Table tennis blades -
from tree to finished product!
This is a great description of the complete process
of all the steps involved in making a table tennis blade.
Photos and description kindly provided by
Yin-He (a.k.a. Galaxy) the manufacturer, and translation provided by our
tennis forum member
1. Raw material : This is the most significant in the making of a good
blade. The wood elements contributes directly to the final capability of
2. In Yin He, raw wood collectors with more than 10 years experiance,
are able to identify the good and the bad quality wood, simply by
judging from the bark of the trees. No fine detail such as age-rings,
density and other quality elements can escape their professional eyes.
3. Selecting some portions, and processing them into the squarish shaped
pieces for steaming.
4. Some raw woods are cut into 5-10cm pieces, and hung to dry in an open
environment for more than a year.
5. In order to shorten the drying time, the wood pieces might be placed
in "incubator". This is the so called "heat baking" technique of the
Japanese DARKER.(picture shows the incubator used by Yin He, imported
6. Measuring the dryness of the wood material by using appropriate tool.
7. Slicing the wood pieces.
8. After 1990, the slicing technique was upgraded. The blades processed
through such technique are of finer and better uniformity.
9. The slices are then speed steam-dried, so as to eleviate the wood
expansion/contraction, ensuring the uniform moisture content, and
finally achieving the stability of the blade.
10. Pieces of wood thicker than 0.8mm require large incubating machine
to dry. "Solar dried" may be energy-saving and environmental friendly,
but is not capable of achieving the uniformity derived by the machine.
11. Secondary material: Quite a sophisticated process that follows the
drying step. (picture shows wood slices after the incubating process)
12. The thin slices that were cut from larger pieces.
13. The dried slices are then cut into appropriate core blades (see
picture : slices to be cut into core blades)
14. Core blades combining. This process may be machine operated or by
hand. The hand operation weakness lies in the paper used in the process:
the paper will split after certain period of time, giving rise to odd
hitting sound. In some cases, leading to cracked blade.
15. Yin He adopts a more advanced technology: by means of machine, the
heat-melted rubber threads were combined on to the core blades, then
allowed to cool and harden immediately.
16. Picture shows the S-shaped white-coloured rubber thread on the wood.
This is a better technique: the melted rubber threads are of smaller
surface area, and they " dissolve" in the glue used in combining
process. This resulted in the "super binding" of the core woods.
Recently, combining machines that require no rubber threads have
surfaced in the technology advancement!
17. Rolling : After the secondary materials are prepared according to
the specifications, they are roller-spread on the individual core
blades. In this process, the glue used is of utmost critical as it
affects springiness of the blade, and the transmission of the "feeling"
(as we understand).
18. Heat press: An automatic machine press the blades into combined
19. machine-cut: A computerised cutting process where the combined
blades are now cut into the designed shape.
20. Handle cutting
22. A process to make the surface shine (may be varnishing!?)
23. Make holes at inner portion of blade.
24. Drilling the slot for brand logo.
25. Combining the handle and blades.
26. Final packing to meet up with the ping pong enthusiasts.