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Stringing Techniques/Practices.

Discussion in 'Badminton Stringing Techniques & Tools' started by Quasimodo, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. Quasimodo

    Quasimodo Regular Member

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    Well, I'm hoping that this thread will be a continuation from:

    http://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24632

    Basically, we want to have a (polite and respectful!) discussion regarding various aspects of stringing. Stringing machine maintenance, pre-stringing prep. work, in-stringing practices, post-stringing touch-ups, advice for non-stringers, etc. You are also welcome to share your embarrassing and silly mistakes on the following thread:

    http://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24559

    To start things off, I'll say that I'm fairly new to stringing. I'm still developing my techniques and practices therefore I'm looking forward to have a constructive exchange of ideas with other stringers, both professional and amateur.

    Now, on to my current stringing practices. Pre-stringing, I just recently started to prestretch the string. This serves two purposes for me: one, it takes the coil out of the string and, two, it gives a stiffer feel at lower tension. Other than that, I don't do any special thing: inspect the racquet for possible cracks, see if the grommets need replacing, etc.

    During stringing, I usually have my own ATW pattern that I use. It's not an original---the guy who used to string my racquets suggested it to me, but I like it for various reasons amongst which it allows me to very quickly tell whether or not I've strung a particular racquet.

    On to the stringing task itself I think one of the most important, not to mention baffling to beginners, is the starting sequence (e.g., where to start, where to clamp, which one to tension, which one to clamp off, etc.). After reading several posts on this and other forums, I've started using this sequence: start from 1HL (1 Head Left), to 1TL (i.e., 1 Throat Left), reserve enough string for the short side, thread the other side 1HR to 1TR and---using a starting clamp---clamp on the outside of 1TR. Tension 1TL, clamp, tension 1TR, clamp, take off the starting clamp. Now the two centre mains are set. There's nothing special happening after this. Except, perhaps, I stole the Yonex pattern to finish the main on the long side, in that from 9T to 12T up to 11H to 10H down to 10T. This allows me a shorter jump on the outside of the frame to start my crosses. Of course, I also take care to avoid crosses on the outside of the frame as well as inside of the grommets.

    Upon talking to another stringer here, I also started to keep the end of the long side between my lips so that I don't have to look for it every time I need it. I find that it does cut some of my stringing time.

    For tie-offs, I just use a double-hitch knots. It is a bit bulky, but it's very simple. One of these days I'm going to learn the Parnell knot which is supposed to be thinner and neater against the frame.

    Post-stringing, not much I do there other than straightening the strings. I do this by hand. I know there's a special blunt awl for tennis strings, but badminton strings are so thin already that I'm very leery about using a metal object against them, if I can help it. If the customer wants it, I also put a logo on, though I currently only have a stencil for Yonex. I use a Pilot Super Colour Marker to apply the logo because my stencil ink bottle keeps drying up.

    I haven't had any need to do much of machine maintenance/repair. Just the usual clean up and calibration. For clamp clean up I just follow the USRSA prescribed method of running a piece of cloth, soaked in rubbing alcohol, between the clamps. I don't use any lubricants on the swivel bases---I've a machine with swivel clamps---I just keep them clean with, again, rubbing alcohol. I find the metal-to-metal contact works fine for me. Some people suggest using a dry sillicone lubricant. I don't know if I'll give that a try.

    Most of the tools came with the machine. That is, the needle-nose plier, wire-cutter, starting clamp, allen wrenches and tennis awl I didn't have to buy. To these I added a bent-nose plier (Home Depot), parallel jaw plier (NRC Sports), a badminton awl I fashioned out of a jeweller's screwdriver and a scissor. I use Chapstick to lubricate the awl if necessary.

    That's all I think. You're welcome to critique them, make suggestions, share your own, etc. Remember, please keep it polite and respectful for other members. :)
     
  2. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    Pre-Stretch

    I string almost entirely for myself, and I pre-stretch everything unless a customer says otherwise.

    Purposes:
    reduce coil memory
    reduce initial tension loss after stringing.

    When you first stretch string you get a rearrangement of the structure of the string at a molecular level. This causes a loss of tension (around 10%). Most of the loss happens very quickly, within a couple of minutes, and then rest is lost more slowly over a longer period of time.

    Subsequent stretching (e.g. playing badminton) will also have this effect but to a smaller degree. This is how your string loses tension and repulsion.

    So an pre-stretch before stringing means tension loss will be less post-stringing.


    How to Pre-Stretch:
    Some Electronic Stringing machines have a pre-stretch function which happens during stringing.
    They do it by pulling the string at a higher tension than you have set for a few seconds, letting the string relax, and pulling the tension you want.

    Personally, I have a simple (but inconsistent) method.
    I take my 33 feet of string (or whatever), pass it around the stairpost (round and smooth), put a starting clamp on each end of the string, and pull.
    I would prefer something more consistent and repeatable (i.e. some way to hang a weight on the string rather than just pull it), I just haven't got round to it yet.
     
