PDA

View Full Version : Keeping gut from tangling?


steveq81
10-09-2004, 06:47 PM
I've been experimenting with some gut hybrids recently, and it seems that no matter how meticulous I am about uncoiling the gut when I take it out of the package it wants to tangle up. I've used Bow Championship and BDE Performance and have had the same problem with both brands.

I wind up with a bird's nest about midway through the set -- usually right about where I need to cut the set in half. I haven't kinked any sets yet, but untangling the string is a major pain.

So... what is about gut that makes it want to tangle up so easily and can anyone offer any tips on how to uncoil a set without the tangles? I'm all ears...

David Pavlich
10-09-2004, 06:55 PM
The best way to get gut or any other string to relax is to prestretch it. I tie off to the front door, uncoil it, take the twist out and grab the end with a starting clamp and pull. You'll be able to feel how much stretch the string has as you pull. When it feels as though you've run out of stretch, hold it there for about 10-15 seconds.

You'll be amazed at how something that looked like a Slinky is suddenly relaxed. This works very well with polys.

One safety tip: turn your head away just in case your knot lets loose or breaks. The string will be moving at a rather high rate of speed.

David

NoBadMojo
10-09-2004, 07:32 PM
also try placing your hand through the center of the stringset coil before unwinding it to prestretch....you should be able to simply unwind it that way w.o tangling it when you go to prestretch. i dont prestretch as heavily as david does, but thats a personal preference thing.

thomas martinez
10-09-2004, 07:33 PM
Never, ever prestretch with a starting clamp. Bad idea, because of how often they slip. Use cam action pliars or bent needle nose with the string wrapped around htem a few times. NEVER use a starting clamp.

element
10-10-2004, 11:26 AM
Does it matter what type of knot is used to tie one end of the string to the doorknob? For those who have strung at tournaments -- what do you do in the stringing cabin? Do you just let the stringing machine (i.e. Babolat Sensor) do the pre-stretching?

Thanks,
Mike

David Pavlich
10-10-2004, 03:09 PM
Never, ever prestretch with a starting clamp. Bad idea, because of how often they slip. Use cam action pliars or bent needle nose with the string wrapped around htem a few times. NEVER use a starting clamp.

Thomas: I've prestretched over 2000 sets of strings with my starting clamp; poly, gut, syngut and so on and my clamp hasn't slipped. I place the string through a piece of 2X2 wood block with a hole in it and clamp the string with my starting clamp and then pull hanging on to the wood block.

The only problem I've had is the knot breaking on string like Head Rip Control, the cross string that comes with Intellistring and certain gut strings but never with the clamp slipping.

I've used a Wilson starting clamp, a Rab starting clamp and now use a Babolat blue handled clamp. Maybe your clamp needs new springs or the jaws have become too smooth to hold the string.

I stand by my suggestion based on the amount of times I've done it with NO problem.

Question: Do you ever use your starting clamp during the stringing process such as doing one of the ATW patterns that require a starting clamp? If it holds when you do that, it will certainly hold when stretching string.

David

David Pavlich
10-10-2004, 03:12 PM
Does it matter what type of knot is used to tie one end of the string to the doorknob? For those who have strung at tournaments -- what do you do in the stringing cabin? Do you just let the stringing machine (i.e. Babolat Sensor) do the pre-stretching?

Thanks,
Mike

Nothing fancy...I just use a couple of square knots.

Machine prestretch won't help get rid of the coil memory, which is the jist of this post. Prestretching does a great job of reducing the coil memory.

David

Gaines Hillix
10-11-2004, 07:49 AM
I've found that uncoiling the string over a distance of about 15' keeps it from tangling. I put the coil over my arm and then slowly pull string off the coil with my other hand as I move away from the end of the string. When I get to the other end of the string I use the spread of my arms to measure the string and I can usually get to the half way point of the string before it starts to tangle at all.

gregraven
10-11-2004, 01:55 PM
Thomas: I've prestretched over 2000 sets of strings with my starting clamp; poly, gut, syngut and so on and my clamp hasn't slipped. I place the string through a piece of 2X2 wood block with a hole in it and clamp the string with my starting clamp and then pull hanging on to the wood block.

David, my experience is similar to yours. I've pre-stretched only about four times, but I use a starting clamp to start each frame, while finishing the short side, and to pull every knot, and it never slips during any of these operations, and there's no hint of slipping during pre-stretching. I've got "no-name" red-handled starting clamps with three springs. I've had just about every other piece of stringing equipment fail on me at one time or another, but never my starting clamps.

BigboyDan
10-13-2004, 05:54 PM
I agree with the pre-stretch. At our shop we uncoil the gut and stretch it out across the room, We mounted a bracket with a D-ring on the wall and connect the string with three half-hitch knots. At the other end, we use a 12 inch long by 1 inch round metal bar on which we tie the string - natural two-hand handle. I use a catcher's mask (no joke) to prevent being hit in the face with flying string, which only happens once every 100 times.

