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View Full Version : Stringing up a wood racquet


kensan
05-01-2010, 08:34 AM
Just finished this in preparation for a wood racquet only tournament I'm playing in soon:

http://kore.webfactional.com/ifl/pub/small.jpg

I was working off of this picture http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-76521722403664_2104_28180770

but the last mains on either side didn't look right, so I kinda faked it.

I think I missed a main on either side. I don't suppose anyone has any definitive stringing instructions before I throw some of my favorite poly in here? I was also considering a set of gut...

Mansewerz
05-01-2010, 09:14 AM
You pull this off on a Stringway machine?

LttlElvis
05-01-2010, 09:46 AM
For some reason, I remember on the outside mains on many wood racquets, that they weren't perfectly parallel with the other mains and flared to the throat. I believe the original picture with the broken strings is strung correctly.

Look at your string at the outside of the frame at the 2 o'clock position. It needs to go in a groove or it will snap.

jswinf
05-01-2010, 09:47 AM
Looks good. You can consider yourself the definitive expert on this racket now. Maybe some of the graybeards in the Classic Racquets sub-forum might have some input...

JavierP.R
05-01-2010, 10:40 AM
Where is this tournament? Sounds like fun!

genius24
05-01-2010, 11:51 AM
thats awesome man....an all wood racquet tournament. would love to watch this live somehow. would also be interesting to see the difference in the level of play. good luck. in it.

kensan
05-01-2010, 12:07 PM
You pull this off on a Stringway machine?

Hehheh someone noticed my subtle plug;-) You betcha!

kensan
05-01-2010, 12:09 PM
Where is this tournament? Sounds like fun!

It's in Chicago. I'm getting pretty pumped for it actually! In a no-pressure, just-for-fun, nostalgic kinda way:)

schenkelini
05-01-2010, 12:13 PM
Hey that's my racket. I mean that is the racket I started with in the 70's. It is one awsome frame. I wouldn't use anything but gut in it. I used to use VS. You need tubing in the bottom if you use gut. From what I remember the stringing looks correct, but that has been a long time.

kensan
05-01-2010, 12:13 PM
thats awesome man....an all wood racquet tournament. would love to watch this live somehow. would also be interesting to see the difference in the level of play. good luck. in it.

Right, definitely looking forward to seeing more net play. It's played on really fast indoor courts too.

kensan
05-01-2010, 12:14 PM
For some reason, I remember on the outside mains on many wood racquets, that they weren't perfectly parallel with the other mains and flared to the throat. I believe the original picture with the broken strings is strung correctly.

Look at your string at the outside of the frame at the 2 o'clock position. It needs to go in a groove or it will snap.

Good catch, I'll firstly try not to scratch it on the ground during net play, and secondly figure out how to put that in a groove when I restring it, possibly tonite if I don't like the set up. Thanks for the insight!

kensan
05-01-2010, 12:16 PM
Hey that's my racket. I mean that is the racket I started with in the 70's. It is one awsome frame. I wouldn't use anything but gut in it. I used to use VS. You need tubing in the bottom if you use gut. From what I remember the stringing looks correct, but that has been a long time.

I've got a set of vs tonic+ I was thinking to use, but I definitely do not have any tubing. Ah well.

Centered
05-01-2010, 12:19 PM
I'm a solid baseliner with wood.

Plenty of people did well at the baseline with wood racquets. Tilden, who holds the record for winning percentage preferred the baseline, even when most tournaments were on grass. Wills Moody is another example.

One nice thing about wood racquets is that angles are easier to produce, so passing shots can be pretty lethal against net rushers. But, it is true that today's giant light racquets with poly string and hard courts don't favor serve and volley at all.

kensan
05-01-2010, 12:24 PM
I've been reading some old books about tennis recently, Kramer's, Ken Rosewall's, and Rod Laver's, it's kinda cool to try to feel what they went through in their era.

Centered
05-01-2010, 12:26 PM
I should say angles are easier to produce with flattish strokes. The crazy heavy topspin angles today's racquets and poly can produce are another thing entirely.

jim e
05-01-2010, 06:00 PM
I've got a set of vs tonic+ I was thinking to use, but I definitely do not have any tubing. Ah well.

I see that you left the pads out at the throat. Those were not an option, as it kept the string going straighter through the frame at the throat area, so if you restring this , especially with gut you should put them back. If you do not have them just cut a small piece of leather or rawhide lace for this, as it should be there on most wooden racquets with any string.

You do not have to tube using gut on a wooden racquet. I strung a lot of gut back in the 60's- early 70's,, as nat. gut was very very popular back then, and never tubed wooden racquets.Only racquet needing tubing using gut back then was the T 2000. (A metal racquet)
The end mains on a good % of wooden racquets were designed not to be straight. Some wooden racquets like the TAD had the end main skip at the head and throat, but the bulk of them only skipped a hole with the end mains at the throat only (9T) . You should have seen this with the grooves at the head.

