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jonolau
09-16-2006, 12:01 PM
Hi Guys,

This is the first time it happened to me. I had already tied the starting knot (Parnell) on the crosses for a 2 piece job, and when I tensioned the first cross, the starting knot disappeared into the grommet, leaving only the tail visible.

I was concerned, but did not bother too much about it after that because I released the tension, used a marker to make a mark on the tail, and when I tensioned again, the mark did not move anymore. This meant that the knot was holding up. After the whole job was completed, the mark was still there.

However, I'm just wondering if it doesn't look professional, and whether I should have used a different knot or re-strung the racquet?

Any views?

Jon

A Defenseless Creature
09-16-2006, 12:03 PM
You should use a triple loop starting knot in the scenario you presented.

Davai
09-16-2006, 02:26 PM
A parnell knot is not a starting knot. I don't think it makes a big difference if the knot goes into the frame but it looks safer if it's "anchored" on the grommet.

diredesire
09-16-2006, 03:21 PM
This is why I do NOT use the Parnell knot as a starter knot. The point of a starting knot is to a) Provide enough bulk so this does not occur. b) avoid crushing the anchor string.

While the Parnell knot seems to be gentler on the anchor string than a double half hitch knot, it is still a very compact knot. I find people talking about the Parnell like it's some sort of magical knot. It looks nice, and that's about it.

http://www.keohi.com/tennis/misc/knots.htm

You should check out the starting knot on this page, it is called the "fisherman's knot" from what I understand. If you insist on using the parnell, you might consider using a piece of scrap string, and sticking it in between the knot and the frame (right under the first loop). This will create a "seat" for the knot. This technique is known as a "deadman's knot."

bsandy
09-16-2006, 07:23 PM
If you have fixed clamps, pull the first cross tight by hand, put a clamp on the knot side of the first cross, and then pull it.

. . . Bud

Bolt
09-16-2006, 08:59 PM
If you insist on using the parnell, you might consider using a piece of scrap string, and sticking it in between the knot and the frame (right under the first loop). This will create a "seat" for the knot. This technique is known as a "deadman's knot."

Word.

A wise man taught me this technique 15+ years ago. I challenge any starting knot to disappear under this scenario.

migjam
09-16-2006, 11:05 PM
Here is a tip for you. Use a starting clamp (outside the frame) for your first cross string. String your crosses as normal. When finished, go back, pull and tension your first cross string (currently held by the starting clamp) and tie-off as normal, with any type of knot you wish.

Richie Rich
09-17-2006, 04:06 AM
Here is a tip for you. Use a starting clamp (outside the frame) for your first cross string. String your crosses as normal. When finished, go back, pull and tension your first cross string (currently held by the starting clamp) and tie-off as normal, with any type of knot you wish.

that's what i do. the only thing is you may lose a little tension this way but it's at the top of the frame anyway so it doesn't bother me.

jonolau
09-17-2006, 04:11 AM
Fantastic replies and great insight from experienced stringers here.

I realise that a Parnell is a nice and neat looking knot, but totally different story for a beginning knot. I will look into all the suggestions here with great thought.

Thanks once again for the helpful tips.

Richard Parnell
09-17-2006, 12:08 PM
I also use the fishermans knot shown on Keohi's site as a starting knot when I use one. I must admit that I very rarely use a starting knot and prefer using the starting clamp and then coming back to use a finishing knot thus all the knots on the frame are the same.
All the best,
Richard

eagle
09-17-2006, 12:43 PM
Aloha,

Lately, I've modified how I string crosses.

I start a few holes down from the head and work outward towards the head and throat. This way, I use the pro/parnell knot and also don't have to use a starting clamp.

Thanks,
eagle

TonyB
09-17-2006, 12:47 PM
I have never strung a racquet, but I am getting a machine to do my first stringing next weekend.

That said, why can't you use a double half hitch to start the crosses? I mean, if it's ok to FINISH the crosses, why isn't it sufficient to use to START the crosses?

Won't the same problem of the knot slipping into the grommet eventually occur even if the knot is tied AFTER the crosses are strung?

What am I missing?

thevillageidiot
09-17-2006, 01:08 PM
I have never strung a racquet, but I am getting a machine to do my first stringing next weekend.

That said, why can't you use a double half hitch to start the crosses? I mean, if it's ok to FINISH the crosses, why isn't it sufficient to use to START the crosses?

Won't the same problem of the knot slipping into the grommet eventually occur even if the knot is tied AFTER the crosses are strung?

What am I missing?

usually when you are tying off crosses there is a little extra slack on the string, which is why some people add tension to the tie off strings to compensate. however, when you are tensioning the first cross, there is more force pulling the knot into the grommet than there would be when you let go of the clamp after tying off a cross onto a main.
hope that clears things up.

