Help with Beginner/Soon to be Stringer

Discussion in 'Badminton Stringing Techniques & Tools' started by Solarris, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    Hey guys! New to the Badminton Central Forums, damn, I didn't know this existed!!! Anyways, I am looking to string for myself and few friends. My local stringer: http://www.stringmeup.net/diagnostics.html. It's 20$ for service, not including the strings...

    My friends and I are 100% going to be in our school badminton team for the next 4 years, and assuming we string 2 times a year, we will have to go through about $480 for services (4 years, 3 people)... which is why I am deciding whether to string myself or not.

    I have a few questions/opinions I would appreciate being answered:
    1. I read about the 3 types of stringing machines - probably get the drop weight machine - cheap and reliable. However, what would be the difference between let's say a beginner drop weight machine vs. a pro machine? And how long would it take for a drop weight machine to string a whole racket?
    2. Should I invest in a machine? How long would it take to learn?
     
  2. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    Tbh this very low amount of stringing jobs don't justify to buy a stringing machine. Why not looking for a different stringer if the price is too high. I did a look at the website of this stringer and would never bring him a racket. Is 1980 or why does he use such prehistoric machines. He strings on a 2-point machine badminton and call himself expert - lmfao.

    If you wanna start stringing you will spend 1-1.5 hours on a racket. Since you are a fan of calculations: This equals 24-36 hours. You will improve very slow if you just string a few jobs per year. Also count in that you will mess up jobs or damage strings, so all time and money you spend in the beginning won't result in playable jobs. You will waste string and time for the first 20 jobs. Strings will break earlier or on machine due sloppy technique, wrong clamping and not replacing grommets. You will learn that, but you can't say: "I buy a machine and every job will be same quality like an experienced stringer".

    to 1) a drop weight has a different mechanism. It will slightly slow down the routine compared to ECP. IMO nothing wrong to go for a drop weight. IIRC I reached 35 minutes on a DW, but this involved much time and jobs for the routine to get it so short. First jobs will be around 2 hours, will drop to 1-1.5 hours. Normal DW time must around 45 minutes if you know how to weave but didn't optimized your routine. Mostly a highend machine has a better built quality, you can get spare parts more easy and the table is more solid. The clamps are higher quality and more gentle to the string, the clamp base is easier to move around and to fix. Cheap clamps crimp a string or string will slip and break. Cheap clamp bases don't move to smooth on the table and the fixing needs some force to get the tight without slipping. Clamps, clamp base and the solid table/supports are the main difference between an expensive 3000$+ machine and a 400$ DW.

    to 2) As stated above a clear "NO". You will string 2-6 jobs per year. You will need some time to get the theory, you will need some string and time to learn the technique until you produce solid jobs. Like said before you can't calculate that simple. You need on top 100$ which you will waste on the learn process and need some time to improve.

    I needed 12 stringing jobs per year, I played and trained over 12 hours per week at my peak. This made me starting stringing. I also needed to travel to a reliable stringer, which was time consuming and some distance (35 miles). If I had a reliable stringer next door I would never think about start stringing and pay for it. I live in a small city, you in a world metropole. So you will have a much better chance to find a better stringer at a good price who will do your 2 jobs per year. :)
     
  3. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    There are different reasons to want to string for yourself. I inherited stringing and my machine from my father. So I got my machine practically for free. If that hadn't happened I probably wouldn't be a stringer now since I'm too cheap to drop a significant sum of money on a machine with limited prospects of ever earning it back. By now it would have paid itself back many times over(if I had bought it myself), but that certainly wasn't guaranteed when I started.

    When it comes to price it's probably a better idea to find a good stringer you can trust instead of doing it yourself. Just ask around where other people have their rackets strung and how their experience is. If there is a prospect to eventually string for an entire club or at least a few dozen people, then you will slowly but surely make your money back. However, you should definitely string a whole bunch (30-50) of your own rackets first before you string for others. If you do decide to string for yourself, get yourself a cheap racket and a roll of relatively cheap string and just string that same racket over and over and over again. When you're confident, string your playing racket and see how it plays. Don't try to become faster. If you do, the quality of the stringing will go down. Just try to do the best job you possibly can and you will get faster with time without actively trying to get faster.

    Also, if you can find yourself a mentor to teach you, that would be very helpful.

    So, when it comes to price, it may or may not be a good idea to start stringing. However, there are other reasons to want to string for yourself.

    Time: No need to wait a week, or even a couple days for your racket to be strung. Strings breaks on Friday and you have a match on Sunday, no problem.

    Control: you can string your racket exactly how you like it. you can experiment with different tensions and strings to see what you like best. There are undoubtedly many stringers far better and faster at stringing than I am, but they won't be able to string my racket exactly how I want it better than I can on my machine. And if there are, they are not local and probably expensive.
     
