i just finished my 50th string since i bought my Alpha Shuttle Express with the WISE tension head (which makes it the WASE) in April 2009.
the WASE isn't the first machine that i have owned, but one that i really learned stringing from and managed to have done a decent amount of string jobs on by taking in some string job from friends. as a result, i was able to gain a lot of experience with stringing, and on top of that, i have learned from talking to many stringers.
my string time went from a poor 50 mins at best down a pretty constant 35 mins, and from my personal use, the resultant job has a better feel than when i started.
so here i want to share with everybody some of the stuff that i have learned. they are pretty random bits and pieces.
the most important part of it. it takes a lot of practice. no tips in the world will help you unless you practice. the biggest problem is that one can only break so many strings and not everyone has a backlog of dozens of rackets, then how do one find rackets to practice on? well, you can either start stringing for friends, or try to break more strings. how to break more strings? use the most fragile strings, like bg66 or Zymax 62. those will break in a couple of weeks usually.
2. read and ask
read the Stringing Techniques forum. there are tons of discussions there. ask question, drum up some discussions. i learned A LOT from the members there.
3. clear the clutter
if you have a table top machine, make sure that the table is clear of tools. loose strings and tools like pliers and cutter and awls will eventually tangle and cost time.
4. do local pre-weave
i am not a fan of pre-weavethe whole racket. the low tension strings are to me a pain to deal with. however, i do like to pre-string a few after i tension. so instead of weave, tension, weave tension, i weave 4-8 strings and then tension them all at one go. this minimize tool change.
5. learn about (and avoid) hard-weave
if you weave, tension, weave, tension (as oppose to the local pre-weave i mentioned above), then you should learn what hard weave is. the gist is that you should weave 2 string ahead of the one that you are tensioning instead of the next one.
this really works. it lessen the tedious process of weaving 400+ crossing. i think having music really makes the whole process feel faster
7. straighten the string on tension
i learned this from AK. when you are tensioning the cross, make sure you straighten it. a string that is tension while it is not straight will lose tension when you eventually straighten it later on. do it to make sure tension is maintained. this might take some skills on crank but no problem on ECP or dropweight.
8. use a string mover to thread shared hole
shared holes are necessary evil. there is no avoiding it. but we can make it much easier by using a stringer mover.
not everyone strings the same way and all machines are different. you need to experiment with different M/C tension combinations to find the best playability for you and your machine.
10. flying clamps
unless you have a fancy Victor or Yonex electronic machine, likely is that your fixed/swivel clamps are slow and clunky. flying clamps are awesome and at the risk of some small tension loss, it makes the stringing process much much faster. they are stronger than they look and can easily hold 30+ lbs tensions.
that's all i can think of for now. feel free to add more tips.