Check out this ball machine contraption!

Tight Lines

Professional
It is rather pricy at over $1000. For that price, I would rather get a ball machine.

There are other manufacturers that make a foam board which does the same thing. I think it's much cheaper too.

I suppose if space is at a premium, it may be worth it.

Harry
 

swizzy

Hall of Fame
cool... i think i could build one for under a hundred dollars out of 2x3's and luan plywood.. might do it over the next few weeks.. i will post some pictures when it's complete
 

Rentaroo

New User
I have seen this item before. There is a similar item made by a Japanese company that is less expensive and more portable. I remember watching a video for the Japanese version, but can't seem to find it now.

The Japanese version was basic enough that I thought about building my own using items available at Home Depot. Maybe if the weather stays cold long enough, I'll give that project a go.
 

colowhisper

Semi-Pro
^^ you're in luck! price is $399! But looks like it would be pretty easy to make the frame from 40 bucks worth of PVC pipe, just need to find someone who knows how to sew for the fabric. I would like having one of these in my garage for winter time work out. Subscribed, hope to see more ideas!
 

Rentaroo

New User
OK, I was bored yesterday afternoon, so I decided to tackle the project. Basic construction and inexpensive.

I used a grommet tool to avoid sewing the tarp. The grommets are strong and were easy to install. I spent maybe one hour cutting the pipe and assembling. I purchased everything (pipe and connectors, grommet tool, springs, fasteners, tarp) from Home Depot for less than $75.00.

The only tools I used from home were my drill, rubber mallet, and hand saw. All frame connections are friction fit, no glue was used. It's strong, I can move it around the garage and driveway with no worry.

It's approximately 66 inches wide x 66 inches deep x 74 inches tall. It looks large compared to my garage door, but will easily fit through the door and inside my garage.

Works good. I've used it for about 30 minutes, good workout. Definitely helps with footwork and forces you to bend your knees and have a consistent swing. Hitting my forehand was easy (I have a western grip), but this device brought out the worst in my two-hand backhand...hahahaha.




 

Tight Lines

Professional
Wow very impressive, it looks really really good....

I am going to try to make something similar soon. Were there any parts that you couldn't get from Home Depot?

Harry
 

Rentaroo

New User
Wow very impressive, it looks really really good....

I am going to try to make something similar soon. Were there any parts that you couldn't get from Home Depot?

Harry
Hello,

Thank you! I was able to purchase everything I needed at Home Depot.

I think the blue tarp is made from too lightweight of material. I'm beginning to see small amounts of stretching / wear near some of the grommets along the top crossbar. The tarp is 6 feet x 8 feet in size and was less than $6. So, even if I replace the tarp, the overall cost is still reasonable. I may look for a heavier-weight material for the tarp, maybe something made from canvas.

I think this is an ideal tool for practicing basic strokes in a small area. I occasionally struggle with low bouncing balls, probably due to my grip style. Because the ball tends to stay relatively low when using this device, I can practice hitting that type of ball. I have a nice Lobster ball machine that can feed any type of shot I want, but I must say this do-it-yourself project offers a good workout and practice session...without having to pick up dozens of balls.

My wife and I played a mixed doubles match last night, and the gentleman on the opposing team hit a lot of slice shots. I really believe that my few days of practice with this contraption helped me hit those slice shots better.
 

Rentaroo

New User
Is their a less expensive version of this practice tool? Sounds really cool!!!
Hello,

I've seen prices for these items range between $400 and $1,000. I built my own for an initial cost of less than $75. I recently replaced the blue tarp with a better quality item made by a local tent / awning company. The upgraded tarp is made of vinyl-coated fabric. It's much stronger. The cost of the new tarp was less than $50; that includes the material and labor costs associated with sewing and installing grommets. Even with this additional cost, the entire project is less than $150, less than half what these sell for on the internet.
 

sakiwinki

New User
Tennis Wall Banger Backboard

I have developed a tennis backboard called the Tennis Wall Banger..

The Tennis Wall Banger works like a backboard. You can hit the ball as hard as you want… the surface absorbs the pace and sends the ball back at a much slower pace for you to begin your shots over again.. Repetition is the key to great tennis shots..

The pros practice for hours and hours.. this is why the Tennis Wall Banger will make you hit like a pro..for you can practice for as long as you want by yourself, in your basement or outdoors..


