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  1. GinjaNinja is offline
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    #41
    Quote Originally Posted by hydepark
    Paulownia (KIRI) is available in the US at worldpaulownia.com,and some on Ebay.

    The density of the wood I received was .27g/cm^3,which is similar to very light ayous.

    Some western red cedar salmon cooking blanks I found had a density of .33.

    Ayous can have quite a bit of variation in density,and I have not found a US based source in small quantities.
    I used to buy .8 mm obeche veneer for roughly 1 USD per square meter around 1990 in Germany.
    Small quantities of Sitka Spruce are available at Aircraft Spruce.

    When glueing with epoxy you can use cabosil powder to minimize bleed thru.Basically cabosil is used as a thickening agent,
    it's what makes ketchup and toothpaste stay put.
    I find two layers of varnish on the outside of the outer ply works well. I then sand it back when glued. I might try cabosil though, good call.

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    #42
    Quote Originally Posted by hydepark
    Paulownia (KIRI) is available in the US at worldpaulownia.com,and some on Ebay.

    The density of the wood I received was .27g/cm^3,which is similar to very light ayous.

    Some western red cedar salmon cooking blanks I found had a density of .33.

    Ayous can have quite a bit of variation in density,and I have not found a US based source in small quantities.
    I used to buy .8 mm obeche veneer for roughly 1 USD per square meter around 1990 in Germany.
    Small quantities of Sitka Spruce are available at Aircraft Spruce.

    When glueing with epoxy you can use cabosil powder to minimize bleed thru.Basically cabosil is used as a thickening agent,
    it's what makes ketchup and toothpaste stay put.
    Great - thanks for the tips! I will get some Paulownia eventually - I'm surprised how expensive it is (although it's reasonable considering the total cost of a blade being less than $15 in materials). I need to make a new template, as I've refined my handle design, but I can't think of the best way to produce the most symmetrical and highest quality template (even using MDF, I can't think think of how to produce a really high quality pattern/template).
    Last edited by Nate4s; 05-14-2018 at 05:57 AM.

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    #43
    Alright, so we (I) learned that POC and other cedars may be a bit too heavy for conventional size/shape of blades. I DO have a much thinner POC-core blade I started that would come out to 90g if I put mahogany handles on it; however, I don't think POC is the ideal core and my time is better served spent on blades with on other materials rather than finish that one.

    Here is my next question for all of you blade builders out there:

    Since I have 3 veneer options at my disposal (1/32" Mahogany, 1/42" Koto, 1/42" Limba), and I have Paulownia/Kiri wood for the core on the way, what would some of the ultimate blade configurations be (in your opinions) with regard to the layering order of plies on a Kiri core?

    -Follow up to the above: Hypothetically (or speculation based on your previous observations), what would the noticeable playing characteristics, if any, be between these two configurations*:

    1. 6mm thick, 5-ply Koto-Koto-Kiri (3.6mm)-Koto-Koto
    2. 6mm thick, 7-ply Koto-Koto-Koto-Kiri (2.4mm) -Koto-Koto-Koto

    *Yes, I realize these would both have relatively little flex and high hardness

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    #44
    Blade 1 - I'd suggest a softer medial ply but I think your composition would work. Off minus, crisp feel but with some flex. Koto isn't that hard but I'd recommend limba or something softer: fir or ayous perhaps as a medial. You would have a very playable blade.
    Total blade weight should be mid 80s

    Blade 2- not sure about this one, i suggest something softer and lighter than the two medial plies. Having said that it may work well, I haven't tried this combination so can't be sure. What about kiri - ayous - limba - koto. Try the classic combination of the core being the softest and the outer being the hardest ply. If you can't get ayous, use one of the softer cedars? WRC? It would be stiff, probably good close to the table but a bit weak away from it. I'd also prefer a core of 3mm and to sand down the top ply to 0.4mm or so.

    In the end it depends what you are aiming for with these blades. Also the great thing about blade making is to experiment and find out what works for you.

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    #45
    Quote Originally Posted by GinjaNinja
    Blade 1 - I'd suggest a softer medial ply but I think your composition would work. Off minus, crisp feel but with some flex. Koto isn't that hard but I'd recommend limba or something softer: fir or ayous perhaps as a medial. You would have a very playable blade.
    Total blade weight should be mid 80s

    Blade 2- not sure about this one, i suggest something softer and lighter than the two medial plies. Having said that it may work well, I haven't tried this combination so can't be sure. What about kiri - ayous - limba - koto. Try the classic combination of the core being the softest and the outer being the hardest ply. If you can't get ayous, use one of the softer cedars? WRC? It would be stiff, probably good close to the table but a bit weak away from it. I'd also prefer a core of 3mm and to sand down the top ply to 0.4mm or so.

