By the time you've moved to the advanced beginner level in ping pong, you've likely purchased a blade. Once you've made that move, it's time to learn how to glue down a table tennis rubber properly. It's one of the first things to master and one of the most frequently asked questions in the sport. Good rubbers are expensive, and there is a proper way to handle the gluing, so it's essential to learn how to do it right. There are a few steps ion the process, but the most important among them is spreading a thin, even layer of adhesive on both the blade and the rubber. The adhesive tube will have instructions.
If your table tennis blade already has a rubber attached, the first step will be safely removing the rubber without damaging the blade's surface. You'll need to peel it off in a diagonal direction with a firm but gentle motion. It's required that you remove it diagonally to avoid splintering the wood and leaving your blade damaged. If no one has mentioned it to you yet, applying a coat of polyurethane is an excellent protector for your blade's surface. It helps slow or prevent splintering during many rubber changes and gives you added peace of mind against damage. It's an excellent thing to do.
You'll need to trim the rubbers to the exact size of your blade, and doing a neat job is a priority. It's wisest to cut before applying the adhesive. Before you begin the process, put down paper on cardboard on the table where you will work to catch any adhesive drips. Then you're ready to place your blade face down on the rubber to trace around the edges. Put the logo on the rubber above your racket grip for the best appearance. At that point, you're ready to open the tube and apply the adhesive. Most players use a paintbrush to make sure the glue is spread evenly across the rubber.
Next, apply a smooth, even coat of adhesive to the surface of your blade. Do it just as thoroughly as you do on the rubber. Then line things up and stick the rubber down onto the blade. Once they are together, use a small roller to smooth out the surface. It's crucial to apply the glue evenly across both blade and rubber for the desired adhesion. The rubber needs to be glued tightly to the racket at all spots. Also, make sure to read the label instructions on the adhesive tube. Some of the newer water-based products have a waiting time before you stick the two sides together – follow the directions carefully.