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View Full Version : Tips or gotchas for stringing wood frame?


Kevo
01-14-2009, 07:22 PM
I just got my first wood frame, and I just broke my first string in a wood frame. So now I get to string my first wood frame.

Is there anything I need to watch out for, or any suggestions for getting a good result from those of you who have done this before?

I think it may have been at 10lbs or less when I got it and it hit surprisingly well at that tension. I figure the frame will likely last longer with a low tension so I am planning on putting something like Ashaway Liberty in it at maybe 35lbs. or so.

jim e
01-14-2009, 07:37 PM
As far as woodies go, length of string needed 32-34 feet. (most of the gut years ago were sold in packs of 2 - 17 foot pieces, as my memory recalls)17' for M's, 17' for X's
Short side 8-9 feet.If 2 piece, just mark a 17 foot piece in middle, and 1/2 on each side is used.
Pattern 18M x 20X
M skips 9T , although there are some that skips the 9H as well, (Tad and Davis frames come to mind on that).You will see that on the way the wood is grooved for the string at the head.Most do not skip the 9H
Start X 7H
Last X 7T
Tie off main 6T
Tie off X 6H, 5T
Shared holes:7T,8T,10T, 7H, 8H,9T
Usually on woodies I always placed pads at throat, between the 1st and 2nd main, one on each side.This kept the angle of the string straighter through the grommet, anyways, usually 2 were used, one on each side, on most woodies.
If you decide one piece, short side usually is the zig-zag marked side. I strung them as 2 piece back in the day
(Years ago, I strung a great # of woodies as that was the majority of racquets, along with the T-2000's).The average tensions were mid 50's-mid 60's.back in those days.
I strung a Slazenger Challenge#1 recently, with VS. gut 61 lbs. and all was fine, but that was a great condition racquet, most likely kept in a good enviroment. The woodies of the day were very strong frames that took a lot of abuse. It all depends on the condition of yours for the tension to use.If the racquet appears to be in good shape, I would use a playable tension, but of course being an older frame,its possible it could be brittle as wood does change over the years. A suggestion,especially if you do go with a higher tension, wear safty glasses as there is always a chance of breakage on an older frame, and splinters can go flying if by chance that does happen.
Good luck!

Bud
01-14-2009, 07:46 PM
I just got my first wood frame, and I just broke my first string in a wood frame. So now I get to string my first wood frame.

Is there anything I need to watch out for, or any suggestions for getting a good result from those of you who have done this before?

I think it may have been at 10lbs or less when I got it and it hit surprisingly well at that tension. I figure the frame will likely last longer with a low tension so I am planning on putting something like Ashaway Liberty in it at maybe 35lbs. or so.

Lol! Take a pic of the racquet... showing the knots and string grooves on the top so you can duplicate it correctly. Also, make sure to start on the correct side (pic is handy for this if your memory isn't the best).

It was probably tighter than 10 pounds unless it was in storage with a 50 lb. barbell lying on the strings. Try it at 45# with a soft string like Ashaway Liberty. I think 35# may be too low.

BTW, what type of woodie is it?

Bud
01-14-2009, 07:49 PM
As far as woodies go, length of string needed 32-34 feet. (most of the gut years ago were sold in packs of 2 - 17 foot pieces, as my memory recalls)17' for M's, 17' for X's
Short side 8-9 feet.If 2 piece, just mark a 17 foot piece in middle, and 1/2 on each side is used.
Pattern 18M x 20X
M skips 9T , although there are some that skips the 9H as well, (Tad and Davis frames come to mind on that).You will see that on the way the wood is grooved for the string at the head.Most do not skip the 9H
Start X 7H
Last X 7T
Tie off main 6T
Tie off X 6H, 5T
Shared holes:7T,8T,10T, 7H, 8H,9T
Usually on woodies I always placed pads at throat, between the 1st and 2nd main, one on each side.This kept the angle of the string straighter through the grommet, anyways, usually 2 were used, one on each side, on most woodies.
If you decide one piece, short side usually is the zig-zag marked side. I strung them as 2 piece back in the day
(Years ago, I strung a great # of woodies as that was the majority of racquets, along with the T-2000's).The average tensions were mid 50's-mid 60's.back in those days.
I strung a Slazenger Challenge#1 recently, with VS. gut 61 lbs. and all was fine, but that was a great condition racquet, most likely kept in a good enviroment. The woodies of the day were very strong frames that took a lot of abuse. It all depends on the condition of yours for the tension to use. Being an older frame, possible it could be brittle as wood does change over the years. A suggestion,especially if you do go with a higher tension, wear safty glasses as there is always a chance of breakage on an older frame, and splinters can go flying if by chance that does happen.
Good luck!

