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View Full Version : 17g natural gut, any tips for first time stringer ?


slow_duster
10-22-2009, 12:10 PM
This will be my first natural gut string job, do I have to do anything special. The shop that sold me the string said to pre-stretch, and use same tension . What is the best knot for natural gut? Any tips would be great ! Thanks in advance.

jim e
10-22-2009, 03:38 PM
This will be my first natural gut string job, do I have to do anything special. The shop that sold me the string said to pre-stretch, and use same tension . What is the best knot for natural gut? Any tips would be great ! Thanks in advance.

(BTW, since you did not state what string you are now using, if it is a poly, I would up the tension, I actually would up the tension a signif. amount if you hit with a poly, and a slight amount over your normal string if it was a multi, or syn. gut as a starting point. Many are different with reguards to this area and you can get responses all over the place, but gut hits well even at high tensions.)

You do need to take extra precautions, one of the biggest is to avoid kinks in the string(I usually do a light manual prestretch of the gut to eliminate coil memory, it makes life easier and less chance of a kink),with gut I normally string it as a 2 piece job, as there is less handeling of the string that way, but thats an individule preference.I always string the crosses top down as well even if the racquet you have allows bottom up,as the gut gets handled less on the top and thats where most of the hitting is. And the knots, be sure to hand pull only! Others here will tell you it is okay to pull with pliers or starting clamp, and that is fine but once every so often gut will get ruined by doing this as it can snap, and tying a good cinched up knot is possible using your fingers only, as there is no reason to over pull the knot as it will cinch up only so much, the rest puts extra stress on the string, learn the so called Parnell knot, as that cinches up nicely with your fingers.
The last couple cross strings you have to be very careful with as the string can unravel if it is overhandled, and if you do that, you will see it untwist, you would then need to retwist the string. This does not happen that much as it once did in the past, as todays guts have a coating to protect it so its less of an issue now,but can still happen so on the last couple crosses sometimes you need to pull the string all the way through each weave like you were sewing to keep the string from untwisting on the last cross string
Just be careful and you will be okay, just don't be rough with it , take your time and it will go well with no problems.If you rush, and pull hard when it kinks, and you can ruin an expensive piece of string, so take your time and go for it.

Oh, one more thing, if your machine has a diablo(nosecone), its best to use it, as it puts less stress on the string, as the tension jaws don't have to apply as much tension to hold the string, and the string will enter the tension clamp at the same angle. Also, if you have to pull a string twice for any reason, I will then wrap the gut two times around the diablo the second time as that way the tension clamp will be at a different spot on the string, so less wear is placed in one spot.I do take extra precautions, but I string a lot of nat. gut, and my jobs lasts, as I would not like these strings to snap before they should, and my gut clients knows that.Thats one of a # of reasons I have to charge extra for gut stringing labor, I can list a few good reasons for that, but thats another topic.
Once you get the hang of how the string is, you will be okay, and not be scared of it. Offering nat. gut to your clients is offering the best of the best, you just have to be careful, and pay attention to what you are doing as synthetics can take more abuse while you are stringing it.I like using the parnell knot for all the knots, and I do not use a starting knot, as I use a starting clamp to start the cross strings, and later go back and tie off with a Parnell, as it is gentler on the string, both the cross string, and the string it is tied to. Be careful and you will be okay. Good luck!!!

The pre stretch I do is only a light hand one to help eliminate coil memory. I have a heavy machine, so I just clamp one end to a machine clamp, walk back being careful the string is straight and no kinks, and gently pulling back a # of seconds until you feel the string give in somewhat. You need to get a feel for that, and the coiling will be not eliminated but reduced a decent amount.Some people use a door knob and walk back to stretch, so whatever works thats available. And also when you snip the band that holds the string in the beginning, I usually put the coil around my wrist, snip the tie, and let the string uncoil there. Less of a chance of birds nest that way.

ninjatennis
10-22-2009, 04:05 PM
always love your posts jim_e. thank you for being such a help on these boards.

jim e
10-22-2009, 04:10 PM
always love your posts jim_e. thank you for being such a help on these boards.

