Rotten Handle

am1899

Hall of Fame
So a customer dropped off a racquet because a replacement grip which was installed by a coworker of mine had become completely detached. After I removed the grip I discovered that the material underneath the grip is completely rotten (soft and spongy to the touch and flaking off). At that point it was clear why the grip did not "take." My question is, has anyone run into this and is there anything I can do to save the racquet? The only thing that appears to be under the soft, rotten material the first layer of the handle, which appears to be plastic or fiberglass. If I shave off all the rotten material and put the grip over the remaining layer, the grip would be way too small, and the butt cap would have nothing to hold it in place. Is there anything I can do to build it up?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Never ran into that problem but it sounds like a defect. Maybe your coworker should have noticed before the grip was replaced. If still under warranty I would try to send it back.
 

Squidward

Rookie
What kind/brand of racquet is this?

Can the pallet be removed/replaced? Possibly use a grip sleeve to cover the "rotten" part?

Pics would help us all understand what you're up against.

Good Luck!
 

struggle

Legend
Are you sure it's not just part of the old grip that's still stuck to the handle?

If not, perhaps chip away the "rot" ans apply some epoxy, and form it back to shape by sanding as needed.

Otherwise a new pallet may be the trick.
 
It could be an older racquet, where the foam on the handle/pallet could have deteriorated. Wouldn't think that would happen. If the racquet doesn't use a pallet, it will be a lot trickier. Not worth it to have someone create a new handle. There are other options he has
 
Could you put a shrink sleeve on the handle this would increase the grip size by a little it but can be bought for an inexpensive price
 

Chotobaka

Hall of Fame
This thread really needs pics. I have had really rotten racquets that resulted in rotten shots, but have never seen hairpin, pallet or handles that could rot.
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
I have seen old foam handled racquets where they just began to crumble. Not really sure what to do other than try to rebuild with a similar substance--truth is, if that is the problem, it's really time to either have someone replace the entire grip pallet if possible or buy a new racquet--I would tend to do the latter--I think the materials and labor to do to the former is likely not worth it. Post some pics and perhaps I will have a different perspective.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Sorry folks. Here are pics as requested. It would appear that it's the pallet itself that has rotted away...





 
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Squidward

Rookie
Actually, when you remove the buttcap and clean away all the foam residue to the bare hairpin you might be able to salvage the racquet.

I remember Hankenstein (sp) installed a pallet set up to one of his babolats and it came out great.

Worth a try if you're gonna ditch the racquet anyway!
 

vsgut

Rookie
Some of the Spalding racquets with the sensathane handle used to fall apart like that. (Assault, Taxi, etc.)

Get rid of the sensathane. I was able to make a handle with balsa wood and a shrink sleeve. But a real pain to get it right. If I had to do it all over again I would have charged $50.

**** might have a pallet that might fit. Priority 1 for sure could fix it but not sure if you or your customer want to absorb that cost.

Chuck
 

struggle

Legend
While you're at it, perhaps question your "co-worker" as to why they tried to wrap a grip on that without notifying anyone?
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
Unless the customer loves the racquet, it is hard to fathom how this fix would be economical. While I think it could be fixed, unless the fix is done by P1 or the like, I think it would be just a "bubble gum and bailing wire" fix. I suggest a new racquet (I suspect that the stick must be pretty old or buried alive with no next of kin). Honestly, I am not sure I would have regripped the first time (but I also note that this sort of deteriation can happen quickly--i.e., once it happens it happens fast). I am not sure whether you are in the retail biz or not but here's what I suggest: (1) offer to reach out to P1, RacquetMax or the like to see what they can do and/or
(2) offer to sell / string for them a new racquet (or contribute to the fix) with a credit of $8-10 (reflecting a rebate of the re-gripping that possibly should not have occurred--much cheaper than the cost of acquiring a new customer). Good luck.
 
