Ping Pong nails

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
craigh
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:38 am

Ping Pong nails

Post by craigh » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:54 am

Anyone use ping pong balls for their nails ? Not just for a breakage but full time ?
I used them for years when I was a student eons ago and they worked fine ( from what I remember ) , but it seems like in the last few months that I have been using them full time , they seem to deteriorate fairly quickly .
I use high quality balls but it seems like once I get them filed the way I like them , within an hour I need to file edges again .
Driving me crazy since over time with all this filing , they just keep getting shorter .
Anyone else have problems or praises for using these ? I know my old teacher uses them still to this day full time ...

guit-box
Posts: 1097
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by guit-box » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:10 am

Kevin Gallagher used to use them on all 4 nails I believe back when he won the GFA but I don't think he does anymore. Russell uses it under his a nail now. I personally prefer to go to a salon and have acrylics installed so there is no plastic tip used, but instead they use a nail form to extend the acrylic past my natural nail. The acrylic is way stronger than any ping pong ball or nail tips, but it is a bit thicker.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

craigh
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:38 am

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by craigh » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:17 am

I'm curious about the acrylics . Do you have a set length you have them set to ? I've toyed with the idea but I was concerned about filing them , tone , etc ...

User avatar
Cloth Ears
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 9:37 am

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by Cloth Ears » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:25 am

Since nails grow as scales, a hard acrylic can cause them to rumple underneath as they grow. You can ruin your natural nail with acrylic. Furthermore the nail technician will want to file the top of your nails thinner to help the acrylic stick. Stay away is my advice.

Chinese silk and superglue applied and trimmed (several times a day if you play flamenco!) is the best non invasive method.

User avatar
Martin
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 7:18 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by Martin » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:01 am

craigh wrote:...
I used them for years when I was a student eons ago and they worked fine ( from what I remember ) , but it seems like in the last few months that I have been using them full time , they seem to deteriorate fairly quickly .
I use high quality balls but it seems like once I get them filed the way I like them , within an hour I need to file edges again .
Driving me crazy since over time with all this filing , they just keep getting shorter ....
I think it was after the 2012 Olympic Games the governing body of the sport changed the compound the balls were made with. Modern ones don't have celluloid in them any more. I only use them very rarely so I still have some "old stock" around.

Martin
If all else fails, try reading the instructions...

User avatar
RobMacKillop
Posts: 2008
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:24 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by RobMacKillop » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:55 am

I used to use them, but my playing went back and forth all the time...

Dirck Nagy
Posts: 518
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:47 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by Dirck Nagy » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:02 pm

Martin wrote:
craigh wrote:...
I used them for years when I was a student eons ago and they worked fine ( from what I remember ) , but it seems like in the last few months that I have been using them full time , they seem to deteriorate fairly quickly .
I use high quality balls but it seems like once I get them filed the way I like them , within an hour I need to file edges again .
Driving me crazy since over time with all this filing , they just keep getting shorter ....
I think it was after the 2012 Olympic Games the governing body of the sport changed the compound the balls were made with. Modern ones don't have celluloid in them any more. I only use them very rarely so I still have some "old stock" around.

Martin
This came up recently:
viewtopic.php?f=87&t=108090&p=1151214#p1151214

For years, I used small slivers of ball glued under my nail, especially my "i" finger, which curled and hooked. They worked well once i got used to it. I had problems with glue adhering & pretty much quit using them some years back. I also still have some "old stock" in case of emergency.
2015 John H. Dick
1994 Larry Breslin ("Deerhead")
1952 Vincente Tatay

robert e
Posts: 490
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by robert e » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:46 pm

If they worked before but not now, something's changed, obviously. Ball, string, and technique being the obvious suspects.

Dirk may be onto something if you're using newer balls. We can still buy celluloid balls, though, just need to be alert. The new plastic ones are said to be seamless. Even with celluloid, the maker may have changed the material over the years, and you may need to try another.

