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  1. #1
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default fastest way to string a racket.

    Intro

    after the posts on stringing techniques and some thoughts plus some of my previous experience, here is what i think is optimal when comes to the speed of stringing a badminton racket.

    i am assuming you already have basic knowledge of stringing and have at least strung a badminton racket or two.....

    when stringing a badminton racket, if speed is what we are trying to optimize, in other words, if you have tons to do in life, or if you are a pro and get paid by the # of rackets you string/day, or if you are like me with very little patience, here is what i think will achieve the fastest stringing time.

    before i describe any other tricks, there is one thing that is of most help : practice - there are a lot of fine details involved when it comes to stringing, feeding the string through holes, grabbing strings, clamping strings. the more practice, the faster, there is just no substitution to that one.

    Equipment

    stringing machine

    the machine itself is crucial when it comes to speed. when choosing a machine, a crank machine is much more efficient than drop weight, there is just no question about it. there are too much trial and error involved in getting the correction tension in drop weight, even though drop weights are more accurate.

    - fixed clamp, and non-swivel clamp. a non-swivel fixed clamp requires only one clamping action. there is no need to use swivel clamps for any badminton racket, chances of you finding a badminton racket that has diagonal stringing pattern is very close to zero

    - supports, you want the least intrusive support you can find. some machines have big thumb screws for clamping the frame, those get in the way and sometimes the strinng may tangle in them and causes unneccessary delay. Alpha has some machines with just a bar and a v shape support. i think those are the best.

    awl

    an awl is essentially a needle with a handle. they are used for routing strings through the grommet

    Yonex flying clamp

    this little clamp is so efficient it is evil. there are a few place who sells it, will speed up the string by a sizable margin.

    Procedure

    ok, so assuming that we have the equipment per above, how do we proceed with the stringing? there are many way to string a racket, and most of these methods works. but there are some that are faster than the others.

    the most important thing to think about when trying to string fast is the division of labor and minimizing unneccessary steps. it is much faster to weave-weave-weave instead of weave-tension-weave. there are less switching of tools involved.

    so here is the steps:

    • first, measure and cut the main strings. if you need N feet of string, measure N/2 feet, and then double up and cut.
    • free weave the mains string. leaving a loop for the gripper. weave the whole racket, you may not have enough to weave the 11th section on the sides. that doesn't matter. during this weave process, you don't need to clamp the racket yet. that's up to you
    • side clamp racket (if desired) and tension mains. the tensioning pattern should be right-right-left-left-right-right-left-left , etc.
    • (some have suggested tensioning every other string. that is actually possible, however, i have not tried it myself, it would be interesting for the stringer among you to try and and report on the uniformity of the string tension)
    • when you have all the mains tensioned. we can start weaving the cross
    • weaving the cross string is probably the most time consuming process, it is almost completely skill dependent and this takes practice. there are however, a couple of things that can speed it up.
    • when weaving, try weaving diagonally, pulling the string diagonally causes less friction
    • when trying to feed strings through an occupied grommet, use the awl, stick the awl into the hole, it will create a better path for the string to go through. and you don't need to do it only when it is tight, i have seen one guy who stick the awl into the hole regardless. it never hurts, i guess.
    • weave from centerline outwards. this way, each time after you weave, you only need to pull half of the string through.
    • tension from centerline outwards. just like the mains, do upper-upper-lower-lower instead of upper-lower-upper-lower. this has the secondary effect of having a symmetric tension.
    • use the Yonex flying clamp to hold the string, this clamp is like a spring clip and the size of a spring clip, light weight and fast action, it is very fast to engage and disengage, and is also tight, i have seen people use it to hold 25+lb tension.


    and that's about all i can think of. can anyone suggest speed improvement to the above?

  2. #2
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default

    this is the yonex flying clamp.
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    G'day Kwun,

    Top post! - makes a lot of sense for a newbie stringer like me. Good thing is that I have the patience and time so I don't mind fiddling here and there. I must say I am fortunate to have x2 fly clamps and without these - I would have thrown the whole stringing jig out of window a long time ago thru sheer frustration!

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    Nice article, Kwun !!

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    Kwun, excellent -- I think this belongs in the "articles" forum!

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    What do you think is fast. I take about 35 minutes from receiving a racket to having removed and replaced the strings and applied the logo by stencil. I also fit trebling top and bottom. A competition was held a few years ago in Gateshead by the various stingers and I think the winner took just over 15 minutes.

    Jock

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    Wow, 15 minutes. Does that include racquet prep, install, etc? Even if not, that's still pretty fast.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    15 mins is pretty crazy. given avg 44 string sections on the racket, that's just around 20sec/section!

    normally if a stringer can finish a job in 30mins, that's normal. imho, for a professional, that may be the min requirement. 25 would be considered fast. 20 is huffing and puffing.

