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  1. #1
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    Default Stringing the cross

    Hi everybody,

    Finally, i have my own stringing machine, which i am quite happy with.
    It's a 6 point crank model, with fixed floating clamps.
    Tonight i finished my 3rd racket on this machine, and i'm getting the hang of some techiques, other techniques are still difficult for me.
    Stringing the main goes quite well and fast, but the cross ... think it will take me a lot of practice to do it quick !!
    The end result, having your own racket strung, is quite satisfactory though !

    I have a few questions, i hope there is a experienced stringers who can help me with a hint :
    1 - Shared holes : it is quite difficult to put some of the cross strings through the hole if there is already a main string in it. I'm improving in this, but still, with the string cut very sharp and using a decent needle nose plier to push the string, it is sometimes very difficult, especially with a tension of 23+ lbs. (i also did a 20 lbs racket, and that was easier !!) Especially in the corners, where using a hook to pull the main string away (from the inside of the racket) is difficult.. Any tricks / tips ??? When the string is finally through, pulling it makes the string curling which must of course be avoided, but avoiding is sometimes... yes... difficult... Some holes take me 10 to 15 minutes to do one cross !!!!
    Oh i almost forgot : i use the 4 knot method.
    Is weaving the whole racket at once before tensioning an option ?

    2 - Weaving : i guess it takes some training to get the hang of it, but my problem is that after 5 or 6 weaves, there is too much resistance to continue weaving and i must pull some of the string through to be able to continue. Maybe my hands are too slippery ? (the machine is still a bit oily on some parts) or are there nice tips to be used ?

    Thanks in advance..
    Yong

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Yong,

    congrats on the machine purchase!

    1. to get the shared holes, you need to use an "awl", a metal needle with a handle at the end. you can buy those from some shops, Yonex has one i believe, but i find that you don't need to buy a special purpose awl, just a metal needle of any sort would do. i used to use a thumb nail (the one people use to stick posters up on a cork board). to use it, just stick the needle into the hole before putting the cross string through, the awl will make a better path for the string.

    2. i confess that i can't do it well myself, but techniques that will make it better is to weave it diagonally, in other words, don't try to go 90 degrees, try 45 degree. the angled route is less frictional. this also applies when you eventually had all 22 weaves and is pulling the rest of the string through, use the awl to pull the string so that you are not pulling the cross string 90degree across the main. but instead, 45 degrees, around the awl, and then 45 (135) degrees back. this way, the cross string will have less friction and won't cut into the main strings.

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    Thanks for your quick response kwun, looks like this awl thing is the key !!

    I thought using such a tool would damage the main string, but i guess i am to scared and just have to try.

    Weaving 45 degrees.. okay ! i will try !!

    Pulling around the awl.. clever.. i pulled it 45 - 135 with my hands. Can you pull it quick ? i'm afraid (again ) that i burn the string !

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    Yong, for the shared holes, sometimes if you look through the grommet, there might be a space where the first string is not right up against the grommet. If this space downwards, then passing the 2nd string through this space is relatively easy since most of us position our hands above the racquet and the 2nd string is more likely to go through the space.

    If the free space is upwards of the grommet, using the same angle, the 2nd string will always be blocked by the 1st string. It might be worth angling the the 2nd string diagnally upwards through the grommet to allow passage through the space in the grommet.

    You can use the awl to help pull the string 45 degrees and it is much quicker. You hands must be hurting.

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    Yong, i missed one of your questions about whether it is ok to weave the whole racket before tension..

    i have seen stringers who weaves all the mains, tension, and then weave all cross and tension. leaving some slack for the clamp of course. i haven't seen anybody who weave the main+cross in one go. i guess i don't see why it wouldn't work except it will be more chaotic with so many strings around. besides, with the mains slack and no tension, it will be tough to weave the cross strings.

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    Exclamation

    Now I see why I am SOOO slow in doing a racket!

    I use a 4 point drop weight machine (made by Epsilon) and after lacing the 4 main center strings, I lace and tension each string one by one individually....It's taking me just over an hour per racket ..... arrrgh.....

    I guess although this way is slowish - each string should be as close to the correct tension as well. I've tried to lace the mains first then tension later but I have a habit of making a mess as I progress and ending up getting irregular tensions....

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    Thanks for all the advice !

