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    1. Top | #1
      noisyboy101 is offline
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      Custom Made Blade DAB Studios

      There was a similar thread like this some time ago that is more or less dead now so I thought I'll just revive it a little.

      I know there are many players out there on this forum who have considered custom made blades at least once during their table tennis life. There are manufacturers/makers such as OSP Blades and Ross Leidy, but either it's too expensive and or there is a long waiting list, in the case of Ross Leidy. Then you have others such as Soul Spin who's configurator is not the most flexible, and then again, the price...

      I was about to give up my search for a custom blade when I came across this maker, DAB Studios, this is the website dattblades.com. The guy who runs it is Dimitris and he is based in Greece. Unlike the others, Dimitris got back to me within a few hours with very detailed answers and supplied examples in the form of pictures from his past clients. Within a matter of days (depending on how much detail you want to specify), we have my first order. What I love about this is that he shows the blade taking shape every step of the way.Click image for larger version. 

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      My blade had the composition of Koto-ALC-Limba-Kiri-Carbon-Limba-Limba. I would say it is an OFF blade. It turned out exactly the way I wanted. The blade took a few days to made and the delivery also took a few days.

      I enjoyed this experience very much and I've had more blades made by him. A few of my teammates have also purchased blades from him and are very happy with them. Any one searching for a custom blade should get in contact with him. Bear in mind that you will need to know what you want before you consider this. I had my FH modelled after the ZJK ALC but my BH is more similar to the Tiago Apolonia ZLC. If you do consider this, may I suggest you to be as meticulous as possible with your blade and handle measurements and possibly your handle design, it will all play a part in how happy you are with your purchase.

      The one thing I have not mentioned is price. The price shocked me, less than £100 for an equivalent of an ALC blade, that is with delivery included. My orders were different each time due to the EURO-GBP conversion but none were more than £96. Imagine a Visceria for £96! Carbon blades cost more than pure wood, (obviously). He has a lot of materials available that are not listed on his website such as aramid carbon, arylate carbon, pure carbon in stock, and kevlar, zylon, (NOT zylon carbon), glassfiber on request, (subject to availability). I believe a few of these materials on request is slightly more expensive.

      All that said, if you were to to play with a clone of a certain blade, do expect it to be a little different. These makers do not source their timber from the same place mainstream manufacturers do, therefore there will be slight variations with the end product. These are also handmade blades so there might be a few inconsistencies such as size of handle etc. If anyone on this forum has a blade from DAB Studios, please comment to share your experience!
      Last edited by noisyboy101; 01-24-2018 at 04:41 PM.

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    3. Top | #2
      bobpuls is offline
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      i do not want to be rude or something ...but the shape looks horrible (also on his webpage gallery)...but maybe only bad photos ... and not even symmetrical ...
      according this photos i will not give such amount of money ....
      Last edited by bobpuls; 01-24-2018 at 07:00 PM.

    4. Top | #3
      thomas.pong is online now
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      How does it play?

    5. Top | #4
      noisyboy101 is offline
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      It was built like that because I requested it. Penhold blades are generally wider compared to shakehand blades. With penhold my index finger goes quite deep into the wings compared to my thumb. I showed him a picture of my current blade and he offered to cut it down for me. Hence why it doesn't look symmetrical. One of the picture looks way oversized because the machine cuts it down close enough to the desired size then it's all sanded down by hand. It plays very well, but of course that is down to personal taste. I do prefer this to my ZJK ALC. The pictures do not do justice to the product.

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    7. Top | #5
      JackG is offline
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      Hi All,

      I own several blades from Dattblades, and I must say that they are very good.
      I am a child of the good old times (speed glue, 38mm ball and 21 points sets), and I had a hard time
      to find a blade and rubbers that could bring sensations similar to a speed glued bat. I've tried boosters
      some time ago but was not satisfied by the result. I tried fast OFF+ blades from Donic and Andro, but found them
      too hard, with a dwell time that was too short to get good feeling and control.

