correctly, I realized I really needed a balance board. Not wanting to throw down the cash for a commercial one, I decided to go DIY and devise one myself. This is super simple to make, less than 30 minutes to put together, and should work like a charm, and above all, is CHEAP. The whole thing cost less than $10.

    Here's all it took:
    1 melamine shelf from Lowe's (storage aisle) ($4.95)
    1 3/16" dowel from Lowe's (~.$69)
    1 pkg of eye screws that will fit the dowel (~$1.49)
    2 3/8" stop nuts (~$.19 ea)
    1 measuring tape from Michaels' ($.69)
    plus some glue to glue on the measuring tape & ruler to measure

    Construction is easy, just measure where you want the eye screws, pre-drill two small holes for them, and screw them in. Make sure they line up straight and when the dowel is inserted, it is level. Then just trim off the dowel so it's slightly wider than the eye screws. My base board (melamine shelf) is 24" long and 12" wide. Then mark the center and glue on the measuring tape. That's about it.

    Since I started with 0" under the dowel (balance point), 13.5" is even balance on measuring tape. Since the tape is marked off in 1/8" increments, each increment is 1 point HL or HH, depending on which way you move. A racquet that is <13.5" is head light a racquet >13.5" is head heavy.

    Here are some pics....enjoy!

    (larger photos can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilecraig/tags/balanceboard/)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
    #1
  2. Pathy01

    Pathy01 New User

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    Nice work

    Looks like you made yourself a nice quality piece. That should do the job perfectly. I have an Alpha Viper board myself and aside from a little better aesthetics, I can't see any difference in functionality. Great tool to have if you customize the balance of your sticks.
     
    #2
  3. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    can someone explain how a balance board works exactly, as i may be interested in making my lm rad more head light.
     
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  4. User Name

    User Name Semi-Pro

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    i made one a little while ago. let me get it out and take some pics. Looks good, interesting that yours has a different design than mine.
     
    #4
  5. FedUp

    FedUp Rookie

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    Wow, that looks better than my Viper board! Much more sturdy too. Way to go!!
     
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  6. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    Sure. Say your LM Rad is currently even balanced, so it's neither head light or head heavy. That means its balance point is at 13.5", or 1/2 of 27". If you were to balance the racquet on a balance board, the handle would measure right to 13.5". (Take a look at the pic w/ the racquet on the board...)

    So you want to make your racquet 6 pts HL? Well, aside from figuring out how much weight to add to the handle, you'll need something to measure that the racquet is actually 6 pts HL. The balance board comes in again. Once you make your modifications, you balance the racquet again on the balance board, and this time it will come up balanced different. The handle will balance 6 pts, or 6 * .125 = .75" less than 13.5", meaning 12.75". That's the handiness of a balance board--to verify your modifications and calculations are correct.

    You don't really even need to calculate weight w/ a balance board, you could just go ahead and start putting on weight until your new balance is worked out.
     
    #6
  7. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ so every .125 of an inch equals 1pt head light? i think i get it. so it really doesn't take much weight to make a drastic difference in how much head light a racquet is?
     
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  8. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    Yes, .125" = 1 pt. It depends on where you put the weight. Small amounts at the very end of the handle will make a much bigger difference than small amounts near the throat.

    You should play around with this online application, it will help you understand it more:

    http://www.racquettech.com/store/learningcenter/lc_combinedswtbal.html
     
    #8
  9. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    #9
  10. rfprse

    rfprse Professional

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    If you are going to buy the weights there, consider the non-lead option. (Good for the environment & maybe for you too :) )
    They seem to carry non-lead weights.
     
    #10
  11. luckyguy

    luckyguy Rookie

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    very nice job there..hope i can make my own..
     
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  12. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    Very nice - I might steal some of your ideas...
     
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  13. ryohazuki222

    ryohazuki222 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for this! I'm no longer really in need, but I started a thread asking how/if anyone did this and got zero response. When I get bored enough, I'll probably make one just for the sake of having one.
     
    #13
  14. nousername

    nousername Rookie

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    this is pretty cool... i'll probably put one together at sometime.

    i just thought of one potential improvement... in price for sure, and maybe even looks.

    as for the ruler, you could try one of these printable ones:
    http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/dir3/paper_rulers/

    first, make sure you follow the printing instructions (see the note at the top of the above website)... cut it out precisely, and tape is down with some good packing tape... i'm sure it would look real slick as long as you do a careful tape job.

    if you really want to get serious... you can also try to edit these (by hand or electronically). you could try to relabel/rescale them so that the "0" lies at the 13.5 inch mark from the dowel. then it will give a *slightly* more "dummy proof" reading of HL/HH...
     
