View Full Version : Is it okay to have the string tensioned for over a minute?

06-21-2004, 07:42 AM
With all this tension loss superstition instilled in me, I was wondering if I could just allow my drop weight to hold onto the tensioned string for a minute for it to fully stretch so the string wont lose tension and in effect wont lose playability as fast. Just one thing bothers me and will try to explain as best as I can. There are two main parts of my drop weight (silent partner). The tensioner head, and the thing that holds the racquet. Whenever I tension a string, the thing that holds the racquet looks like its being forced to one side and am afraid if I have the string pulled too long, the machine will just snap and fall off.

Is it safe to keep a string pulled for over a minute? Will it snap my machine in half or possible even warp the frame by tensioning for that long?

06-21-2004, 08:53 AM
I do it all the time. That is one of the things I like about a drop weight machine. I will take 1.5 hours to string a racquet while watching TV. Pull the string and let the drop weight hold for a few minutes. Not sure how much it helps with poly. I do it with gut and after a minute, it will clearly stretch and I will readjust the drop to get horizonal then go to the next string. I have not found anything happening to the racquet.

06-21-2004, 09:11 AM
if your machne has a two point mounting system rather than a 4, you may actually be able to see the frame distort a tiny amount on the mains as you string away from center. i dont know why you would wait in between pulling strings, but to each their own. . you can accomplish the same thing or better by doing a prestretch of the gut rather than letting it sit there in a clamp for a long period of time. the main thing is to be consistent. i think it is fine to let a string sit there under tension if you need to get the phone or score a beer or whatever. if you are curious, next time, take an exact measurement of the length of your frame after the strings are removed. string it up and see if the frame has distorted. i have a cheesy 2 point mounting systenm drop weight and have never had a prob that i know of, but i wish i had a 4 point..it's just better and better for the health of the frame..most of the wear on a frame comes from the stringing IMO. Ed

06-21-2004, 03:35 PM
Holding the string under tension for over a minute (or even a couple mins) seems like a real waste on two levels. One is that you can get all the elasticity out of the strings all at once by prestretching (tying the whole set to a doorknob or something and pulling for 30 sec). That would also save A LOT of time. There is no need to sit there doing nothing for over a minute while stringing. Also, it seems to me that that would be over-doing it. Especially with gut, that will eliminate virtually all elasticity of the string and make it unnecessarily stiff with no give. If you are going to do that to gut, u might as well use a poly.
...Just my thoughts...

06-21-2004, 03:42 PM
I can not prestretch due to issues with space. My apartment is barely 20 ft long. As for elasticity issue... doesn't the string lose tension because there is elasticity still left when its clamped off?

06-21-2004, 08:01 PM
My apartment is kinda small too... but I can run around the the room and stuff... its like exaclty 40ft from my stringer to the kitchen.... lol you and go out the door maybe.. lol

06-21-2004, 08:15 PM
Here's the kicker, once I get out the front door, I have around 4 extra feet into the apartment corridor before I have to make a sharp right turn. Damn I hate apartments!!! Maybe I can tie a 45 pound dumbell and slowly lower it over my balcony and hang it out to dry since Im at least 70 feet up. Maybe not cause the string'll snap and kill a puppy... poor puppy....

Anyways, back to the subject! Alright instead of a minute, will 20 seconds of constant tension protect against the dreaded tension loss?

06-21-2004, 09:55 PM
Geez - go outside and tie the string to a fire hydrant, or a post of some sort... man, use your imagination a little...

06-22-2004, 05:56 AM
What... the 45lb weight isnt a good idea? :P

David Pavlich
06-22-2004, 11:10 AM
It won't hurt anything. If you have the luxury of time, then have at it. However, as Ed has stated, you'd do better with pre-stretching. Let me explain:

If you pre-stretch the total length of the string, you get consistency over the length of the string. If you depend on the pre-stretch by allowing your machine to do it, the results are different for every string due to the different string lengths.

Having said that, there are pros that request a certain percentage of machine pre-stretch when he or she has their racquets strung. I'm not sure why, but there you have it.


06-22-2004, 05:30 PM
My house isn't incredibly huge so I actually pre-stretch my strings half at a time, but now I hybrid, so I guess it isn't an issue.

06-22-2004, 05:53 PM
Ah good point about the string legnths. I just found a way to prestrech ala suggestion of using my imagination... I can hook it to my door, loop it around my balcony railing on the other side effectively doubling my work space for the pre-stretch.

06-22-2004, 09:17 PM
I still think the fire hydrant would be better. Or, at least more entertaining for your neighbors who would be trying to figure out what in hell you're doing....

06-22-2004, 09:39 PM
Hah, those darn annoying kids who live in my building will come by and think its a really long jump rope. Once they find out its not... they're going to rip me apart :evil:

06-22-2004, 10:01 PM
The main reason to machine prestretch if you're a pro is speed. In a pro stringing room, you have to FLY, I mean you really have to just churn, baby, CHURN!

Knowing this, a stringer can't string at a more relaxed pace, hence allowing the string to be pulled on the tensioner a little longer, which helps to stabilize the string bed and remove excess "creep."

Machine prestretching is a faster way to try and achieve the same effect.

This is how Tim Sullivan explained it to me, I think it sounds like a reasonable explanation, but certainly a debatable one.