At the time, I needed to attach a new rubber on to my regular racket, but since I was travelling I didn't have access to my usual table tennis glues, which I could have used and then allowed the VOCs to evaporate for a few days. Also, I only had a few days to go before the Cardiff Open, so I didn't want to risk using a glue containing VOCs that might not evaporate before the competition started. That meant using a VOC free glue.
Upon visiting the Bribar Table Tennis head office in Canterbury to pick up my new rubber, I asked Sue Chapman of Bribar Table Tennis for a VOC free normal table tennis glue. As a defender, I didn't need anything fancy such as a speed glue replacement, just a plain old standard glue.
Sue dived into her storerooms and came up with a small container of Tibhar Clean Fix VOC Free table tennis glue. This is a water based glue, which costs around 4.95 pounds for a 25g container, which was handy since I didn't want to be lugging a huge container of glue around with me on my travels.
When I got back to my lodgings, I got out my new rubber and got ready to stick it on my blade. Then I run into a small problem - there are no instructions on the container! Oops - now what? I'd never used a water based glue before.
Searching around on the Internet, I found some instructions on the Tibhar website, which suggested putting one coat of glue on the sponge of the rubber, one coat on the blade, and allowing them to dry for around 4-5 minutes. Then the rubber and sponge should be put together and clamped for a little while.
While this information was a bit sketchy - I wasn't sure exactly how much glue to use - I decided to go ahead and simply make sure that every bit of the sponge and blade got wet with glue. Interestingly, the container uses a sponge applicator, so you hold the container upside down, and squeeze the sides, so that the glue is forced through the sponge applicator and can then be spread around.
Ascribing to the theory that too much is better than to little, I ended up giving both the rubber and blade probably two coats worth, before allowing them to dry for 5 minutes and then sticking them together under a stack of books for half an hour. How would this turn out?
Fine, actually. The rubber had been securely glued onto my blade after half an hour, and that's the way it has stayed since - it's now about 3 weeks later and it is still attached firmly. My rubber feels good, with no uneven bounces or dead spots, so two thumbs up for Tibhar Clean Fix VOC Free glue!