I tried an acrylic glue-on thumbnail recently. I liked how it filed like real nails, but didn't like how different the tone was compared to my own nails.

guit-box
Posts: 1097
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by guit-box » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:57 pm

I'm sure there's a more professional vid of this process with the nail form, this is basically what I have a salon do. They only do this the first time and then after that it's just periodic fill-ins. I have a salon tech who is very precise (and speaks perfect English) so I don't have any problems getting them made to the length and shape and thickness I want. He leaves the length and shape for me to adjust as per my request. Also, I only use 1-2mm past the flesh on i,m,a so he doesn't need the forms for those, he can extend the acrylic with the brush only. The only times I've had problems with acrylics is when I mess with them or try to remove them. Pulling them off or using chemicals to melt them off will likely hurt your nail bed, but if you let them grow out it's usually fine. I've tried the silk/resin and thats fine too, but acrylic is so much more durable. I may try the softer gel acrylics at some point, I'm curious about that, and it would be nice if the nail was closer in thickness to a natural nail. Ping pong under the nail doesn't work for me because I can't get enough growth of natural nail for a glue surface. Acrylic has been the answer for me, but I can understand that some people don't like it.


Youtube
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

craigh
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:38 am

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by craigh » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:45 am

I think it was after the 2012 Olympic Games the governing body of the sport changed the compound the balls were made with. Modern ones don't have celluloid in them any more. I only use them very rarely so I still have some "old stock" around.
yeah that could the culprit . I did buy the Nittaku regulation balls and they were thicker than the old Franklin ones I had laying around . But other than the feel , the Franklins seemed to sound better too . Hmm. But they didn't last very long . Cheap .
Yeah I'll have to investigate to see if I can find some of the " old stock " you guys are talking about .

dtoh
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by dtoh » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:57 am

Anyone who has had soft gel treatments will think this thread is from the Stone Age.

guit-box
Posts: 1097
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by guit-box » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:55 pm

dtoh wrote:Anyone who has had soft gel treatments will think this thread is from the Stone Age.
Tell us more details. How is it done? Does it go on thinner than acrylics? Is it as durable as acrylics? Can you apply yourself?
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Luis_Br
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:50 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by Luis_Br » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:13 am

I have a friend who eventually uses soft-gel and he thinks it is really great and better than others. Problem is that he can only do it with a professional and it gets quite expensive here.

guit-box
Posts: 1097
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:57 am

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by guit-box » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:52 pm

I did a little research on gel vs acrylic nails. I couldn't find what the base material is for gel nails, I suspect it's still acrylic material that's just uv-cured instead of being activated with the liquid like the acrylic powder is. It appears that it's easier to get a thinner and more natural nail with the gel because it flows out and is self-leveling and maybe it's a little more flexible than acrylic. I could see this as plus or a minus. Powder acrylic lasts longer and is less expensive and gel requires the investment of a UV or LED light to cure. Salon prices are more expensive for gel and it lasts 1/2-1/3 as long as acrylic. Here's a video that shows the process for both


Youtube
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

dtoh
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:54 pm

Re: Ping Pong nails

Post by dtoh » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:30 am

guit-box wrote:
dtoh wrote:Anyone who has had soft gel treatments will think this thread is from the Stone Age.
Tell us more details. How is it done? Does it go on thinner than acrylics? Is it as durable as acrylics? Can you apply yourself?
Thinner. More flexible. (You can apply thicker/more coats if you want a stiffer nail.) Doesn't last as long at acrylic. Reported to be better for the nails. As people have pointed out, it's somewhat costly. There are home application kits, but I go to a professional nail salon every 2 to 3 weeks so it ends up costing $10 to $15 per week.

I don't know the exact chemistry. I think all the different treatments use "acryllics" of one form or another. Also the terminology is somewhat confusing. What you're looking for is a "soft gel" treatment. Not hard gel or acryllic.

Return to “Use of nails in playing the classical guitar”