To save you the sort of frustration I've experienced in the past, in this article I'm going to walk you through the process of gluing a long pimpled rubber with no sponge (OX) onto your table tennis blade. I've included a video demonstrating how I go about gluing spongeless long pips, so I would recommend taking a look at that first, since it will make the explanation I've written below easier to follow.
UPDATE 04/02/2008 I've included a new method recommended by one of my readers, using a roller to attach the rubber instead. I found it very easy to do successfully the very first time I tried it, so I would recommend trying the roller method first. I know that this is the way I'll be doing it in future!
How to Glue Your Long Pips OX Rubbers to Your Table Tennis Blade - Roller Method - Video 320x240 pixels, 6.7MB
How to Glue Your Long Pips OX Rubbers to Your Table Tennis Blade - Step By Step - Roller Method
- Gluing long pips with no sponge is different to gluing sponge rubbers. There are two main points to keep in mind here: (1) get a good coverage of glue on the blade, because you aren't going to put any glue on the rubber; and (2) under no circumstances allow the rubber to curl up on itself once it has some glue on it, or else you might not be able to unstick it without ripping the rubber. If you can achieve those two goals, you'll be allright.
- If you have old rubbers on the blade that have to be removed, peel the old rubbers off the bat diagonally. Never try to remove a rubber vertically (from handle to tip) since it's possible you might take splinters off the blade, depending on whether the blade is sealed.
- If the blade isn't sealed, I would recommend sealing your blade first before gluing your new rubbers on.
- Wipe the blade several times with your hand or a soft cloth, in order to remove any bits of glue left on the blade - you'll feel the residue easily. A bit of gentle rubbing will get rid of any leftover glue.
- Open the tube of glue (any non-speed glue from a reputable table tennis manufacturer will be fine), and a folded small piece of paper (or paintbrush if you prefer), and put some glue on the blade, giving the whole blade a thin covering of glue. You may need to angle the blade a bit against the light to see if you have missed any spots.
- As soon as you have finished gluing the blade, drape the long pips rubber over a roller - such as a rolling pin, with the pips facing inwards, and the logo facing towards you (so that it is on the side of the roller furtherest away from you).
- Starting over the handle, slowly move the roller towards the area where the handle stops and the flat part of the blade begins. Gently allow the logo part of the rubber to rest on the blade, and position it to your satisfaction before pressing it down gently with your fingers.
- Keeping the rubber taut by holding it with your hands on the roller, place the roller on the blade. Now roll the roller towards the tip of the blade, pressing gently. Hopefully by this stage, the rubber should be firmly attached, with no air bubbles under the rubber. If there are air bubbles that are close to the edges of the racket, gently move them to the edge to let the air escape by nudging them with your finger in the direction of the edge. The very first time I tried this method, I had a very good result, so I would say that if you are careful you are unlikely to have any large bubbles that will require starting again.
- For any air bubbles closer to the middle of the rubber that resist nudging, you may need to lift the rubber back off the blade to allow the air to escape, then roll the rubber back on the blade, keeping a little tension on the rubber by holding it in both hands. This should get rid of the air bubble without allowing new bubbles to form.
- If the rest of the blade is good, but you have one small air bubble that just won't go, and you don't want to lift the rubber off the blade again in case something goes wrong, you can prick a small hole in the air bubble with a pin. Then press down on the bubble with your fingers, and you should be able to get the rubber to stick as the air escapes through the pinhole.
- Once you are happy with the rubber attachment, gently use the roller to press the rubber firmly to the blade. Make sure the pressure is mainly down, not sideways, or you might end up sliding the rubber along the blade if the glue is still a bit wet.
- Now put the racket in a bat clamp or under a thick stack of books to keep the rubber pressed firmly on the blade while the glue dries.
- After half an hour or so, cut the excess rubber from the blade with a sharp pair of scissors (or a Stanley blade or hobby knife). If you are going to cut the rubber with a knife, make sure you have plenty of scrap paper under the racket, so that you don't accidentally cut into your table!
- If the edges of the rubber have pulled up a little due to the cutting process, put the bat back into the clamp for a few minutes to press them down again.
- That's it! Your new rubber is ready to go. If you are planning to play in an ITTF sanctioned event, give the rubber a couple of days airing to allow any illegal VOC's in the glue to evaporate. Otherwise you risk disqualification.
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