Unless the customer loves the racquet, it is hard to fathom how this fix would be economical. While I think it could be fixed, unless the fix is done by P1 or the like, I think it would be just a "bubble gum and bailing wire" fix. I suggest a new racquet (I suspect that the stick must be pretty old or buried alive with no next of kin). Honestly, I am not sure I would have regripped the first time (but I also note that this sort of deteriation can happen quickly--i.e., once it happens it happens fast). I am not sure whether you are in the retail biz or not but here's what I suggest: (1) offer to reach out to P1, RacquetMax or the like to see what they can do and/or
(2) offer to sell / string for them a new racquet (or contribute to the fix) with a credit of $8-10 (reflecting a rebate of the re-gripping that possibly should not have occurred--much cheaper than the cost of acquiring a new customer). Good luck.
Agreed. You could get a new handle made, or you could just order some pallets and install on them. All depends on how much you want to pay and if it is worth it.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the advice guys. As far as pallets go, I know the shape on the outside varies between manufacturers. But what about the inside? I have a couple old cracked frames but they're not the same mfg as this racquet. Is there any chance a pallet from another brand would fit it?

Edit - the idea would be remove pallet from cracked racquet and install on the one in question...
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
That's not a pallet, that's a molded on handle. Not many racket manufactures use pallets, but Volkl/Becker and Head are among the main ones. So unless you have a cracked Head or Volkl around, you won't be able to try the pallet route. Also, a pallet wouldn't be a direct fit, and would probably require a bit of finagling and customization.
 
It is possible to salvage and fix this. I've done it before and also guided someone through. All depends on whether the owner is willing/able to DIY or to pay.

Option 1
- Scrap off all the remaining foam
- Buy the nearest matching grip pallets
- Dry fit and fill gaps with masking tape before installing

Option 2
- Scrape off all remaining foam
- If customer is not very particular about grip shape, he can wrap three replacement grips tightly, one over another. Or two replacement grips plus one or two overgrips.
- Weight of a set of pallets is approximately 25 grams, replacement grip about 15g and overgrip about 5g

Option 3
- Scrape off all remaining foam
- Select balsa wood about 3 to 4 mm thick
- Cut to match bevels, total 8 pieces & install
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Thanks for all the words of wisdom folks! I'll take these options back to the customer and go from there.
 

jim e

Legend
If it was your own racquet, and you had all the time in the world to rebuilt it and try different things so it feels and plays correct, that's fine.
For a customer then it should be sent out to a shop like P1 or similar and pay their charges, or its time to say it is not worth the effort and time and expense to repair it, as no racquet lasts forever unless it is not used. Seems like the racquet outlived its usefulness and its time to replace would be best advise. You know sometimes a customer just needs to be reassured that it is time to replace it and needs to hear that from you.
 
As you noted, the inside of a pallet is different shaped depending on the manufacturer. As someone mentioned, that is the original, molded grip (you can tell by the space under the butt cap where the handle has rotted away). TennisMaxx (I think that was the name of the guy) used to have a mold for handles. He did it for around $35, but had only 1 shape. Priority One will do it, but the cost will probably exceed the value of the racket. Mention it to the customer. It just might be worth it to him.
 

Rob_C

Hall of Fame
Racket customizers can mold a new handle to the frame. Pretty sure **** does it. There was one other company that did it as well. I forget the name tho. Might have been New Tech Tennis, affiliated with Alpha.

Anyway, IIRC, the cost was between $40-80 per racket.
 

Chotobaka

Hall of Fame
As you noted, the inside of a pallet is different shaped depending on the manufacturer. As someone mentioned, that is the original, molded grip (you can tell by the space under the butt cap where the handle has rotted away). TennisMaxx (I think that was the name of the guy) used to have a mold for handles. He did it for around $35, but had only 1 shape. Priority One will do it, but the cost will probably exceed the value of the racket. Mention it to the customer. It just might be worth it to him.
You were close. Racquet Maxx does quality work. Most bang for the buck when it comes to custom work.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Just to update. The customer did not want to invest the money to send the racquet out to have the handle replaced. Therefore, we agreed that I would go with a temporary solution, while he shops for a new frame. Here's what I ended up doing:

