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  1. #1
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default DIY side support : A new approach

    Hi all,

    here is a new approach to DIYing a side support.

    previous attempts were either from existing shapes like bolts and nuts or jointed together with cut planar material.

    here is a more free form approach, i sculpted a form using a block of wood and it will form the shape used to form a mold. the final product is going to be molded using a very hard plastic resin.

    here is my first try at getting what i think is a probable shape. a smooth shape that some what compact to achieve a few things:

    - smooth shape to avoid getting string caught
    - rounded contact with racket to allow support to sit at an angle to avoid the string exit path.
    - channels on the sides for the string path
    - low height to avoid obstruction
    - short support tip to not intrude into racket space to allow for best clamp placement.

    the form was shaped with a block of poplar wood and free formed using a dremel (whoever invented the Dremel is a genius). partly as a proof of concept and as a prototype form.

    next step is to finalize the shape, seal it up and make the mold. after the mold is done is to do a dry run of making the plastic support. with embedded bolt and depending on the final strength, might have embedded metal support.

    for the shape, i think there are still a lot of materials to be removed and make it more slim. but as it stand it is still quite a bit smaller than the Gamma one which you can see in the background.

    comments are as always welcomed.

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun View Post
    here is my first try at getting what i think is a probable shape. a smooth shape that some what compact to achieve a few things:

    - smooth shape to avoid getting string caught
    - rounded contact with racket to allow support to sit at an angle to avoid the string exit path.
    - channels on the sides for the string path
    - low height to avoid obstruction
    - short support tip to not intrude into racket space to allow for best clamp placement.

    for the shape, i think there are still a lot of materials to be removed and make it more slim.
    Your design is quite stylish and looks like it can accomplish the five objectives you outlined. But it definitely needs to be made more slim. As a user of the Michal Chudek side supports, one of the things I like most about his supports is how much access they provide to the racket frame and grommets. The access is so good that the user does not need to worry one bit about where the support makes contact with the frame.

    Michal's support can line up dead center on a shared grommet and there will still be no access issues at all. Since the Gamma 6004 provides numerous adjustments on positioning the side supports, you could always make adjustments if necessary to minimize interference of your side supports to grommet holes so this may not be a big issue for you.

    But even with good side support adjustment capabilities, I think it would be nice not to ever have to worry about making those adjustments as you switch from one racket type to another.

  3. #3
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    thanks for the feedback. that's very valuable.

    i struggled a lot trying to figure out how to get it slimmed down. there are the tradeoff between getting it to be slim but yet be strong at the same time. the design is going to be done in plastic and even though i am using one of the strongest plastic out there it will not be as strong as metal. the key decision is to design the shape correctly so i can embed/hide some metal support inside.

    before this the whole design was just sketches and concepts in my head, now that it is in solid form, i am going to keep refining it. i have some ideas in mind and the next set of photos will look quite different (and hopefully much more simmer) than the above.

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    Regular Member Blitzzards's Avatar
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    Seconding bsmith, I also recommend Michal Chudek's custom supports.

    After switching from the stock plastic support arms on my AEF OEM portable machine (just like your ASE, but mine's are plastic), the stock ones are just incomparable in keeping the racquet frame almost totally stable/static during very high tension stringing (I usually do 33lbs adjusted crank, now WISE 2086 ECP).

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    just like the Chudek's, this design will likely go through a few revisions and redesigns. good part is that i think i have the forming and molding process figured out now. the rest is just improving on the design.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    putting the first cut through some weight loss program and here is the first revision of the support.

    smooth shape:

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    rounded front support:

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    slimmed down middle section and rear section:

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    and the silicone mold:

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  7. #7
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    managed to mold it.

    the resin happens to be some clear color so please bear with the ugliness of it. the final product will be black.

    the hardness feels really good. the shape turned out ok.
    the contact with the racket needs to be improved
    the embedded screw need some work. need to extend higher and also sit back further
    what's with the bubbles?!

    i think ok for a first revision. not sure if i want to string a racket with it yet.Name:  DSC02597.jpg
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  8. #8
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    Nice work!

    you could always test one to destruction before use - wrap a tennis string around it, set your wise to maximum and make a note of where it breaks...

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Rav_ View Post
    Nice work!

    you could always test one to destruction before use - wrap a tennis string around it, set your wise to maximum and make a note of where it breaks...
    sounds like fun! how about a video?

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    here is the result of the stress testing. i pulled it repeatedly in two different locations with the WISE at 40, 60 and 80lbs in order to break it.

    it held up better than i thought.


  11. #11
    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    To my eternal shame, part of me wanted it to explode like it was made of rock candy.

    22 mains @ <=33 lb over six support points... should be more than enough. Thing is, now I need to see it break... can you hang Janet off it?

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    haha. i was expecting the top part to break apart and flies off to the direction of the wise. that why you see me wearing the glove and safety goggles. afterall a sharply broken off piece of plastic at a fast velocity will likely slice through some flesh like butter. also i put up the black curtain behind to protect my wall. haha.

    as i mentioned though, it held up better than i thought. not sure exactly how much force the side support is subjected to, but a comparative observation on the side support arm movement, i don't think i have seen the side support arm gotten deflected that much during stringing. so probably in real life it will be less than this.

    i had all the plans to embed metal reinforcements inside the plastic mold but i guess that's not high priority anymore.

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    What resin you using? Could put some carbon or glass fibres in it and it will be many times stronger.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    hard to put carbon/glass fiber on something this small though. and those stuff is nasty. from the experiment it seems like i don't need to deal with having to make it any stronger. first priority is to figure out other things like making a more ideal shape, as well as putting padding at the tip.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    If it was going to break, I'm sure it would have gone at the interface with the embedded screw. I would have suggested making the end of the screw as wide possible to spread the stress, but apparently you didn't need to.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark A View Post
    If it was going to break, I'm sure it would have gone at the interface with the embedded screw. I would have suggested making the end of the screw as wide possible to spread the stress, but apparently you didn't need to.
    right now it is a bolt with a hex head. so the head is pretty big.

    my plan b was to instead of a hex head bolt, get a thread only bolt (no head) and use a nut instead. that way the bolt can go all the way to the top of the support.

    but so far, it doesn't look like i need plan b.

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    Loooks pretty nice... there is onr concern for me is where the frame rest on the support will it damage the racket or not... since i do most my strings at hight tension..

    when all resolve .. say how much hahahaha

    I reserve first order .. !!!! woot woot !!!

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