      All this to say that I then contacted Dimitri from Dattblades, and after a few mail exchanges, he suggested a few solutions
      of blade composition that could fit my needs: OFF++ blade with a soft feeling.
      The composition of my main blade is (from backhand to forehand): anigre/carbon/2mm balsa/carbon-kevlar/3mm balsa/limba).
      The forehand is clearly OFF++, reasonably stiff, and the feeling is, say medium. There is no miracle, a blade that fast cannot
      have a soft feeling (i.e. long dwell time), but it has softer feel than other OFF+ blades from the market. I use a Calibra sound on the forehand,
      and the feeling is veeeery good, almost like a speed glued racket. Also, the control is excellent for such a fast blade.

      It's about 100 Euros for a totally handmade blade with custom composition and handle, much less than high-end blades from Stiga,
      Butterfly of Xiom, so to me, it is worth a try...
      Here's a picture of one of my blade. Click image for larger version. 

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    9. Top | #6
      noisyboy101 is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by JackG View Post
      Hi All,

      I own several blades from Dattblades, and I must say that they are very good.
      I am a child of the good old times (speed glue, 38mm ball and 21 points sets), and I had a hard time
      to find a blade and rubbers that could bring sensations similar to a speed glued bat. I've tried boosters
      some time ago but was not satisfied by the result. I tried fast OFF+ blades from Donic and Andro, but found them
      too hard, with a dwell time that was too short to get good feeling and control.

      All this to say that I then contacted Dimitri from Dattblades, and after a few mail exchanges, he suggested a few solutions
      of blade composition that could fit my needs: OFF++ blade with a soft feeling.
      The composition of my main blade is (from backhand to forehand): anigre/carbon/2mm balsa/carbon-kevlar/3mm balsa/limba).
      The forehand is clearly OFF++, reasonably stiff, and the feeling is, say medium. There is no miracle, a blade that fast cannot
      have a soft feeling (i.e. long dwell time), but it has softer feel than other OFF+ blades from the market. I use a Calibra sound on the forehand,
      and the feeling is veeeery good, almost like a speed glued racket. Also, the control is excellent for such a fast blade.

      It's about 100 Euros for a totally handmade blade with custom composition and handle, much less than high-end blades from Stiga,
      Butterfly of Xiom, so to me, it is worth a try...
      Here's a picture of one of my blade. Click image for larger version. 

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      Yeh I think it's definitely worth the try. You never know what you might come up with! I am a equipment junkie and have tried loads of blades and my main blades are from DAB. I think if you know what you want and have a little knowledge of the timber used, you might be more in luck in producing a blade for yourself.

    10. Top | #7
      thomas.pong is online now
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      Have both of you also tried OSP blades or other custom blade makers?

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    12. Top | #8
      noisyboy101 is offline
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      OSP blades are very expensive. Although I could say their craftsmanship might be a little better but it looks to be all machine cut. DAB blades are hand made. OSP blades are also very strict with what they use and handle designs. When I contacted them, they didn't give me any information about the woods and they also take an entire day to reply to 1 message. After corresponding for 2 weeks, they stopped contacting me and eventually told me they aren't making anymore for a few weeks because they are running out of wood... They also take 2 months to make you a blade plus shipping time. DAB takes 1 week and a few days shipping to get it to you. Ross Leidy I have heard makes good blades too but he only specialises in wooden blades, although he has carbon, he told me it's not something he is comfortable with. He also has a 7-8 months queue. It is also more expensive then DAB. Dimitris replies very quickly, and you can give him as much information as you can, I suggest you do. He is very knowledgeable regarding what timbers to use. I have bought 3 blades from him and was never disappointed. If you want to order a blade from him you can PM me and I can give you as much information as you need.

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    14. Top | #9
      JackG is offline
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      No, I've never tested other custom makers. I contacted BladesByCharlie a long time ago, and after a quick first response, he didn't replied anymore to my mails. That's how I found DattBlades. To be honest, I chose this one because it was the cheapest. Another nice thing is that the composition is totally free. Considering the number of woods and synthetic fabrics available, the number of options is virtually infinite.
      I may be wrong, but it seems that other manufacturers have quite "fixed" models - not sure you can replace, say, an original outer limba ply by rosewood for example - but I am not an expert on custom manufacturers...
      Last edited by JackG; 02-14-2018 at 05:24 PM.

