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View Full Version : Do you personally string your old school racquets?


Caloi
04-06-2009, 09:34 AM
I took on the challenge of stringing my frankengrommet Edge yesterday. First and foremost, I got an old grommet piece stuck in the racket and fiddled with it for a couple hours while watching TV Saturday afternoon trying to get it out...no such luck. So, I am stuck with a rattling sound that is going to drive me nuts.

Second..I wil NEVER ever attempt stringing this racquet again! Those shared holes are a major PITA! And, the site that says 17 mains and 21 crosses can kiss my.... sorry, let's just say, it didn't work out as I had hoped.

I fought that racquet for three and a half hours yesterday. By the time I had undone the strings for the third time I was so frustrated I was ready to scream.

On my last attempt, I totally gave up when I got to the second to last cross. There was no way in hell I was able to get two strings through the shared hole, so I skipped it, put in the last cross above it and tied it off.

I shredded three of my four "extra" grommets from the strip I cut up, and realized I HATE the bumper guard that is on there. I should have trimmed it thin like the strips.

Granted I'm still a bit mad at my attempt yesterday and will probably attempt this again one of these days...it certainly won't be any time soon. I may pay someone that knows what they are doing to teach me the right way to string these things.

I just can't see myself going through that again.

max
04-06-2009, 09:40 AM
Wow. Thanks for the post. I thought about doing my old Edge this summer.

vsbabolat
04-06-2009, 09:47 AM
The Graphite Edge string pattern is 18 mains 19 crosses. That is one reason for your difficulties.

Bud
04-06-2009, 09:52 AM
I took on the challenge of stringing my frankengrommet Edge yesterday. First and foremost, I got an old grommet piece stuck in the racket and fiddled with it for a couple hours while watching TV Saturday afternoon trying to get it out...no such luck. So, I am stuck with a rattling sound that is going to drive me nuts.

Second..I wil NEVER ever attempt stringing this racquet again! Those shared holes are a major PITA! And, the site that says 17 mains and 21 crosses can kiss my.... sorry, let's just say, it didn't work out as I had hoped.

I fought that racquet for three and a half hours yesterday. By the time I had undone the strings for the third time I was so frustrated I was ready to scream.

On my last attempt, I totally gave up when I got to the second to last cross. There was no way in hell I was able to get two strings through the shared hole, so I skipped it, put in the last cross above it and tied it off.

I shredded three of my four "extra" grommets from the strip I cut up, and realized I HATE the bumper guard that is on there. I should have trimmed it thin like the strips.

Granted I'm still a bit mad at my attempt yesterday and will probably attempt this again one of these days...it certainly won't be any time soon. I may pay someone that knows what they are doing to teach me the right way to string these things.

I just can't see myself going through that again.

I string all my racquets... old and new :)

Never had trouble with my GE's. Sometimes it helps to place a small piece of string in any shared holes as a place holder.

Did you try removing the grip and butt cap to extract the wayward grommet piece? Sometimes, it's also help to remove the bridge grommets when there is something inside the frame.

You never have an odd number of mains. Like VSB stated... the string pattern on the GE is 18x19.

Caloi
04-06-2009, 10:23 AM
Sorry, out of frustration I wasn't clear. I meant 17 feet mains and 21 feet crosses. It wasn't right. I know it's an 18 x 19 pattern. I was even looking at my original racquet for clarification.

I am guessing that since I had to hodge-podge together new grommets they were too tight to be considered for shared holes.
That's how I shredded a couple of the new grommets was by trying to get two pieces of string through them and stretching them a bit. However, when I put the grommets back in and had a string tensioned in it I couldn't get my cross through. I even shaved down the string at the tip, tried using flat pliers and nudging it 1mm at a time...there was NO WAY I was getting it through.

Also, my resource for stringing this says to start crosses at the head. How is that possible when the mains end at the throat?

vsbabolat
04-06-2009, 10:31 AM
Sorry, out of frustration I wasn't clear. I meant 17 feet mains and 21 feet crosses. It wasn't right. I know it's an 18 x 19 pattern. I was even looking at my original racquet for clarification.

I am guessing that since I had to hodge-podge together new grommets they were too tight to be considered for shared holes.
That's how I shredded a couple of the new grommets was by trying to get two pieces of string through them and stretching them a bit. However, when I put the grommets back in and had a string tensioned in it I couldn't get my cross through. I even shaved down the string at the tip, tried using flat pliers and nudging it 1mm at a time...there was NO WAY I was getting it through.

Also, my resource for stringing this says to start crosses at the head. How is that possible when the mains end at the throat?

Because you have to string the GE two pieces. All HEAD Graphite racquets since the beginning of time to today require you start you crosses at the head and use two pieces.

