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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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    you need to post a pics or video of what you are doing. that way we can tell you what you are doing wrong.

    mounting the frame should be rather straight forward. there isn't much that needs to be done except to make sure it is reasonably secure.

    [video=youtube;v3PZf-iMqC4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3PZf-iMqC4[/video]
     
  2. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i am on my 450th racket.

    while AK ( @kakinami ) probably do that when he sleeps, that's quite a lot of racket for me as a part time stringer.

    looking back at my previous jobs and the current one, there is a definite difference. a year ago i was much more clumsy, there is a certain level of hesitation whatever i was doing. today the flow is smoother and esp on the weaving, doing softweave is much much better than local pre-weave. while speed is not everything, it does indicate a level of getting more competent at the job. and the time reduction from ~24mins to ~20mins is not bad. :)

    a year ago (April 2012):

    [video=youtube;0Pvn21N-YtE]
    [/video]

    today (March 2013):

    [video=youtube;3bSQbHZokMs]
    [/video]
     
    #102 kwun, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  3. kakinami

    kakinami Regular Member

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    450 this year?!!!!


     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    you mean you don't get 450 racket in 3 months?
     
  5. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    well i don't believe this thread has been going on for almost 4 years. :)

    I just finished my 575th stringjob. if you have been paying attention, the number of jobs has slowed down, only 125 or so for this year. It is due to a combination of factors but mainly life just gets in the way and I haven't been as proactive in seeking out clients. and honestly sometimes even then i get a pretty sizeable backlog. but i guess this is what so good about recreational stringer as my living don't depend on it so there is nothing to stress out for.

    however, that doesn't mean things are standing still either. the process has been refined even more. fixed clamp all the way now and main/cross ratio have changed. nowadays it is not uncommon to finish in 19-20min and anything above 22mins would be consider slow. this is even given I have moved back to fixed clamps which is slightly slower than flying clamps.

    i think i have gotten to the point where the process is already programmed into my motor neurons. i don't need to pay that much attention on the stringing anymore, or shall i say i can spend some of my attention span on other things as well.

    the flow will probably keep get refining but likely it will be on the more subtle and less observable part like tension ratio and perhaps a change to a different tensioning pattern all together.
     
  6. Drache

    Drache Regular Member

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    What ratio do you currently use and why?
    Did you ever find out if putting the knots away from the sweetspot made a differnce ?
    :)
     
  7. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    String job #50: DONE!!!

    Before I finally decided to buy an own machine and start stringing, I was reading this particular thread quite carefully. The numbers that kakinami
    and kwun have posted in here over the years made me dizzy and I thought "Man, how long will it take until I will even reach those bloody 50 rackets?".

    Well, it took a lot less time than I thought it would. Yesterday I have finished racket #50 which is round about 10 months after I bought my first machine. I am stringing the rackets of almost all my clubmates which has made badminton the first hobby that’s paying itself. And apart from that, there is no better feeling that stringing your own rackets right before an important league match day or tournament and knowing that it will feel exactly the way I like it. In the meantime, I have literally forgotten how complicated it was in the “old days” to experiment with different strings and especially tensions. It seems to be a wide spread disease amongst German stringers that they give you something around 22 lbs. maximum, no matter what you order.

    And to keep this thread alive for a little longer, I want to share my experiences so far. So, what have I learned with these 50 rackets?

    1) Basics
    My first actual string job took me round about 3 hours and ended with a snapped string because I stabbed it with an awl while fighting with the last shared grommet. I reached the 90 minutes mark at around racket #5 and got below 1 hour at about #10. Currently I am down to a comfortable 40-45 minutes while watching TV in parallel. If I wanted to speed up any more, I feel like I would seriously need to hurry and maybe cut some corners. I don’t like both so I guess I will have to wait to get a WISE at some point in time to further improve my stringing time.

    I learned a huge lot of tricks and useful techniques through BC, so a big thanks to all you stringers in here for being so creative and sharing your knowledge!

    2) Machine
    I started off with a Pro’s Pro Challenger and modded it almost right away with Michal Chudek side supports. They are just brilliantly designed and built and are a serious upgrade for all low- to mid-priced machines. I sold the Challenger after 3 months because I got so frustrated with the bad overall quality and got myself a Superstringer T20. I could re-use the Chudek supports and I’m now fully happy with that machine. Next upgrade will be a WISE, but I guess this will need another 50-100 string jobs before I get the budget released.

