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  1. #1
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    Default Pre-Stretching Is there a compact way?

    I started to pre-stretch strings in recent years but it takes up a lot of space at home so Im wondering if anyone has come up with a way of stretching strings without it taking too much room and without any special equipment? Im thinking of devising a way to hang a weight on the end of a few loops of the string, perhaps with pulleys behind a door? But with 10m of string to stretch it may need a pretty large weight?

    Not sure how well that would work, but now we have a baby crawling around at home, I need to come up with a way to stretch strings without it getting in the way.

    Any ideas?

    Also, Id like to ask how far in advance do you guys pre-stretch strings... I tend to pre-stretch within 24hrs of stringing. Does pre-stretching say a few days or even a week in advance make much difference?

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    If you select a stringer with an ECP stringing machine and ask him to use the pretstretch function, then you won't face this problem. .

    Otherwise, with my vs850, I just loop it once around a staircase spindle to make it 15m.

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    Trouble is, I string my own racquets and I only have a manual crank machine... so I'll have to pre-stretch it the old fashion way...

    No stairs either as we live in an apartment...

    Any other novel ways of stretching strings guys?

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Apartment? That's easy... just tie a weight to one end and hang it out at least a 4th floor window.

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    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    How about a door handle? You can stand 2 m away and stretch a bit at a time.

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    Every apartment has a fire exit staircase. Can you stretch it there?

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    I do what MarkA describes. Quick and easy - it's a no-brainer.
    Congrats on the baby R20190. Just don't let Jr. nibble on your string scraps.

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    Regular Member Blitzzards's Avatar
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    The most painless way of pre-stretching is still using the ECP machine's function. Depending on what tension you string at, the machine is able to precisely judge how much tension to pull to get all the slack out, and with the benefit of getting that done whilst you are stringing which saves a lot of time.

    A thing for you to try when you are doing the manual pre-stretching is to tie a tension gauge on the end you pull and check how much tension you are actually applying to the string. Do mind that 5lbs of tension pulled by hand would not remove as much string slack as compared to 30lbs of momentary (1-2 seconds) tension head pre-stretch

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    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzzards View Post
    The most painless way of pre-stretching is still using the ECP machine's function. Depending on what tension you string at, the machine is able to precisely judge how much tension to pull to get all the slack out, and with the benefit of getting that done whilst you are stringing which saves a lot of time.

    A thing for you to try when you are doing the manual pre-stretching is to tie a tension gauge on the end you pull and check how much tension you are actually applying to the string. Do mind that 5lbs of tension pulled by hand would not remove as much string slack as compared to 30lbs of momentary (1-2 seconds) tension head pre-stretch
    I stay away from machine prestretch because it puts extra stress on the frame. I play in the low 30's, and an ECP over-pull would take me into 36+ lb territory.

    That, and hand prestretching is an awful lot quicker IME.

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    Regular Member Blitzzards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark A View Post
    I stay away from machine prestretch because it puts extra stress on the frame. I play in the low 30's, and an ECP over-pull would take me into 36+ lb territory.

    That, and hand prestretching is an awful lot quicker IME.
    I personally string at 33-34lbs and with 10% pre-stretch, the meter reads 37-37.5lbs momentarily

    To be honest, I have broken a handful of strings with this practice during the pre-stretch process although the end result is an extremely consistent string bed, every time I string and not to mention the long tension hold. Compared to without using pre-stretch, the same string with the same tension on two same model racquets can end up being less tight on one racquet. With such pre-stretch, both string beds will come out almost exactly the same.

    As I have said, manual pre-stretching at low tensions that the human hand and fingers can apply is just not enough compared to the machine's.

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    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    IME, once the "creep" has been pulled out, there's no need to pull any harder. I prestretch not to end up with tighter strings, but to forestall tension loss, and pulling by hand does this more than adequately.

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    Regular Member Blitzzards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark A View Post
    IME, once the "creep" has been pulled out, there's no need to pull any harder. I prestretch not to end up with tighter strings, but to forestall tension loss, and pulling by hand does this more than adequately.
    You have to understand that the "creep" is a measure of length of string pulled (before being tensioned and strung).

    To do the pre-stretching with hand, you will have to do the process for a short distance of string repeat throughout the whole length of string that you need to string with, since if you pull on too long a string length interval, your hands and fingers will never be able to put out enough tension consistently to pull all the creep out. However if you apply the same hand and fingers tension for long enough, the creep will be pulled out anyway. This is where the process starts to get tedious and time consuming (either on the long hold pull or on the small intervals). And you can never get much consistency anyway, no matter how you argue.

    If you notice how much tension your hand and fingers are actually pulling when you do the manual pre-stretch, you will notice that it is only about 10-15lbs maximum. Any higher force you apply and the thin string will start to make your fingers feel uncomfortable due to the pressure.

    So, if you apply that manual pre-stretch to the machine, you would be double pulling, once at 15lbs and then at 30lbs. If you string a racquet that way and compare it to a racquet strung at 30lbs +10% pre-stretch, the latter will always consistently give you a string bed that hold the tension longer.

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    Thanks guys for your input, but I don't have an electronic tensioner so I have to resort to good ol' fashion DIY techniques! Also, whilst I see the advantages of pre-stretching, to be honest, I'm probably never going to be a "black-belt" in pre-stretching strings. So as long as I get it reasonably pre-stretched, I'd be happy!

    CanucksDynasty, thanks for your suggestion, but if I started to pre-stretch strings in the communal stairs, I'm sure someone will call the police! lol

    Fidget, thanks! That's always a worry, baby is showing some pretty good hand-eye coordination grabbing everything at the moment, so there's potential for him to be the next Lin Dan! haha...

  14. #14
    Regular Member Mark A's Avatar
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    CanucksDynasty, thanks for your suggestion, but if I started to pre-stretch strings in the communal stairs, I'm sure someone will call the police! lol
    They might just think it's a Wile E. Coyote scheme (especially if you twang the string).

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzzards View Post
    If you notice how much tension your hand and fingers are actually pulling when you do the manual pre-stretch, you will notice that it is only about 10-15lbs maximum. Any higher force you apply and the thin string will start to make your fingers feel uncomfortable due to the pressure.
    Of course when we say we are hand pulling it we don't literally mean using bare hands!

    I'm using an old racket handle to wind up a bit of the string end to protect my hands. Then as Mark says, pull until there's no creep left in the string. From experiences with vs850, that'll end up with a string that's about 8 inches longer than before.

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    Regular Member Blitzzards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    Of course when we say we are hand pulling it we don't literally mean using bare hands!

    I'm using an old racket handle to wind up a bit of the string end to protect my hands. Then as Mark says, pull until there's no creep left in the string. From experiences with vs850, that'll end up with a string that's about 8 inches longer than before.
    I doubt that you can pull 15lbs and above consistently even with that help.

    And to continually pull until there is no creep left in the string will take some time, not just a quick process. Compared to the 1-2 seconds momentary and not to mention way more consistent/precise pre-stretch of the machine, I strongly suggest to just go with the machine.

  17. #17
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzzards View Post
    I doubt that you can pull 15lbs and above consistently even with that help.And to continually pull until there is no creep left in the string will take some time, not just a quick process. Compared to the 1-2 seconds momentary and not to mention way more consistent/precise pre-stretch of the machine, I strongly suggest to just go with the machine.
    Are you implying that I'm a weakling that I can't even pull a 15 lb linearly? Trust me I pull more than 60 lb on the loop that I put through, ie more than 30 lb each line. Although it takes some sweat and some 5-10 minutes total; so that's why now if I can I'll go to the stringer with the ECP machine even though he's more out of the way.

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