Thank you for saying that. Very kind of you!
This is really a nice site, and there is always very nice people posting here, trying to help others and come up with ideas and comments and thats what is it all about.

slow_duster
10-22-2009, 04:19 PM
Old string is Prince syn gut, with duraflex at 56lbs. Should I go alittle higher in tension ? I am trying to get rid of Tennis elbow. Thanks

jim e
10-22-2009, 05:26 PM
Old string is Prince syn gut, with duraflex at 56lbs. Should I go alittle higher in tension ? I am trying to get rid of Tennis elbow. Thanks

The majority of clients string their nat.gut anywheres from 2-8 lbs. more than a synthetic gut string, as nat. gut is more elastic. Its a matter of preference, but most go somewhat higher than the synthetics.

meowmix
10-22-2009, 05:42 PM
Do you have any experience with Dunlop Synthetic? On a midplus frame, how much would you advise upping the tension by for a full gut job as compared to a job with Dunlop Synthetic gut?

jim e
10-22-2009, 06:21 PM
Do you have any experience with Dunlop Synthetic? On a midplus frame, how much would you advise upping the tension by for a full gut job as compared to a job with Dunlop Synthetic gut?

You know you can get responses all over the place.

From the last year gss symposium comments like this came out:
"nat. gut is more elastic between the tension range of 50-70 lbs. where most tennis strings are strung. Therefore the gut will stretch further allowing the string to absorb more energy.It also will retain a higher % of the origional tension than any other string on the market"

50-70 lbs is a wide variance, and some go to the low end, and some take it to the max. Usually the OS frames are requesting higher tensions than the mid plus,(my personel OS racquets have 64 lbs., and my MP racquets have 61 lbs, but thats me) but the majority all have nat. gut strung somewhere higher than the syn. string that they orig. were hitting with.You may have to tinker with it, until it is right for you.I would start by going up a few lbs over your syn. gut strings and go from there.
Most will go 2-8 lbs higher, using the low end for MP and the higher end for OS, as a basic general estimate.

jmnk
10-22-2009, 07:08 PM
(BTW, since you did not state what string you are now using, if it is a poly, I would up the tension, I actually would up the tension a signif. amount if you hit with a poly, and a slight amount over your normal string if it was a multi, or syn. gut as a starting point. Many are different with reguards to this area and you can get responses all over the place, but gut hits well even at high tensions.)

You do need to take extra precautions, one of the biggest is to avoid kinks in the string(I usually do a light manual prestretch of the gut to eliminate coil memory, it makes life easier and less chance of a kink),with gut I normally string it as a 2 piece job, as there is less handeling of the string that way, but thats an individule preference.I always string the crosses top down as well even if the racquet you have allows bottom up,as the gut gets handled less on the top and thats where most of the hitting is. And the knots, be sure to hand pull only! Others here will tell you it is okay to pull with pliers or starting clamp, and that is fine but once every so often gut will get ruined by doing this as it can snap, and tying a good cinched up knot is possible using your fingers only, as there is no reason to over pull the knot as it will cinch up only so much, the rest puts extra stress on the string, learn the so called Parnell knot, as that cinches up nicely with your fingers.
The last couple cross strings you have to be very careful with as the string can unravel if it is overhandled, and if you do that, you will see it untwist, you would then need to retwist the string. This does not happen that much as it once did in the past, as todays guts have a coating to protect it so its less of an issue now,but can still happen so on the last couple crosses sometimes you need to pull the string all the way through each weave like you were sewing to keep the string from untwisting on the last cross string
Just be careful and you will be okay, just don't be rough with it , take your time and it will go well with no problems.If you rush, and pull hard when it kinks, and you can ruin an expensive piece of string, so take your time and go for it.