Caloi
04-06-2009, 12:01 PM
Because you have to string the GE two pieces. All HEAD Graphite racquets since the beginning of time to today require you start you crosses at the head and use two pieces.

Huh?! My original GE is a one piece! That's what I was trying to emulate! Crap!

Caloi
04-06-2009, 02:54 PM
Because you have to string the GE two pieces. All HEAD Graphite racquets since the beginning of time to today require you start you crosses at the head and use two pieces.

Huh?! My original GE is a one piece! That's what I was trying to emulate! Crap!

I found this old thread adn it's helped a little. I now WANT to cut these strings adn try it again. I believe i can do it but after 3+ hours, it was getting pretty old.

From the 1987 Stringer's Digest for the Head Graphite Edge (not the TXE):

Length: 18' (M) and 15' (X) @PR. Tension: 60-67 [I had written in 55-65] lbs. Pattern: 18M x 19X. Start M's at head. M's skip 9H and 9T. Start X's at bottom at 7T. Top X: 7H. Tie-Off: M's at 6T, X's at 5T and 6H.

That says it's a one piece and you string the crosses from throat to head, right?

vsbabolat
04-06-2009, 05:14 PM
I suggest you string your racquet 2 piece head to throat.

Length 18'x15'. tension 55-65lbs. Pattern 18x19. Start M's at head. Mains skip 9T & 9H. Tie off main's 6T. Start 2pc X at 7H. Last 2pc X at 7T. Tie 2pc 6H, 5T. Shared Holes: 7T, 8T, 10T & 7H, 8H, 10H.

jimbo333
04-06-2009, 07:46 PM
I was thinking about starting to string my own racquets, but frankly this thread has really put me off:(

Bud
04-06-2009, 10:15 PM
I was thinking about starting to string my own racquets, but frankly this thread has really put me off:(

Why? I've never run into the problems the OP has and I've strung hundreds of frames.

When you buy an older/classic frame with questionable (i.e. destroyed) grommets... it's a risky proposition returning the racquet back into service. It doesn't always work out that great.

Deuce
04-06-2009, 11:06 PM
See below...

Deuce
04-06-2009, 11:08 PM
Sorry, out of frustration I wasn't clear. I meant 17 feet mains and 21 feet crosses. It wasn't right. I know it's an 18 x 19 pattern. I was even looking at my original racquet for clarification.

I am guessing that since I had to hodge-podge together new grommets they were too tight to be considered for shared holes.
That's how I shredded a couple of the new grommets was by trying to get two pieces of string through them and stretching them a bit. However, when I put the grommets back in and had a string tensioned in it I couldn't get my cross through. I even shaved down the string at the tip, tried using flat pliers and nudging it 1mm at a time...there was NO WAY I was getting it through.

Also, my resource for stringing this says to start crosses at the head. How is that possible when the mains end at the throat?
As was mentioned previously, start the crosses at the top.

Since you're using grommets that are cut from a strip, try using the tie-off grommets - which are larger - for the shared holes.
By that, I mean use the tie-off grommets from two strips - use some as tie-off grommets, and the others for the shared holes.

And/or use an awl to open up the shared hole and tie-off grommets before putting a string through them.

This is the kind of effort that makes it more fulfilling and rewarding once you actually get to play with it.

origmarm
04-07-2009, 01:04 AM
The only piece of advice I can add is that replacing grommets for shared holes on an old frame once I got to use a "flare it" tool and widened up the grommet that way, using that and a grommet grinder type awl, they are very good. I don't know if you can still get them though. You can probably get the same effect though using a clamp and countersink bit from a drill if you can't find one or (as they are likely expensive) don't want to buy one for one stringjob.

Yulite mentions it briefly here http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2486224&postcount=3

They used to have a website but for some reason my limited google skills can't locate it

Deuce
04-07-2009, 01:28 AM
The only piece of advice I can add is that replacing grommets for shared holes on an old frame once I got to use a "flare it" tool and widened up the grommet that way, using that and a grommet grinder type awl, they are very good. I don't know if you can still get them though. You can probably get the same effect though using a clamp and countersink bit from a drill if you can't find one or (as they are likely expensive) don't want to buy one for one stringjob.

Yulite mentions it briefly here http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2486224&postcount=3

They used to have a website but for some reason my limited google skills can't locate it
^ Also known as a Pathfinder Awl...
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-PATHAWL.html (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-PATHAWL.html)

It is a ridiculously expensive item, though.

I think the best thing to do is to open up the grommet (make it wider) just before putting the string through.
You can also open the grommet up after the first string is already in and tensioned - but in that case, you have to be careful not to nick or break that string.

origmarm
04-07-2009, 01:51 AM
^ Also known as a Pathfinder Awl...
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-PATHAWL.html (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-PATHAWL.html)

It is a ridiculously expensive item, though.

