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  1. Tinykin is offline
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    ..................................................
    All that being said, you guys who have not had one split, I think that is a really good thing and I do hope that stays the case. But, for anyone who has never used a single ply blade, I think it would be negligent to not mention that a single ply blade just splitting randomly without you really knowing what the cause was, is truthfully, in the realm of possibilities.
    Again, I know that this is not scientific, but in my small club (120 members including regular visitors), we have about 40 members plus visitors that practice regularly. In the period 2019-20, at least 3 bats randomly broke at the neck. Plus several other damage that caused them to change blades. The players could not identify any single incident that caused the damage. In fact, I somehow have a collection of handles from other players' broken bats. I have around seven
    My point is that I think(I may be wrong) that, overall, 1-ply blades are no more prone to severe damage than regular multi-ply blades.

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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinykin
    My point is that I think(I may be wrong) that, overall, 1-ply blades are no more prone to severe damage than regular multi-ply blades.
    If you slap your 1-ply on your leg, there’s a 50/50 chance you’re going to break it. It would be rare for a multi-ply blade to break this way.
    I use this example because that is exactly what happened to a friend of mine 3 weeks after getting a Darker Speed 90. This is why I keep all my 1-ply blades in hard shell cases, and take good care of them.

    They are definitely more fragile than multiply blades, but worth the extra precautions if they suit your game style.

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    #23
    Damaged blades also can depend on the maker and their quality control. Stiga blades, for instance, seem to almost be made to be disposable. I have seen so many of them break. Sometimes they have a good feeling to them. But they are often quite delicate.

    In any case, wood is wood. It is subject to breaking, delamination etc. But, for some, a $50.00 Offensive Classic breaking is a different subject than a $300.00 Darker Speed 90 breaking. And, in the end, I am totally happy to know that there are people who have really nice one ply blades, enjoy them, and don't end up experiencing them breaking. I would wish that for anyone who bought any nice blade; really, any blade regardless of how nice or how expensive.

    Perhaps in NYC, with people traveling by subway rather than driving, there are added forces on one ply blades. But, I have seen enough of them split when fairly new, that, it is simply a worthwhile note to anyone considering investing in a One Ply blade.
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    #24
    I love 1-ply hinoki
    I even bought a Kim Taek Soo 10 mm and tried to convert it to shakehand. Unfortunately while it was wonderful to play with ph as a shakehand racket it was too head heavy due to the slim handle requiring to be built up to balance with the head making the overall weight too much for me as i got older.
    I also bought a pair of darker cpen speed-90 and converted them to shakehands by adding to the length of the handle which was much easier to do and had a very nice balance.
    Since I retired i cant justify buying pairs of darker any more i have gone over to a pair Galaxy yin-he 1-ply made of Ayous wood- they cost about 25 euros each and are very strong but quite heavy. I imagine that most people would want to trim down both handle and head. But they definitely have the 1-ply properties of power with soft touch and the feeling that the result of the shot reflects the effort made on both pushes and attacking shots.

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    #25
    In the end of the day, that’s the point of engineering isn’t it. You make 6mm of cheap pine wood workable just as 9mm of expensive hinoki! You are not trying to make the blade sacred for generations It’s like if you had 9mm of walnut, it could be faster than carbon! Don’t ban me. I know I’m talking nonsense!

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    #26
    I'm not gonna get into the whole one ply blade thing because they behave a little differently, but I just want to clear up a misconception. A 7 ply blade is not stiffer than a equivalent 5 ply of the same thickness. The only reason commercial 7 plies tend to be stiffer is because they also tend to be thicker, so you can't directly compare a Clipper and a Korbel for example. Also remember that stiffness and hardness are two different things.

    Wood is an orthotropic material, meaning it has unique and independent properties in different directions. So, mechanical properties will be high along the direction of the grain, but smaller in comparison in the other directions. That’s why most blades use a crossed grain pattern, in order to achieve stability in all directions and make the plywood more homogeneous. The medial ply adds very little stiffness along the longitudinal direction of the blade, but will add stiffness in the perpendicular direction because the grain is at 90º. It does also add longitudinal stiffness indirectly by increasing the distance between the outer plies and the center axis.


    This stability is what we usually call sweetspot, it basically means that the mechanical properties are more homogeneous along all directions of the blade face. This is why 7 ply blades usually have a bigger sweetspot than 5 ply blades. By increasing the amount of layers placed horizontally we are creating an even more dense crossed pattern, thus increasing the sweetspot.

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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by hipnotic
    This stability is what we usually call sweetspot, it basically means that the mechanical properties are more homogeneous along all directions of the blade face. This is why 7 ply blades usually have a bigger sweetspot than 5 ply blades. By increasing the amount of layers placed horizontally we are creating an even more dense crossed pattern, thus increasing the sweetspot.
    So based on this, would that not mean that a 1-ply should have the smallest sweetspot?