The way you placed the string at the head, the string looks like it is not in the groove and sticks out.The string goes into these grooves. I remember with worn racquets to make the string sit so not sticking out when the wood got worn down, I had to chisel out the groove deeper to accomodate the string, and take a scrap string and pull it back and forth fast to burn in the groove so it was smooth, and this allowed the string to sit in the groove properly again.(brings back memories)
Anyways, those grooves are there for a reason , to accomdate the strings. There are not many wooden racquet patterns, as most are similar. Just follow the groove pattern for your racquet.

General wooden pattern:
Pattern: 18 × 20
Tension range: 45-60
Start mains @: H
Tie off mains @: 6T
Mains skip: 9T
Start crosses @: 7H
Last cross @: 7T
Tie off crosses @: 6H, 5T
Many wooden racquets share a common stringing method. Others can be strung with variations on this method, like the Tad skipping 9H as well as 9T, but you can see variations with these racquets by the grooves in the racquet.
If you want to string as one piece then, Zig-zag (5 hole) groove will accommodate short side.These grooves are not standardized, so you may need to pre string loosly with some to determine the proper short side.I always strung them as 2 piece, especially with gut, as Bow Brand back then came in 2- 17' pieces to one set of strings.

kensan
05-01-2010, 08:53 PM
Wow, thanks for the info, Jim e! I'm gonna use it!

Mansewerz
05-01-2010, 09:36 PM
Hehheh someone noticed my subtle plug;-) You betcha!

No extra measures needed? The stringway held it nicely?

Lakers4Life
05-01-2010, 09:39 PM
What about shared holes?

Steve Huff
05-01-2010, 10:33 PM
I think the racket you showed in the picture is not strung quite right. I think you left out the bottom cross. When stringing a wood racket, first look at the holed on the outer side of the frame at around 2 and 10 o'clokck. You'll notice they are different. The zig-zag holes are the short side. You don't skip any holes at the top (as you did on this racket) and skip only 1 at the throat (hole #9). This gives the outer mains an outward slant toward the bottom. Tie off the 9th main on the short side. There's a groove telling you exactly where to place the string and tie the knot. ON the long side, take the string down from the exit point (10gh H) to the 7th hole and start the crosses at the bottom there. Of course, this will be a shared hole whick wil be easiy.

kensan
05-02-2010, 06:41 AM
No extra measures needed? The stringway held it nicely?

Nothing to report, smooth sailing.

jim e
05-02-2010, 06:50 AM
Follow the pattern that I listed above.(Post # 16)

You not only missed the bottom cross as Steve pointed out, but also eliminated an end main on each side, as the pattern is an 18 x 20, meaning 18 main strings and 20 cross strings.You strung it as a 16 x 19. String it up as normal, and with the last end main, you do not skip the top head end hole, but you do skip 9T.
Shared holes are not much of an issue.
The shared holes will be: Shared Holes: 7T, 8T, 10T & 7H, 8H, 10H.
This is true for many wooden racquets, but with some exceptions, like the TAD and some others that skip 9H as well as 9T (so that can change a shared hole), where as most , like this racquet of yours that just skips the 9T only for skipped holes.So your racquet will have the shared holes I listed above. The shared holes become very obvious once you get going.
Just follow this below and string it as a 2 piece as then you will have no issues, remember to use the pads at the throat like origionally were there, and follow this pattern below: ( Also VS gut would be great in a racquet like this!!!)

I hit with my TAD about 1 1/2 years ago, and I strung that one up in 1971 with Bow Brand Natural Gut. It still plays nice, and strings still look great after all those years.

General wooden pattern:
Pattern: 18 × 20
Tension range: 45-60
Start mains @: H
Tie off mains @: 6T
Mains skip: 9T
Start crosses @: 7H
Last cross @: 7T
Tie off crosses @: 6H, 5T

Steve Huff
05-05-2010, 06:37 PM
Yes, Jim's instructions are correct. If you count, you'll see that you have only 19 crosses also.

kensan
05-05-2010, 09:21 PM
Alrite! I think I got it right this time. Ignoring the fact that 1) I had no leather to make proper power pads and 2) I horror of horrors used modern age string with classic equipment;-)...I think I got it right this time. Thanks again for the help!

http://kore.webfactional.com/ifl/pub/wood1small.jpg
http://kore.webfactional.com/ifl/pub/wood2small.jpg
http://kore.webfactional.com/ifl/pub/wood3small.jpg

I must admit it feels good to not have those strings sticking out at the top, and having them snug within those grooves in the frame.

tennytive
10-27-2011, 05:00 AM
Looks great.