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  15. Breakaz54z

    Breakaz54z Rookie

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    I'd like to thank Craig Sheppard for his effective yet simple design. I made my balance board yesterday and it took less than an hour to make. Works like a charm. Thanks again!
     
    #15
  16. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    Awesome! You're welcome. Glad people are still getting some use out of this thread. Have to say mine still works, it's a "nice to have" laying around when you need it. :)
     
    #16
  17. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the post, but one correction I need to make is 3/16 of an inch dowel is waaaay too thin. I went today to buy the supplies, but that is not correct. I bought a 1/2'' one which looks more like the correct size. Nonetheless, great post.
     
    #17
  18. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    agreed. i don't remember the size i used but it's too thin. very tough to balance.
     
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  19. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    I didn't see it posted here, so here goes.

    You only base it off of 13.5 inches if your racquet is 27 inches long. 13.5 is half of 27, if you didn't catch the correlation.

    If your racquet is 27.5 inches, as some are, then it would be 13.75 inches.

    I love the balance board though. I'm gonna make one for myself now that I've lost the use of my RDC. :D
     
    #19
  20. Chauvalito

    Chauvalito Hall of Fame

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    Great thread, if I had known it was this simple I would have made one already. Thanks for showing us the process Craig.
     
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  21. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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  22. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    When you say <13.5" and >13.5", do you mean the placement of the butt cap? Also, thanks for the thread
     
    #22
  23. SydneyJim

    SydneyJim Rookie

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    do you do this when the racquet is strung or unstrung?
     
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  24. Nitro

    Nitro Rookie

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    Depends on what you want to do. If you are matching racquets it doesn't matter as long as both racquets are unstrung. If you are trying to put one racquet at X ounces with Y balance point then you should definitely do it strung.
     
    #24
  25. SydneyJim

    SydneyJim Rookie

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    thanks man, on futher input now, I've balance and weighted all my racquets the exact same spec.

    when balancing your racquets, please take in count your overgrip, I use to yonex supergrab and it weights out to be almost 5gs. this completely changes your balance point when you do this. so the first thing i did was weight my racquets stock... with just the stock replacement, no string. then string it put on the overgrip if you use one, then place the lead tapes accordingly on the grip and/or on the head of the frame. i personally would not put any lead lower than the mid point of the head of the racquet, this is because the sweetspot DOES follow the weight of the racquet.

    this thread was super help for me, so i didn't have to buy that alpha viper balance tool. thanks a lot, but it took me about 7hrs to epoxy the buttcap, weight out and balance w/ the balance tool for 7 racquets. I also strung 5 racquets, but it takes me about 20min to string a racquet. So now I understand why they charge so much to custom racquets, I've never had to pay for it before, but now i understand... So definitely props and thank you to racquet techs out there.
     
    #25
  26. iplaylikeyourgrandma

    iplaylikeyourgrandma New User

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    when the question was asked about doing this strung or unstrung, it didn't matter when trying to balance racquets. But the specs published online about the racquet being HL or HH, are these specs strung or unstrung?
     
    #26
  27. 2nd_Serve

    2nd_Serve Professional

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    Wow. Nice idea. Realy like it. I guess ill go make one of my own now :wink:
     
    #27
  28. shoesandko

    shoesandko New User

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    Great job, made mine and I"m glad I didn't buy one. Thanks
     
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  29. Double Fault

    Double Fault Semi-Pro

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    [​IMG]

    Thanks!

    I have a question though.

    I placed an RDX500 MP on it and the buttcap reached the 31 cm mark (310 mm). Does this mean that the balance is 310 mm? I'm not sure exactly how it works in terms of frame length.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
    #29
  30. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    the distance from the butcap to the balance point is the balance point . this can be converted from mm to inches to points. there is a tool on the racquet stringers site that calculates this for you. sorry i dont know how to post the link. http://www.racquettech.com/members/tools/points2cm.html see if this lin. let me know if it does works
     
    #30
  31. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

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    ^^ Larry10s - This will only work for USRSA Members
     
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  32. TheShaun

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    i have mine setup so that i can just count 1/8 increments till i reach the balanced butt cap.
     