…Step-By-Step Guide…

…36 Pages of Photos…

…Complete Detailed Instructions…

…The Process Has Never Been Simpler…



Tennis Wall Banger is made of ABS plastic pipe…

We designed this product to be easy to assemble..all you need is a saw to cut the ABS pipe, a Drill, Cement to glue the pieces together and you are ready to go..

It can also be made in Knock Down form .. makes it easy to transport …We provide detailed plans with photos explaining every aspect of the construction.

See the Video...information... www.tenniswallbanger.com
 

Rentaroo

New User
Has anyone here purchased these plans? What type of tarp or cloth is being used?
The website states that you can purchase the items at Home Depot or Lowes, which is where I purchased the items to build mine. I did not buy any plans. I watched video of a similar item and then built my own. My guess is their plans list a basic canvas or vinyl tarp.

Here is a picture of the item I built, with the improved tarp that I had fabricated by a local tent / awning shop for less than $50. Total investment for this project was under $150.




 

wolfinsignia

New User
OK, here is a horrible video of me using the one I built.

Couple items...I'm not fat. It was cold in my garage and I'm wearing layers...hahaha. I know my swing / form does not look that good...I wasn't going for style points, I was only testing out the new tarp...really...hahaha.

http://youtu.be/JzljjvuRvsY
glad that i found this, i designed plans for building one myself for the summer. but i think it is way to high for forehand and backhand practice. maybe try using a board where the ball drops to allow the ball to bounce higher to help with backhand. based on your specs, i think i need to adjust mine a bit.

also it might be fun to add two motorized wheels to the top to increase the pace
 
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Rentaroo

New User
glad that i found this, i designed plans for building one myself for the summer. but i think it is way to high for forehand and backhand practice. maybe try using a board where the ball drops to allow the ball to bounce higher to help with backhand. based on your specs, i think i need to adjust mine a bit.

also it might be fun to add two motorized wheels to the top to increase the pace

Hello,

I have seen other designs that use a board to alter the bounce of the ball, and they seem to work well. I initially thought of using this method, as it would probably be more simple in design. I decided not to go that route, as I didn't want a board on the ground in front of me that I could potentially step on / trip over.

Also, the ball does not continue forward toward the player after it hits the board; the ball only rises straight up (at least in each video I've seen). Without the board, the ball continues to move toward the player which, for me at least, helps with timing.

The grommet positions on my tarp allow me to change the "sag" slightly, which results in the ball returning at different speeds. I've found this works well for kids and adults who need more time to adjust body position. I can also remove the tarp's lower crossbar to further increase the ball return speed.

The height was the difficult part for me to determine. I had to guess the best height based upon estimating the height of people in videos and pictures. The whole thing could be smaller and still work well, but I think it turned out OK.

I use it for ten or fifteen minutes before leaving home for matches. It's a decent warm-up.

Good luck with your project!
 

brunda

New User
Trying to build one for my 10 year old

Hi Rentaroo

Great job, I am trying to build one for me, I see from other branded one with below measurements

5 feet depth
5 feet wide
6.5 feet tall

Do we have to fallow any measurement for front two small legs to get adequate slop for ball to return in right way? The back legs should be 6.5 feet but what about front two legs?

Please help me with your measurements or ratio you followed to build yours.

Thanks in advance.
Brunda
 

Rentaroo

New User
Hi Rentaroo

Great job, I am trying to build one for me, I see from other branded one with below measurements

5 feet depth
5 feet wide
6.5 feet tall

Do we have to fallow any measurement for front two small legs to get adequate slop for ball to return in right way? The back legs should be 6.5 feet but what about front two legs?

Please help me with your measurements or ratio you followed to build yours.

Thanks in advance.
Brunda

Hello,

I guessed on some measurements. I have measured the height, and it is 77 inches from the floor to the top of the cross piece for the tarp. The height at the front cross piece (the portion the tarp lays over, is 31 inches from the floor. It's lower than the net on an actual court. When I practice, I always hit the ball near the middle of the tarp, which is higher than the net.

I used 45 degree elbows to join the front legs to the top cross member. I used the 45 degree elbows, because this size was most common. From a geometry standpoint, it was also easier to figure out some other lengths.