    So if you think about buying a stringing machine, don’t make the same mistake as me and make sure to invest close to all of your budget in the machine.

    3) Pattern
    In the beginning, I was experimenting quite a lot with different patterns. I started with the standard Yonex 2-piece (top down and bottom up), moving to 1-piece Victor and I have now settled for a 1-piece Haribito pattern (except requested otherwise by the racket owner of when dealing with a Yonex racket which is still under warranty). This one to be precise:
    Haribito.jpg

    If you have it internalized a bit, it has a very smooth flow and I like the basic idea of it to put as much string as possible between the knots and the first sweet spot crosses. So if you have any tension loss coming from the knots, it takes some time until it reaches the sweet spot strings. I love the lively feel of it and I get out pings that are ringing nicely. Although I noticed that the ping tends to ring longer after the first 2-3 hours of usage – so maybe the tension evens out over the complete stringbed during that time.

    4) Flow
    I also experimented a lot with different starting sequences and stuff but in the end, I incorporated a lot of the flow seen in this video clip:
    [video=youtube;4sirBantYxU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sirBantYxU&feature=youtu.be&list=PLYrw9BAzfs6fJn8KltcIg98q6SaUY0sHV[/video]

    I especially like the starting sequence where he starts with the first 4 mains to one side and then going the other direction. Within the last 20 rackets or so, I have changed only minor things in my flow. The last important thing I have implemented was to weave one string ahead on the crosses and thus making the weaves far easier and softer. kwun has made a good video to demonstrate the technique and the positive effect:
    [video=youtube;uI6vStY2RCk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI6vStY2RCk&feature=youtu.be&list=PLYrw9BAzfs6fJn8KltcIg98q6SaUY0sHV[/video]

    The result is another 2-3 minutes reduction in the overall stringing time and I reduced my weaving mistakes close to zero. So that’s one thing I can highly recommend.

    5) Knot
    Started with a basic Parnell but I have completely switched over to the Toshi knot about 20 rackets ago:
    [video=youtube;85mXmT04o-M]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85mXmT04o-M&index=1&list=PLYrw9BAzfs6fJn8KltcIg98q6SaUY0sHV[/video]

    Once you know how to do it, it’s easy to tie and to remove the slack. Also it’s a bit bigger than a Parnell which makes it sink less into the grommet over time. Mark’s multiple-parnells are even bigger, but I felt uncomfortable to deal with so many loops in hand.

    6) Tension Ratio Main / Cross
    I started out with adding 2 lbs. on the crosses but now I have settled with even ratios for everything below 26 lbs. The rackets maintain their head shape very well and the change in the overall length is <0.5 mm, so I am fully pleased with that.
    What might help here is that I tend to stretch the racket about 2 lengthwise when mounting it. So basically, I re-tighten the main supports once more after I am finished with the side supports in the first round or after I pulled the first 2-3 mains.

    Sooo... what’s next? I guess I will experiment a bit more with moving to higher tensions. I currently feel very comfortable with anything up to 26 lbs. but I think I will gain some more experience and confidence with approaching the 30 lbs. mark on my old but robust test racket. Currently, I only have one customer who wants to have the 26 lbs. but in general, I see that most of my clubmates are increasing their requested tensions bit by bit. So I just want to be prepared for when the high-tension virus will finally hit them.. or myself… :rolleyes:
     
    #107 s_mair, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  8. DuckFeet

    DuckFeet Regular Member

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    That all england vid - seems wrong to do batches of 4. Do many other stringers do that?
    And scrap string in a 2+4 - has the arc 11 got staggered holes at the top?? I imagine 34lb bg80 would fall through there with no help.
    Its an interesting watch though.
     
  9. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    He's doing several things that are not 100% according to the BC stringing bible. He's also double pulling the last to mains, removing the starting clamp without having tensioned the string first, ect. ect.