    15. Top | #10
      yoass is offline
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      I took the plunge a while ago, and now am playing with a D.A.b Studios custom blade.

      My design is loosely based on the Treiber K (Viscaria), but with the composite material moved towards the Kiri core. As for the outer layer, I considered Anegre as well as Koto, and after pondering that for a while settled on both. So my blade is Koto/Limba/ALC/Kiri/ALC/Limba/Anegre. It's 5.85mm thick and weighs 88.5 grams. The Kiri core is protected by a strip of wood serving as an edge band, a nice touch. If I clip it anyway, it'll be repaired free of charge. That's dedication.

      The handle was what drove me towards a custom-built blade, because I've been yearning for the conical handle on (probably) my first blade, a Stiga Kjell Johansson Offensive Wood.

      I think it plays outstandingly well, recognizably familiar to my Treiber K but even better in some ways, and might write up a review. Props to Dimitri for his candid advice, his opinions shared freely when discussing things. He's not a pleaser that just goes with the flow to get the order in; he's opinionated, offers suggestions, and in the end comes up with solid craftsmanship.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      (Note: images are inverted upon uploading. In a fix-resistant way. Sorry.)
      Last edited by yoass; 02-20-2018 at 01:42 PM.

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    17. Top | #11
      yoass is offline
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      Time for a quick review of my little custom blade, which by now aptly named itself Vanity One, or Vanity for short.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      Vanity is a handcrafted blade with a elliptical/conical handle, consisting of Koto/Limba/ALC layers on the FH side, a Kiri core, and Anigre/Limba/ALC veneers on the BH side. Thickness 5.85mm, weight of 88.5 grams. I've mounted a slab of BTY Tenergy 05 (1.9) on the FH side, and tried Gewo Nanoflex FT48 (2.1) and BTY Tenergy 80 (1.9) prior to settling on Nanoflex FT48 (1.9) for now. Total assembled weight is about 192g.

      Build quality is high, and I especially liked the work on the wings of the blade, nicely sanded down for great convenience. Also, the edge band protecting the relatively fragile Kiri core and outer veneers is a nice touch. Not noticable in gameplay, but immediate blade saviors when clipping the table. The handle is a marvel, truly a shame that it isn't available in mass-manufactured blades anymore.

      I intended it to be somewhat slower in low gears and have a bit duller (less crisp, slightly more woody feel) than my Treiber K and a bit more dwell. Throw was to be about equal, and equal amounts of power/speed in high gears - with the the high gears kicking in a bit later. This balance was set shift a bit away from direct play, lean slightly more towards a spin-based game.

      This has worked out pretty much as expected.

      Adopting to the blade was a short affair. Minor adaptations in technique were required both in spin-oriented and direct game. Feeling in the short game (one of the great qualities of the Treiber K) did not suffer, in fact it improved slightly. When spinning, there was a notable "thicker" feeling when grabbing the ball; a feeling of chewing on it just a little bit longer prior to spitting it out.

      Spin levels increased somewhat. I could take down speed a notch, still make a full stroke confidently, and over a few weeks of playing yet have to see the first strong response coming back from my openings. The pressure is on immediately, even though I'm not going for meteorite launches.

      The asymmetry in the blade's design was somewhat of a gamble. Too much disparity would mess with my system responses to tactile feedback, so I feared. The difference between the Koto and Anigre outer veneers is slight and I don't think causes the feared confusion. They're equally hard, and feel comparable, with the Koto being just a bit more lively and the Anigre just a bit more reluctantly engaged. Vive la différence, my FH and BH seem to inform me so far.

      Close to the table direct play benefits from lots of "feeling", a vague notion indeed, but like jazz music, if you gotta ask what it is then you'll probably never gonna get to know. Yet it's that "feeling" that gives confidence in disturbingly pacebreaking passive blocks with "soft hands", and also in aggressive counters and punch blocks. When spinning over the table, using short strokes and lots of wrist, I suddenly get the feeling of grabbing the ball for a long time, covering it, and bending it back towards the table.