  3. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    I don't like to put the starting clamp at 1 throat. It doesn't seem to sit easily near the joint of frame and shaft. So I put the starting clamp at 2 head. Tension 2L and 1L together, then 1R, then 2R. Then go back and redo 2L, then alternate L then R.
     
  4. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    I straighten the crosses as I tension each cross.
    Tension the cross.
    Straighten the string (with my fingers)
    Re-adjust the drop-weight.

    I think if you straighten them afterwards, you lose some tension from the crosses. I think the USRSA did some tests and found that straightening as you go gave 6% higher tension on constant pull machines (3% on lockout machines).
     
  5. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    I don't do this (or tuck it in my belt, or wherever) when I'm doing the crosses.
    I find that when the string is pulled across the mains, or through shared grommets, the friction makes the string twist. If you keep hold of the end the twist builds up. I prefer to let the sting hang loose so the twist falls out.

    Anybody else get this twisting?
     
  6. Quasimodo

    Quasimodo Regular Member

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    Let me see if I've visualised this correctly, starting clamp at 2HR, tension 1HR, clamp, tension 1TL, clamp, tension 2HL, clamp, redo 2HR, clamp. So, you're double pulling 1R and 2R mains. Is that right?

    I'll try that. I agree with you on the starting clamp sitting against the T-joint. Some racquets are easier than others (e.g., Prince V-neck), but since it's only used briefly and the corners of the clamp are rounded, I personally don't think it's any worse than using it at the head of a racquet.
     
  7. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    First pull is 1R+2R yes, similar to your first pull on 1R+1L
     
  8. Quasimodo

    Quasimodo Regular Member

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    Any other stringers care to share their insights into stringing? Kwun? Cooler? LB? Taneepak? Jug8man? Others?
     
  9. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Personally, I am using a drop weight machine, and don't use a starting clamp. I follow the Klipper user guide to start off:

    1. let the string go through 1LT and 2LT, use a flying clamp to clamp it. The right end, continue to go through 1LH. Tension after going through.

    2. Use my self-made starting pin (a short tail piece of string attached with a key ring), to go through 2LH. Use 2nd flying clamp to clamp 1LH (already tensioned) and 2LH (starting kit).

    3. Continue to go through 1RH, then tension. Move 2nd clamp to 1LH and 2RH. Then, continue...

    4. After tension about 3-4 pieces of main, switch on the left side. Since this method might lose a bit tension at the way beginning, now it's the time to make up the difference, by let the leveler (using drop weight machine) to be ideal for a bit longer. If necessary, re-adjust the leveler to reach consistent tension. Then, continue on the left side.

    5. Alternate between left and right side for every 3-4 pieces, until finish the mains.

    6. Start cross from the middle, same theory as the mains, alternate between top and bottow portions.
     
  10. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    I will wait for Cooler and Jug8man to come in first. I like this thread, as it is very stringing-specific instead of just playing with words that do nothing but keep everyone lost in fog. :D
     
  11. Quasimodo

    Quasimodo Regular Member

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    Thanks, LB. This may be too much to ask, but can you take a picture or two of your starting sequence? I'm interested to see what your starting-pin looks like and how you use it.
     
  12. Shuttlebugs

    Shuttlebugs Regular Member

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    Really appreciate some pictures to go with your instructions. I use the same sort of equipment as you. Would be lovely to learn more about your method.
     
  13. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    I don't see why you guys need pictures, I thought the instructions were clear. I'm using this method since my starting clamp hasn't come yet.

    For future, could you guys post what machine you guys are using? Or at least the type of machine. I think it does make a bit of a difference and helps us understand a little better where SOME differences come from eg. 6-point fixed clamp crank machine, 2-point dropweight

    I'm using a Laserfibre MS200TT Standard/ECO. It's called a 5 point direct mounting system. This is a bit decieving. Basically it's got 3 point hold down, (1 at the throat and 2 at the head) and it's also got 4 supports inside. Laserfibre explains how the 6 point machines only "counter-act" the transformation of the racquet head. However inside supports prevent it, simply because if the racquet can't compress vertically, then it can't change shape horizontally either. It's a good mounting system since my racket hasn't changed shape through all sorts of newbie abuse I'm giving it.

    Anyway I'd just like to say I'm a n00b and not anywhere near as experienced as most of you, I'm just hoping you guys can comment and give me tips and advice.

    Right now I have 2 Laserfibre tennis flying clamps which can be adjusted hold badminton strings perfectly fine, and 2 Hi-Qua flying clamps. My machine also came with a needle nose plier and a wire cutter. I'm using a paperclip stripped of its plastic covering as an awl. 2 Eagnas clamps, a badminton awl, string mover, starting clamp and straightening tool are due to arrive later.