    #32
  33. Double Fault

    Double Fault Semi-Pro

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    I'm interested in mm rather than points, so its alright. I was just worried that, for example, a 27.5" frame would alter the way the balance board works.
     
    #33
  34. TheShaun

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    depends how you have it set up, i suppose. mine is set up to only work for 27" frames.
     
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  35. Double Fault

    Double Fault Semi-Pro

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    What is different between your balance board and mine? What did you to so that it works only for 27" frames?
     
    #35
  36. Double Fault

    Double Fault Semi-Pro

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    There's something wrong with mine lol

    One of my Babolat Aero Pro Drives, strung with Tour Duralast 15L, a Yonex triangle dampener and a Yonex Supergrap overgrip has a balance of 340mm. That's like 2 pts HL!
     
    #36
  37. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    on mine the dowel is placed at 13.5" from the end of the board and the tape measure starts under the dowel and goes to the end of the board, 13.5". that way i can just put the butt cap at the end of the board and start moving it back until it is balanced and i can just count the number of 1/8" increments to determine how HL the racquet is.
     
    #37
  38. nCode747

    nCode747 Semi-Pro

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    wow this will help me.I see you got a vantage how ya like it
     
    #38
  39. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Craig for sharing your project. Very nice.

    Thanks also to nousername for the link to the printable rulers. Will print one and affix to the side of my stringing machine for more precise string measurement vs. guesstimating all the time. :)

    r,
    eagle
     
    #39
  40. v1rotate

    v1rotate New User

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    Thanks Craig for the ideas in making the balance board. Hope you don't mind but I've stolen your design to make my own with a few modifications listed below.

    • I drilled a pilot hole at the end of the dowel and inserted a washer and screw to keep the dowel in place.
    • The dowel itself is wrapped in a used Wilson tacky overgrip.
    [​IMG]
    • I designed a scale to place on the board.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I can email a copy of the scale (PDF) if anyone would like a copy. Just send me a message.
     
    #40
  41. locotone07

    locotone07 New User

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    That looks great! Could you email me a (PDF) copy of your scale to locotone07@gmail.com

    Thanks!
     
    #41
  42. v1rotate

    v1rotate New User

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    Locotone07,
    I tried emailing you with the PDF but the email was bounced back. You can send me a PM with another address.
    v1
     
    #42
  43. locotone07

    locotone07 New User

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    That's strange because I did receive it. Thanks again!
     
    #43
  44. Superman1272

    Superman1272 Rookie

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    v1rotate,

    I think you might have a problem with your ruler measurements...

    BTW, NOT trying to fight/flame... just thought you would find a better measurement with this information.

    I think the difference in your 27", 27.5" and 28" lines should only be 1/4" and not the 1/2" that you curently show. The reason being that:

    If you have a 27" length racquet, then the mid point would be 13.5"

    If you have a 27.5" length racquet, then the mid way point would be 13.75"

    And a 28" length racquet would have a mid way point of 14"

    I think if you moved you measurements to these locations you would find more accurate results out of an already great looking scale.

    If you could make these changes, I would like a copy of the pdf sent to me also.
     
    #44
  45. v1rotate

    v1rotate New User

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    Superman1272,

    You're RIGHT!!! As I don't use any XL racquets, I just moved the balance points by half an inch but it should be moved by a quarter of an inch as you say. Great spot!!! I'll move them straight away and send you one. Let me know if it's correct.

    Thanks!!
    v1rotate
     
    #45
  46. shogun90

    shogun90 Rookie

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    #46
  47. acehole

    acehole Banned

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    looks alot like the one i made.
     
    #47
  48. tennisnut16

    tennisnut16 Rookie

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    could you send it to me as well? crazysoccerkid_16@hotmail.com
    There is an underscore between the kid and the 16 (the underline cuts it out)

    Thanks in advance
     
    #48
  49. ODYSSEY Mk.4

    ODYSSEY Mk.4 Professional

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    #49
  50. HappyHapgood

    HappyHapgood New User

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    Please send me the .pdf file too!

    v1rotate -

    Please send me the .pdf file for the balance board measurements.

    Are you a pilot?

    Sincerely,

    Matt

    matt.hapgood@alumni.duke.edu
     
    #50

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