    In the end it depends what you are aiming for with these blades. Also the great thing about blade making is to experiment and find out what works for you.
    Great - thanks for the suggestions! I am having the hardest time sourcing affordable, manageable portions of ayous/obeche/samba, so for the time being, I'm constrained to using cedars, Kiri, and balsa. I'm just trying to figure how much of a difference it makes when two outer plies like koto and limba are swapped - I guess the only way to find out is to make two identical blades with the exception of the ordering of those two plies.

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    #46
    A great place to get veneers in the US is veneersupplies.com Ayous is a hard veneer to come across in the US but there are plenty of other decent options. I tend to try to use reasonably soft materials for medial ply's, such as a redwood, spruce, softer yellow pines, limba, chestnut, etc...

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    #47
    Quote Originally Posted by cfagyal
    A great place to get veneers in the US is veneersupplies.com Ayous is a hard veneer to come across in the US but there are plenty of other decent options. I tend to try to use reasonably soft materials for medial ply's, such as a redwood, spruce, softer yellow pines, limba, chestnut, etc...
    I've been interested in trying some spruce, which is commonly available around here - I'll check out some of those other options too! Have you ever used Hemlock? I've seen some beautiful specimens for very inexpensive prices (It might be a little heavier than Kiri, Ayous, etc). My next run of blades will use Kiri, as that's the second lightest option I have at my disposal - balsa being the lightest - and I will say, I REALLY enjoy playing with my 3/16" Balsa core blades.

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    #48
    I was mostly thinking of medial and top ply veneers, not core materials. I don’t buy core materials from veneersupplies. But I have over 20+ different veneers I use for top and medial plies....

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    #49
    Quote Originally Posted by cfagyal
    I was mostly thinking of medial and top ply veneers, not core materials. I don’t buy core materials from veneersupplies. But I have over 20+ different veneers I use for top and medial plies....
    Gotchya - that's a lot of different veneers! Do you have a few favorite core woods?

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    #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Nate4s
    Gotchya - that's a lot of different veneers! Do you have a few favorite core woods?
    ive used western red cedar and kiri so far...like them both. Kiri is harder to get good wood imho. Very difficult to get jointless kiri cores. I want to try engelmann spruce which is similar from a weight and hardness perspective to western red cedar. Just haven’t bought the wood yet.

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    #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Nate4s
    I've been interested in trying some spruce, which is commonly available around here - I'll check out some of those other options too! Have you ever used Hemlock? I've seen some beautiful specimens for very inexpensive prices (It might be a little heavier than Kiri, Ayous, etc). My next run of blades will use Kiri, as that's the second lightest option I have at my disposal - balsa being the lightest - and I will say, I REALLY enjoy playing with my 3/16" Balsa core blades.
    I think, slightly unfairly, balsa has a poor reputation. Previously I've always played ayous or kiri core blades but if you combine balsa with the right materials it can work really well. The weight helps with quick recovery and I don't find any issues looping which is often the main criticism. I'm currently playing with a balsa, glass fibre, ayous, wenge blade at the moment and it loops wonderfully and has great control. One of our regional champions plays with a balsa carbon blade I made for him and he's an all out looper.

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    #52
    balsa is great material and i`m using it a lot ... i`m making a compositions cores with balsa which gives me more speed and keeps it in good weight .
    And yes even thick cores with simple designs are great on blades with balsa ... some says it is to bouncy ... but this is what they all are looking now after the plastic era started .

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    #53
    Quote Originally Posted by bobpuls
    balsa is great material and i`m using it a lot ... i`m making a compositions cores with balsa which gives me more speed and keeps it in good weight .
    And yes even thick cores with simple designs are great on blades with balsa ... some says it is to bouncy ... but this is what they all are looking now after the plastic era started .
    This is a great point bob. When you use ayous with a standard core size you do become limited with what you can do due to the relatively heavy weight. With balsa you can be much more creative and imaginative. Cores from 2 to 8mm, fibre glass, heavy/thick carbon, hard and heavy woods, soft and light woods, different head sizes, different glue types, 70g blades are all options. Another benefit, it's cheap and easy to get hold of.