David Pavlich
10-13-2004, 06:45 PM
I have a natural "deflector" when I prestretch. The string goes in between a couple of tank tops or skirts that happen to be on a 4-place hanger in the middle of the floor. If the knot breaks, the flying string is slowed considerably by the shirts. :-)

David

Gaines Hillix
10-14-2004, 09:34 AM
You can also hang an old t-shirt over the string in the middle and if it snaps back it will stop it. This is an old trick that people who use steel cables to pull heavy objects use. It's also a good idea to stand sideways to the string when you pull. I use a block of wood 1" square by 6" long with two holes in it to pull the string with. I can insert just one end or both ends of the string through the holes. Then I wrap the string around the block 3 times and grip the whole thing in my hand. It's never slipped.

thomas martinez
10-16-2004, 09:24 AM
Ok David, in your case, perhaps you've been lucky. WHen you get to where I am, along with others, and have been doign this for many years, and on the levels I and others do it on, you'll see experiences are rather different. This past US Open alone, we had people doing the foolish way of prestretching with start clamps and having them slip out, left right and centre. Now, if you're using a start clamp behind a dowel or something like that, fine, that can work, but it still can and will slip. Not saying my way is perfect, I've had it snap and sent my butt flying across the floor almost taking out people as I go. As for it being able to take the pulling torque and pounds when stringing, it is a WAY different game from at a max 40 or so kilos a machine can set to, and the 80+ kilos you'll apply to a string during prestretch, assuming you are doing it right, and using all of your weight behind it, and hanging there to let it relax if you will...

Michael Ludwig
10-16-2004, 09:27 AM
Thomas is spot on. Starting clamps do not work for proper prestretching, or atleast I've never found them to.......and I own several of the older Babolat 20mm clamps (which grip stronger than any other). Maybe if you're just giving the string a little tug the starting clamp will hold, but not a real stretch. Especially when you're talking about the newer Babolat 27mm clamps, which are absolute rubbish, and have a hard enough time holding when used for starting the mains or on the outside of a frame when doing some ATWs. Using a starting clamp while stringing a frame is quite a bit different than using it for prestretching, as Mr. Martinez pointed out.

David Pavlich
10-16-2004, 12:23 PM
Thomas: I know your reputation as a world class stringer and I have no doubt that you've seen clamps slip. Afterall, you've been doing this a lot longer than have I and in a lot more stressful situations. I don't want you to think that I believe that you are not an excellent purveyor of your craft. On the contrary, I always read your posts to see if I can pick up tidbits of information that may help me. Back to the discussion at hand...

The only way I've seen a clamp slip while prestretching was someone that was holding the clamp in his hand. As he pulled, he inadvertantly squeezed the starting clamp and yes, the string went in one direction and he went in the other. This "slip" is due to squeezing the starting clamp, not because of the clamp itself. I'd be willing to bet that more often than not, that's what is happening when a starting clamp slips. That's why I use the dowel; I don't touch the clamp so as to avoid the flying across the room thing AND it's much easier on the hand.

Another point: When using a starting clamp on a machine, your holding on to a piece of string that is around 18" long. When I prestretch a piece of string that is anywhere from 37' to 40' long, the stress on the clamp is not the same as the stress on an 18" piece of string.

However, I will continue to prestetch in my fashion. I stated that I've done over 2000 sets of string this way. That's a very conservative number. With that in mind, it's pretty difficult to say that maybe I've been lucky. 10 or 12 prestretches without a slip, yea, I'd agree, but 2000+? That number is way beyond the Beta testing stage.

Michael: I'm 6'2" tall and weigh 220 lbs. I don't just tug on the string. As I stated earlier, I've done this with a Wilson starting clamp and a Rab starting clamp and my blue handled Babolat clamp without ONE slip. Maybe my way with the dowel is the holy grail.

I also use the Babolat clamp when I start a string job and doing certain ATW patterns. It hasn't slipped. Can I explain it? No. Not having seen someone else have a problem with a slipping starting clamp, I can't. All I can go on is my experience, which has been exemplary.

David

David Pavlich
10-16-2004, 12:39 PM
Michael: Your post perplexed me about your clamp slipping (the Blue Babolat), so I just did a test.

I set up my machine to pull direct tension on my Babolat clamp. The string was 16 gauge Prince syngut w/duraflex. The string was 6" away from the tension head. I started at 55 lbs and went to 70 lbs in 5 lb increments. No slippage. That is direct pull with a 6" piece of string...no grommet holes to provide "cover" for the clamp.

Now if my clamp holds 70lbs of tension with a piece of string that is 6" long, it will surely hold a prestretch of me giving it a 150 lb "tug" at 37' long. FYI, my clamp is about a year old.

David

David Pavlich
10-18-2004, 01:36 PM
Scuttlebut has it that the stringing house at Wimbledon uses starting clamps to stretch strings there.

David

John C
10-27-2004, 10:15 AM
Pre-stretching solves the tangle issue, but I've found adds 2-4 lbs to the "strung weight" so have to reduce tension accordingly. Is that been your experience?

Steve Huff
10-27-2004, 05:50 PM
I use clamps also. I don't have a starting clamp though. These are what used to be called Speed Clamps. They're floating clamps that have a large spring in the middle that holds them tight. I loop one end around a doorknob and use one of these clamps to secure the loop. With the other, I form a small loop and run it through both sides of the clamp. This way, I'm pulling similar to it being around a dowel rod, only it's around the inside part of the clamp. I haven't had any slips this way either, in about 25 years of stringing.