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View Full Version : Lubricate strings? More spins?


2Hare
07-15-2011, 02:06 AM
Sorry if this is old:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-new-physics-of-tennis/8339/

Seems like lubricating strings help to rejuvenate the spin of the string. I tried lubricating my gut/poly hybrid, the gut main does seem to snap back much easier now after it. haven't hit with it yet though. Anyone tried it?

pvaudio
07-15-2011, 04:25 AM
I rarely say this, but, please do use the search. There is at least a thread a week on this topic.

TimothyO
07-15-2011, 05:15 AM
It is old but well worth repeating.

You don't need to lube the strings. A low friction hybrid will do the job just as well and without the mess or questionable effects on the ball!

I've found gut mains on smooth copoly crosses in the high 40s to low 50s work best. Lower and control suffers. Higher and you lock up the string bed. Full coply in the mid to high 40s is good too but doesn't offer the range of feel of gut/ copoly hybrid.

GlenK
07-15-2011, 07:12 AM
It is old but well worth repeating.

You don't need to lube the strings. A low friction hybrid will do the job just as well and without the mess or questionable effects on the ball!

I've found gut mains on smooth copoly crosses in the high 40s to low 50s work best. Lower and control suffers. Higher and you lock up the string bed. Full coply in the mid to high 40s is good too but doesn't offer the range of feel of gut/ copoly hybrid.


Exactly my experience!! I like both at 1.25mm too..

Ronaldo
07-15-2011, 08:04 AM
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/spinandlube.php

Kaz00
07-15-2011, 08:34 AM
I've heard South Americans would sand down their strings to give it a little more bite.

MesQueUnClub
07-15-2011, 08:52 AM
I've heard South Americans would sand down their strings to give it a little more bite.
I've also heard they glue baby piranha teeth to natural gut to add more bite and spin while maintaining good power.

sepidoel
07-15-2011, 09:57 AM
The next question is what lubrication is best suited for this? Obviously WD40 is not the answer although it gives good result.

I always used multi whether full-bed or hybrid setup, and my stringer used to apply candle's wax onto the string prior to stringing. I felt good about it despite there was still noticeable movement (I suspect the combination of Polystar Energy and Prince Premier was the cause, rather than "the wax didn't work").

However one side effect I just noticed is some of the wax might transfered to the grip via my own hand, made it slippery quite fast. Two possible ways I can think of are by directly touched the string to realign it and by touching the ball that already contaminated.

So, is there any suggestion?

2Hare
07-15-2011, 10:01 AM
It is old but well worth repeating.

You don't need to lube the strings. A low friction hybrid will do the job just as well and without the mess or questionable effects on the ball!

I've found gut mains on smooth copoly crosses in the high 40s to low 50s work best. Lower and control suffers. Higher and you lock up the string bed. Full coply in the mid to high 40s is good too but doesn't offer the range of feel of gut/ copoly hybrid.

Thanks, I string my hybrid around low to mid 50s with gut main a few pounds higher, and the gut main seems to increase in friction quite fast and the ball start flying. I tried stringing it slightly lower and it had a bit too much power. That's why I decided to lubricate it, and it seems to work!

2Hare
07-15-2011, 10:01 AM
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/spinandlube.php

awesome! thanks!

2Hare
07-15-2011, 10:04 AM
I rarely say this, but, please do use the search. There is at least a thread a week on this topic.

really? I've never seen one, I'll go check them out thanks

wrxtotoro
07-15-2011, 10:57 AM
Thanks, I string my hybrid around low to mid 50s with gut main a few pounds higher, and the gut main seems to increase in friction quite fast and the ball start flying. I tried stringing it slightly lower and it had a bit too much power. That's why I decided to lubricate it, and it seems to work!

Yep. It work... I rub some baby oil on gut and it seems to make the more spin friendly.

Kaz00
07-15-2011, 02:08 PM
I've also heard they glue baby piranha teeth to natural gut to add more bite and spin while maintaining good power.

Omg?! No way I have to totally try this! :P

2Hare
07-16-2011, 12:29 AM
Yep. It work... I rub some baby oil on gut and it seems to make the more spin friendly.

worn gut has so much frictions, so baby oil works best for you? have you tried other lubricant?

ATP100
07-16-2011, 03:22 AM
The next time your string feels dead, or the strings won't go back in place (doesn't matter what kind) put the cheapest hand lotion on them, just enough to get the strings wet, move strings around, realign. You will be surprised.

wrxtotoro
07-16-2011, 09:17 AM
worn gut has so much frictions, so baby oil works best for you? have you tried other lubricant?

