Silicone in the handle...Why????

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by msalamon, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. msalamon

    msalamon Rookie

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    What is the advantage of putting silicone in the handle? Is is to add weight so that the balance is more headlight?

    And, how is it done--does it need to be done professionaly, or is it a DIY project?
     
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  2. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Or buy a grip size one down, and use a shrinkwrap grip to get back to the right size for you, while adding 18-20g for a Gamma shrinkwrap grip.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Mass, affecting balance.
    Vibration dampening.
    Softer feel.
     
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  4. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    It is very easy. I did it like 100 times :)
     
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  5. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    Mushy feel.
     
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  6. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    At some point in time I had 6 grams of silicone inside the handle of my pdgt, and the thing hit great. With that and some lead tape in the hoop maybe I reached my ideal weight or something, the racket felt solid. It plowed through almost any shot with ease and gave me only the heavy impact of opponent's shots. No vibration, no twisting and not a slight of uncomfortableness. Sadly I lost that racket and couldn't replicate it with another pdgt.
     
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  7. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    I agree and that is the reason why I put silicone just in one chamber. Other one still preserves some crispness...
     
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  8. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I do it to dampen out vibration. I like a "dead" feel in my racket. Plus, adding a little weight in the handle never really hurts in my opinion.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    To dampen vibration IS to deaden the feel.
    Some players use a vibration dampener. Some don't.
    Crisp direct feel is great for the young and never injured.
    Dampened dead feel is needed by older players and injured players.
    Both are good, but for whom?
     
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  10. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Keep it real. Bare nekkid tennis.
     
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  11. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Hmm, maybe this is why the Prince Ignite Team only had one chamber filled with silicone. I though Prince was just doing things the easy way, but the racket felt great.

    Some questions:

    1)How are you measuring out the weight of silicone before putting it in your racket?

    2)Is silicone the same weight before and after it dries?

    3)Are you filling the entire width of the chamber in one big glob or running a bead along the length?

    The third question is because I currently stick layers of 4in length of lead tape inside the handle. If I place all that weight on a tailweight on the butt cap there is a noticeable difference. Wondering if that silicone feel can only be achieved if the width of the chamber is filled or if applying it in a long bead will do the same.
     
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  12. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Silicone is really light and takes up a lot of space. You can't squash it down as it will seep out. The only way I have found to weigh it is to put my racquet on the scales and squeeze till it reaches the desired weight. As long as you get it near the centre the left to right balance (as opposed to h/light) balance should be ok.
     
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  13. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    1. I use syringe and digital scale
    2. No. It gets lighter by a super-tiny margin so imho it is irrelevant
    3. Definitely entire width and when I cannot inject more because there is no space (silicone reaches the level of the handle) I just push it in with my finger

    Fyi, is you add exactly the same weight in 2 identical racquets but in one you use lead tape and in other one silicone they will not feel, sound and play the same. Silicone and lead add to say different character to racquets.
     
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  14. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    If you need to be that precise, here's a couple of ways to do it: 1) Take off the butt cap (or trap door). Lay the racket down on some postal scales. Weigh it and/or zero it out. Then start adding in the silicone. 2) If you use a liquid, such as rubber cement, pour some into a small cup (like a Nyquil cup), weigh it, then pour some into the racket and weigh it again. Subtract the weight of the mostly empty cup from the cup when full and you have the amount you poured in.
     
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  15. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    What do you think it's used for (where's that hitting the head against the wall icon)? It's for dampening the vibrations. It's for absorbing some of the impact that you get. Seriously, what are airbags for cars for? Do they em... make the car go faster when they are inflated with that air cause it makes them lighter? Even when I was a kid, I could figure basic logic out.
     
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  16. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Some really good replies here already. Regarding Ray's question, post #11, here's my two cents.

    1. If you fill both chambers, a good planning guide is ... 1" of silicone = 10 grams.

    2. To get the tail heavy balance that I like, and I think you seem to like, you can push some lead fishing weights into the last inch or two closest to the butt cap surrounded by silicone.

    3. Plan out your approach first using this tool, that way you'll be able to fiqure out your balance point, and overall mass in advance.
    http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/customizationReverse.php

    4. If you need to put any more than two inches in there, I'd use the silicone gun thinga ma jiggy to squeeze the tube, it gets messy otherwise.

    A few good photos in Bud's thread here:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=357497
    And sman's thread here:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=363912


    Hope this helps, Jack
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
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  17. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Nevermind....
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
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  18. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Other than the vibration dampening capabilities, the major benefit is getting more mass on the racquet without adding to swingweight. IMHO, today's typical racquets have enough power but are too light against heavy hitters and you can really feel those heavy balls all the way up the arm with a light racquet such as a Pure Drive. Adding 20g to the handle of a PD doesn't really make the racquet feel that much heavier as you swing it but does start to help against those cannon balls that heavy hitters send your way.

