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View Full Version : Any other tricks to get string thru blocked grommets?


Doulers
08-31-2009, 07:39 AM
I am new to stringing. Bought my first machine a few months ago. I have done four racquets so far. On the last job strung all natural gut. I have not found the entire process all that difficult, and even stringing natural gut I did not think was all that more difficult than synthetic gut.

The one thing that I am still having a little trouble with (at least doing it quickly) is getting a string through a blocked grommet hole where another string is already in that hole. This is the one thing that is adding significant time to my string jobs (I have a drop weight machine). I eventually get it, but with a lot of failed attempts. I have tried YULitle's tricks of flattening, cutting to a point, and pushing in with pliers with chapstick, and even that takes a while because often the string bends. Maybe I just need more practice. I have even used an awl, but am afraid to use it too often in fear of damaging a string which I have come close to doing on occasion.

Does anyone know any other tricks to get a string through a blocked grommet hole other than what YULitle shows on his instructional video?

Thanks in advance.

Irvin
08-31-2009, 07:59 AM
The one thing that I am still having a little trouble with (at least doing it quickly) is getting a string through a blocked grommet hole where another string is already in that hole.

Plan ahead so that does not happen. I am assuming you are not trying to get a string through a hole where a string is just covering the hole. Try inserting the two strings in the hole before you pull tension on the first string.

Irvin

Valjean
08-31-2009, 08:03 AM
A blunt-tipped awl can enlarge the grommet hole too, as well as just nudge the offending string aside. There is such a thing as string wax to apply to the awl, as well as other substances that can grease the way.

Irvin
08-31-2009, 08:17 AM
Also a piece of poly with paraffin on it works good too. You can get poly in any hole almost and the paraffin helps to lubricate thole for the multi string.

Irvin

daslosh247
08-31-2009, 09:18 AM
My girlfriend tipped me off to using nail polish. I thought she was crazy as she doesn't string or play tennis, but it worked. If you trim the end of the string to a point, and it's a soft-multi like Babolat Addiction it frays or gets crushed very easily. The polish will keep the point solid and intact so you can push through. Just make sure to let it dry before pushing it through. And if that doesn't work: wiggle it with pliers and make sure there aren't any kids around as swearing usually follows. Especially on Head Prestige frames.

Cruzer
08-31-2009, 09:28 AM
Get yourself a pathfinder awl. They can be very handy when trying to get string through a shared hole.

The_Question
08-31-2009, 09:31 AM
Get yourself a pathfinder awl.

^^^
That...

goran_ace
08-31-2009, 09:33 AM
Especially when stringing with multi's, I use the scrap string method described in Stringer's Digest.

jim e
08-31-2009, 11:27 AM
Planning ahead and placing a scrap piece of string on the outside of the frame, where the bolcked hole is works great, as all you would need to do is grab the ends of the scrap and push down or lift up to expose the grommet and the string will slide through. For those that do not like the string method, as the thickness of the string once removed may effect the tension very slightly, you can also double up (double thickness by using 2 strands) with some dental floss and use that instead of a scrap string, and that will move the blocking string out of the way as well, and the thin floss will not effect the tension.
Another thing to do is weave the 1st 2 cross strings(just place them in the proper place do not tension), then go back and tension the end mains, and you just eliminated 2 blocked holes.
Also you can coat the 1st inch with super glue, then spray a super glue accelerator on it and the glue will set up immediately, then it is stiffer to push through the grommet, this does work.
You can also take a small piece of teflon tubing(not the plastic that TW sells, but teflon), and temporarily insert it through the hole that will be blocked, when you get to this area to string, you can slide it through, and reuse the tubing a # of times, before it needs replaced.
You can lube with chapstick a stiff piece of poly, and use that instead of an awl.Just trim the end to a sharp point. (I don't particulary like awls, and I avoid them, and the pathfinder is flimsy.)
In the digest, Steve Huff had a great suggestion that I have used in the past and works nice, and that was to make a loop with a scrap string, and place the loop on the outside of the racquet where the blocked hole is, this allows enough space to feed the string through.
I now use the floss technique, as that takes up little space, so no slight loss in tension even occurs.
I'm sure there are dozens of blocked hole tricks, these should be the most popular.Hope this helps!!

iplaybetter
08-31-2009, 01:02 PM
get a good sharp tip and grip it as close as you can, sometimes you can sorta flatten the string and get a better tip
often if you try and do if fast you will take longer than just going at it right

also, for some frames prelacing the strings can do wonders(eg speedport black...)

Irvin
08-31-2009, 02:23 PM
Planning ahead and placing a scrap piece of string on the outside of the frame, where the bolcked hole is works great, as all you would need to do is grab the ends of the scrap and push down or lift up to expose the grommet and the string will slide through...

Your methods work great but you may be confused with what his problem is. The OP said:

The one thing that I am still having a little trouble with (at least doing it quickly) is getting a string through a blocked grommet hole where another string is already in that hole...

That would be like any of the top tie off holes for the Prince O3 Speedport Black where a string is going through a hole from left to right blocking a hole, of course some of your later methods work for that issue.

Irvin

Cfidave
08-31-2009, 02:34 PM
Making a " string awl ' has never let me down. As stated above, you can firm it up with nail polish.

Virtua Tennis
08-31-2009, 11:23 PM
The biggest offender of blocked holes is O3 racquets from prince. I've learned that it's a good idea to clean out the shared holes and such to make stringing them easier. I bought a fat gamma awl and blunted the tip a bit so it's not all that sharp.

Trickster
09-01-2009, 12:32 PM
I'm surprised no one has suggested using a stanley knife. Press down on the string with the knife, and pull the string (maybe an inch?) along the blade to get a thinner end point. Combine this with yulite's tips (chapstick, pushing through with pliers) and it should work a treat.

Irvin
09-01-2009, 01:33 PM
I'm surprised no one has suggested using a stanley knife. Press down on the string with the knife, and pull the string (maybe an inch?) along the blade to get a thinner end point...

If he did that with a soft multi string he would have a worse problem than he has now.

Irvin