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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Tinykin
    I've said before that I've had one of my 1-ply blades split. On a sub subsequent check, I realised that that blade was made from an experimental wood. I have had several Darker, American Hinoki and Butterfly 1-ply blades and none have split.
    On the other hand, I have had several 'normal' blades that have either split at the handle, plies separating or serious splintering of the top ply.
    I have had to discard 2x carbon blades as they developed a rattle from either the plies or carbon becoming loose. Both were very expensive blades; a Xiom and Butterfly Viscaria.
    In my experience, this splitting of 1-ply blades is over-hyped. Players have far more problems with 'normal' blades.
    I was in Korea while there were still a number of J-pen single ply hold-outs. In the 4 years I was there, over 1/2 of them had their blade break. It happens a lot as Carl notes.

    However, as you note, shakehand blades can break too. Just as you mentioned, perhaps they break even more than the single ply blades. My personal experience is that as much as I sweat, if I keep the same shakehand blade just 1 full year for daily play, I will weaken the neck area and it will eventually break right there. I would rate that as more problematic than the risk of a single ply breaking.

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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by PushSmasher
    So based on this, would that not mean that a 1-ply should have the smallest sweetspot?
    Only on off center hits compared to another multi-ply blade of the same thickness and material. But your Darker is probably around 1cm thick, not fair to compare.

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    #30

    Evidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte
    I was in Korea while there were still a number of J-pen single ply hold-outs. In the 4 years I was there, over 1/2 of them had their blade break. It happens a lot as Carl notes.

    However, as you note, shakehand blades can break too. Just as you mentioned, perhaps they break even more than the single ply blades. My personal experience is that as much as I sweat, if I keep the same shakehand blade just 1 full year for daily play, I will weaken the neck area and it will eventually break right there. I would rate that as more problematic than the risk of a single ply breaking.
    I can't argue with that. Hopefully my luck will continue
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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by PushSmasher
    So based on this, would that not mean that a 1-ply should have the smallest sweetspot?
    As I've said, one ply blades behave differently. There are a lot more variables to build a good, or at least playable, one ply. Firstly you need stiffness in all directions to have sufficient stability and avoid warping. The only way to achieve this is by increasing the thickness, but this also means increasing the weight. So basically we can discard every medium to heavy woods. What we have left is Ayous and other soft woods, cypress, spruce, fir, etc... There are some Ayous one ply blades out there, but they are simply not good. I have also built one plies with Tola which is similar to Limba, 6.5-7mm was the most I could manage to keep them playable but they still were over 100g. Awesome speed and control, nice feeling but tiny tiny sweetspot. This is because grain type and orientation also matters. There is a reason why most 1 ply blades are made of cypress, specifically japanese cypress (Hinoki). The grain structure on cypress, spruce, pine, fir, etc is like having thousand of pieces of wood glued together (growth rings). This gives stability and predictability to the piece, normally other types of woods have a much more scattered grain pattern. The problem is that you must have a relatively dense grain pattern to achieve good lateral stiffness. Denser grain on spruce, pine and fir is simply too heavy to be used on one plies. Of course you can use less dense wood but it will develop a lot of vibrations and it will be prone to warping. Besides grain density there is also grain orientation, you need a relatively vertical grain otherwise the blade will definitively warp. For this you need a tree with a large diameter and quarter-sawn boards which rules out a whole bunch of wood species. So what we have left is cypress... Japanese cypress is the best for one ply blades because it checks all the boxes while also being relatively light. There are other types of cypress but they are usually heavier.

    So, to sum up and answer your question, that will depend on wood type, grain structure and density. But generally yes, one ply blades have relatively small sweetspot when compared to their own thickness. This ratio is higher when compared to other types of compositions.

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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by hipnotic
    As I've said, one ply blades behave differently. There are a lot more variables to build a good, or at least playable, one ply. Firstly you need stiffness in all directions to have sufficient stability and avoid warping. The only way to achieve this is by increasing the thickness, but this also means increasing the weight. So basically we can discard every medium to heavy woods. What we have left is Ayous and other soft woods, cypress, spruce, fir, etc... There are some Ayous one ply blades out there, but they are simply not good. I have also built one plies with Tola which is similar to Limba, 6.5-7mm was the most I could manage to keep them playable but they still were over 100g. Awesome speed and control, nice feeling but tiny tiny sweetspot. This is because grain type and orientation also matters. There is a reason why most 1 ply blades are made of cypress, specifically japanese cypress (Hinoki). The grain structure on cypress, spruce, pine, fir, etc is like having thousand of pieces of wood glued together (growth rings). This gives stability and predictability to the piece, normally other types of woods have a much more scattered grain pattern. The problem is that you must have a relatively dense grain pattern to achieve good lateral stiffness. Denser grain on spruce, pine and fir is simply too heavy to be used on one plies. Of course you can use less dense wood but it will develop a lot of vibrations and it will be prone to warping. Besides grain density there is also grain orientation, you need a relatively vertical grain otherwise the blade will definitively warp. For this you need a tree with a large diameter and quarter-sawn boards which rules out a whole bunch of wood species. So what we have left is cypress... Japanese cypress is the best for one ply blades because it checks all the boxes while also being relatively light. There are other types of cypress but they are usually heavier.

