Shaving a handle?

cluckcluck

Hall of Fame
Recently acquired a near mint condition Yonex Ultimum RD Ti80 but it's got a L5 grip. Which is HUGE for me. Would want to get it down to an L3. What's the best approach for this to be accurate and even all around?
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
80 grit paper and sanding block. Remove butt cap and do same number of sanding strokes for each plane/bevel. Do the sanding symmetrically. Since you need a new butt cap anyway, get that first. Check periodically with new butt cap. When it fits, you are done. Warning, this is tedious.

There are threads that mention Volkl pallets may fit IIRC. You have to remove all the foam to make it happen.

I am sure there are belt sanders that could be used. However, I would think it may remove too much material with each pass.
 

10shoe

Professional
I don’t own one but I have access to one. What you thinking?
Use the drill press like a milling machine. You will need a flat end/end cutting burr. The 1/2" diameter ones are inexpensive but
each cut will require 2 passes. And you will need a drill press vise. Personally, I use a cross sliding vise, but I suppose if you are
careful you could use regular vise, you just need to be very careful not to let it tip.

These are burrs. Also known as rotary files.

 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Are you referring to R P N Y pallets or a specific brand pallet?
I try a TK82 or TK82S or maybe a Volkl pallet.

EDIT: I have never taken the pallet off a Yonex racket and warn you it may not work. It all depends on the size of the hairpin. I would use a razor knife to cut the pallet down the top and bottom bevel so I could try to get the pallet off in 2 pieces just in case.
 

kkm

Professional
I don’t know about older Yonex racquets, but recent Yonex racquets have a shape under the foam handle very different from Head, Völkl, and so on. If the shape under the foam handle is the same as it is for modern Yonex racquets, the R P N Y, Head, and Völkl pallets will not fit.
 

10shoe

Professional
I can't recall ever seeing a Yonex racquet with a pallet. Somebody here has experience removing injected urethane foam handles? What is the best way to do that?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I can't recall ever seeing a Yonex racquet with a pallet. Somebody here has experience removing injected urethane foam handles? What is the best way to do that?
Cut them with a razor knife down the top and bottom bevels then pry them off. I’ve done it on Wilson and Tecnifibre rackets with 1 piece molded pallets.
 

10shoe

Professional
Cut them with a razor knife down the top and bottom bevels then pry them off. I’ve done it on Wilson and Tecnifibre rackets with 1 piece molded pallets.
Interesting. Will give that a try.

Meanwhile, I just measured the hairpin on a Yonex RDX 300 and it was 22.62 x 18.49mm. I don't have any Head or Volkl hairpins handy, but both a Head and Volkl pallet seem to be a good deal wider than needed.

Edit: I had to replace a pallet on a Microgel Radical today. The hairpin measured 25.97 x 17.58mm.
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Meanwhile, I just measured the hairpin on a Yonex RDX 300 and it was 22.62 x 18.49mm. I don't have any Head or Volkl hairpins handy, but both a Head and Volkl pallet seem to be a good deal wider than needed.
Both the Head and Volkl pallets fit on my Tecnifibre so I would assume the hairpin on the Yonex frames are smaller. You could make some expansion adhesive by mixing Gorilla glue and water to fill the void.
 

kkm

Professional
You can use a box cutter or a chisel to get the polyurethane foam off.
The shape under the molded handle on modern Yonex racquets has a major taper going from top to bottom, completely different from Head. I don’t know about older Yonex racquets, if they’re different from modern Yonex racquets under the molded handle.
I’ve seen recent Wilson racquets with a different shape under the molded handle than Wilson racquets from over a decade ago.
 

10shoe

Professional
@cluckcluck

Below is a picture of a Yonex handle that has been partially cut with a rotary file. The cut in the picture is slightly more than necessary to reduce a handle one size. You will be reducing two sizes. So, you will be taking cuts in the .050" to .060" range, more than the thickness of a dime and less than the thickness of the edge of penny.

Many moons ago, when I was first asked by a customer to reduce a handle I figured the best tool for the job was a milling machine. So I set out to approximate a milling machine by purchasing a small drill press at Home Depot. I also bought a dial caliper there to measure the progress of my cuts and a pair of safety glasses. Then I found a cross sliding vise at a place called Tool Warehouse and also a 1/2" burr.

Now, this was between 25 and 30 yrs ago, so prices have maybe increased some. Back then I paid roughly:

Drill press ....$125
Cross sliding vise.....$35
Burr......$7
Caliper......$12
Safety glasses.....$5

I have seen cross sliding vises like mine selling on the big auction site, price seems to have not changed much.

 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
Sandpaper.

Get the right grit. Sand down each bevel. Dust off. Go again. Rotate.

Count how many passes you do on each bevel. Make sure you use a fresh area of the sandpaper each time. Grip it and see how you like it until comfortable. Damp a cloth or rag and go over the handle. Wait a few minutes. Rewrap grip.

I made the mistake of just palming the sandpaper and twisting the racquet. It works alright! Ended up with what felt like gripping a baseball bat. Perfectly rounded. No bevels.

Basically went from 5/8 down to about 1/4 grip. I had to make small adjustments after as it shifted the balance to more head heavy.