    I'm also not sure if he continues the mains with batches of 4 since I think there is a cut in the clip. I do this only for the first 4 mains to each side and then going down to batches of three. So I proceed like this:
    4 to the right
    7 to the left (so an overlap of 3)
    6 to the right (another overlap of 3)
    => Fix with starting- or flying clamp top right side accoring to the Haribito pattern
    3 to the left
    => start crosses from the last shared hole top left side going downwards according to the Haribito pattern

    I would go down to 1 overlap each side with tensions >26 lbs. to avoid any trouble there.

    If the Arc11 is equal to the VT80, you will be happy if you thought about the scrap strings at the top. The holes are almost in line what causes the overlapping main string to get caught in the notch of the skipped grommet. And once it's in there, you're screwed if you want to move it away with fingers only.
     
  10. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    I don't, and moreover, I regard it as slightly bad practice (no matter how slight the danger) - there is no speed avantage because the racket has to turn the same number of times, but there is a L-R unbalance introduced. Personally, I go LRRLLRRL..., never letting one side get more than one ahead of the other.

    (The tennis stringers are even worse - I've seen 3, 6, finish, finish a LOT over the years.)

    The Yonex 2+3 and 2+4 patterns are always staggered a bit, but not all of the Victor ones are (as Paul and I discovered last year, along with the fact the Meteors are absolutely abominable in that department). Scraps there are good practice even if there is stagering; if you do it for every racket, you're less likely to forget.
     
  11. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    That's true if you have a machine that allows a 360° rotation. On a good old drop weight, you have to turn the racket the long way every second pull. So doing the mains in a bit bigger batches just feels more smooth.
    Yeah... I know... another reason to go the WISE way... :D
     
  12. kakinami

    kakinami Regular Member

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    I was stringing at a local tournament (Berkeley, CA) and Saturday did 21, Sunday 22 and then 9 tennis at night. that was a fun weekend for me. If you get a chance to meet Koyo from Canada, he usually has all that for 1 day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I see his Facebook posts, he is another awesome Canadian stringer!!
     
  13. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    that's debatable. i'd say having a difference of +/- 2 strings between L/R side is ok.

    and if done correctly, batch of 4 just going from -2 to +2.

    a lot of time is wasted not on turning the table, but to pick up the dangling string end. so for mains, it can potentially be faster depending on your flow.

    and no, i have tried somehow holding onto the string end, it is a mess with the table flipping around all the time.
     
  14. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    cross = main + 1

    as for the knot. not really. but my customers has been happy. so i guess no need to change it for now.
     
  15. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    that'd have been hell for me.

    there is a certain point where if i have to do more than a handful of rackets a day, it is no longer fun.
     
  16. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    congrats! 50 is a big milestone. it was for me (that's why this thread was created).

    it is not completely arbitrary either, 50 rackets means you have inserted around 1000 string segments through 2000 grommet holes, and have weaved the cross string through the mains string 20,000 times. well, ok, maybe it is a bit arbitrary. but hey...

    stringing is like many other sports or learning any skills, the more iterations the better, and the more frequently the better. just like playing badminton, it is ok to play once a week, but soon when you start going 3 times, 4 times a week, suddenly you play so much better.

    when I was peaking at 50+ rackets per month a few years ago, 20 mins stringjob was the norm and i have done sub-19 before (just). these days, things has slowed down a lot, so mostly i ended up with 22-23 mins per stringjob.

    stringing is also the type of skills that doesn't get unlearned easily, so once u reach a certain speed level, you may slow down, but won't go back to the "slow' time you had when you just started.

    keep it up!
     
  17. Chan1011

    Chan1011 Regular Member

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    I started adding scrap string in the 4x corners, and I arc the string to add leverage to the covered holes. I find this is definitely more useful for higher tensions, you don't have to pry as hard with your Awl to open up the gap, and as you pull through your string is less likely to twist.

    Whereas with lower tensions, it's pretty easy to pry and play around without the risk of snapping the string off, I'm still a nooby but that's what I found so far.
     
  18. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i do the same.

    i never have luck with prying. by no luck, i mean i have snapped the string before. and that's at a very bad/late stage of the process to have to redo the whole racket. :mad::mad:
     
  19. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    I know that feel Kwun, which is why I'm currently a little infatuated with the Paizhuan... no fighting required.
     
  20. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i gotta try it some time.
     

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