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Muppet
03-04-2012, 11:37 AM
Could someone give me some steps to follow in checking a racquet for structural integrity, before attempting to string it?

TIA

jim e
03-04-2012, 11:56 AM
Could someone give me some steps to follow in checking a racquet for structural integrity, before attempting to string it?

TIA

I have seen fractures in the hoop of a racquet at the 2:00 and 10:00 areas.
Also at the throat area where the throat piece meets the racquet area, the 5:00 and 7:00 areas.
Also seen fracture in the actual neck of the racquet , yes the heavy part below the throat area. Some people put the racquet through a lot of abuse, so the more racquet rash the more diligent you have to look before you take that racquet.

Some O Port racquets like the speedport red, has a weak throat grommet where the string can pull right through the grommet as the grommet has no support from the racquet frame at all.Its a very poor design, and I am surprised that an engineer could have developed such a thing.

Also another good place to look is not only the grommets intrgrity, but also the frame where the grommet goes through, as some racquets have the hole of the racquet where the grommet goes through worn oblong as previous stringer used tubing on a broken grommet and the tube and string worn the opening of the hole where the grommet goes through, and even replacing grommets at that point is too late. Usually you see this at the bottom throat area aroung the 5:00 and 7:00 areas.Seen that many times.

This needs to be pointed out to client before you begin to even cut the strings out.Some racquets just get old and sometimes you are asked to string something that is best to be replaced, you can string those as long as you inform the client.

Muppet
03-04-2012, 12:11 PM
I have seen fractures in the hoop of a racquet at the 2:00 and 10:00 areas.
Also at the throat area where the throat piece meets the racquet area, the 5:00 and 7:00 areas.
Also seen fracture in the actual neck of the racquet , yes the heavy part below the throat area. Some people put the racquet through a lot of abuse, so the more racquet rash the more diligent you have to look before you take that racquet.

Some O Port racquets like the speedport red, has a weak throat grommet where the string can pull right through the grommet as the grommet has no support from the racquet frame at all.Its a very poor design, and I am surprised that an engineer could have developed such a thing.

Also another good place to look is not only the grommets intrgrity, but also the frame where the grommet goes through, as some racquets have the hole of the racquet where the grommet goes through worn oblong as previous stringer used tubing on a broken grommet and the tube and string worn the opening of the hole where the grommet goes through, and even replacing grommets at that point is too late. Usually you see this at the bottom throat area aroung the 5:00 and 7:00 areas.Seen that many times.

This needs to be pointed out to client before you begin to even cut the strings out.Some racquets just get old and sometimes you are asked to string something that is best to be replaced, you can string those as long as you inform the client.

jim e

If I see a spot where a grommet was blown out by tubing, is it acceptable to use teflon tubing there?

Also, can you find structural damage by tapping the frame and listening for vibrations? How do you usually find hot spots? Does removing the string make it easier to determine where there's damage?

jim e
03-04-2012, 03:09 PM
jim e

If I see a spot where a grommet was blown out by tubing, is it acceptable to use teflon tubing there?

Also, can you find structural damage by tapping the frame and listening for vibrations? How do you usually find hot spots? Does removing the string make it easier to determine where there's damage?

I usually use a single grommet replacement.
Very simple to do.
Biggest issue is sometimes a small piece or pieces of the old grommet breaks and the sections fall into the racquet frame and rattles.
If the butt cap has a trap door your all set, if not you need to remove the overgrip if it has one, then the grip and take butt cap off and shake out the pieces. Its no big issue, but just takes more time.

If you want to replace a single grommet you place a grommet grinder into the grommet from the outside side of racquet turning it clockwise as you feel it cut the grommet away from the strip and try to remove it from the inside with needle nose pliers, then pull the grinder out of the hole turning it counterclockwise.Replace it with appropriate size grommet and trim to match the others and done. It really is simple, but if pieces fall inside it does then take a little more time. You can get many replacement size grommets at TW, and if you have any old grommet sets it is possible to utilize those buy cutting and shapping to fit properly.Individule ones sold by TW look and fit well if you chose the proper size.

I try to stay away from tubing if possible, especially on tie off holes, as I never tried to get 2 tubes into one grommet opening.If you like tubing that fine as it does work, I just find either grommet set or single grommet replacement looks better and lasts for a longer duration.

Problem with some racquets is the hole in the racquet where the grommet goes is worn oblong and no tube or grommet will fix that issue (that is what I was referring to earlier, as when I see that I tell the client if they want it strung its their issue and that I recommend it is new racquet time) .

You can tap on the racquet, but it does not always tell you things, but one time I was able to tell there was a cracked butt cap with tapping and hearing the noise. It took me a while to narrow it down to that after tapping for some time, so I guess tapping can help, but visulal is your best bet.

Best to inspect the grommets before you cut them and after you cut them.
Once I cut out grommets and then checked (I forgot to before I cut them out) , they all looked fine, and when I was stringing a grommet opened up when under tension of string where grommet was split, and it ruined a set of VS gut, so things still do happen, as that small split was really not that visable with strings cut out, and was very visable once a string with tension was applied.I now always check before I cut as well as after strings are cut out.

Muppet
03-04-2012, 03:53 PM
Thanks for your help jim e.

COPEY
03-04-2012, 08:15 PM
This needs to be pointed out to client before you begin to even cut the strings out.

Just wanted to put emphasis on this point in particular that jim made in his post. I work with a high school senior who hits with an Exo 3 Blue. He broke a string during one of our sessions, so he gave his racquet to me to restring. When I was ready to string it, I cut the old strings out, secured it on the machine, and was ready to go. Just as I about to pull tension to start the mains, I noticed a crack around the 10 o'clock position. This kid's forehand is a weapon, and he's able to generate both heavy spin and power on that side. Course, he mishits his fair share of balls as well, which is how he cracked the frame I'm sure.

The racquet was less than 6 months old, but the Exo3 Blues have a history of cracking. As jim said, be sure to inspect the racquet (even if it doesn't look to be very old) before you cut the strings out to remove any doubt in the customer's mind that the damage was done while attempting to restring it.

Muppet
03-05-2012, 07:15 AM
Thanks Copey. I was thinking about that. If it turns out that I'm rejecting the racquet, it's only fair that the customer gets it back in the same condition.