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    #54
    Very helpful information, you two! I realize I am quite limited by my current veneer options, and I'm running out of my supply of limba and koto. I've found a good selection of very affordable veneer woods that would satisfy my desire for a much softer medial ply. I am really intrigued by Butternut, Lutz Spruce, and Silver Maple - but Poplar for 0.50 USD per sq ft would be hard to pass up as well. Has anyone here ever used Butternut or Silver Maple?

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    #55
    In this case you cn benefit to try different glues. Also you can try a burning process.... There are multiple ways to develop your self.

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    #56
    Alright, so even though my Kiri panels are twice as heavy as the balsa panels (they are still like 2x lighter than POC), the blades are coming in at a very reasonable weight! My goal is to keep the handles non-hollowed, as I really like the transfer of the vibration when they are solid. These are my latest two:

    #1: Limba-Limba-Kiri-Limba-Limba, 84g (150mm x 158mm), Walnut Handle
    #2: Koto-Koto-Kiri-Koto-Koto, 81g (150mm x 158mm), Mahogany/Walnut Handle

    Next steps are:
    1. Getting better at preventing PU glue bleed-through (using excellent tips from others such as poly the outer veneer then sand down, or cabosil)
    2. Trying other (softer) medial ply woods, such as Silver Maple, Butternut, and Lutz Spruce

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    #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Nate4s
    Alright, so even though my Kiri panels are twice as heavy as the balsa panels (they are still like 2x lighter than POC), the blades are coming in at a very reasonable weight! My goal is to keep the handles non-hollowed, as I really like the transfer of the vibration when they are solid. These are my latest two:

    #1: Limba-Limba-Kiri-Limba-Limba, 84g (150mm x 158mm), Walnut Handle
    #2: Koto-Koto-Kiri-Koto-Koto, 81g (150mm x 158mm), Mahogany/Walnut Handle

    Next steps are:
    1. Getting better at preventing PU glue bleed-through (using excellent tips from others such as poly the outer veneer then sand down, or cabosil)
    2. Trying other (softer) medial ply woods, such as Silver Maple, Butternut, and Lutz Spruce

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    Some really great looking blades, look forward to earring how they play.

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    #58
    Quote Originally Posted by GinjaNinja
    Some really great looking blades, look forward to earring how they play.
    Thanks! I'm getting more consistent and producing higher quality blades than the first batch.

    I am so conflicted - they play really nicely and I just can't decide what my favorite blade is, at the moment. They allow me to produce similar speed and spin as my OSP (the koto-koto seems a little faster), with a little bit lower throw angle and a different ball feel from the OSP's Ayous core-wood. I think the linearity of the Kiri core makes it nice for really short hits, but I have no issues doing those with the balsa core blades either. There is still something magical about the ball-feel/vibration that comes from my blades with a thicker balsa core (4.7mm), and those blades seem at least 25% faster than these - perhaps it's just due to the core thickness though. I think I'm going to lose my mind if I buy more veneer woods, since that introduces hundreds more combinations that I can make.

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    #59
    My latest two blades (I haven't played with them yet, so no idea how they compare to others):

    #1: 7-Ply, Larch-Spruce-Spruce-Kiri-Spruce-Spruce-Larch, Walnut Handle, 88 grams, 6.12 mm thick

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    #2: 5-Ply, Koto-Spruce-Kiri-Spruce-Koto, Walnut Handle, 82 grams, 6.38 mm thick

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    Last edited by Nate4s; 06-26-2018 at 02:08 AM.

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    #60
    Alright, this blade is my "funkiest" yet. Sure, it looks normal, but it's got all sorts of strange things going on - most notably the ply orientation, gluing, and use of Larch...which I still can't describe how it plays as an outer-ply on one of my previous blades (it's really crisp feeling). On paper, Larch seems similar to Limba (a tad heavier, a tad more elasticity, but similar hardness)...but it does not feel the same. I hope this blade gives some enlightening information on its use as a medial ply.

    -86 grams
    - 3.15 mm Kiri-Core runs horizontal (all of my other blades it runs vertical/top-to-bottom)
    - 0.88 mm thick Larch medial ply (running vertical)
    - 0.5 mm thick Black Limba outer ply (running vertical)
    - Core and medial plies glued with Polyurethane glue (for stiffness, and so it doesn't warp in varying humidity), outer ply glued with waterproof PVA glue (to minimize bleed and try to get an even softer feel)
    - Flared Walnut handle
    -Sealed with Polyurethane

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