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Thread: Stringing Techniques/Practices.
06-30-2005, 04:47 PM #1
Well, I'm hoping that this thread will be a continuation from:
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:
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.
07-02-2005, 05:32 AM #2
I string almost entirely for myself, and I pre-stretch everything unless a customer says otherwise.
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.
07-02-2005, 04:28 PM #3Originally Posted by Quasimodo
07-02-2005, 04:35 PM #4Originally Posted by Quasimodo
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).
07-02-2005, 04:40 PM #5Originally Posted by Quasimodo
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?
07-04-2005, 12:00 PM #6Originally Posted by Neil Nicholls
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.
07-04-2005, 01:49 PM #7Originally Posted by Quasimodo
07-05-2005, 11:37 AM #8
Any other stringers care to share their insights into stringing? Kwun? Cooler? LB? Taneepak? Jug8man? Others?
07-05-2005, 12:46 PM #9
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.
07-05-2005, 07:42 PM #10Originally Posted by Quasimodo
07-07-2005, 11:53 AM #11Originally Posted by LazyBuddy
07-10-2005, 09:24 PM #12Originally Posted by LazyBuddy
09-01-2005, 08:03 PM #13Originally Posted by Shuttlebugs
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.
09-02-2005, 08:04 AM #14Originally Posted by Shuttlebugs
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.
09-02-2005, 08:08 AM #15Originally Posted by LazyBuddy
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?
09-02-2005, 09:09 AM #16
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.
Last edited by silentheart; 09-02-2005 at 09:14 AM.
09-09-2005, 09:14 PM #17
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!
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