Build a racket starting from a tree..

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Greetings! First time poster, short time lurker. I don't see much about homemade rackets on here which isn't really surprising. I am attempting a wood/carbon racket from scratch starting with a strip of wood from an Elm tree. I will try to post pics as it progresses.
The idea is to have a wood core sleeved in carbon and hopefully combining the feel of wood with the extra benefits of carbon.
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Completely serious. I am very experienced in working with wood and carbon in other applications so I won't be fumbling around as much as it may sound like.
 

nochuola

Rookie
That sounds very interesting. I wonder if it might just end up feeling like a foam/silicone filled carbon racquet, but I would definitely be keeping my eyes on this project.
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Maybe. The wood will provide quite a bit more integrity on its own though. The other reason to attempt this instead of more conventional commercial methods is because it requires much less complexity. The wood is the replacement for a bladder and the effect of an external mold can be replaced with wrapping pressure.
 

topspn

Legend
Wow are you using a mold and heating it up like a graphite racquet or this is a different process?
 

Purestriker

Semi-Pro
Greetings! First time poster, short time lurker. I don't see much about homemade rackets on here which isn't really surprising. I am attempting a wood/carbon racket from scratch starting with a strip of wood from an Elm tree. I will try to post pics as it progresses.
The idea is to have a wood core sleeved in carbon and hopefully combining the feel of wood with the extra benefits of carbon.
Sounds awesome. Cannot wait to see the progress.
 

Purestriker

Semi-Pro
Maybe. The wood will provide quite a bit more integrity on its own though. The other reason to attempt this instead of more conventional commercial methods is because it requires much less complexity. The wood is the replacement for a bladder and the effect of an external mold can be replaced with wrapping pressure.
Should be solid. Would think it will have quite a bit of weight vs. the modern process.
 

BlueB

Legend
Greetings! First time poster, short time lurker. I don't see much about homemade rackets on here which isn't really surprising. I am attempting a wood/carbon racket from scratch starting with a strip of wood from an Elm tree. I will try to post pics as it progresses.
The idea is to have a wood core sleeved in carbon and hopefully combining the feel of wood with the extra benefits of carbon.
Sounds like an awesome project, but why elm, which is quite heavy? I understand that it bends well, but bamboo should too, while being about 30% lighter.
Or, not bend the wood at all, just use it as shaped core? Balsa, linden, spruce?
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Sounds like an awesome project, but why elm, which is quite heavy? I understand that it bends well, but bamboo should too, while being about 30% lighter.
Or, not bend the wood at all, just use it as shaped core? Balsa, linden, spruce?
Elm is mid-weight and actually lighter than typical bamboo laminate material. The ease of bending is a big factor since it eliminates the need to laminate multiple strips. A one piece hairpin seems like a better idea than a non-bent presumably plywood type cutout core.
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Should be solid. Would think it will have quite a bit of weight vs. the modern process.
I want it slightly heavier because I prefer the feel of the heavier vintage graphite rackets. Also saves the trouble of needing to add weight later to any great degree.
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
I'll have to figure out the pic process on here. So far I reduced a perfect strip to about 3/4 inch by one inch and then steamed and bent the center to match a hoop of vaguely Yonex shape. Right now it looks sort of like a small snowshoe. I will steam the next sections down and draw them in to form the yoke. It needs to set overnight and dry out first.

There was no cracking at all when bending which is always a bit unnerving.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I'll have to figure out the pic process on here. So far I reduced a perfect strip to about 3/4 inch by one inch and then steamed and bent the center to match a hoop of vaguely Yonex shape. Right now it looks sort of like a small snowshoe. I will steam the next sections down and draw them in to form the yoke. It needs to set overnight and dry out first.

There was no cracking at all when bending which is always a bit unnerving.
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
That's the idea but much straighter, larger, and with the back-up of modern carbon to sheath it. It will have a yoke bridge rather than that filler piece of old.

That one pictured might just be a repurposed landing net. :)
 

ron schaap

Hall of Fame
Greetings! First time poster, short time lurker. I don't see much about homemade rackets on here which isn't really surprising. I am attempting a wood/carbon racket from scratch starting with a strip of wood from an Elm tree. I will try to post pics as it progresses.
The idea is to have a wood core sleeved in carbon and hopefully combining the feel of wood with the extra benefits of carbon.
Maybe you are looking for some hobby but i would advice against such a project. Wood is only used to build racquets until 40 years ago for good reasons! I myself was think to build a racquet with a 3d Printer but normal cheap 3d printers are not big enough so i would have find a way to combine parts?
 
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Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Maybe you are looking for some hobby but i would advice against such a project. Wood is only used to build racquets until 40 years ago for good reasons! I myself was think to build a racquet with a 3d Printer but normal cheap 3d printers are not big enough so i would have find a way to combine parts?
This sort of thing is already a hobby. Carbon was not available in the same form back in the day. This is just a step back and bringing materials from "the future". The wood is really only acting as a "foam core". It is not really intended to be the primary material.
 

BlueB

Legend
Host pictures somewhere online, then drop the image link into your post between the image tags. Like:
[ img ] www .somewhere. com/ example.jpg [ /img ]
Don't use any spaces.
 

BoxbeamsFTW

Semi-Pro
I think this sounds awesome too. Can't wait to see the result. Btw, with pics, just click the landscape button next to the smiley face in the top right and insert the link for those who are lazy.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Fantastic project! How have you fixed the yoke into place? How are you planning to build up the handle - will you make and glue flakes onto the top of the current shape to form the octagonal grip?
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Thanks. The yoke bridge is not fixed in place yet. It will be glued and wrapped in place after the carbon is placed on the main part. I need to keep the whole thing separate until the carbon "sock" is slid over the entire hairpin. Not too sure about building up the handle yet. It may not need much added if I leave it bulky enough.
 

Alexrb

Semi-Pro
Thanks. The yoke bridge is not fixed in place yet. It will be glued and wrapped in place after the carbon is placed on the main part. I need to keep the whole thing separate until the carbon "sock" is slid over the entire hairpin. Not too sure about building up the handle yet. It may not need much added if I leave it bulky enough.
Very pretty, well done. Have you weighed it in it's current state? Curious what it's at now.
 

Bambooman

Semi-Pro
Not yet. I will need to find a balance between wood/carbon weight. Ideally I would like to know beforehand how many layers of carbon will be needed but it will be a bit of guesswork. I'll likely want to get it down to about 8 ounces first and then weigh it together with the estimated amount of carbon/epoxy reinforcement. I may also drill a bunch of holes in the handle portion to drop some weight there. I'm certainly expecting a final product on the heavier side which I prefer anyway. Obviously there will be no bumper and grommets.
 

speedysteve

Legend
I make stuff in limited quantities for Hi-fi. Mostly ebony armboards, armpods, stainless steal tonearm parts, speaker cabs and the like, so I'm finding this fascinating.
Huge (y)
 
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