For those of you that speed
glue regularly, youíll know that a layer of adhesives will build up onto the
sponge over time. The more adhesive components in the glue, the quicker this
builds up. It will build up to a point where youíll need a lot more glue than
normal to get the same speed glue effect. Some people will change rubbers at
this stage, others will try to remove the build up the make the sponge effective
again. If your topsheet is still in good condition, itís well worth trying to
remove it, youíve got little to lose.
Below is the procedure I follow
to remove the build up. Note there is a significant risk youíll tear off some
pieces of the sponge, or tear it so badly itís not usable any more. Although I
have not completely ruined any rubbers myself, itís a risk you have to be
willing to take.
Take the rubber off the blade,
and put a protection sheet on the topsheet to protect it from accidental spills,
etc. Dip a cloth in turps (mineral turpentine) and wipe it over the glue on the
sponge until it looks a little wet. Wait for a few mins until it looks Ďtouch
Rub the glue with you finger,
starting at the bottom corner. If itís still very mushy, wait a little longer.
If itís still a little hard, put some more turps on. If itís right you
should be able to roll it off, and keep rolling once youíve got a start. Continue this process further onto the sponge. When
it feels like the glue is getting a little hard again, put some more turps on,
wait a little and continue the process.
The key is to do it slowly and
carefully, or youíll pull of lots of little pieces of sponge, and get pits in
the sponge. The first time I did it myself I got about 10 little pits in the
sponge. They were small and not significant enough to affect play. Next time I
got no pits at all.
Once youíve done the whole
sponge, you need to let it dry, as the turps act a little like speed glue, and
expands the sponge. The sponge should look pretty good, similar to when it was
new. Before you start speed gluing it again, you need to prime it again.
Hope this guide helps!