TonyB
09-17-2006, 02:29 PM
usually when you are tying off crosses there is a little extra slack on the string, which is why some people add tension to the tie off strings to compensate. however, when you are tensioning the first cross, there is more force pulling the knot into the grommet than there would be when you let go of the clamp after tying off a cross onto a main.
hope that clears things up.


Not really... Since the tension on the final string is the same as the tension on the first string, why would the force at the knot be different?

I mean, after you tie the starting knot, you have the friction of two grommet holes that reduce the tension acting on the knot. The exact same situation applies to the final knot.

I guess I could understand the "higher tension" concept if the first string were pulled DIRECTLY against the knot, but it's not. It's the same situation for the first knot as the last knot. The only real difference is that the tension doesn't actually ACT on the final knot until the clamp is removed. But at that point, and especially once you PLAY with the racquet, every knot on the racquet must experience the exact same tension.

Kevo
09-17-2006, 03:41 PM
I use the Parnell knot for starting crosses. Generally it only slips when using thinner or greasy strings. To counter the slipping I normally just hold the tail of the knot against the frame while tensioning. This little bit of extra help is normally all I need to keep the knot from slipping. The other technique I use is similar to the scrap string. If you don't pull the end all the way through and let it stick out both sides of the grommet a bit it anchors it better.

I have seen triple loop starter knots pulled through grommets before as well. I really hate that. The grommet gets totally mangled.

LoveThisGame
09-17-2006, 06:45 PM
Tony B,

"Not really... Since the tension on the final string is the same as the tension on the first string, why would the force at the knot be different?"

When you get your stringer and try two-piece stringing, you will readily and quickly understand how the forces on a starting knot are different.

thevillageidiot
09-17-2006, 10:32 PM
Not really... Since the tension on the final string is the same as the tension on the first string, why would the force at the knot be different?

I mean, after you tie the starting knot, you have the friction of two grommet holes that reduce the tension acting on the knot. The exact same situation applies to the final knot.

I guess I could understand the "higher tension" concept if the first string were pulled DIRECTLY against the knot, but it's not. It's the same situation for the first knot as the last knot. The only real difference is that the tension doesn't actually ACT on the final knot until the clamp is removed. But at that point, and especially once you PLAY with the racquet, every knot on the racquet must experience the exact same tension.

like LoveThisGame said, after you have done your first two-piece stringing, you will know the difference. the first time i did a two-piece i used a parnell knot for a starting knot, but experienced the same problem as jonolau. the force applied to the two knots are rather different. even though there are two grommet holes that reduce the tension acting on the knot, there is much more force on the grommet hole when pulling tension on that first cross than in the last tie off for the mains. i have used the starting knot found on the website diredesire links to and have not had the problem of having the knot disappear into the grommet ever since.

TonyB
09-18-2006, 04:05 AM
Thanks. I probably won't be experimenting too much with trying to get knots into the grommets... I'll just try to start out right using the more appropriate starter knot.

Thanks for the replies.

jonolau
09-18-2006, 04:46 AM
I figure that part of the problem lies in the fact that this is pretty thin gauge (1.18mm) and it's a greasy slippery polyester string.

progman_2000
09-18-2006, 04:49 AM
I also use the fishermans knot shown on Keohi's site as a starting knot when I use one. I must admit that I very rarely use a starting knot and prefer using the starting clamp and then coming back to use a finishing knot thus all the knots on the frame are the same.
All the best,
Richard

I am curious about this technique - you clamp the first cross outside the frame with the starting clamp? How exactly do you come back and do the tie off? Do you tie off while the clamp is still on the string? I'm curious as to how you do this without losing alot of tension - I would like to try this as I hate the standard starting knot as well.

flash9
09-18-2006, 06:06 AM
I also use the fishermans knot shown on Keohi's site as a starting knot when I use one. I must admit that I very rarely use a starting knot and prefer using the starting clamp and then coming back to use a finishing knot thus all the knots on the frame are the same.
All the best,
Richard
First I am not Richard Parnell but everyone should listen carefully to his expert advice and when he says a Pro/Parnell knot should not be used as a starting knot he knows what he is talking about!