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    At the Dutch open, there was one guy stringing rackets. Interested in learning from experienced stringers, i talked to him and watched him stringing a racket from start to finish. It was pretty impressive how fast he was working, especially because it didn't look like he was hurrying. He claimed, having 40 years experience, to do rackets in 20 mins, and when doing his best to be fast, 15 mins.
    He used an electronical machine, with 2 point mounting system (pressing down the frame, side supports removed)
    Things that looked special :
    - after freestringing the main, tensioning the main from the left to the right of the racket ! Tensioning was done in 1 to 2 minutes. Used an awl in the first hole to 'clamp' the string.
    - weaving the cross: not using the 'two fingers pushing' method, but using one hand beneath the strings and pulling the end of the string up and putting it back down after every weave ! like sewing. Sounds slow, but he did it soo bloody fast, like 3 or 4 seconds from one side of the racket to the other.
    - awl usage : Used a shoerepair tool. Very thin. According to him the key of awl usage is to hold the tool close to the needle to have optimal feeling. Pull back when feeling resistanse. According to him most stringers push the awl too far causing the string to heat up and damage.
    - Cross was done top-down. Used one 'double knot' starting the cross, which pulls itself tight after the first tensioning.
    The racket he was doing was at 25 lbs, but he also did 30+ tensions.

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    This is the right tool, NEVER the awl. It just breaks the frame, eyelet and strings. I do an "empty" racket in 15 minutes easily with this tool. It is much more effectice the awl. The awl is used only in ancient history.

    Nediz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nediz
    This is the right tool, NEVER the awl. It just breaks the frame, eyelet and strings. I do an "empty" racket in 15 minutes easily with this tool. It is much more effectice the awl. The awl is used only in ancient history.

    Nediz
    what is it that you use this tool for?

  12. #12
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    I have seen that tool used, but only when prestringing the racket, then tensioning. It is used to pull the loops through before fastening + tightening. For this jop it is more effective than ther awl.

    It cannot be used where you need to thread the string through a tight hole though.

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    It is called a string mover, quite appropriately.

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    This tool is the best tool when inserting a string to the eyelet that is already reserved. That means that in every case where you put two strings through one eyelet. You stretch the first string from inside the frame so that the first string is not blocking the eyelet. At the same time it is very easy to put the cross string through the same eyelet.
    You can save time, frames, eyelets and you nerves...
    Trust me - do not use awl - use the hook (string mover).

    Nediz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nediz
    You stretch the first string from inside the frame so that the first string is not blocking the eyelet. At the same time it is very easy to put the cross string through the same eyelet.
    You can save time, frames, eyelets and you nerves...
    Trust me - do not use awl - use the hook (string mover).

    Nediz
    When u stretch the 1st string (assume it's already tensioned), it will also add additional force (unbalaced) on the 1st string. Never have to metion, such extra force was applied to a lil section of the string piece. To me, it might create even more problem for the frame, gromments and mostly the string itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyBuddy
    When u stretch the 1st string (assume it's already tensioned), it will also add additional force (unbalaced) on the 1st string. Never have to metion, such extra force was applied to a lil section of the string piece. To me, it might create even more problem for the frame, gromments and mostly the string itself.
    You are wrong. You apply the additional force slow enough that the string will NOT stretch. The string will slide around the hook.
    It is not the same thing as you hit the shuttle in very near the frame and the string breaks. In that case the string will not have time enough to slide. All stringers that have tested the hook will use it in future. No exceptions!

    Nediz

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    The string mover and the awl are stringing tools for different applications. Strictly speaking, you cannot use the string mover to push a second string into a grommet that already has a string inside. The only tool that can insert a string through a grommet is your hand and fingers. The string mover is for you to pull the string by hooking the string between two grommets on the outside of the frame, if you pre-string your racquet, and it is also used to pull the cross string at a triangle pattern, with one hand holding the string mover at the top of the triangle, and with the other hand pulling the cross string to straighten it for tensioning. It is also used to hook the string on the inside of the frame near a common grommet and pull it ever so lightly to facilitate the entry of a second string. Some people use their index finger to do this : this is more gentle.
    The awl can be used to facilitate the entry of a second string through a common grommet. It is best to use the string mover or your index finger to do this, if possible. There are some racquets with very small common (shared) grommets where the use of the string mover or the index finger will not work. Then and only then do you use the awl. A better method would be to pre-string your racquet, where the question and problem of inserting a second string into a common grommet do not arise. The awl has another more specialized role to play, and it is in the process of tightening the 3 tie-off knots for the ultimate in minimizing tension leak. But care and the use of the index finger are called for here, as it requires relatively high tension to pull a string, not through a grommet but over the top of the racquet frame. But this is another story.

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