    Cheung, I will try more pushing the string diagonally upwards when appropriate. Till now, i was not so lucky with that, as my strings are mostly exactly in the middle of the grommet.
    My hands are still fine but i did the pulling very slow to protect myself

    Kwun and Ayl, think your'e right about the chaotic thing with weaving main+cross in one time. Think i will first learn to string it with tension-lace-tension.

    Ayl, i don't think tensioning the racket in one time will work, unless you want to cach fish with it, i think
    The slack has to be used to clamp again and again for each string.
    I guess hou have flying clamps as you do 4 mains at once..
    With the fixed clamps, i do tension every main on its own.... or is this wrong since that puts too much forcce on the top of the racket ?

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    For the main, pulling every 2nd string should be adequate.

    Some people advocate having slightly lower tension on the periphery if the raquet is to have a high tension.

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    Cheung, actually, i noticed that both Emmy and Luxis do that. they lower the tension as they go closer to the peripheral strings. Luxis is the best stringer i know, the rackets he strung has a very good feel to them.

    also, i noticed that besides weaving the main/cross strings before tensioning, Luxis also tension the cross like mains. ie. from center, and then tension out. i think this is an awesome way to string for two reasons:

    1. speed - just as tensioning the main, you can do left-left-right-right-left-left-right-right-... instead of left-right-left-right-left-right-.... (ie, half the times of swivelling the racket 180 degree)
    2. symmetry - since the strings are strung identically from the center out, the strings tension is symmetry over the center line of the racket. just like the mains.

    and i believe the better racket feel has something to do with the symmetry...

    WARNING : beware though, that unlike the mains, the racket is not supported at the sides. so don't try this at too high a tension. even though Luxis do 26+lbs with this method, he might have some tricks that i wasn't aware of...

    (on the other hand, there are more support in a way, as the frame is supported by the tensioned mains strings. but still, beware....)

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    Kwun,

    Point 1. Good observation. You goint to get a new stringing machine?


    For your point 2. I think it is almost essential for the cross strings to be done in that fashion if you are going above 26lbs and only a 2 point machine. Stringing top to bottom (or bottom to top) at those tensions will cause uneven tension on the frame during the course of stringing resulting in premature deformity.

    Yong has a 6 point machine so the frame is held better.

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    new stringing machine.... grr.. i think if i ever go back to stringing, it will mean that i would know that i can do it quickly. and that means i will need to get a crank machine. and would set me back at least US$800 for a decent quality ones. i think should be worrying about being able to pay for my mortgage first...

    it was amazing though that i saw Luxis strung a racket within 25 mins right in front of my eyes. and all while he was doing it, he looked so casual, he wasn't rushing at all! if i can do that. sure. i can spare 25 mins, no problem.

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    btw, have you ever seen Luxis use the side supports? i don't remember seeing him use it.

    Cheung you should go there more often, pretend to social but instead try to learn his technique? (or do you already do that? )

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    Let's put it this way, if you can spend 30mins doing a racquet, then you'll have no problems paying off the stringing machine AND the mortgage! Esp as you insist on using BG85. You'll pay off you debts with the money you save on stringing you own racquets.

    Haven;t watched Luxis stringing in a while. They have a new machine. That one is a Yonex machine. It supports the sides by gripping the racquet on the sides(like a pincer) as opposed to just stopping the frame being pushed outwards.

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    unlikely though..... here are the reasoning..

    i just found another guy who charges only $10 for labor. and he strings decent rackets. he strings his own at 30lbs so he is used to high tension as well.

    my previous stringer charges $13. which is ok.

    so to recover the cost of stringing, i have to string 80 times on the machine, plus the time i spend, ie, 40 hours assuming 30mins is all i take....

    doesn't quite add up for me.

    and i think i will teach this new guy the symmetric stringing method and reducing tension gradually. see what he thinks about it...

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    Once you are injured you'll definately have 40 hours to spare!!!!

    I think Yong might have spent 40hours on three racquets..............

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    wow $10 for labor, and that's USD haha.

    I get mine for $6AUS Labour, yeah that's $3USD. =)

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    tell me about it. and US$10 is the cheapest, most places charges US$15!

    but if you want to go cheap, you can go really cheap, in mainland china, it is only US$2.5, and guess what? string (BG65) included!

    or so i was told by Luxis...

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