I am curious about this technique - you clamp the first cross outside the frame with the starting clamp? How exactly do you come back and do the tie off? Do you tie off while the clamp is still on the string? I'm curious as to how you do this without losing alot of tension - I would like to try this as I hate the standard starting knot as well.
Second This is my understanding of how to use a Starting clamp on crosses of a two piece string job. To make this as clear as possible, we will start with the Starting clamp on the outside of the frame with about 9 inches of string, and we will call this the Left side of the frame. The string is woven to the Right side and tension is pulled and clamped with the machines Right clamp. We weave back across to the Left, tension is pulled and the machines Left clamp is used. At this point the Starting clamp, and both machine clamps are used. The string is woven back across and tension is pulled and the machines Right clamp is moved to hold the string. Basically, now the machines Left clamp is redundant. At this time I like to go back to the top and pull the 9 inch string that is sticking out of the Starting clamp, I then move the machines Left clamp and clamp off, and release the Starting clamp. I then tie off the top of the frame as normal with a Pro/Parnell knot. I then move on to the rest of the crosses.

progman_2000
09-18-2006, 06:41 AM
This is my understanding of how to use a Starting clamp on crosses of a two piece string job. To make this as clear as possible, we will start with the Starting clamp on the outside of the frame with about 9 inches of string, and we will call this the Left side of the frame. The string is woven to the Right side and tension is pulled and clamped with the machines Right clamp. We weave back across to the Left, tension is pulled and the machines Left clamp is used. At this point the Starting clamp, and both machine clamps are used. The string is woven back across and tension is pulled and the machines Right clamp is moved to hold the string. Basically, now the machines Left clamp is redundant. At this time I like to go back to the top and pull the 9 inch string that is sticking out of the Starting clamp, I then move the machines Left clamp and clamp off, and release the Starting clamp. I then tie off the top of the frame as normal with a Pro/Parnell knot. I then move on to the rest of the crosses.

Ah ha, very cool. Took a couple of reads but I got it - I am going to try this, seems like the way to go and, as Richard said, I kind of like that all the knots on the frame are the same this way - cool! Thanks Flash!

MasterTS
09-18-2006, 06:52 AM
I like the double loop fisherman's knot.. its real easy to tie...

diredesire
09-18-2006, 12:39 PM
First I am not Richard Parnell but everyone should listen carefully to his expert advice and when he says a Pro/Parnell knot should not be used as a starting knot he knows what he is talking about!


Second This is my understanding of how to use a Starting clamp on crosses of a two piece string job. To make this as clear as possible, we will start with the Starting clamp on the outside of the frame with about 9 inches of string, and we will call this the Left side of the frame. The string is woven to the Right side and tension is pulled and clamped with the machines Right clamp. We weave back across to the Left, tension is pulled and the machines Left clamp is used. At this point the Starting clamp, and both machine clamps are used. The string is woven back across and tension is pulled and the machines Right clamp is moved to hold the string. Basically, now the machines Left clamp is redundant. At this time I like to go back to the top and pull the 9 inch string that is sticking out of the Starting clamp, I then move the machines Left clamp and clamp off, and release the Starting clamp. I then tie off the top of the frame as normal with a Pro/Parnell knot. I then move on to the rest of the crosses.

This is more or less correct. You clamp the crosses off using a starting clamp, leave enough string to reach the tensioner.

Once this is done, start weaving away. One difference i'd like to note: In terms of sheer speed, it is actually probably better to weave the entire string bed before returning to the top to tie off the ... tie off. This allows you to get into a groove, instead of ruining your "rhythm" that you've already established with your crosses. This is all personal preference, though, thought i'd give a "tip" if you struggle with that part. I find that weaving crosses, then doing two quick tie offs is easiest for me.

Another consideration: If you have a crappy starting clamp, or are unsure with it's clamping ability, test it out before you try this method. If the clamp slips, chances are, the string is damaged, and the damage done is probably worse to your cross string(s) than the damage done to the anchor string with a starting knot. I use the starting clamp method maybe 10-15% of the time, but I'm a starting knot man. I may start using the starting clamp method more, though, because I (semi-recently) purchased an Alpha starting clamp. It kicks the crap out of my Gamma Starter...

LoveThisGame
09-18-2006, 05:45 PM
Diredesire,

Indeed the Alpha starting clamp is superior to the Gamma. After a "honeymoon", I found with the Gamma that I had to order a second clamp (!) and apply them next to each other for any tension above 60#.

For awhile I had gotten so that I added roughly a foot to the string I was using for crosses so that if the starting clamp slipped on the first cross tensioning (roughing up the string) that I could add the second clamp after pulling out the roughed string. That seemed stupid, so I just went to two clamps. Then, in talking with Alpha I learned of their quality and converted.

Like you, I don't do a left clamp -- right clamp setup. I use the starting clamp, string the crosses, tie off the bottom cross, move the glidebar and clamp back to the top, and tie off there.

xtremerunnerars
04-06-2007, 08:25 PM
I don't really mind the starting knot because I do two piece every time, but i do use that knot and not the parnell. From what I have been told, the the parnell isn't the right kind of knot to be an anchor like a starting knot is.