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Enlarge grip size via Heat Shrink Sleeve method .... DIY + Pics

Discussion in 'Grip' started by dingboy, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    Hi all .... :)

    A few days a go, i posted a topic on enlarging grip size via the Heat Shrink Sleeve method.

    After much digging and research, i finally gathered the materials and instructions for doing so.
    For all those who may be interested, pics are below ....... enjoy. :p


    Materials

    1) Heat Shrink Tubing / Sleeve - Comes in a variety of sizes and are available at specific hardware shops.
    For my experiment, i used Radiform Heat Shrink Tubing - 2 : 1 (non-adhesive).
    I cant really remember the actual size, but as long as it fits through the end cap of the racket, it's good enough.
    I used the non-adhesive type as i may want to remove the sleeve at some point.

    2) Heat Gun - Any off the shelf type will do. Hairdyers can also be used, but it may take quite some time.

    3) Cutters / Penknife - To trim off the excess shrunk tubing






    I didn't really pull the tape taut as i should have, so the actual reading should be 7.5cm
    IMG_1955.jpg






    First, measure and cut the Heat Shrink Sleeve ( HSS ) to accomodate the handle length.
    *IMPORTANT* : Remember to leave adequate excess at both ends as the HSS shrinks length-wise as well.
    In my case, i left an excess of 2.5cm at both ends.
    IMG_1963.jpg

    IMG_1966.jpg












    Slide the handle through the HSS and ensure that the excess on both ends are even.
    IMG_1968.jpg










    Standby your Heat Gun, medium heat should be more than adequate.
    IMG_1969.jpg








    *Important* ... Rotate the handle constantly and heat the HSS with a continuous motion.
    DO NOT focus the heat direct at any one spot for too long.
    A gradual rotating left-right-left motion will ensure that the HSS shrinks evenly.
    After you're done, the shrunken HSS on the handle should look like this:
    IMG_1973.jpg
    IMG_1970.jpg
    IMG_1975.jpg
    IMG_1971.jpg








    After application of the HSS, the overall diameter has increased by 0.5cm.
    ( i pulled the tape taut this time)
    While this may not look like much, i noticed that there was a difference in grip feel for me.
    In any case, you can always increase the grip size further by either adding another HSS, or by any of the other means.
    IMG_1982.jpg









    Now, trim off the excess according to your own preference.
    In this example, i trimmed the top end to the bottom end of the cone, while leaving the butt cap 'wrapped' to protect it.
    IMG_1994.jpg
    IMG_1987.jpg









    Another trimming alternative :
    IMG_1993.jpg









    For some players who are worried that the HSS method will 'round-out' the handle, you can see here that the bevels are still quite 'sharp' and pronounced.
    After i was done with the HSS, i wrapped a Karakal PU Grip over it and i can still feel the bevels just fine.
    IMG_1997.jpg
    IMG_1993.jpg
    IMG_1989.jpg







    I personally like this method as not only does it enlarge the grip size, it also doubles to protect the wood from constant grip changes, sweat or moisture.
    And because it's used for industrial applications, the HSS will definitely last for a long time.
    The HSS is also removable, if ever you decide you dont want it anymore.
    This method is also nice and neat.

    And there you have it, a quick DIY guide on how to enlarge your grip size using the Heat Shrink Sleeve method.
    Just a word of caution, if you're not very confident with trying this on your precious racket straight off .... practice a little first on either an old unwanted racket ( like i did ! ) or on any tube/pipe, just to get a feel for it.

    Happy Modding ! :D
     
  2. Tamagi

    Tamagi Regular Member

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    Very neat. I'll take the overgrip route but very nice nevertheless :)
     
  3. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    Thanks man ..... :)

    i used to go the overgrip route too (masking tape to protect the wood, one overgrip + one Karakal PU)
    But the constant changing of Karakal grip when worn, kind of shortened the lifespan of the overgrip below.

    Let me see how this method works out. :D
     
  4. awekuda

    awekuda Regular Member

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    good one dingboy.. hope you could post a pic after you place a grip over it.. :D..and do share how its feel.. im also used overgrip.. but it tend to soft over time and need to be replace for new solid feel of the grip... mayb HSS the answer..
     
  5. druss

    druss Regular Member

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    Now if someone had an easy answer to make grips smaller....
     
  6. gsloh

    gsloh Regular Member

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    Unfortunately, it's sandpaper wrapped around a flat block as the most cost effective!
     
  7. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    You could try a smaller generic replacement handle thats available from MBS, but i wouldn't have a clue on how to do the 'surgery' though. :eek:
    here's the link: http://www.mybadmintonstore.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=25_29_144&products_id=909

    Or as bro gsloh mentioned ..... sandpaper, block, arm strength, sharp eye and lots of patience.

    Maybe you could remove the butt cap, clamp the racket level in a vice, and use a small wood plane or electric sander to remove a thin layer of the wood.
    After that, just sand the handle smooth and level.

    If theres a carpentry workshop nearby with the relevant equipment, maybe they could help you.