I think the best thing to do is to open up the grommet (make it wider) just before putting the string through.
You can also open the grommet up after the first string is already in and tensioned - but in that case, you have to be careful not to nick or break that string.

That's also a good idea but not the same thing. Pathfinder awls work well though in those situations but you have to be careful not to bend them and leave the tip stuck in the grommet (as I've done in the past...grrrr). You are right though, similar to the flare it tool they are expensive and not really necessary.

What I'm thinking of is this widget:
http://www.photostringer.com/images/flare_it_grommet_tool_small.jpg (I figured out how to use YuLitle's picture)

It allows you to flare the grommet before stringing. This used with a grommet grinder for me is the easiest way to do it. There are cheaper ways but I don't find them as consistent. I've used a countersink drill bit and a clamps before also. It helps if you heat them slightly (I used a hairdryer) first to soften them up. As Deuce says though they are expensive for what they are.

jimbo333
04-07-2009, 03:20 AM
Why? I've never run into the problems the OP has and I've strung hundreds of frames.

When you buy an older/classic frame with questionable (i.e. destroyed) grommets... it's a risky proposition returning the racquet back into service. It doesn't always work out that great.

All I can say is that if I do start stringing my own racquets, it's sounds like it's a good job my favourite racquet is MAX300i or 200G, which don't have grommets:):)

Caloi
04-07-2009, 08:17 AM
I was thinking about starting to string my own racquets, but frankly this thread has really put me off:(
Please don't be put offf by my experience. I've had my stringing machine for less than a year but have strung my M-Fils up a dozen times now and can do those in 40 minutes. However, my first and second attempt was more than 2 hours each. I was venting yesterday like a little wuss. I'll be restringing my Edge in the near future and will take it apart to retrieve the scrap grommet that is rattling around in there. I was rushing in the end and got frustrated. The wife and kids will be out of state for a couple weeks pretty soon so I'll have plenty of time to get it right next time.
Why? I've never run into the problems the OP has and I've strung hundreds of frames.

When you buy an older/classic frame with questionable (i.e. destroyed) grommets... it's a risky proposition returning the racquet back into service. It doesn't always work out that great.
This is true.. The grommets I got were very helpful, in that I was able to get actual strips of 2-5 grommets to align with my frame. Only a few places have individual grommets cut away from the original. I still can't stand the look of the head guard though. It's getting trimmed when I go to restring it.


**One way I found to stretch a grommet was to take a scrap piece of string and with the grommet off the racquet, run both ends through the hole and pull slightly away from eachother. I had to shave down one end to get it through...and I ripped a grommet completely down the sidewall...but done with the right tough, seemed to really open it up.

My biggest problem was from doing a one piece job. The mains tended to block the path of getting a cross through because of the angles. I can't explain it in writing but wil attempt the two piece next time.


Thanks for the inputs, and for putting up with my crybaby like rant. :oops:I'll get it figured out yet!

origmarm
04-07-2009, 08:42 AM
Because you have to string the GE two pieces. All HEAD Graphite racquets since the beginning of time to today require you start you crosses at the head and use two pieces.

I think this is why you had some many problems though OP. VS is right, if you start like this it's much easier and the correct way

joe sch
04-07-2009, 07:52 PM
How old school ?
Below is my standard head woody old school stringer

http://www.woodtennis.com/strings/serrano1.jpg

joe sch
04-07-2009, 07:55 PM
All I can say is that if I do start stringing my own racquets, it's sounds like it's a good job my favourite racquet is MAX300i or 200G, which don't have grommets:):)

200g's are not soo fun ... 83si head, 18x20 pattern and several shared holes ... throw in some thick, like 15L natural gut, and its can be a bit painful

plasma
04-07-2009, 09:08 PM
which stringers have clamps which don't harm, or can't damage frames???
thanks

Deuce
04-07-2009, 09:53 PM
That's also a good idea but not the same thing. Pathfinder awls work well though in those situations but you have to be careful not to bend them and leave the tip stuck in the grommet (as I've done in the past...grrrr). You are right though, similar to the flare it tool they are expensive and not really necessary.

What I'm thinking of is this widget:
http://www.photostringer.com/images/flare_it_grommet_tool_small.jpg (I figured out how to use YuLitle's picture)

^ Sorry - I thought you were referring to the first thing on the page you linked to - which is a pathfinder awl, and which could also help with shared or blocked holes.

origmarm
04-08-2009, 02:41 AM
^ Sorry - I thought you were referring to the first thing on the page you linked to - which is a pathfinder awl, and which could also help with shared or blocked holes.

Yeah it was a rubbish link in the first attempt :). For someone who has to deal with tech all day I'm surprisingly rubbish at stuff like that.

tailofdog
04-08-2009, 07:25 PM
Why? I've never run into the problems the OP has and I've strung hundreds of frames.

