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.