    Hope this helps. :D
     
    #7 dingboy, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  8. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    Hi there ...... :)

    thanks for the compliment !

    I'm now currently waiting for my stock of RKEP grips to arrive ... (2.0mm thick)
    When they do, i'll wrap my VT80 (with HSS) with the grip and update you on the grip feel. :D
     
  9. druss

    druss Regular Member

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    Thanks but I am already aware of both... which is why I said "simple" :) Sometimes it's just cheaper or easier to buy a g4 when I really wanted a g5... it's only happened a few times now but is annoying.
     
  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Dang! And I thought this thread was about enlarging something else! :eek::p
     
  11. cobalt

    cobalt Moderator

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    Thanks for sharing this idea, Dingboy. Your explanation is also very clear and professional! :)

    @druss and @gsloh: Planing or sanding the handle just might weaken it, don't you think?
     
  12. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    Hahahahahahaha ! .... thats only if you see the words 'enlarge', 'pumps' and 'inches' in the thread title.
    :D :D :D
     
  13. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    Thanks a lot for the compliment bro ..... :)

    I know that this method isn't exactly new or anything, but there just wasn't much info and explanations available around ...... so i thought i should contribute something. ;)

    Hope it helped someone out there ..... :D
     
  14. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    Heat Shrink Sleeve .... with grip !

    Hi again all ..... :)


    I've had a request to show the enlarged grip (after the Heat Shrink Sleeve is applied) with a grip applied over it.
    Rest assured that even after with this method, and with a grip wrapped on .... the feel of the racket bevels are still very much there.

    Apologies in advance for the poor quality pics.

    For this example, i'm using my NS9900 + RKEP King Grip G-03, which arrived in the mail today. :D







    Just came in the mail today ..... Yippee ! (thanks Eric)
    IMG_2027.jpg








    My NS9900 with the Heat Shrink Sleeve already applied.
    IMG_2012.jpg
    IMG_2021.jpg
    IMG_2024.jpg







    After 15 mins of experimenting with the length and stretch capabilities of this grip ......
    I finally managed to wrap it the way i like. :D
    IMG_2058.jpg
    IMG_2029.jpg
    Different colour background for a better contrast view.
    IMG_2041.jpg
    Different colour background for a better contrast view.
    IMG_2037.jpg
    IMG_2030.jpg







    As you can see (i hope) .... the bevels of the racket handle are still quite visibly pronounced ....
    Grip feel is good for me .... not too thin, but not too 'spongy' either.
     
  15. _Rav_

    _Rav_ Regular Member

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    Looks good. W&D strings actually list a heat shrink grip enlarger in their catalogue, adds 1/8th per go, don't know if that's diameter or circumference though.
     
  16. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    oops ...... sorry Mods, but i think i accidentally double-posted, or something.

    Apologies .... :eek:
     
  17. cobalt

    cobalt Moderator

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    Dingboy: the RKEP grip you have wrapped is not an overgrip, but a replacement grip. Am I right?

    If this is correct, do you think you will end up "pulling" some parts of the sleeve (and loosening it's form and grip on the handle) when it comes time to remove the RKEP grip once it is worn out?
     
  18. jerby

    jerby Regular Member

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    It'll have to be circumference, because that's what is used most and it fits in the general scheme of things: A G3 grip is 3 1/2 inch and a G4 is 3 1/4 inch. so with a 1/8 heatshrink you should be right in between the 3 and 4 (or 4 and 5 offcourse as a G5 is 3inch)
     
  19. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    Yes bro, you're right ..... the RKEP grip i used is a replacement grip.
    Reason being the racket handle, before the HSS was applied, was only bare wood .....
    so bare wood + HSS + replacement grip = good feel (for me) :D

    No worries on the HSS loosening it's form and grip on the handle during replacement bro .... the HSS (after shrinking) turns to a semi hard rubber/plastic kind of material of reasonable thickness and structural integrity. It's not those type of thin and flimsy HSS we use for RC batteries or thin wires.
    The HSS i bought are normally used for commercial applications like electrical insulation of up to 600V.
    I've attached a link to the website for more info on the HSS :
    http://www.radiform.com/rotw/H_Shrink.htm

    As mentioned, during the wrapping phase of the grip, i had to remove and reapply the grip several times in order to get the finishing length right.
    During those instances, the HSS showed absolutely no signs of 'loosening' whatsoever. :D
    Also, the adhesive tape for the RKEP grip was just 1cm wide (as opposed to Karakal's 1.4cm).
    That width of adhesive tape, while sufficient for a good wrap, didn't add any stress to the the HSS's form while removal at all. :p
     
  20. dingboy

    dingboy Regular Member

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    oops .... it seems that 2 pics of the racket handle with HSS applied and grip wrapped on is missing. :eek:

    I've attached them again below.



    As you can see (i hope) .... the bevels of the racket handle are still quite visibly pronounced ....
    Grip feel is good for me .... not too thin, but not too 'spongy' either.
    IMG_2055.jpg
    IMG_2061.jpg
     

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