I don't know if it's the best thing but its cheap in walmart!!

Anyone tried those teflon spray yet?

2Hare
07-17-2011, 11:17 PM
I don't know if it's the best thing but its cheap in walmart!!

Anyone tried those teflon spray yet?

teflon spray? I would try it if it wasn't for the health concerns about teflon. what about Mira-fit like the one they use in japanese study? anyone knows where you can get those in north america?

TimothyO
07-18-2011, 06:09 AM
worn gut has so much frictions, so baby oil works best for you? have you tried other lubricant?

With a smooth poly cross I've found spin increases as the SB ages. I have at least 30 hours or more on my PSLGT gut/poly and it's amazing. Still perfect control but amazing spin. On a good WW forehand I can hear the zinging thwappy sound as the gut mains rip and snap back into place and the ball takes a crazy spinny arc.

Ronaldo
07-18-2011, 06:58 AM
Could just tube the mains

sepidoel
07-18-2011, 09:05 AM
The next time your string feels dead, or the strings won't go back in place (doesn't matter what kind) put the cheapest hand lotion on them, just enough to get the strings wet, move strings around, realign. You will be surprised.

I deeply thank you, Sir. This is one of the most useful lessons I got from TT. What I used was old (probably already expired) Vaseline for dry skin lotion, and now I'm addicted to apply that to my stringbed.

To do it, first I unaligned my stringbed (all mains and crosses), then I rubbed one press (at most) of the lotion to the stringbed using my palm before I realigned the stringbed.

I just tried it a few hours ago and the lotion truly helped the string movement back like new.

My next question is, what is the most slippery lotion? Preferably cheap and common one.

Ronaldo
07-18-2011, 09:12 AM
I deeply thank you, Sir. This is one of the most useful lessons I got from TT. What I used was old (probably already expired) Vaseline for dry skin lotion, and now I'm addicted to apply that to my stringbed.

To do it, first I unaligned my stringbed (all mains and crosses), then I rubbed one press (at most) of the lotion to the stringbed using my palm before I realigned the stringbed.

I just tried it a few hours ago and the lotion truly helped the string movement back like new.

My next question is, what is the most slippery lotion? Preferably cheap and common one.

Used Motion Lotion in the past.

6-2/6-4/6-0
07-18-2011, 09:19 AM
Just as a quick point, WD-40 is not a lubricant - it is a de-greaser. We see the same mistake in the cycling industry all the time with people thinking that it's a lubricant. It works in the short term for a test like this because it is wet on the strings, but a true lubricant will be able to reduce friction even once it has 'dried'. For something like lubricating strings, I would think that a 'dry' chain lubricant for a bicycle (Pedro's Dry Lube) would be very effective. They tend to be wax-based and have very good durability and adhesion properties. The only question would be whether the solvent that the lubricant is suspended in would damage or weaken the sheath/outer layers of the string - though since it is safe for skin contact I doubt this would be the case...

sepidoel
07-18-2011, 09:30 AM
Used Motion Lotion in the past.

O.O
That's actually a good idea, but can it still lubricate after hours or days being applied?

Just as a quick point, WD-40 is not a lubricant - it is a de-greaser. We see the same mistake in the cycling industry all the time with people thinking that it's a lubricant. It works in the short term for a test like this because it is wet on the strings, but a true lubricant will be able to reduce friction even once it has 'dried'. For something like lubricating strings, I would think that a 'dry' chain lubricant for a bicycle (Pedro's Dry Lube) would be very effective. They tend to be wax-based and have very good durability and adhesion properties. The only question would be whether the solvent that the lubricant is suspended in would damage or weaken the sheath/outer layers of the string - though since it is safe for skin contact I doubt this would be the case...

Never heard of dry lubricant before. Definitely worth trying.

Thanks for sharing. :)

ATP100
07-18-2011, 10:43 AM
I deeply thank you, Sir. This is one of the most useful lessons I got from TT. What I used was old (probably already expired) Vaseline for dry skin lotion, and now I'm addicted to apply that to my stringbed.

To do it, first I unaligned my stringbed (all mains and crosses), then I rubbed one press (at most) of the lotion to the stringbed using my palm before I realigned the stringbed.

I just tried it a few hours ago and the lotion truly helped the string movement back like new.

My next question is, what is the most slippery lotion? Preferably cheap and common one.

Just use cheap lotion from your local department store, usually walmart in US.