    To prestretch I cut my string in 2, then I tie them both onto the doorknob and put the other 2 ends of the string into my clamp and pull for a 45 seconds.

    I'm using LB's method to start since I don't have a starting clamp yet, however I see no problem with this method and I might just continue using it even with a starting clamp. I'm using Yonex's tie off method for the mains.

    To start the crosses I use a starting knot, and a the leftover string from the mains so that I can clip the string with my flying clamp. When I weave, I'm using one finger over and one finger underneath the strings. I weave diagonally. However I have a problem with pulling the string through. I usually have to stop once or twice and pull a bit more string through and continue weaving. I'm not sure if this is lack of technique or the bad grommets on my Wal-Mart Carlton racquet.

    Also I use double half hitch knots for the other three tie-offs. I keep the end of the string through my mouth when I tension so I don't lose it.

    I do the extra 2 lbs before my tie-off as it seems to compensate for the loss of tension from the tie-off. Also I'm using the Yonex suggested 2 extra lbs on the crosses.

    I may try the 50/50 pattern for the crosses when I go higher in tension... not sure yet though... I'm thinking I'd probably only do Yonex stringing method when the racquet has warranty. Otherwise it doesn't matter much I guess.
     
  14. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    OMG... sorry to be really late on this thread.

    My way is actually a modification of Klipper's user guide. Due to the starting pin (metal) is too thick (for tennis, i think), I have to modify it. Just replace it with a short tail of badminton string.

    Let me see if I can take several pics, or, scan the klipper user guide for u. ;)
     
  15. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    I think I know what might confuse ppl now:

    LT: Left Throat (the bottom of head frame area)
    RT: right Throat
    LH: Left Head (the top of the head frame)
    RH: right head

    All 1, 2, 3, etc are counting from the middle. Maybe instead of "Head vs Throat", I should use "Top vs Bottom" instead? :rolleyes:
     
  16. silentheart

    silentheart Regular Member

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    I like you naming scheme better than yy's. If you look at the yy's NS7k, NS8k instruction, they call H1 as A1 and T1 as B1.

    Oh, I forgot. I usually pre-strech strings before I strat. I use the door knob as a pully and pull it by mounting the string on my machine for about 1 min @ whatever string tension I am going to use for the racquet. Yes, my string machine is across my room.
     
    #16 silentheart, Sep 2, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2005
  17. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    Keep this thread alive! Ahh... this is so interesting... I'd LOVE to hear from guys like Taneepak, Jug8man and Cooler... please put your differences aside for the good of the BC community!
     
  18. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    I can't believe this is all the contribution we have to this thread. With all the experience and knowledge we have on BF, this should be one of those threads with 3 - 4 pages at LEAST and made a sticky because of its resourcefulness. However, because of little differences, all of BF will now miss out on practices and tips from amazing guys like taneepak, cooler and jug8man, along with all the discussion and reviews it'll spurred.

    This is like one of those movies for little children where a bunch of talent heads can't get the job done because they can't settle petty differences. Your egos have won the battle and BFers have lost.
     
  19. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    And there are those who are afraid of putting out information that might not be accurate :) . Actually, many observations and experiences are posted in other threads under the Stringing Techniques and other forums. There is a request, ;) from you know whom ,to pull everything together. I am sure we can fill up ten pages of information on stringing techniques/practices. Stringing techniques/practices is not a one shot solution. There are many different cases that require careful analysis.

     
    #19 Pete LSD, Sep 30, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2005
  20. Quasimodo

    Quasimodo Regular Member

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    IMHO, that's the rationale behind this thread. That is, to put things out in the open, so we can learn from each other. They may not be accurate, but--not to belittle MRTs and their skills---stringing isn't exactly rocket science. If you're not breaking racquets on a regular basis during stringing, you can't be doing that badly. You may have some "bad" habits, but how would you know unless you put them out in the open. And I'm sure most everyone, even MRTs, has not-so-good stringing habits, at least in the eyes of other stringers. Those are the sort of discussions that we hope we can generate. In some---most?---cases, we may not come to an agreement, IOW "agree to disagree," and leave it at that. And that's fine too. But, we can learn so much during those discussions as long as we keep an open mind.

    Another thing that we hope we can share is stringing tips for "unusual" racquets we happen to come across. For instance, the first time I strung an AT-800, I strung it 1-piece ATW. Silly me, I didn't check the pattern first and the USRSA annual guide hasn't come out yet at the time. I just assumed it's 22x22 as other Yonexes are. Imagine my dismay when I strung the last cross and found that it's the same weave as the next one. I told the customer of my mistake and asked him whether he'd play with it as is or he'd want me to restring it. Either way, there's no charge since it's my mistake. AFAIK, he still plays with it.

    So, note to myself: AT-800s are MxC 22x21! :) Better yet, string it 1-piece/2-piece bottom up and not have to worry about it.
     

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