I truly "tinker-toyed" this thing together, holding the pipe at different angles, measuring and cutting as I pieced it together. Google "tinker toys" if you're not sure what that means...hahaha.

I probably could have used some math and a computer program to design it first, but I was just bored that afternoon and decided to have a go at it. I think it works OK.
 

brunda

New User
Thanks for quick response, do you suggest me to buy wall banger book for $19 if that helps? or it is simple thing we can build without wasting $20 for that instructions book?

I am doing this for my 10 year old and wanted to have it in my garage to practice when they don't go to court :)

Thanks for your time to help me.
 

Rentaroo

New User
Thanks for quick response, do you suggest me to buy wall banger book for $19 if that helps? or it is simple thing we can build without wasting $20 for that instructions book?

I am doing this for my 10 year old and wanted to have it in my garage to practice when they don't go to court :)

Thanks for your time to help me.

Hello,

I think the plans could help, if you are not comfortable or good at building things without a set of instructions. Your success with the project will depend upon your own knowledge, skills, and abilities with designing your own contraption based upon some pictures or video.

I'm OK at figuring out how things work by looking at pictures or video, and there were no plans when I first built mine. Mine is probably more complicated than necessary. My wife asked me if I was going to sell plans for the one I built and I said, "No". There are already other groups selling plans and the finished product; I didn't want to deal with the legal issues.

Of course, if somebody who lived near me was interested in building one, then I would certainly help them...hahaha.

$20 is pretty cheap for a set of plans, provided the plans are nicely detailed and written well.
 

Rentaroo

New User
looks like a great way to ingrain an "arm only" stroke, as the guy in the video is doing.

Agree the gentlemen in the video is using only his arm for the stroke. Could be he was intentionally hitting that way, so it would be easier to see how the ball impacts the device and then rebounds, of course that is all conjecture.

I know my form in the video I posted is not perfect, which I explained the reasoning behind. When I'm using the device for an actual warm-up or workout, I focus on using better form...unit turn, good footwork, follow-through, etc.

The device is simply a tool to use, it does not cause ingrain of a particular type of stroke. You could just as easily ingrain poor strokes using a ball machine or another person feeding balls.

Repetition is repetition, the key is to repeat the good stuff. Learn good strokes and then you can use something like this to have high repetition.
 

smboogie

Semi-Pro
Awesome!

Wondering how you figured the height of the front lip so you knew you would clear it? Just an educated guess?

I would love to build something similar if I knew the heights to try out. Then again cutting and re-assembling wouldn't take very long.
 

Rentaroo

New User
Wondering how you figured the height of the front lip so you knew you would clear it? Just an educated guess?

I would love to build something similar if I knew the heights to try out. Then again cutting and re-assembling wouldn't take very long.
The net is 36 inches high at the center. I figured that if the front edge of the tarp was between 32 and 36 inches from the ground, I would have enough clearance. That height also gives a decent enough bounce height from the ball.

It's a lower bounce height than about 80% of the people I regularly play against. The lower bounce height is something that I have always had more trouble with, so this helps me practice hitting that type of ball.
 

pelispelis

New User
Rentaroo can you please post a close-up picture of the way you connect the vinyl with the pvc ? It seems that you're using some kind of spring but I'm not sure.

Now that the weather is improving I want to give it a try on making this. I was thinking on buying one of those advertising billboards vinyl that will withstand anything, they are usually very cheap.

Thanks in advance
 

Rentaroo

New User
Rentaroo can you please post a close-up picture of the way you connect the vinyl with the pvc ? It seems that you're using some kind of spring but I'm not sure.

Now that the weather is improving I want to give it a try on making this. I was thinking on buying one of those advertising billboards vinyl that will withstand anything, they are usually very cheap.

Thanks in advance
Hello,

My apologies for the delayed response. I will post the pictures you have requested later this evening. The vinyl tarp has a channel sewn into the top portion that allows the frame's top cross-member to slide through, this secures the top of the tarp to the frame.

There are two grommets on each side of the tarp, about 12 inches from the channel. I installed an eye-bolt on each of the rear-most vertical supports and then used a spring between the grommet and the eye-bolt. The springs pull on the tarp, keeping the tarp stretched properly and also create the correct profile / shape that enables the tarp to absorb the ball's energy and return the ball back towards the player.

