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Ramblings of a Stringing Newbie

Discussion in 'Badminton Stringing Techniques & Tools' started by Randomlegend, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Randomlegend

    Randomlegend Regular Member

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    After much deliberation over many months I finally caved recently and got myself a stringing machine.

    I researched here as much as I could and got an amazing amount of help from Mark A before finally deciding on a Pro's Pro Pilot with some Universal clamps to replace the tennis ones supplied. I also got 100m of cheap string to practice with.

    It arrived Friday last week and I got it set up the next day and that afternoon I set off on my first attempt.

    I don't have anyone who can directly help me so it was up to youtube and any other interwebz help I could get. Thanks Kwun for the guide on starting the mains with fixed clamps, and to the guy with his washing up bowl and rope on youtube who taught me how to tie a finished knot :D

    As with a first attempt at anything, we had some teething problems (and it of course took an obscenely long time). My two main disasters were:

    1) After (extremely carefully) making sure I had both halves on the mains of equal length when starting, I somehow managed to end up with a long bit and a short bit by the end. I think I must have not clamped one of the fixed clamps at the bottom early on so it moved. Didn't have enough to finish on side. Started again.

    2) I didn't really understand the stringing patterns that well with nobody to explain so I just set off on my merry way. I weaved and tensioned all the mains sequentially. When I tried to work out how to finish, I found a full tutorial for stringing a whole racket and realised the end of the pattern calls for you to skip grommets and come back on yourself. Only a partial undo and redo this time!

    Despite my mess ups, I worked very methodically and whilst I know it is of course not up to a good stringer's standards, I think the final result was actually fairly decent for a first time. :)

    Super busy with Uni at the moment so I've not had a chance to have a second practice run yet but I've definitely learnt a huge amount from my first go and I think next time should go a lot more smoothly.

    I sort of maybe promised Mark a video but I've not really got the equipment to film and upload one at the moment (also who wants to sit through 2+ hours of me being useless :D). You'll have to make do with a picture for now. If there are any obvious mistakes, which wouldn't surprise me in the slightest of course, feel free to point them out. I'm not sure the pattern is actually quite right, since as I said I was a bit confused at the time (understand it now though).

    Here's the picture of my 'work':

    Stringing.JPG

    The strings look dodgy as hell, looking at it now. Is that down to my poor technique or just that they haven't been played with/had a chance to settle?

    It's a Wilson Prostaff 100 (old cheap racket I have that I'm not worried about breaking) strung with Hiqua HQ B-696 at 22x24lbs for anyone remotely interested.

    Hopefully will get a video at some point in future when it's a more manageable amount of time and I've found the lead for my camera.

    Well done to anyone who read this far, I apologise for the chunk of time you spent reading this that you'll never get back. Quite a wall of text I've produced.

    If anyone is even remotely interested, I'll keep this updated.

    Happy stringing!
     
  2. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    As far as the pattern goes, it's almost correct; the only blooper is that you put the outermost main through A12 instead of A11 (you wouldn't be able to do this on any serious racket - A11 is a double, but A12 is a single). Fine for this one, though - looks like all the grommets are trombone-sized;).

    With regard to getting the crosses straight, Alan K shows you how here (7:32 and 7:54) - pull all the slack out, hold the cross against its neighbour, then pull it again. Use your fingers to keep it there during the pull.

    On a tangent, if that's an ally racket, I advise you to try a newish graphite one as soon as possible - the metal ones often incur non-correcting warps and bends.

    Be sure to put a picture of your machine setup in this thread:D.
     
  3. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    Randomlegend, You spend too many words putting yourself down.You did no worse than anyone else on their first try. So cut yourself some slack.Keep listening to the wise, avuncular MarkA and other experts here and you'll go from fledging to soaring in no time! :)
     
  4. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    Nobody, in the history of stringing, has ever done anything other than a 2 hr balls-up for their first job;).

    It's a lot like driving once you get going - 90% of it is auto-pilot.
     
  5. Limited328

    Limited328 Regular Member

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    I doubt my first stringing job could be as good as yours. kudos.
     
  6. Randomlegend

    Randomlegend Regular Member

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    Haha, thank you. It's the perfectionist in me coming out.

    With regards to my pattern mistake, as I said I really didn't quite get the pictures so was blundering on a bit. I was vaguely trying to follow this pattern:

    http://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=120811&d=1334781881

    at the same time as a video tutorial so I think I just got in a bit of a muddle :D

    I'll get a picture up of my set up as soon as I manage to find a lead for my camera and I'll have some more practice attempts this weekend!
     