    So, to sum up and answer your question, that will depend on wood type, grain structure and density. But generally yes, one ply blades have relatively small sweetspot when compared to their own thickness. This ratio is higher when compared to other types of compositions.
    Thanks for the in-depth explanation. Very helpful and interesting. I have one blade making question.

    I wanted to have custom built 2 1-ply blades that would have similar playing characteristics to my 1-ply Darker blades, but that would be dedicated to hardbat and big ball play. The builder recommended they be made out of Port Orford Cedar. They turned out great, and play very nicely, but with the rubbers I have on them (hardbat & short pips), I really couldn't tell you how similar they play to my other blades that have a completely different setup.

    My question is: Do you think Port Orford Cedar is the best wood to use to get as close as possible to the playing characteristics of a 1-ply Kiso Hinoki blade, or would you recommend a different wood? Thanks.

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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by PushSmasher
    Thanks for the in-depth explanation. Very helpful and interesting. I have one blade making question.

    I wanted to have custom built 2 1-ply blades that would have similar playing characteristics to my 1-ply Darker blades, but that would be dedicated to hardbat and big ball play. The builder recommended they be made out of Port Orford Cedar. They turned out great, and play very nicely, but with the rubbers I have on them (hardbat & short pips), I really couldn't tell you how similar they play to my other blades that have a completely different setup.

    My question is: Do you think Port Orford Cedar is the best wood to use to get as close as possible to the playing characteristics of a 1-ply Kiso Hinoki blade, or would you recommend a different wood? Thanks.
    Nice that you mentioned that because I was totally forgetting about Cedars. Yes, they are a good option and the next best thing along with cypress. It's all about finding good boards for that, but I still think that Hinoki has a softness that's unique. I have some Western Red Cedar boards with a relatively dense grain that weigh around 380 Kg/m3, theoretically this would be suitable to build a 10mm one ply but unfortunately I can only source these boards with 5mm, so I mostly use them for cores. I also have Victory Island Cypress with a a really dense grain pattern but it's also heavier at around 400 Kg/m3, so a one ply would probably be over 100g. But again, I still wasn't able to find thicker boards. So it really all comes down to the individual grain pattern and density, there are also some Kiso Hinoki blades out there that are not as good.
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    #34
    To understand my observed data set tiny, you would have be in Korean clubs. Korean J Pen players go full apeshyt on FH attack time after time like they trying to beat the flu back to where it came from

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    #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte
    To understand my observed data set tiny, you would have be in Korean clubs. Korean J Pen players go full apeshyt on FH attack time after time like they trying to beat the flu back to where it came from

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    hahaha. Definitely my kind of people!!! I actually looked up 'apeshyt" in google translate thinking it was a Korean word. Then I read it phonetically, and almost spit out my water! Too funny.

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    #36
    PB, I am just one wry dude, that is all.

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    #37
    Also @Tinykin large amounts of luck tend to go along with large amounts of skill and caution, so it could be that.

    You might just simply be skillfull and careful.

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    #38
    Quote Originally Posted by PushSmasher
    My question is: Do you think Port Orford Cedar is the best wood to use to get as close as possible to the playing characteristics of a 1-ply Kiso Hinoki blade, or would you recommend a different wood? Thanks.
    I made a 1-ply blade out of Port Orford Cedar (I live in the region where it grows, so it's very accessible to me). Unfortunately, it was incredibly heavy - about 140 grams. As Hypnotic alluded to, I think Western Red Cedar is probably the closest to Kiso Hinoki in terms of weight and performance (and Kevin at American Hinoki uses it too, I believe). I think a lighter board of Alaskan Yellow Cedar would produce a blade that's comparable as well, since it's a little closer to the hardness of Hinoki than WRC is.

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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Nate4s
    I made a 1-ply blade out of Port Orford Cedar (I live in the region where it grows, so it's very accessible to me). Unfortunately, it was incredibly heavy - about 140 grams. As Hypnotic alluded to, I think Western Red Cedar is probably the closest to Kiso Hinoki in terms of weight and performance (and Kevin at American Hinoki uses it too, I believe). I think a lighter board of Alaskan Yellow Cedar would produce a blade that's comparable as well, since it's a little closer to the hardness of Hinoki than WRC is.
    It was actually Kevin that suggested the Port Orford Cedar, and made the 2 blades for me. We played in the same club. Weight wise they came in at 110g. To get them to that weight, he shaved them to 9.5mm, as 10mm would have come in too heavy. Darker 1-py shakehand blades are typically 9mm, so that worked out well.

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    Last edited by PushSmasher; 12-31-2020 at 06:11 PM.

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