There are two grommets on the opposite end of the tarp (front) and similar bolts that are used to secure the tarp to the front vertical supports. I used a smaller diameter piece of pipe between the front vertical supports that provides extra support for the tarp (the tarp simply lays over top of the pipe). The smaller pipe also creates a "lip" that gives the ball some extra height when rolling off the tarp.
 

pelispelis

New User
Please do not rush for me. Whenever possible is more than good :)
Thanks for the rest of your specifications. Did you use 1" pvc pipe or 3/4 ?
 

Rentaroo

New User
Hello,

I used 1.25" schedule 40 PVC pipe. I considered 1" schedule 40 PVC pipe, though I was worried about overall strength and excess flex / wobbles. The 1.25" is stronger, yet still lightweight and easy to work with.

I hope the below pictures help with your project. My apologies for the picture orientation; for some reason I can't seem to get Photobucket to cooperate.











 

pelispelis

New User
Amazing!

Thanks Rentaroo, really great pictures, and information. I feel very confident about tackling this project very soon.
Next is a trip to HD :)
 

sakiwinki

New User
plans for you...

Hello,

I think the plans could help, if you are not comfortable or good at building things without a set of instructions. Your success with the project will depend upon your own knowledge, skills, and abilities with designing your own contraption based upon some pictures or video.

I'm OK at figuring out how things work by looking at pictures or video, and there were no plans when I first built mine. Mine is probably more complicated than necessary. My wife asked me if I was going to sell plans for the one I built and I said, "No". There are already other groups selling plans and the finished product; I didn't want to deal with the legal issues.

Of course, if somebody who lived near me was interested in building one, then I would certainly help them...hahaha.

$20 is pretty cheap for a set of plans, provided the plans are nicely detailed and written well.
Rentaroo,

I want to send you a set of plans for your evaluation ... free of charge...

Let me know where to send... email...

Sakiwinki
 
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Rentaroo

New User
Rentaroo,

I want to send you a set of plans for your evaluation ... free of charge...

Let me know where to send... email...

Sakiwinki

Hello,

I'm happy to look at the plans you have developed, though I'm only a do-it-yourself hacker.

If your plans have clear pictures, instructions for the various lengths of pipe, and recommended sources for the materials needed, then I'm sure the plans are a quality product and worth the minimal investment. I will send you a private message with my email address.
 

Rentaroo

New User
Are any of these things actually better than just a wall?
Hello,

I don't think any of these items are better than a wall, but they do offer some advantages.

Not everyone has a wall near their home, and most of these are portable and/or small enough for use in a garage, driveway, patio, etc.

Because of the design, the ball returns to the user almost the exact same way, every time, which provides a nice consistent ball to hit again and again. The rebound off a wall is more variable, which is good, but not always ideal.
 

JackB1

G.O.A.T.
Hello,

I don't think any of these items are better than a wall, but they do offer some advantages.

Not everyone has a wall near their home, and most of these are portable and/or small enough for use in a garage, driveway, patio, etc.

Because of the design, the ball returns to the user almost the exact same way, every time, which provides a nice consistent ball to hit again and again. The rebound off a wall is more variable, which is good, but not always ideal.
the potential problems I see with that are...hitting without moving the feet much and ingraining a repeating bad stroke that uses too much arm.
 

Rentaroo

New User
the potential problems I see with that are...hitting without moving the feet much and ingraining a repeating bad stroke that uses too much arm.
Agree, and I responded to this concern in a previous post. The same issue could also result from using a wall, ball machine, or another person feeding balls.

I can use the item I built in various ways to alternate forehand / backhand, which requires good footwork. Multiple people can use it at the same time, in alternating fashion, which also requires solid footwork.

I think you're basing your concerns on one video that was posted. There are good videos that show similar items being used to good effect. Tennis Smith has multiple videos. Search "great base backboard".
 

brunda

New User
Tarp qiality

Rentaroo

Could you please let me know what type of tarp is that, I bought one from home depot and that does not look good and making lot of noise. I am trying to purchase heavy duty one from online but there are many models

is this PVC tarp?
what is the weight is it 10 oz or 13 oz or even hither ?

Thanks in advance.
 

brunda

New User
I am looking at this site to get one, these are 18 oz. we can install eyelets from Homedepot to match with location.
 
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