I didn't realize wood frames were strung using the two-piece stringing method, back in the day. I thought they were all strung with one piece.

jim e
01-15-2009, 04:18 AM
I didn't realize wood frames were strung using the two-piece stringing method, back in the day. I thought they were all strung with one piece.

Most gut was sold in 2-17' pieces, so had to use 2 piece with gut. Back then almost all woodies were strung as 2 piece although 1 piece could be done.Even the metal T-2000's were 2 piece, but different lengths, as that was an unusual pattern, with their own knot pattern to use as well.

Rabbit
01-15-2009, 04:21 AM
35 pounds is very loose. Back in the day, tension ran mid-50s to mid-60s on wood frames. If it's in good shape, it'll handle it fine. All the wood frames I have and string are strung at 58.

The only advice I can offer is take your time. Stringers back then really earned their money. The patterns are very tight and if you string gut, it's a pain in the butt... :)

Two piece patterns were the standard back then.

jim e
01-15-2009, 04:34 AM
Also look at the head of the racquet, as if it is worn down, the grooves will not be deep enough to have the strings sink down far enough. If that is the case you can chisel the groove a little deeper with a small instrument, (I use to use a broken awl with the tip end ground to a flat chisel shape to re-groove the wood, and then take a srcap piece of string and pull back and forth to "burn" the wood to make smooth again.)

Kevo
01-15-2009, 09:54 AM
It was probably tighter than 10 pounds unless it was in storage with a 50 lb. barbell lying on the strings. Try it at 45# with a soft string like Ashaway Liberty. I think 35# may be too low.

BTW, what type of woodie is it?

I think 10lbs. was probably pretty close. Even with the tight pattern I was putting an almost tennis ball sized hole in the mains when hitting the heavy top. If it was a 16 main pattern I think I could have opened up a hole big enough for the ball to actually fit through.

I have hit with tensions as low as 35lbs. on my modern frames, so I think it will be OK for the first stringing. I can always raise it later if it seems too low.

The racquet is a Bancroft of some kind. I don't know the model. It was not on the frame that I could find.

Kevo
01-15-2009, 09:55 AM
Pattern 18M x 20X
M skips 9T , although there are some that skips the 9H as well, (Tad and Davis frames come to mind on that).You will see that on the way the wood is grooved for the string at the head.Most do not skip the 9H
Start X 7H
Last X 7T
Tie off main 6T
Tie off X 6H, 5T
Shared holes:7T,8T,10T, 7H, 8H,9T


Thanks Jim, this looks like it's exactly what this frame uses. I'll string it up and let you know how it goes.

jim e
01-15-2009, 10:07 AM
Thanks Jim, this looks like it's exactly what this frame uses. I'll string it up and let you know how it goes.

Please let me know!
A few months ago, I hit with my old Tad/davis racquet (woodie), that I last strung in 1971, and the bow brand gut was still playable(same strings that I strung back then).I even won the set I was using it for. The sound that the racquet made when I hit the ball, brought back memories! (so figure those strings are at least 37 years old, and nat. gut, and still playable)
If the frame looks good, put in a high enough tension so it will be playable for you, I would not go too low.Years ago I had a Bancroft dealership. Their racquets were of great quality. I usually got my supply of strings from them, as dealer prices were about 1/2 of what retail was back then. My 1st good racquet was a Bancroft Players Special, and it was a good racquet, it had an unusual shapped grip if I remember correctly.Until 1&1/2 years ago, my last racquet was a woodie, as I stopped playing for 34 years.I now got back into playing and stringing again, as no one locally could be trusted to string mine.

SoCal10s
01-15-2009, 12:49 PM
if using gut or softer strings ,remember to put power pad(a piece of lether)for those middle mainstrings close to the throat ,to prevent string breakage..

Kevo
01-16-2009, 03:04 PM
I strung it up today. After looking at it again, I realized it was a 16x20 pattern, similar to what jim detailed. There was only one skip hole at 8T. I went with a 16g nylon, Klip Dura, at 35lbs. Seems decent from just bouncing a ball around, but I will be hitting with it tomorrow to see how well it works out.

I did notice that the hole spacing is much more noticeably uneven than modern frames, so I had to keep counting to make sure I hadn't made a mistake. Looked fine once it was all done and the strings straightened.

Kevo
01-17-2009, 01:00 PM
I went out and hit against the ball machine in 15-20mph winds. I was worried about being able to make clean contact with the small frame, but only had a couple of mishits. The Dura worked quite well. It had good feel and plenty of pop. I was actually hitting the ball cleaner with the wood frame at times than my PSL. For some reason the wood frame just seems more maneuverable even though it's an ounce heavier.