      Away from the table there is safety first, then gears, and then even more gears. When pressed I still get away with relaxed strokes, safely landing returns that aren't necessarily winners each and every one but they keep me in the point. Even in relaxed off-the-table counterspinning, spin reaches aMAZEing spin levels. Benders galore! And then there are gears and more gears, so if that opportunity is there where you get to be in place just that little bit earlier there is all that power, and you just put it where you want it as hard as you want it, confidently.

      Rubbers that work on it should be nearly everything. I'm not one for soft rubbers; I never get a good feeling in direct play with them, leaving only spinning options for me, so I didn't try any. The Tenergies I've tried, 05 and 80, were utterly controllable. This is remarkable (for me) for especially the T80, which never failed to give me scary moments every now and then on other blades. Not so now; full BH topspin brushes opening op, rock-solid passive play, full spins in second position, and so on. The magic that is Nanoflex FT48 also works on this blade, with a very satisfying aggressive engagement in punch blocks.

      So I've gotten fond of my Vanity already: a very controlled asymmetric OFF- blade with excellent spin properties and more then enough power in reserve.
      Last edited by yoass; 02-24-2018 at 08:48 PM.

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    19. Top | #12
      Overseer Kevin is offline
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      Getting my blade made. Materials all laid out by Dimitri at Dabb studios. Bet you wanna know what it is don't you? OK, since you're twistin my arm.

      I know I said I wanted a 4+1 blade. And I really did until I was introduced to a overwhelming amount of material to choose from. Like Burger King says, "you can have it your way." Lol This sandwich is going to be the bomb (fingers crossed). Either I'm a genius or ... well we'll see.

      Limba, balsa, gf carbon, ayous, gf carbon, balsa, limba

      Any thoughts? yea or nay ...
      A short, spinny, low serve with pace... Works as well as a Ace

      Backup blade set up:
      BLADE: DHS Hurricane HAO 3
      BH: Tenergy 05
      FH: MXP

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    21. Top | #13
      yoass is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Overseer Kevin View Post
      I know I said I wanted a 4+1 blade. And I really did until I was introduced to a overwhelming amount of material to choose from. Like Burger King says, "you can have it your way." Lol This sandwich is going to be the bomb (fingers crossed). Either I'm a genius or ... well we'll see.

      Limba, balsa, gf carbon, ayous, gf carbon, balsa, limba

      Any thoughts? yea or nay ...
      Tantalising. With that second layer of balsa, that like it's going to be a rather soft, but quite thick blade? What do you expect to get out of it, what's it for? Modern defender's walhallah?

    22. Top | #14
      bobpuls is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Overseer Kevin View Post
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      Getting my blade made. Materials all laid out by Dimitri at Dabb studios. Bet you wanna know what it is don't you? OK, since you're twistin my arm.

      I know I said I wanted a 4+1 blade. And I really did until I was introduced to a overwhelming amount of material to choose from. Like Burger King says, "you can have it your way." Lol This sandwich is going to be the bomb (fingers crossed). Either I'm a genius or ... well we'll see.

      Limba, balsa, gf carbon, ayous, gf carbon, balsa, limba

      Any thoughts? yea or nay ...
      Are you joking or what ?
      This will be really crappy blade.... because in first ... there is no cross bound ply of the wood (even when the balsa will be used as cross bound (which does not realy looks like it from the picture) it will last maximum one week and then breaks)...and second there is no gf carbon on that picture ...
      sorry ..
      Last edited by bobpuls; 03-28-2018 at 03:01 PM.

    23. Top | #15
      yoass is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by bobpuls View Post
      Are you joking or what ?
      This will be really crappy blade.... because in first ... there is no cross bound ply of the wood (even when the balsa will be used as cross bound (which does not realy looks like it from the picture) it will last maximum one week and then breaks)...and second there is no gf carbon on that picture ...
      sorry ..
      Mmmm, that a harsh verdict indeed. But BobP, could you explain what a cross bound ply is, and what it's for?

    24. Top | #16
      bobpuls is offline
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      Cross bound is applying veneers 90 degrees on each another to support strength in both horizontal and vertical direction ,this way you achieve more stiffness and avoid breaking or curling (in this case splitting or curling) of the blade... in 5 ply blades this are no 2 and 4 which are 90 degrees rotated to the core and top veneers. On this special case if the balsa will be rotated 90 degrees (which is according to picture does not looking this way) then it will also did not help ... because the balsa is to fragile in this direction of strain and the fiber (looks like glass fiber to me) is also not really supporting because is fragile... This is just bad design ... And yes you can use this top two layers this way but then the core need to be 90 degrees rotated to support the whole structural strength .