    Another "problem" with many current racquets is they seem to be very polarized. In this case adding silicone or lead to the handle sometimes makes the racquet just feel odd when hitting. In this case sometimes it is better to start adding lead to the bottom half of the throat area to get more mass for combating heavy balls with the added advantage of more plow-thru and a more stable feeling racquet. Unfortunately weight here starts to affect swingweight somewhat and the racquet can feel more sluggish when a good bit of weight is added.
     
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  19. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

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    I played with a "pro stock" head frame that was previously owned by Cecil Mammit (spelling?) and it was customized with lead and silicone in the handle. The frame was the LM Instinct with a 18x19 pattern. Shots felt solid, not much vibration on impact, but other than that, my guess would be silicone numbs the vibration in the frame.. good or bad. IMO, I had less feel on serves and slices and couldn't really adjust to the "feel" on impact. It's probably just a random setup you could love or hate.
     
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  20. rosewall4ever

    rosewall4ever Semi-Pro

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    silicone used for making molds does well for this application. easily pours and and solidifies quickly.
     
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  21. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    To add to the above: it's really toxic stuff. Please be careful: rubber gloves, ventilated space, and Clinton Style.

    (No inhaling, I mean. You'll know it right away if you do.)
     
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  22. forthegame

    forthegame Hall of Fame

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    ^^^
    Your signature is crazy!!!:)
     
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  23. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Gelatine works well and if you get hungry.............
     
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  24. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C

    Depends on what kind of silicone you are using :)

    Remodeling bathrooms, I have about 5-6 tubes of silicone avg in my garage and they're all different weights/ densities


    Careful when "filling." If you desire plugging the whole handle, use a thin wire or stick (a la bamboo skewers for shish-kebab) to "spread" the silicone as it will trap air bubbles and make a horrific mess. Also, using that wire, you can make sure it goes in even and all the way to the bottom.

    I siliconed my radicals partially because I like the feel/ wanted a little more weight to the frame but I also didn't fill the whole handle, added about half, then sat the frames on their buttcaps-- since silicone is liquid it self-settled.
     
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  25. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    What about if you change your mind after a week or so? How do you take the silicone out of the handle?
     
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  26. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Screwdriver and a low speed drill bit. It's pretty easy, I've done it a few times to various frames. It also depends on how much of the handle you fill. A good trick is to place cotton balls packed in first.
     
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  27. msalamon

    msalamon Rookie

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    What is the best type of silicon and where can it be purchased?--at the big home improvement store?

    Can anyone provide a nice easy step by step for silconing a handle?
     
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  28. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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  29. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

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    Anything for corking/ tile work will do. The cheaper the better because if you can't cap the top, the whole tube will go bad.

    Obviously this can get much more scientific/ accurate depending on how much time you want to spend but...

    First, you'll want to use gloves-- if you're not used to using silicone, it will get everywhere.

    Depending on how careful you are/ comfortable working with it you can do this 1 of two ways.

    A. Take off your overgrips/ regular grips and pry out the staples of the buttcap. This way, you'll have a clear shot at the two chambers. Also you can weight exactly how much your wraps/grips weigh when taking them off. Now, when you add silicone and weigh your frame, you'll know how much you've put in.

    B. Pop open the trap door if you have one, cut just the very tip of the silicone tube at an angle so that it fits comfortably and silicone away. Much easier to do, but also much easier to make a mess.


    From there, you have 2 other options.

    A. With a caulking gun, measure out exactly how much 1 full squeeze of silicone will release. you can do this by placing some seran/cling wrap on a scale and weighing. This way you can gauge exactly how much you want to put in. from there, you can use a spatula/ small spoon and pack the two chambers for an exact weight.

    B. Silicone away, cap, and weigh. Add as necessary

    C. SQUEEZE AWAY! Fill the chambers fully and hope you like it.



    Tips:
    -you can use a bamboo stick (a la shishkebab skewer) to tamp down the silicone/ pop any air bubbles that develop in the chambers.
    - close the trap door and sit your racquets vertically-- the silicone will settle towards the bottom and form a nice plug. You can gently tap them to help the silicone settle.
    - Don't forget to staple if you take the buttcap off!


    Hope that helps.
     
    #29
  30. Geology_Rocks!

    Geology_Rocks! Semi-Pro

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    what about hot glue? Would it work the same way?
     
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