Published on June 1, 2021 Last Updated on June 2, 2021 by Sorin Petroj
Step by step on how to assemble a table tennis racket.
You have chosen your blade and rubbers, and now it’s time to glue and prepare the racket for the game. See below how easy it is in a few steps. In this video, you can see live how I assembled a friend’s table tennis racket. Otherwise, I assembled many rackets during my career of 25 years of playing table tennis.
Step 1: Blade Cleaning
Cleaning the blade is an essential step in the sense that it makes the rubber stick better. So, there are no spots that you will see later on the racket. If you have a new blade, also clean it a little with sandpaper and later with a sponge because that way, its surface will be smooth, and the rubbers will stick nicely.
With a used blade or with those where you already had other rubbers and have now changed them, it is additionally important to clean the blade because a certain amount of glue remained on it during the last gluing. I know it’s a tedious step but trust me, very important in assembling your racket.
Since rubbers are not cheap, you would not want to skip cleaning. After a couple of days, it could get bumps on the racket or some dots that will bother you while you play.
Step 2: Apply And Spread The Glue
Here it is important to evenly distribute the glue on the surface of the rubbers and blade. When assembling a table tennis racket, glue and its correct distribution on the surface is the most important step.
Use the sponge that comes with the glue, and you can very easily apply a thin layer of glue by following the white color so that it is even everywhere. Here you have to pay attention to the speed of gluing as shown in the video. Moreover, the glue does not dry out during assembling.
I recommend Butterfly glues to everyone because I use them myself, and they provide the same effect even after a long time when you again assemble a table tennis racket. Once you have done that, wait about half an hour for the glue to dry. You will see it slowly lose its white color on the rubbers. Then you know that it’s ready for assembly.
Step 3: Attach The Rubbers
Here it is essential to pay attention to the bottom of the rubber surface. For new rubbers push them entirely from the beginning of the blade. If they are used as in the video, then look at how many millimeters are missing. This way you can precisely apply the rubber to the end of the blade top. However, leave as much space at the beginning.
If it happens to be bigger rubber, you will easily cut it at the end when you glue it. When you start gluing the rubber, be sure to squeeze it as far forward as possible so that there is no room for air during assembling. That air that remains can damage your rubber and have an effect every time you play. That is why it is important that you smoothly glue the rubber and there is no space in the middle.
Finally, you can squeeze the racket with your fingers to make sure it is well assembled. Repeat the same for the other rubber with one note in mind. If you put new rubbers that are in the shape of a square when you get them, you should first cut one and then put the other.
Step 4: Cut And Clean The Rubber
When you are done putting the rubbers on your blade, you need to cut them nicely around and to the edge to make the racket look nice and comply with the ITTF rules.
That means rubber won’t be bigger than the blade. You will easily achieve it with either scissors or a sharp scalpel. If you use scissors, then just hold the racket firmly in one hand and with the other lightly cut the rubber the whole circle while gently turning the racket.
With a sharp scalpel, you need to lean the racket at a certain surface. After that, make the whole circle around the racket until the rubber is nicely cut in the shape of a blade. When it comes to new rubbers, you have to glue them one by one and then cut them.
On the other hand, with used ones, as shown in the video, you can glue both and then just cut the parts that are bigger than the racket.
In the end, all you have to do is clean the table tennis rubbers and stick side tape if you want to protect the racket additionally. For cleaning, use a rubber cleaner to put a little foam on the rubber and then run a smooth sponge over it several times. In a few minutes, the foam itself will dry, and the racket will be ready.
Step 5: Wait 24 hours for full effect
With earlier fast glues, table tennis players glued the racket before each training session or match.
The full gluing effect was then immediately after placing the rubbers. However, with modern table tennis glues, which are the only ones now recognized by the ITTF, it takes 24 hours to feel the full effect of the ball bouncing.
You can try the racket right after the gluing is over, but the next day and the next few months, you will feel the real bounce of the ball and the full potential of the blade and rubbers you bought.
What to consider when gluing?
If the glue is as good as the one we mentioned, then the bottle will last you a very long time. So, you will be able to assemble a table tennis racket again after a few months with the same glue.
Always close the bottle of glue well after use so that it does not dry out. If you accidentally pour more glue than necessary, then just pour that amount on the next rubber. This happened to me with the first one in the video. The glue cannot damage the skin or the surface you are sticking to.
It is very easy to remove by washing your hands or cleaning the surface where you glued it with an ordinary cloth. These modern table tennis glues are made from liquid natural caoutchouc and contain organic solvents.