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  4. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    Thanks for such a great reply! Based off your tips, probably won't and stick $20 for each service. I'll ignore your 1. and 2. points, since they answered my questions, but you're saying that stringer is bad? There's also a stringing place 4 minute walk from me, they stringed my racket already. I'll post pictures hopefully you can tell me if it looks good or not. So sticking with others is the way to go.
     
  5. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    Don't know if the stringer is bad, but a stringer who string badminton rackets on a two point machine is nobody who I would trust or would call a serious badminton stringer. I think he is more into tennis. If I need to pay 20$ for just labour, I await to get a job from a modern up to date machine, otherwise I get the feel somebody just want my money, but don't invest in his tools. For 20$ labour you should find somebody who string on a modern machine for badminton.
     
    #5 ucantseeme, Oct 5, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  6. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    You've been given some really good advice so far! There are other benefits of stringing your own rackets. You get to experiment with the gear a lot more. You get control over what you want from your racket. But that's just it, if you want to start stringing your own rackets, do it because you want to string your own rackets, not as an economic venture. Making a bit of money from it is a happy bonus to start with. I stopped using my stringer because I kept getting back poor or damaged string jobs (and we ended up falling out over it severely) and as such, I wasn't happy when I was playing. I wasn't happy having to take it into the shop almost every week/two weeks. I've been much happier with my own string jobs since. Not to say they've all been perfect, I've had some I've hated.

    If you want the gear... Find, from a good vendor (not Pro's Pro, Eagnas etc)
    - 6 point mounting system
    - Dropweight/constant pull
    - Fixed semi-auto release clamps (trust me on this, it's worth the money, bolt-style clamps are AWFUL)
    - A set of tools (such as needle nose pliers, side cutters)
    - A set of extra grommets; be aware cheap rackets often use odd grommet sizes
    - Flying clamps/starting clamps are a nice, useful extra
    - The string you want to use
     
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  7. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    Yeah. I intend to not make money off stringing, (added bonus anyways). It's just, I have 3 friends who I can string for, maybe 8. My main points for getting my own stringing machine was exactly as Charlie said:
    1. Experimenting with gear (and my friends also want to find their fav. string. Going to a stringer every 2 weeks to find my favorite string will be a lot of $)
    2. Maybe poor quality stringing. I will send pics of my racket which was stringed from a place that's a 4 minute walk.
    3. I can control what tension it's actually stringed at.

    Anyways, I might still be leaning a bit on the no-go side after ucantseeme...
    1. How long will it take to learn? Would it really be 20 stringing jobs before I actually manage a decent one? Couldn't I go really carefully on one and make a good one based off some videos, etc?
    2. How much would it cost, assuming Gamma X-Stringer X-2 model (250$) and other materials?

    Also,
    Forgot to say that us friends are trying to find our preferred string. Quite a long way to go, if it's 20$ per job and I'm still going to try BG80, BG85, Aerobites, Aerosonic, Microlegend and Micropower and ZyMax. And, of course, all variations of them (Zymaxs, MP xls, etc) and with different tensions. And that doesn't include friends... Hm.

    Also unsure when to change string? I had my racket stringed by that 4 minute walk away store probably 6 months ago (probably only played with it for 8hrs total...) with BG70Pro at 23lbs (plastic birdies is used in school). It's still really tight, but then I read that people cut strings in 2 weeks, etc? I said I'm stringing 2 times a year (maybe more if string breaks) because based off how my racket string is doing, it seems fine to me.

    Right now, I play about 12 hours a week too - in school 1 hr and weekends 3-4 hrs, plus coaching. Friends and I trying to be the top in our team. Would this # increase the # of times I'll string?
     
  8. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    if you are earnestly going to be in a badminton team, you will likely practice 3+ times a week. in which case you will break strings more often than 2 times a year. Furthermore, if you are competitive, you will likely want to have fresh string more often, esp before a tournament.

    Having your own stringing machine give you much more freedom, as each restring is only $5-10 depending on the string and where you purchase it from. That's much easier to swallow than $25-30 each time. Then suddenly you will find yourself doing 10+ stringjob per year, if not more. the economics suddenly changes very quickly.
     
  9. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    So, then now I am leaning towards a yes stringing machine...
    1. How long will it take to learn?
    2. Any good machines, prefer DWs, cheap but reliable.

    Going to look in sticky threads of stringing.
     
  10. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    I admit I gave a conservative estimation (30-50) of how many string jobs it will take for you to become proficient. I still stick to that statement when it comes to stringing for other people who pay you money. Your friends might give you the benefit of the doubt in the beginning, but if you have people paying you to string their rackets, your stringing needs to be consistent and of good quality every single time.

    There are many techniques, handlings and checks that will eventually become automatic, but in the beginning every action needs to be conscious, which takes a lot of time.
    You're not going to get a perfect string job on the first racket, but you'll quickly get more fluent after about 5-10 rackets. However, there are more specific things that you need to know that might not occur with every string job.