P.S. Don't tell your friends, they won't believe you.

LOL

2Hare
07-19-2011, 02:04 PM
Just as a quick point, WD-40 is not a lubricant - it is a de-greaser. We see the same mistake in the cycling industry all the time with people thinking that it's a lubricant. It works in the short term for a test like this because it is wet on the strings, but a true lubricant will be able to reduce friction even once it has 'dried'. For something like lubricating strings, I would think that a 'dry' chain lubricant for a bicycle (Pedro's Dry Lube) would be very effective. They tend to be wax-based and have very good durability and adhesion properties. The only question would be whether the solvent that the lubricant is suspended in would damage or weaken the sheath/outer layers of the string - though since it is safe for skin contact I doubt this would be the case...

Wow, thanks a lot man! Definitely trying that, as baby oil is killing my balls haha.

fortun8son
07-19-2011, 03:14 PM
Another popular, wax-based cycle lube is FinishLine Clean Ride/White Lightning

pvaudio
07-19-2011, 05:01 PM
Indeed it is true about WD40. People assume that since it's used to loosen joints and stop squeaks that it's actually a lubricant. It's actually intended to displace water, hence the W and D. Twice a year I apply liquid graphite to my stringing machine's rails (it's ultra fine graphite powder, think pencil dust), and it's by far the slickest thing I've encountered, and is completely inert so it doesn't damage anything. Unfortunately, I'm not positive that it would work in the slightest on tennis strings, and is very expensive.

mixedmedia
07-19-2011, 05:08 PM
I think I used to use that graphite stuff to make the wheels spin better on small model race cars. It may work on strings, but for some reason I have my doubts. Maybe I don't trust it because I never won a race!

fortun8son
07-19-2011, 05:17 PM
Graphite is great for slow moving, precision, metal parts like locks.
Teflon or synthetic grease is better for higher speeds
Wax is probably best for strings (that is usually the main ingredient in hand lotions)
Watch out for Lanolin. Too slippery!

2Hare
07-19-2011, 09:14 PM
Graphite is great for slow moving, precision, metal parts like locks.
Teflon or synthetic grease is better for higher speeds
Wax is probably best for strings (that is usually the main ingredient in hand lotions)
Watch out for Lanolin. Too slippery!

that's a lot of great info, thank! do you lubricate the strings yourself? how well does that work for u?

pvaudio
07-19-2011, 09:20 PM
If anyone is wondering what I'm talking about, then here:

http://www.greenchem.com/058drygraplu.html

And mixedmedia, that's how I have some. I used to race RC cars, and that stuff is commonly used for a number of applications.

fortun8son
07-19-2011, 09:27 PM
Sounds like great stuff! Maybe it would work for strings!
And, no. I don't lube strings(except for some Chapstik to get past blocked holes), but I heard tell...

Ronaldo
07-20-2011, 06:07 AM
Graphite is great for slow moving, precision, metal parts like locks.
Teflon or synthetic grease is better for higher speeds
Wax is probably best for strings (that is usually the main ingredient in hand lotions)
Watch out for Lanolin. Too slippery!

Can you wax your strings on the changeovers? Whip out a bar of wax and get busy.

2Hare
07-20-2011, 11:07 AM
If anyone is wondering what I'm talking about, then here:

http://www.greenchem.com/058drygraplu.html

And mixedmedia, that's how I have some. I used to race RC cars, and that stuff is commonly used for a number of applications.

I'll put that on the my try list too, thanks! someone gotta do playtests of lubricants someday. I've tried baby oil, it works, but it wear off too fast and makes the balls dirty.

mixedmedia
07-20-2011, 11:20 AM
If anyone is wondering what I'm talking about, then here:

http://www.greenchem.com/058drygraplu.html

And mixedmedia, that's how I have some. I used to race RC cars, and that stuff is commonly used for a number of applications.

Ahh, I see. I almost want to try it since I went and found the tube in an old toolbox, but I probably won't since I hit flatter shots anyway.

2Hare
07-21-2011, 03:05 PM
If anyone is wondering what I'm talking about, then here:

http://www.greenchem.com/058drygraplu.html

And mixedmedia, that's how I have some. I used to race RC cars, and that stuff is commonly used for a number of applications.

I've checked out some local graphite based sprayed on lubricants, seems like they are toxic. is this non-toxic?

