In attempts to match a handmade ping pong table my friend was making I decided on making a usable wooden ping pong paddle. This is my first Instructable so bare with me and if I'm lacking any details or pictures I apologize.
Step 1: Materials
The materials used are pretty simple.
Two separate pieces of different species of wood (or the same depending on what you prefer), both large enough to accommodate the size of the paddle.
Dowels of the size of your choosing (I used 1/2in diameter)
Band saw (jig saw if needed)
Drill press or hand drill
Drill bits the same size of your dowel
Sand paper or sanding tool (various grits)
You can also order attachable grip tape online
Although I made this with solid wood does not mean you have to do the same. 1/4 or 1/8th inch plywood will provide an ever stronger base material. I just liked the natural wood color.
Step 2: Tracing and Cutting of the Wood
Now comes the shaping of the wood. Using a band saw i cut out a hand drawn grip to the shape and size I wanted. Using an old cheap paddle, I outlined the shape on the solid piece of lumber and cut it out. Not only did I cut the shape of the handle, I also cut down the center (see picture) to create two sides to sandwich onto the paddle itself. With everything cut out I sandwiched the two layers onto the center board with wood glue creating the general shape of the paddle.
Step 3: Lots of Sanding
This step just consisted of sanding everything including making the surfaces smooth and especially rounding over the grip with various grits over and over until I got the shape I desired. I didn't take many pictures of this step because my hands were full but the idea is just to really shape the handle. You can use a circular sander, file, belt sander, or really any method of sanding that works for you.
Step 4: Dowels (optional)
This step is optional but I believe it adds to the final product and gives a better look. For this I picked out an approximately 1/2 in diameter dowel and a matching bit that resulted in a tight fit. When picking out a dowel match the size of the dowel with the back side of the drill bit. After drilling the holes in I added wood glue to the sides of the dowel hit it in with a rubber mallet and did some final sanding.
Step 5: Coating
I coated this with three layers of polyurethane while leaving time for it to dry between layers. You can also lightly scruff up the layers in between the final coat with a very fine sand paper to add to the final product.
Overall the project turned out how I wanted it. Be creative and have fun.Thanks!!