    What if you can't get a cross through a hole because the main is in the way.
    What if the racket doesn't conform to the standard pattern.
    What if the racket you need to string is a victor lightfighter and you're afraid you might sneeze and break the racket,... twice.:(

    So you will get the hang of the basics pretty quickly and you will get to know your machine, but there is still a lot to learn from there, most of which you will learn from trail and error.
     
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  11. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    1. It's not that straight forward, honestly. It shouldn't take you too long to get *good* at stringing a racket, to say, doing a string job with good quality and playability. But then, being fast at it is another thing (and honestly, I think, is more about the frequency at which you string rackets), and being adaptable is another. With most rackets, it takes me 40 minutes to an hour. Sometimes, just sometimes, I get a racket that takes me bloody ages because something hasn't lined up well. (The worst offenders for this are cheap 72 holes with thick string at higher tensions; the holes are small, and some strings are soft, and it can make threading a blocked hole an absolute chore).

    2. I use a Penta Premium, but you also have brands like Superstringer.
     
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  12. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    it depends. you have to do your homework. I have uploaded tons of videos in the BC youtube channel. you just need to watch and learn from it. these days with youtube and the internet, it is not hard. back in the old days we have to hang out in badminton stores and watch instead. imagine!

    You don't have to become fast sub-20min stringer. you just need to get down to an hour or so for it to be worthwhile.

    with 5-10 stringjobs and a good attitude towards learning, it is not hard.
     
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  13. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    Alright, thanks!!!
    I am deciding on the ASE based off your review. Anything I need to know/major negatives? I'm most likely stringing from 18-26~ from my group of friend's skill level.
    If I get the ASE, do I need to purchase additional tools?
    Also, can you please explain constant pull? All I know is that it pulls on the string like constantly/consistently but why does that matter?
     
    #13 Solarris, Oct 5, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  14. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

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    This information is in the stickies!

    The Alpha Shuttle Express is a Crank/Lockout machine, it has a spring and will lock the tension device when the speing has reached the desired tension. The spring doesn't do any work aymore, in stead the tension device is locked on the rails, and this keeps the string at the same length.
    A constant pull device (like a dropweight) will keep pulling, there is no lock.
    The difference becomes clear when you realise the string will stretch when it is tensioned, and will continue to stretch quite a bit for a couple of seconds after the tension has been pulled. This means that a crank lockout will drop in tension (holds the length, not the tension) and a constant pull will keep stretching the string some more for a couple of seconds. Some people with cranks will tension a string twice before clamping for this reason.

    I would recommend the same as Charlie: a 6 point support drop weight machine, preferably with fixed clamps, but that is a personal preference. And if you can get semi auto unlocking fixed clamps that is amazing. The brand depends on what you can get in your area.

    Watch Kwuns videos and learn some knots (I like the parnell). After 10 rackets you hopefully will be doing decent jobs for/ wih your friends. Just remember to have more string than you need, you might break some during stringing or tying a knot too tightly.

    Good luck!
     
    #14 thyrif, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
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  15. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    Looked at some threads, and I found some machine recommendations by s_mair:
    1) Gamma X-6 FC Pro
    2) Gamma Progression II 602 Pro
    3) Superstringer T20
    4) Premium Stringer 3600

    Good DW choices? I'm leaning towards T20. Apparently, PS3600 is not too good. IDK 'bout the other two.
    T20 is 526$ from tennisman.de, that's the one I am looking at. It includes all the tools I need too, so I don't have to buy another one.
     
  16. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

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    Yeah, T20 is great, I've got one too. But if you're quoting usd prices you might not be in the right region to get a Superstringer due to imports and shipping (heavy, so its expensive) and stuff. The others are good choices too, depends on the region. Look for a more local webshop if you can.
     
  17. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    Crap, you right. The Gammas are US I think: https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Gamma_Progression_II_602_Stringing_Machine/descpageGAMMA-602.html.
    What's the difference between the Gamma Progression II 602 vs. it's pro model?
     
  18. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

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    I'm not too familiar with them, but the one you linked doesn't have fixed clamps, but flying ones. I suggest you read up some more on the stickies with types of clamps and machines.

    I think Tennisman has some clients overseas, but all I'm saying is to take it into account when making your decision. Indeed Gammas may be more readily available for a reasonable price, but maybe not.
     
  19. Solarris

    Solarris New Member

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    Hm. Amazon sells Gammas in X-2, X-6, Progression 200s, Progression 2 602 and the FC model.
    Right now, it's going to be
    1. Flying/Floating Clamps vs. Fixed Clamps - any major difference for the extra 230$?
    2. 2 point vs. 6 point system? People say 2 point is fine enough... again, a 200$ difference.

    I am going to bet that someone is going to say both questions are subjective...
    "2 point saves 200$, but distorts your 200$ racket... etc"
    Just want to know a significant difference. Couldn't you use just a 2 point system and be careful, or is that not how it works?

     
  20. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    Flying clamps are servicable, but fixed do a better job overall.

    2 point is not fine. 6 point. 'Being careful' will not change the material properties of the racket.
     

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