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50 string jobs later.... what have I learned?

Discussion in 'Badminton Stringing Techniques & Tools' started by kwun, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    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.

    1. practice

    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.

    6. music

    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.

    9. experiment

    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.
     
  2. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    Good post with useful tips.

    SO you don't use fixed clamps? They are clunky, but it just seems that they hold better. Do you use multiple flying clamps? (Doesn't Dinkalot use four plus his fixed clamps at strategic times?)

    Agree that music helps. In fact I wondered if others have made 'stringing' compilations, just as folks make "driving" compilations.
     
  3. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    my machine don't have fixed clamps. :crying: :crying:

    hard to make stringing compilations. even my own music preference changes from month to month...
     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    adding another item:

    11. string mover

    a little tool that is a must have. basically a T-shape tool with a hook at the end. helps pulling string and moving string to thread shared hole (see 8 above), and helps digging string loop from behind the side support.
     
  5. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    #7 is vital for us crankers - you can lock off leaving a cross that's bent like a banana if you don't straighten it on the way. I splay my fingers along each cross and sight down it when pulling to make sure it's straight before the lock. Yes, it takes an additional two seconds, but against a frame full of smilies... no contest.

    I'll add my own tip, which applies more to newer rackets/grommet sets:

    12. before you do anything else, put a lubed awl into the shared holes and twist it around in all directions - get them AGAPE. I started doing this with the latest Pandas, which have tighter-than-usual grommets, and it makes feeding string through a great deal easier.
     
  6. ghooga

    ghooga Regular Member

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    Hi Kwun, thanks for those useful tips! I bought a Pro's Pro Shuttle Express which is pretty similar to yourmachine and it's been sitting at a corner collecting dust for about a month now. Gave up on the machine when I was stuck trying to figure out how things go. Hope this coming long weekend, I'll be able to string my very first racket LOL*

    Thanks again!
     
  7. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    ghooga, don't give up on it. stringing takes a little bit of learning but the learning curve is not very steep. do feel free to ask us question in this forum, there are a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful badminton stringers here.
     
  8. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    The learning curve has substantially been reduced, given all the previous advices and tips from stringers around the world.
     
  9. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    UberMaster Pete, good to see you in this thread. But have you no pearls of wisdom to add to the list for those of us noobs? :confused: Are you not the advocate of the double, or multiple pull?

    I don't feel that the crosses are right unless I pull slowly (with fingers splayed as per Mark A). And I usually repeat the pull just to make sure the string was straight and evenly stretched. Beginner's [paranoia] inexperience I guess.:eek:
     
  10. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    Oh darn, forgot to add the following for crankers:

    double to triple pull on cross and make it straight before lockout (before lockout, keep the pull massaging the cross in and up-and-down motion to take out as much slack as possible). use a flying clamp per pull. only use a fixed clamp for the final pull (if the machine get fixed clamps).

    double pull on main (optional) :D

     
    #10 Pete LSD, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  11. AlanY

    AlanY Regular Member

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    I bought my Pro-Pro Pilot and started stringing about 3 months ago. I didn’t learn many about stringing from this forum, but ALL of them. The experience and advises from others are invaluable for beginner like me, many thanks again.

    As for my experience, loving it! The only problem is now I’m running out of rackets to string as I’m only stringing for myself and the boss. I started with 22 x 10m packs strings and after 3 months now I’ve 5 packs left with 11 stringed rackets (2 stringed by Mark A for the Trinity, excellent job by the way). Or, simply I’ve broken 8 packs of strings all down to inexperience.

    The first 2 or 3 broken strings were because I’ve forgotten to engage the lock mechanism of the crank thus I pulled until it broke. Obviously, the tell tale sign is the tensioner travel further, further, and then the string break. Hopefully, it wouldn’t happen again. The other string broke when I was too eager for the final tie-off and cut into the main. Another time, the final tie-off locked out with about 5mm away from the frame, have to cut it off and start again. I think I got the knots sorted out now, with no problem for the last few rackets.

    I’ve tried 1 piece, 2 pieces, top down and bottom up, 10% on cross and main=cross. Always pre-weave, as I can’t really see any reason not to. What I can say is with all those combinations the frame distortion that I’d measured before and after is within 1-2 mm, if at all. So, at the moment I’ll stick to the 10% cross as I believe that will hold the tension better and not allow the cross and main to even out eventually, but is it a bad thing?

    When I look at the last one I strung, obviously not as good as Mark A’s but I’m confident that it’s as good as, if not better the ones done by the local shops. That says a lot about the standard here, unfortunately. How to I know? Until I started to string myself I don’t really know or care about patterns, knots etc. When I cut some of the rackets to re-string some of the errors they’ve done are unbelievable!
     
    #11 AlanY, Oct 8, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  12. malayali

    malayali Regular Member

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    Question for Kwun:- why are you not a big fan of the pre-weaving? Is there any particular reason why you dont do that?
     
  13. ghooga

    ghooga Regular Member

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  14. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    Alan's point about shop standards is a good one - it's my firm belief that most of them go for speed (they'll be being paid by the hour rather than per racket as most of us on here are).

    I'm sure kwun's answer will be the same as mine:D - pre-weaving requires weaving through slack mains, and I can't abide weaving through slack mains. DinkALot, by some arcane sorcery, is able to get a good 15-18 lbs on his mains when pre-weaving, but I never can, so it's straight into the machine with the empty frame for me. If you can do it, though, it's a good time-killer between games.

    I'll add another tip while I'm here:

    Watch out for crossovers. Any time a cross comes out next to or through a mains loop, make sure it goes back in on the same side. You can make this easier by always passing crosses through the frame ABOVE such loops, then you can't make a mistake no matter what happens. I've added a couple of pics showing the right and wrong ways to do it.

    I had to string this one in less than half an hour, and since it's mine I allowed the mistake:p.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    Wow, one cross over! :D
     
  16. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    ops. missed this question.

    i am in the same boat as Mark. i can never get around those loose strings flying everywhere.

    the only 2 things that pre-weave helps are:

    - helps weaving the cross
    - helps threading the shared grommets

    and for me:

    - as i get more and more competent with weaving and the amount of time saved is now less and less. and to be honest, i find weaving through tensioned main strings much easier than weaving through 22 loose mains that goes everywhere. no time/effort saved there
    - after i learned how to thread a shared hole, the issues no longer exist

    on top of that, i find that the string has a tendency to get twisted when i tension pre-weaved string. the amount of twist causes torsional stress on the string as well as extra friction and damage to the coating.
     
  17. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i don't see any issues with crossover other than look nice and pretty.
     
  18. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    In extreme cases, the axial twist to the cross string can pop the string in one session.
     
  19. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    Other people get a different set of requirements :).
     
  20. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i find that local pre-weave of 4-5 strings is ok. anything beyond 5 strings, twists will start developing. seems to be worse in the shared holes when the main string is restricting the movement of the cross when pulled.
     

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