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    26. Top | #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by yoass View Post
      Mmmm, that a harsh verdict indeed. But BobP, could you explain what a cross bound ply is, and what it's for?
      Quote Originally Posted by bobpuls View Post
      Cross bound is applying veneers 90 degrees on each another to support strength in both horizontal and vertical direction ,this way you achieve more stiffness and avoid breaking or curling (in this case splitting or curling) of the blade... in 5 ply blades this are no 2 and 4 which are 90 degrees rotated to the core and top veneers. On this special case if the balsa will be rotated 90 degrees (which is according to picture does not looking this way) then it will also did not help ... because the balsa is to fragile in this direction of strain and the fiber (looks like glass fiber to me) is also not really supporting because is fragile... This is just bad design ... And yes you can use this top two layers this way but then the core need to be 90 degrees rotated to support the whole structural strength .
      Here is an explanation of what bob plus meant by cross bound.



      He also stated that there no added stiffness to rthe blade. On the picture that overseer Kevin posted the plies are cutted so that the grains are rotated in same vertical direction. Furthermore the picture only show glass fibers weaves and not carbon/glass fiber weave. Carbon would definitively add stiffness to the blade.
      Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1A70A1F7-F66D-41F4-A65C-35558BDA5DD5.jpg  
      Last edited by Giangt; 03-28-2018 at 03:56 PM.
      Spare setup: Blade: Custom DHS W968 93.5g, FH: Hurricane 3 National BS (Black), BH: Tenergy 64 (Red)

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    28. Top | #18
      cfagyal is offline
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      I agree with Bobpuls. Putting Balsa as a medial ply is a recipe for disaster. It is too soft and flexible to be used as a medial ply in any fashion, 90 degrees or otherwise, especially when it is not supported in any way by a stiffer material. Glass Fibre is quite brittle when not supported with Carbon (which that material in the picture is most certainly not). It would not surprise me if such a blade split in half at some point due to a lack of support.

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    30. Top | #19
      GinjaNinja is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Overseer Kevin View Post
      Click image for larger version. 

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      Getting my blade made. Materials all laid out by Dimitri at Dabb studios. Bet you wanna know what it is don't you? OK, since you're twistin my arm.

      I know I said I wanted a 4+1 blade. And I really did until I was introduced to a overwhelming amount of material to choose from. Like Burger King says, "you can have it your way." Lol This sandwich is going to be the bomb (fingers crossed). Either I'm a genius or ... well we'll see.

      Limba, balsa, gf carbon, ayous, gf carbon, balsa, limba

      Any thoughts? yea or nay ...

      At the risk of disagreeing with fellow blade makers, some with greater experience than me, I think this could possibly work. I'm not sure it would be a blade I'd like but that's irrelevant. That looks like yellow aramid cloth to me rather than glass fibre carbon, it also looks pretty thick and heavy. Although I'd be concerned over what looks like a very thin ayous core, the thick aramid may compensate to some extent. If it is aramid, and it's 200gpsm or more then it will need plenty of laminating epoxy therefore helping the rigidity and strength. I wouldn't be too worried about the 90 degree veneer sheet as the aramid weave will help spread the vibrations and will support it's strength - i don't always lay the medial at 90 degrees for carbon blades, i find it essential for all wood though. I'd be interested to know the thickness of the layers too.
      Having said all that, I'd be very nervous making this blade. Only time will tell. I am sure when the first person who suggested using carbon received several raised eyebrows and questions. It will be fascinating to hear the feedback on how it plays. I love the fact you have the courage to follow what you believe will work. Good luck!

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    32. Top | #20
      Overseer Kevin is offline
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      Not a thick blade at all. Under 6mm even with the balsa. I'm going for more spin which is why I chose the softer balsa. I can get sufficient pace on most anything. But in my experience with playing against balsa. It has great spin potential and a added bonus, it also counters extremely well.

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