Oh, one more thing, if your machine has a diablo(nosecone), its best to use it, as it puts less stress on the string, as the tension jaws don't have to apply as much tension to hold the string, and the string will enter the tension clamp at the same angle. Also, if you have to pull a string twice for any reason, I will then wrap the gut two times around the diablo the second time as that way the tension clamp will be at a different spot on the string, so less wear is placed in one spot.I do take extra precautions, but I string a lot of nat. gut, and my jobs lasts, as I would not like these strings to snap before they should, and my gut clients knows that.Thats one of a # of reasons I have to charge extra for gut stringing labor, I can list a few good reasons for that, but thats another topic.
Once you get the hang of how the string is, you will be okay, and not be scared of it. Offering nat. gut to your clients is offering the best of the best, you just have to be careful, and pay attention to what you are doing as synthetics can take more abuse while you are stringing it.I like using the parnell knot for all the knots, and I do not use a starting knot, as I use a starting clamp to start the cross strings, and later go back and tie off with a Parnell, as it is gentler on the string, both the cross string, and the string it is tied to. Be careful and you will be okay. Good luck!!!

The pre stretch I do is only a light hand one to help eliminate coil memory. I have a heavy machine, so I just clamp one end to a machine clamp, walk back being careful the string is straight and no kinks, and gently pulling back a # of seconds until you feel the string give in somewhat. You need to get a feel for that, and the coiling will be not eliminated but reduced a decent amount.Some people use a door knob and walk back to stretch, so whatever works thats available. And also when you snip the band that holds the string in the beginning, I usually put the coil around my wrist, snip the tie, and let the string uncoil there. Less of a chance of birds nest that way.
I know next to nothing about stringing but I do appreciate your advice. to take time to explain in plain words and with many interesting details - many, many thanks.

alidisperanza
10-22-2009, 07:54 PM
Very eloquent post Jim.


I found a simple precaution to work the best. I usually use it for econo-guts but I could see it helping with a first time stringer.

As Jim said, be very careful as to not kink or over-handle the gut. It's a lot sturdier to work with than most would think but there are still precautions to be taken. With econo-guts, and any gut for that matter, I like to put the string through the grommet and pull the whole length of the cross through first before weaving. If you observe strings while they're being pulled, they usually twist and turn due to the friction. This gets rid of that initial little bit. Then, I usually string about half the bed in a downward motion towards the throat of the racquet. Pull the length of the string gently fanning as you go. Now, when you run the rest of the string through your mains and finally grommet, you put the least stress/twist possible on the string. As you get better and better, you'll find that the resistance due to the crosses is WAY less. I think I learned this from YULitle, so props to him!

Also, once you get to the last few crosses. TAKE YOUR TIME! the string tends to get very tight and un-ravel very easily if you don't have a good coating on your gut. Pay attention to the color of the string as well, This is the best indicator for damage!

With some patience I'm sure you'll do a bang up job! Let us know how it went!

~Ant

slow_duster
10-28-2009, 12:25 PM
Well the string job went well, I pre-streched my gut, then strung at 60lbs. I did notice my clamps made little "ghosting" marks on the string so I adjusted them alittle. Other than that things went very well. I hit with them the other day and the spin was great (great curve-ball serve). The strings are alittle stiff, will they break in? or does gut stay the same?

alidisperanza
10-28-2009, 07:17 PM
Sounds like you did a great job. I'd say ghosting on the first few jobs is a really minor set-backs. It takes a bit to get a good idea on how your personal clamps will grip the string.

Gut settles in a little bit on the frame but realistically if you took your time and strung every cross and main with care the setup should feel the same for the life of the string. Feel does changes slightly with humidity though.

slow_duster
10-29-2009, 05:22 PM
Strings broke after one hour of play. I called the store to see if the 16g had come in yet. The guy who owns the store asked me to bring in the broken section, when he saw the string he said it must have been a bad set, and gave me a replacement 16g set. I will string this set at 56lbs (60lbs felt alittle stiff). Thanks for all of the help, this is a great place for help and advice.