I'm also interested in restringing an old wooden racket, so I'm glad I found this thread. Thanks jim e for your tips and info. Thanks also to Irwin for his videos. I have a Kramer Autograph on the way to me and hope your pattern will fit the racket.

In the meantime I wanted to restring a Wilson Stan Smith Slammer I picked up recently. However the pattern used by whoever strung the racket last skips 9h and 8t, which accounts for the angled last mains. They also used only 16 mains instead of the 18 you describe in your pattern.

http://i41.tinypic.com/250i9z9.jpg

Can I cut these out and skip 9t as you recommend? Or is there another pattern that skips the 8th main at the bottom that I should use instead?
It almost appears that whoever strung this one was short on string and angled those last two mains to make up for it.

One last question… I don't suppose there's any way to find any of the blue/white spiral nylon string used back then is there?

Thanks for any assistance.

jim e
10-27-2011, 05:56 AM
Looks great.

I'm also interested in restringing an old wooden racket, so I'm glad I found this thread. Thanks jim e for your tips and info. Thanks also to Irwin for his videos. I have a Kramer Autograph on the way to me and hope your pattern will fit the racket.

In the meantime I wanted to restring a Wilson Stan Smith Slammer I picked up recently. However the pattern used by whoever strung the racket last skips 9h and 8t, which accounts for the angled last mains. They also used only 16 mains instead of the 18 you describe in your pattern.

http://i41.tinypic.com/250i9z9.jpg

Can I cut these out and skip 9t as you recommend? Or is there another pattern that skips the 8th main at the bottom that I should use instead?
It almost appears that whoever strung this one was short on string and angled those last two mains to make up for it.

One last question… I don't suppose there's any way to find any of the blue/white spiral nylon string used back then is there?

Thanks for any assistance.

There should be 18 main strings.
Follow the pattern I listed earlier, and when you get to the end mains which would be the 9th main on each side, look at the top of the racquet, as there are cut grooves for the string to sit into.Some racquets skip both the top and bottom holes , but most only skip the bottom only which is 9T. It will be more obvious once you get to that point, as the groove in the racquet will dictate how that end main will go at the head of racquet, as I said most likely you will skip 9T only, but some will skip 9H as well, just look at the groove pattern at the top of the racquet.

Babolat Nvy looks similar to the old blue spiral, as far as looks are. I do have a lot of the old string that dates over 40 years ago. It will most likely be okay to use, but because of its age, you may be best to get new string and forget about such an older string.
If you really want I have a reel of a blue spiral, it is VANTAGE 2 made by ashaway, BUT is over 40 years old, if you want some e-mail me, but I would really recommend a newer string to be safe, as I would not want that to snap on you, and the babolat NVY looks very similar and would look and play well in a racquet as such, also back in the day, a non spiral string was used that looks like any natural color syn. gut of today.

tennytive
10-27-2011, 06:37 AM
There should be 18 main strings.
Follow the pattern I listed earlier, and when you get to the end mains which would be the 9th main on each side, look at the top of the racquet, as there are cut grooves for the string to sit into.Some racquets skip both the top and bottom holes , but most only skip the bottom only which is 9T. It will be more obvious once you get to that point, as the groove in the racquet will dictate how that end main will go at the head of racquet, as I said most likely you will skip 9T only, but some will skip 9H as well, just look at the groove pattern at the top of the racquet.

Babolat Nvy looks similar to the old blue spiral, as far as looks are. I do have a lot of the old string that dates over 40 years ago. It will most likely be okay to use, but because of its age, you may be best to get new string and forget about such an older string.
If you really want I have a reel of a blue spiral, it is VANTAGE 2 made by ashaway, BUT is over 40 years old, if you want some e-mail me, but I would really recommend a newer string to be safe, as I would not want that to snap on you, and the babolat NVY looks very similar and would look and play well in a racquet as such, also back in the day, a non spiral string was used that looks like any natural color syn. gut of today.

Thanks jim e.

I'll try your method with skipping just 9t and see how that lines up. 18 mains would look so much better than what's in there now.

Appreciate the offer for the strings you mentioned, but will try some white nylon and should be good to go. I'll keep the others in mind for future consideration.

As usual, your input is well thought out and very helpful.

lstewart
10-27-2011, 11:09 AM
Wow... the Spaulding World Open. Had a couple of those strung with gut with the tubing mentioned. Crazy... was probably about 1981 or so, and I was switching back between the wood Spaulding and the Prince 110 Pro. What a change! I think I still have one of the World Open's laying around with the same gut, but with several string breaks. I had some creative string jobs back in those days. I used to string those type rackets with multiple pieces of string, since you could pretty much start and stop at many places on the frames. Took one of the old wood frames out a year or two ago and hit some balls to my wife. Whew...... what a difference. Not sure i could win a game off someone at my level playing with one if the friend was using a modern racket.