Did this on 2 Ncode Tour 90's. I thought I ruined the racquets but I actually liked it. The rounded grip allowed my wrist to roll over naturally when I hit a shot. Wish I still had them. Someone actually bought them even after heavily modified like that.

I sent them to a company in Alabama called RacquetMaxx to see if they could change the handles back. But they said it would be very costly and I would have to order like 500 or 1000 grips of the same mould. They couldn't just make the 2 I needed.
 

10shoe

Professional
but it's got a L5 grip. Which is HUGE for me. Would want to get it down to an L3. What's the best approach for this to be accurate and even all around?
Just wanted to emphasize what stood out for me in the original post.

The accurate way to do this is to take a handle you do like and measure it with a caliper.

Your will end up with measurements like this:

A= 1.10"
B= 1.22"
C= 1.23
D= 1.23

Then measure the handle you want to modify. It will be something like this:

A= 1.21"
B= 1.35"
C= 1.31"
D= 1.31"

Getting to the first set of measurements from the second with accuracy is I think better done with cutting tools than sanding blocks. My 2 cents....
 
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cluckcluck

Hall of Fame
Just wanted to emphasize what stood out for me in the original post.

The accurate way to do this is to take a handle you do like and measure it with a caliper.

Your will end up with measurements like this:

A= 1.10"
B= 1.22"
C= 1.23
D= 1.23

Then measure the handle you want to modify. It will be something like this:

A= 1.21"
B= 1.35"
C= 1.31"
D= 1.31"

Getting to the first set of measurements from the second with accuracy is I think better done with cutting tools than sanding blocks. My 2 cents....
That's a good approach. I do like the current shape of the VCORE 98 Galaxy. Might try to mirror that one.
 

kkm

Professional
Sandpaper.

Get the right grit. Sand down each bevel. Dust off. Go again. Rotate.

Count how many passes you do on each bevel. Make sure you use a fresh area of the sandpaper each time. Grip it and see how you like it until comfortable. Damp a cloth or rag and go over the handle. Wait a few minutes. Rewrap grip.

I made the mistake of just palming the sandpaper and twisting the racquet. It works alright! Ended up with what felt like gripping a baseball bat. Perfectly rounded. No bevels.

Basically went from 5/8 down to about 1/4 grip. I had to make small adjustments after as it shifted the balance to more head heavy.

Did this on 2 Ncode Tour 90's. I thought I ruined the racquets but I actually liked it. The rounded grip allowed my wrist to roll over naturally when I hit a shot. Wish I still had them. Someone actually bought them even after heavily modified like that.

I sent them to a company in Alabama called RacquetMaxx to see if they could change the handles back. But they said it would be very costly and I would have to order like 500 or 1000 grips of the same mould. They couldn't just make the 2 I needed.
You could try Alpha.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
Yes, exactly.
I'll have to look into it on their website. Doesn't really help me now. I did this 10 years ago haha. I'll be interested to see how much they charge, but I can do it myself. It's just very detail work and tedious. It's a ***** basically but I can do it.
 

10shoe

Professional
That's good to know, that Alpha does grip molding.

I think it's clear that I'm an advocate for machining the handle down. Just one more thing I want to say regarding that and then I'll shut up. Machining the bevels will produce the sharpest possible edges. Sharper even than a brand spanking new molded handle.
 

bfroxen

Rookie
I created this spreadsheet when I was adding to a grip, but it may be useful to someone reading this. It calculates the perimeter for a given material addition/subtraction. Inputs are in white, bordered cells. Grey cells are calculated.
 

jm1980

G.O.A.T.
The simplest and cheapest solution is to carefully file the handle to size on all 8 surfaces, if you are skilled in craftsmanship. For this you need a sliding caliper, some fine sandpaper and a sharp model making rasp.







If you are going to do this by hand, this is the best way. I still don't recommend it, unless you are a decently skilled craftsman

It's much easier if you have a milling machine

Don't forget to weigh it before and after shaving and use lead tape or silicon to compensate for the difference
 

fritzhimself

Semi-Pro
Thank you very much for your objection
Even a milling machine must first be operated and adjusted - this can be just as difficult for someone who is not a craftsman.
I don't have to start my milling machine for one raquet.
I learned to model and build moulds as a craftsman. The photos should only serve as an example for someone who doesn't have a milling machine at hand.
I have brought a lot of rackets to the desired contour and that on a 10/ mm. Not even the finished handles on the market are that accurate.
I have already perfected the handels for some professionals, so this is no challenge for me.;)
 

ron schaap

Hall of Fame
you r in trouble because Yonex grip sizes are bigger than stated too. Do gpu need to shave something like 2 to 3 mm of all 6 sides, which is impossible to do accurate of you arent a professional carpenter. Better sell it and buy a smaller one.
 

fritzhimself

Semi-Pro
you r in trouble because Yonex grip sizes are bigger than stated too. Do gpu need to shave something like 2 to 3 mm of all 6 sides, which is impossible to do accurate of you arent a professional carpenter. Better sell it and buy a smaller one.
I have no idea what you mean.
Btw - there are 8 bevels.
 
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