1. Remove all traces of foam
2. Install 2 replacement grips (salvaged some old ones)
3. Staple butt cap to the replacement grips. Surprisingly, it was rather snug after I stapled each of the 8 sides.
4. Install a new replacement grip

The result? Not awful, actually. Probably came out to around 4 & 3/8 size. Obviously, the characteristic ridges of a tennis racquet are missing. But, the grip is on there good, and there's no squishy feeling that was present before. So, this should do just fine until the customer finds a new frame.

Thanks for all the ideas and guidance!
 

Fearsome Forehand

Professional
Could you put a shrink sleeve on the handle this would increase the grip size by a little it but can be bought for an inexpensive price
Same thing I was thinking. You could use a half size sleeve after scraping off the excess off the handle, wrap the grip very tight (minimize the overlap) and the net increase in size would be minimal.

I would use a heat gun, a blow dryer, or even very hot water to heat up the gunk on the handle scrape some off and if it is still, rotten, soft, spongy underneath, put a sleeve over it.

Never heard of a pallet disintegrating before.
What kind of racket is it?

Edit: Glad you solved it. The two grip solution isn't a bad fix but it will result in grip rounding, can't feel the planes and slants very well.
 
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1HBHfanatic

Legend
^ yeah, grip rounding is the issue with multiple layers
the grip provably got wet over time and or heat in the attic will do it too
it might be a spalding.taxi racquet, earlier in the thread someone mentioned it, i use to have some, something similar happened to me, nto this bad but close;
i dont know where the racquets are now.. haha
 

John

Semi-Pro
It is possible to salvage and fix this. I've done it before and also guided someone through. All depends on whether the owner is willing/able to DIY or to pay.

Option 1
- Scrap off all the remaining foam
- Buy the nearest matching grip pallets
- Dry fit and fill gaps with masking tape before installing

Option 2
- Scrape off all remaining foam
- If customer is not very particular about grip shape, he can wrap three replacement grips tightly, one over another. Or two replacement grips plus one or two overgrips.
- Weight of a set of pallets is approximately 25 grams, replacement grip about 15g and overgrip about 5g

Option 3
- Scrape off all remaining foam
- Select balsa wood about 3 to 4 mm thick
- Cut to match bevels, total 8 pieces & install
I am planing to turn my request to a furniture company to custom made handle for me. I will let the company to choose. 1 or 3. I was thinking to use wood to make a pallet like stuff to avoid cut the existing grip too much to hurt frame. But how to tie the added wood to the grip and make it remain tightly together is the challenge. Glue won't last long and nail will crack the frame....puzzled.
 

John

Semi-Pro
Racket customizers can mold a new handle to the frame. Pretty sure **** does it. There was one other company that did it as well. I forget the name tho. Might have been New Tech Tennis, affiliated with Alpha.

Anyway, IIRC, the cost was between $40-80 per racket.
Can you send me a list of company that do custom handle and able to clean up mold handle on Wilson ps and fix it?
Please space each character with blank to avoid masked off by system. Ty.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I am planing to turn my request to a furniture company to custom made handle for me. I will let the company to choose. 1 or 3. I was thinking to use wood to make a pallet like stuff to avoid cut the existing grip too much to hurt frame. But how to tie the added wood to the grip and make it remain tightly together is the challenge. Glue won't last long and nail will crack the frame....puzzled.
Funny you should mention this. I just took a molded grip off my racket and I have two options. ONE - I bought some 1 gallon paint paddles that are 1/8" x 1" from Home Depot. A pack of 10 were $1. I was thinking of using gorilla glue to glue them on the bevels and shave them down as I go, then sand them to the correct size. Or TWO - I could get pallets off the auction site pretty cheap and glue them on.

EDIT: I would much prefer pine (paddles) over balsa just because it is firmer. I think the I leaning toward real pallets though.
 
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