Richie Rich
10-29-2009, 05:39 PM
Strings broke after one hour of play. I called the store to see if the 16g had come in yet. The guy who owns the store asked me to bring in the broken section, when he saw the string he said it must have been a bad set, and gave me a replacement 16g set. I will string this set at 56lbs (60lbs felt alittle stiff). Thanks for all of the help, this is a great place for help and advice.

what brand of gut are you using?

jim e
10-29-2009, 05:46 PM
Strings broke after one hour of play. I called the store to see if the 16g had come in yet. The guy who owns the store asked me to bring in the broken section, when he saw the string he said it must have been a bad set, and gave me a replacement 16g set. I will string this set at 56lbs (60lbs felt alittle stiff). Thanks for all of the help, this is a great place for help and advice.

By any chance did you take a picture of it where it broke, so maybe some determination can be had on how it may have happened.Like a bad or cracked grommet, using an awl to make room for string, tightening knot too much, framing a ball,(this happens with gut as well to cause string to break), clamp slipping while stringing, kink formed during stringing. There could be a good # of reasons for the breakage.Sometimes you have to look close, as once on my own racquet, a gut string broke, it looked like a good grommet, but when you apply pressure on it you were able to find a very small slit in the grommet, that would open up once a string with tension on it was applied.If you used a scrap piece of string on the outside of the racquet to keep a blocked hole open like many do, with gut, you have to remove that string gently, as that can weaken the string if you just yank it out fast. There are so many causes of breakage. Sometimes its just impossible to tell exactly what happened.That is why it is so important to take your time while stringing, so no stringer error will occur, as that eliminates a good % of the problems with breakage of nat. gut.

slow_duster
10-29-2009, 06:00 PM
The string is a house brand gut (hardcore tennis) Atlanta GA. I'm pretty sure I shanked a return on a serve, the main broke right at the top of the hoop. I thought I would start out with the cheaper gut, and see how it plays.

jim e
10-29-2009, 06:16 PM
The string is a house brand gut (hardcore tennis) Atlanta GA. I'm pretty sure I shanked a return on a serve, the main broke right at the top of the hoop. I thought I would start out with the cheaper gut, and see how it plays.

When it comes to nat. gut, its always best to use a quality one, as you typically get what you pay for. A quality gut has less chance of breakage due the better quality control, and just a better quality string.Cutting corners on getting cheap nat. gut can cost you more in the long run! Very rare to get a defective set of gut from a reputable company.

slow_duster
10-29-2009, 07:08 PM
Is Tonic a good first step, or should I just bite the price bullet and get the VS ???

Richie Rich
10-30-2009, 03:42 AM
When it comes to nat. gut, its always best to use a quality one, as you typically get what you pay for. A quality gut has less chance of breakage due the better quality control, and just a better quality string.Cutting corners on getting cheap nat. gut can cost you more in the long run! Very rare to get a defective set of gut from a reputable company.

Amen

Is Tonic a good first step, or should I just bite the price bullet and get the VS ???

Not a bad gut to start with

wrxtotoro
10-30-2009, 09:07 AM
Is Tonic a good first step, or should I just bite the price bullet and get the VS ???

Get some clear nail polish and put a drop on the knots... Sometimes I put a drop on some possible weak spot as well... Just take your time and you will be fine. I usually spend an hour or two over a bottle of red wine. :twisted:

I have done a few dozens of Klip 17/18/VS/Pacific/Prince/Gaucho NG string jobs. The only brand that broke prematurely is the Prince (2 sets)...

I know one guy who is master stringer and he got a set of Boris Becker 16L broke in the bag as well...

slow_duster
10-31-2009, 11:44 AM
I love 16g at 56lbs, I hit with my ball machine for about 20 mins (before the rain started) Felt great. Strings had nice pop, great feel, I will have to adjust to the power, but overall great feelings. Now I will have to see how long it last. Thanks to all of you for your help.