When you buy an older/classic frame with questionable (i.e. destroyed) grommets... it's a risky proposition returning the racquet back into service. It doesn't always work out that great.

Just got a Rossignol ft 6.60. I was thinking of keeping it as plabiblty is nice but the grommets are split and i was thinking restringing might be a problem.
Rest of the racquet is very nice.

joe sch
04-08-2009, 07:32 PM
which stringers have clamps which don't harm, or can't damage frames???
thanks

Just use some leather, chamois, or rubber type material on the contact points of the clamps. Same trick would prevent the old wood racket head presses from scuffing up tennis racket frames at contact points.

Bud
04-08-2009, 08:59 PM
Just use some leather, chamois, or rubber type material on the contact points of the clamps. Same trick would prevent the old wood racket head presses from scuffing up tennis racket frames at contact points.

Good suggestions. I use the racquet's head cover (or a generic head cover) if using a frame press. Also, don't tighten the wingnuts too tightly. When the frame just starts to clamp down on the head... stop tightening. There's no sense in really squeezing the frame with the press.

Caloi
04-12-2009, 07:46 PM
Alright, it may be my stubbornness, or maybe I'm just becoming an obsessive nut, but I restrung my Edge with 95% success. The 5% failure? The broken grommets pieces are still rattling around inside the throat. Thanks for the suggestions of the two pieces but I believe since the last time I attempted this I had brand spanking new grommets that had never seen a string. Since I drew a perfect diagram of the racquet head and marked where the shared holes and etc. were I completed the task by taking my time to flare, open, massage, and damn near got nasty with a couple. :twisted: Oh, I also trimmed the bumper guard down to nothing!

The broken pieces will hopefully some day get lodged in place somewhere as I can not figure out how to get them out. I stripped the handle and butt cap and found a solid piece foam(???) handle in place. I drilled a small hole and there is no way I could find a hollow space in there.

FOr now I'm happy with my attempt and will one day get this thing 100%. :)

Deuce
04-12-2009, 09:24 PM
At least you got the thing strung.

You couldn't get the rattling piece(s) out through a grommet hole?
Maybe by sticking a piece of tape or something sticky through a grommet hole and drawing it through once it's stuck?

plasma
04-12-2009, 10:18 PM
does anyone here make their own (homemade) gut strings??? (just kidding)

Deuce
04-13-2009, 01:23 AM
does anyone here make their own (homemade) gut strings??? (just kidding)
This is from a post I wrote on this board in 2003, after a poster asked about the possibility of human gut string...


- "String it up at 56 pounds with human gut, please."

- "Will that be male or female gut, sir?"

- "You know, I've always used the male, but lately, I've been feeling this thing in my elbow. A friend tells me that female plays somewhat softer. Is that true?"

- "Yup. I haven't had any injury complaints from users of the female. Lots of people claim that the fairer sex bites the ball better, too."

- "OK, then, female it is."

- "What age? Keep in mind that the older she was, the less elasticity you'll get.

- "Let's try 40 to 45."

- "Right. Now, natural causes, accident victim, homicide, or factory farmed?"

Caloi
04-13-2009, 03:33 PM
At least you got the thing strung.

You couldn't get the rattling piece(s) out through a grommet hole?
Maybe by sticking a piece of tape or something sticky through a grommet hole and drawing it through once it's stuck?
No, they are stuck, or too big to come out. I removed the throat grommets and shook and shook, but nothing. I was pretty ****ed when I removed the grip and butt cap to find a solid core handle. No wonder they didn't put in a trap door. :)

I actually played it today and the rattling wasn't too bad. I just imagined it was pixie dust and would bring me endless good luck.
does anyone here make their own (homemade) gut strings??? (just kidding)
I know I'm asking a lot of 'beginner' questions. Bear with me. I'm a very fast learner and will hopefully be able to answer some other Newb's questions one day.

I do appreciate all of your input, everyone.

plasma
04-13-2009, 08:16 PM
believe me, I appreciate as much traffic on the forum as possible, you're clearly a lot braver than I as you are tecking your own *****, I have the utmost respect for everyone here; hopefully I'll be brave enough to string my own stuff this year,
regards
Plasma

crocon
04-20-2009, 10:55 PM
LOL at "frankengrommet". I got an edge off **** and have strung it a few times since. Some of the individual grommets were pretty messed up, but they weren't totally dried up. I had to spin a bunch of them 90 degrees so the string wouldn't dig into the frame.

plasma
04-21-2009, 12:17 AM
that's because the graphite on the edge is softer than Kournikovas *****. No one wants to hear my insane loop on traditional vs. modern anything, but that graphite is liquid heaven, like the gently melted glass in an ancient cathedral, like Anna o na bright summer morning (pls dont wake plasma...shhhh...mmmm)