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-   -   DIY: Balance Board (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=145818)

Craig Sheppard 07-20-2007 04:18 PM

DIY: Balance Board
 
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/mobilec.../balanceboard/)






Pathy01 07-20-2007 06:35 PM

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.

TheShaun 07-20-2007 07:03 PM

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

User Name 07-20-2007 07:06 PM

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.

FedUp 07-20-2007 07:26 PM

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

Craig Sheppard 07-21-2007 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheShaun (Post 1605898)
can someone explain how a balance board works exactly, as i may be interested in making my lm rad more head light.

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.

TheShaun 07-21-2007 10:24 AM

^^^ 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?

Craig Sheppard 07-21-2007 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheShaun (Post 1606180)
^^^ 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?

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/lea...nedswtbal.html

TheShaun 07-21-2007 10:53 AM

thanks for the link. if i want to put the weight directly under the trap door should i use something like this in 1/8 oz. size? i think i've got a weekend project!

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...equestid=38965

rfprse 07-21-2007 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheShaun (Post 1606217)
thanks for the link. if i want to put the weight directly under the trap door should i use something like this in 1/8 oz. size? i think i've got a weekend project!

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...equestid=38965

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.

luckyguy 07-21-2007 09:38 PM

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

theace21 08-09-2007 03:48 PM

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

ryohazuki222 08-09-2007 09:05 PM

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.

nousername 09-29-2007 07:53 PM

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...

Breakaz54z 01-09-2008 07:42 AM

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!

Craig Sheppard 01-31-2008 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Breakaz54z (Post 1987719)
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!

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. :-)

kimbahpnam 02-12-2008 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Craig Sheppard (Post 1605659)
1 3/16" dowel from Lowe's (~.$69)

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.

TheShaun 02-12-2008 03:16 PM

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

YULitle 02-15-2008 07:43 PM

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

Chauvalito 02-15-2008 08:08 PM

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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