Have you ever heard of ping pong blade sealing? Table tennis blade sealing is essential if you want to extend the life of your blade.
Sealing a Table Tennis Blade—What is That?
Sealing a table tennis blade entails applying lacquer to a blade or varnishing the head of a table tennis blade. This varnish coating gives the blade a little more strength and protects it from wear and tear, increasing its life. It also creates a layer of separation between the rubbers and the blade once they’ve been glued together, making the rubber simpler to remove.
Should I Seal My Table Tennis/Ping Pong Blade?
Ping pong blade sealing is a personal preference that has both advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it’s not a decision as essential as your rubber or blade choice, so I wouldn’t fret over it. However, there are several factors you should be aware of before deciding on table tennis blade sealing.
Benefits of Sealing A Table Tennis Blade
It Protects the Blade
Blades suffer a lot of damage over time; even if you’re really careful, you can’t prevent it. Your blade will be damaged by hits from the table and your body, with the majority of the damage occurring along the blade’s edge.
This damage weakens the edges, making them prone to splintering. When it comes time to change your rubbers, these splinters might lift and do even more harm to your blade! In ping pong, blade sealing both hardens your blade and makes it simpler to remove your rubbers. As a result, they are less prone to drag wood chips away when they are removed. The more frequently you change your rubbers, the more likely you are to rip off splinters. As a result, if you often replace them, perhaps every 1-6 months or so, varnishing is a technique you should really consider.
Less Excess Glue
Because of the weaker link formed between the rubber and the blade as a result of blade sealing, you are seldom left with extra glue when removing your rubbers. This is important since removing extra adhesive from raw blades might be difficult at times. Before applying a new coat, I prefer to make sure my blade is totally clear of the old adhesive. This method frequently entails my wiping off the excess with my finger, which is rather inconvenient.
Reduced Water Absorption
Water absorption is a less-discussed topic in table tennis. Because wood does not respond well to water by nature, some people feel that blades require a coating of protection against it. Personally, I believe it is largely unimportant. Water-based table tennis glue is created particularly for bonding rubbers to blades, and it would be counter-intuitive if it caused harm.
It takes a lot of continual contact to water for wood to degrade, which water-based table tennis glue does not provide. As a result, I believe it’s safe to state you don’t require varnish for this reason. However, if you are still concerned about water exposure, the varnish will undoubtedly aid in preventing water-based ping pong adhesive from seeping into the deeper layers of your blade.
The Downsides of Sealing Your Table Tennis Blade
There are just two drawbacks of varnishing a table tennis blade. The first is that it isn’t free; nevertheless, it is so inexpensive that it may as well be. It will just cost you a few bucks to have your table tennis provider apply a finish for you.
The major drawback of varnish application is that it weakens the connection between the rubber and the blade. This means your glue may not hold, or you may wind up with irritating air bubbles where some pieces have been bonded properly while others have not.
This is why, if you do decide to use varnish on your blade, use only a little application.
How to Seal a Table Tennis Blade
There are two methods for lacquering blades. You may do it yourself or hire a source to do it for you.
If you’re purchasing a new blade, it’s best to request that your blade be varnished by the provider. You won’t have to go out and purchase varnish this way. Alternatively, if you want to lacquer an existing blade, you’ll have to buy some varnish and do it yourself.
Megaspin offers a blade sealing service for a small charge. If you’re purchasing a new blade, it’s a no-brainer.
The steps for applying varnish are shown below:
- Remove all the extra glue on the blade.
- To gently roughen the blade, use fine-grit sandpaper.
- Get rid of any dirt or dust.
- Apply varnish evenly to the blade’s head and edges.
- Allow the blade to dry fully.
- If necessary, add another thin layer of varnish.
- Allow the blade to dry completely once again.
One or two coats of varnish are sufficient. You shouldn’t have to apply any further. If you do, your rubbers will almost definitely have difficulty adhering to the blade. To fix this, softly sand away the varnish, which will strengthen the connection between the rubbers and the blade.
Sealing your table tennis blade is a simple method to extend its lifespan. Given the cost of most blades, it seems reasonable to take all precautions we can to preserve their longevity. If you can’t get your supplier to do it for you, you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost. You may always sand away the varnish if you make a mistake, but I believe most of you will have no problem at all. Remember that little is more – a coat or two will suffice! When you glue the rubbers and blades together, you must be able to maintain a tight link between them.
While you are at it, also read our article on How To Make And Keep Your Ping Pong Paddle Sticky