  7. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    most seasoned stringers will be able to produce a pretty perfect looking string job without paying much attention to what they are doing, in fact, most of them probably watching tv, chatting, or listening to music while they finish the job in 20mins.

    for someone who are starting though, while the process may look simple on video, there are in fact many tiny little details that needs paying attention to. the newbie who has not thought of and experienced such details will either stumble or may have to actively look for solution to each little issue that comes their way. but that's ok, that's the definition of a beginner.

    there are 40+ strings, 70+ holes in a badminton racket along with racket mounting and strings crossing, it is in fact full of landmines.

    for someone who is starting, it is ok to end up with some mistakes here and there. with patience and paying attention to previous mistakes, after 5-10 string jobs you will start to iron out most of the common issues already.

    so keep practicing. and keep us updated on your progress.
     
  8. Randomlegend

    Randomlegend Regular Member

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    Will do, and I'm glad people are (at least good at politely feigning to be ;) ) interested. :)
     
  9. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    Actually, the one you really needed for that racket (and 95% of others) is the one under "other rackets":

    [​IMG]

    Refer to that one when you next get a racket on the operating table;).
     
  10. Randomlegend

    Randomlegend Regular Member

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    Yeah, that's what I'll be following next time.Got some time on Saturday for practice :)
     
  11. kingzzz

    kingzzz Regular Member

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    Welcome to the stringers club :)

    Still remember by first racket 1 year ago and all the restarts due to various issues, but alas 2 hours later a completed racket. Each setup will have their unique problems and you will eventually come up with a unique solution that suits you.

    Good luck and have fun
     
  12. Randomlegend

    Randomlegend Regular Member

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    I've noticed that my turntable rocks slightly in the direction of the tensioner, so when you pull it leans a mm or so. I can obviously also rock it by hand. It can't rock the other way because of the break, although the whole thing can be lifted slightly.

    It's not the join between the machine and the base, it's the joint where the bit from the table goes into the square cross-section metal piece which itself then goes into the base.

    It's only a little wobble, just wondering if it's a problem (can't really see how it would be) and if it's easily fixable (I'm perfectly happy to leave it as is if it's no issue).

    Thoughts?
     
  13. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    hard to understand what you are talking about without a photo.
     
  14. aiexrlder

    aiexrlder Regular Member

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    just bought a pro's pro shuttle express and strung my first racket, seemed to be okay. however, really silly question: i don't quite understand how to set the tension exactly, the knob is split into 3 divisions, is each division 1/3 of a lb? seems like the scale shows this when i set the tension. also, are there any good knot tying videos? the ones posted here are good but i can't actually see what to do when tying, the hands are in the way :(
     
  15. Randomlegend

    Randomlegend Regular Member

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    Machine wobble.jpg

    So the first arrow on the right shows where the movement is coming from, the other arrow just shows direction i.e. that end tips downwards (very slightly as I said).

    So if you imagine it's completely horizontal to begin with, when I tension a string or if I push down on that end it tilts by a couple of mm or something.

    It doesn't seem like a big deal, just a little wobble.

    I can't upload a picture of my own machine right now, but I don't think I could make it any clearer if I did.
     
  16. blindfury

    blindfury Regular Member

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    Start checking downward from the 4 screws on the base. Somewhere is not leveled and tight.

    Don't dwell on this minor thing. I don't see this as a big problem, unless the degree of movement increases by a big margin over time.
     
  17. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    owner's of Pro's Pro Pilot can probably chime in.

    it depends on the design. is the turntable ball bearing loaded? or just friction bearing?

    usually friction bearing there will be some play, nothing much you can do about that. just lower quality / cheaper design.

    for ball bearing loaded, then there might be something else that you can tighten to get rid of the play. on my 6004 even if pulled at 50+ lbs the whole turntable has no play in it at all.
     
  18. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    Unscrew the turntable - remove the four bolts - from the hub, then pull the hub out of its holder. You'll see it's attached to a six-inch cylindrical axle via a hex grub screw through the side.

    One of the first things I did to my machine was to glue the axle into the hub and Loctite the grub screw in place. This will take up any play between the hub and axle. You will still be left with a little bit of tilt, but nowhere near as much as before.

    While you're at it, spray a little bit of GT85 on the axle and into the holder;).
     
  19. Randomlegend

    Randomlegend Regular Member

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    I'd have put money on it being you to help me out :D

    Thanks (once again), I'll get on it tomorrow.

    I've had about 4/5 goes now and things are definitely getting much smoother and speedier. I've ordered sets of ZM62, VS850 and NS30 (along with the ZM65 that's coming in my Revelation) to try out so I can make a decision what I want to get a reel of.
     
  20. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    It got to the point where I had ripped my machine down to its nuts and bolts in the attempt to make things smoother or take up slack. The turntable bearing mod is relatively easy compared to a total teardown and rebuild of the clamp bases...

    Be sure to wind your crank's gripper limiter screw all the way out for Z62, by the way.
     

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