2Hare
07-21-2011, 08:31 PM
ok I've tried bike lube, worse than baby oil. grease up the ball like crazy and and smell worse than baby oil. I guess I'll try hand lotion next!

pvaudio
07-21-2011, 09:44 PM
Used Motion Lotion in the past.
This is really awkward lol

Ronaldo
07-22-2011, 12:02 AM
ok I've tried bike lube, worse than baby oil. grease up the ball like crazy and and smell worse than baby oil. I guess I'll try hand lotion next!

And this is not awkward?

2Hare
08-11-2011, 11:34 PM
Ok, after trying bike lubes, baby oil, body lotion, and finger ease, I think I'm ready to give some feedbacks. body lotion and finger ease work the best. my setups are gut main poly crosses on blx90 and a few other frames.

1. Bike lubes and baby oil are simply unsuitable for lubricating strings as they grease up the balls so much so they are almost unplayable. Plus once that happens, the string stop sliding much again.

2. body/hand lotion and finger ease both revitalize the string beds well. sure not as good as new string setup, but I'm damn impressed about how much they make strings spinny and gripping cupping the balls again. Here's the breakdown.

Hand lotion: cheap, easy solution that smells good too! applied it with my palms, and then pulled on the mains to coat the sliding part of the gut main. On the court, it works well for a few hours. reapplying the lotion bring the strings back to life again.

Finger ease: slightly more expensive, but easy to apply as you can just spray it all over strings. it's a product designed to work with gut strings in the first place, so without saying, it works very well, I would say more than the lotion. I think it lasts about as long as the hand lotion when applied generously.

Please let me know if u think there are better lubricant for tennis strings out there, thanks =)

pvaudio
08-12-2011, 06:44 AM
And this is not awkward?
Hah, touche!

AR15
08-12-2011, 01:19 PM
I prefer Astroglide :)

bruintennis
08-12-2011, 02:25 PM
interesting thread. i'll have to try the hand lotion trick.

ATP100
07-02-2012, 11:31 AM
Easy answer: OOPS

Fuji
07-02-2012, 12:41 PM
I'm going to be trying some hand lotion once my sticks get back from the stringer... I'm interested to see how it will work on full poly beds!

-Fuji

Hi I'm Ray
07-02-2012, 05:27 PM
Hopefully, "Break Point" won't catch onto this thread and turn it into another mess. http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=429279

Buford T Justice
02-04-2013, 01:55 PM
The next time your string feels dead, or the strings won't go back in place (doesn't matter what kind) put the cheapest hand lotion on them, just enough to get the strings wet, move strings around, realign. You will be surprised.

With the advent of the Steam 99s and all the string chatter, this topic popped back up on my radar.

Honestly, if ATP100 is still here, I'd like to send him a Valentines card and a dozen roses! This trick works incredibly well on the Steam 99s. I tried it out today and on some strings that were about halfway cooked, and I swear to you all that the string bed felt like a fresh string job again (and the strings were once again returning to their normal resting positions). The control and excessive spin returned. This is a fantastic and very cheap idea for this frame. The results lasted for about 90 minutes (one very long tiebreak set) after which I merely applied another small amount to the string bed and poof......it played "fresh" once again. This is a really really good find for this frame IMO.

Plus, if you pick your hand lotion carefully, you can smell nice:)

Also, I did not notice any ill effects on the balls as they don't seen to pick up the lotion, at least not to any significant degree.

S&V Specialist
03-23-2013, 11:16 AM
With the advent of the Steam 99s and all the string chatter, this topic popped back up on my radar.

Honestly, if ATP100 is still here, I'd like to send him a Valentines card and a dozen roses! This trick works incredibly well on the Steam 99s. I tried it out today and on some strings that were about halfway cooked, and I swear to you all that the string bed felt like a fresh string job again (and the strings were once again returning to their normal resting positions). The control and excessive spin returned. This is a fantastic and very cheap idea for this frame. The results lasted for about 90 minutes (one very long tiebreak set) after which I merely applied another small amount to the string bed and poof......it played "fresh" once again. This is a really really good find for this frame IMO.

Plus, if you pick your hand lotion carefully, you can smell nice:)

Also, I did not notice any ill effects on the balls as they don't seen to pick up the lotion, at least not to any significant degree.

I have found the same result on almost any racquet that has poly strings in it using hand lotion. I apply it every changeover and instantly it feels like I am using a fresh string job. Such a great idea!

fortun8son
03-24-2013, 01:09 AM
Someone mentioned in another thread that SEXWAX surfboard wax works well. There are some soft snowboard/ski waxes that would probably work, too.