2 lb. tighter to seat grommets

Discussion in 'Strings' started by rich s, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    Bought a new racquet this week. Haven't strung it yet.

    Was wondering if you string new racquets or racquets with new grommet sets 2 lbs tighter than you normally would in order to seat the grommets?

    thanks-
     
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  2. Ljubicic for number1

    Ljubicic for number1 Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't suggest it. Unnecessary in my opinion.
     
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  3. consistency wins

    consistency wins Semi-Pro

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    I've never done that. Yulite may come along and offer some sound advice. He strings a lot more than most of us here...
     
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  4. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    Yes. The oldtimers will tell you it is common practice to increase the tension by a couple of pounds when seating grommets.
     
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  5. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    i really dont see the benefit of increasing just to seat the grommets
    after all the 30, 40, 50, 60 lbs of pressure that you use is gonna do the trick, that ammount of pressure is alredy more than enough to push a grommet through the hole
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
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  6. Booyah

    Booyah Semi-Pro

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    Yeah ive never added any lbs to seat the grommets. Ive just never really though about it, its seems to me that if you are tensioning your string in order to make it the tension you want the grommets will get seated.
     
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  7. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    No need...
     
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  8. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    don't increase tension, just watch when stringing to make sure the grommets don't fall back into the grommet hole. this seems to happen on the corner (10,1,5,7 o clock area). after 2 stringings the grommets are pretty much set and you won't have to worry about this.
     
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  9. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    I've always done it; seems to help maintain tension continuity. And I do measure for it, too.
     
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  10. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    Knowledge of stringing nuances is what separates the solid stringers from the wannabees. Valjean has earned my respect as he is the only one who apparently understands the value of adding a couple of pounds when stringing virgin grommets.
     
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  11. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    just because "it's always been done that way" is not a valid reason.

    so enlighten us, what is the "value" of increasing the tension by a couple lbs? i've strung many new racquets without doing this and never had any issues. i'm genuinely interested in the answer, since if i'm doing something wrong i'd like to know :lol:
     
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  12. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008
    #12
  13. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    ^^^ Thanks. But stringing at regular tension will do the same thing just fine, which has been my point all along.

    if someone wants to use a couple extra lbs, depending on how anal they are, go ahead. there just isn't a need to do it.
     
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  14. Richard Parnell

    Richard Parnell Rookie

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    I have always strung new frames 1 kg (2 lbs) tighter. The grommets need seating and the string bites into the plastic of the strip. All these little movements of the string equate to 1 kg. I have always strung for players this way (ATP Players) and have never once had them throw one back. I was taught this by Lucien Nogues (head of Babolat competition stringing) and he used the same technique and he was stringing on the tour for 17 years. If this practice was not necessary the players would have complained that the job had come out tight. I have never had one player say that to me and neither has Lucien.
    I have been using the technique for the last 20 years and hopefully I'll use it for the next 20.
    All the best,
    Richard
     
    #14
  15. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    I am curious as to how/why this works since tension is a relative thing. I understand the basic concept of, for example, bumping the tension from a desired target of 55 pounds to 57 pounds to help seat the grommets. But let's say another player likes the tension at 58 pounds on the same model racquet, so tension is bumped to 60 pounds to seat the grommets.

    Since the end tension is purely a relative thing and will vary from player to player, how exactly does increasing the tension help? So if I were to follow this rule and usually string at 53 and then bump to 55, how is this different than not adding the 2 pounds to my first example (55 to 57 pounds)? I am not trying to argue any particular point here, I just do not understand how going 2 pounds over anything but a *specific* tension would have the desired effect. Can someone explain?
     
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  16. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    Look guys, it is relatively simple. Stringing is both an art and a science. The experienced stringers posting here are sharing their knowledge and experiences for the purpose of allowing newer stringers to learn. If the young guns are not open to hearing and learning from the experience of the veterans, there is no way to force feed it. Those of us with real experiences are sharing the art of stringing as well as science. The grommet seating, as I stated earlier, is a method that seasoned/experienced stringers tend to use. Take it or leave it...up to you, but realize the top-level stringers tend to seat the grommets when new.
     
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  17. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    So I am guessing the "art" part of the equation is what cannot be logically and rationally explained.... I would love a straight answer as to why going +2 over *any* tension works to seat the grommets. I'm sure there's an answer out there...especially since is "relatively simple". :)
     
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  18. LoveThisGame

    LoveThisGame Professional

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    I recall, hopefully correctly :), that Pete Sampras had new frames or frames with new grommets strung with simple nylon followed by cutting out the strings and stringing with his gut.
     
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  19. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Exactly, Il Mostro. This is why it makes no sense and is not needed.
     
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  20. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Sorry, not buying the art/science argument. It sounds like someone's personal idiosyncracy that's been passed down, needlessly.
     
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  21. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Yes, this would definitely seat the grommets. Although, any normal stringjob will also seat them, effectively. But, stringing 2 lbs. over some random/unknown tension will not seat the grommets any more effectively.

    For instance, let's assume I like my racquets strung at 38 lbs. Do some of you think that stringing at 40 lbs. will act to seat the grommets any more effectively than the 38 lb. tension?

    Also, if a friend has his racquet initially strung at 70 lbs... Since his base tension is 30 lbs higher than my 'grommet seating tension' of 40 lbs. wouldn't that then seat the grommets with no need to go up to 72 lbs.? See the logic?

    Now, if the knowledge base stated... all newly grommetted racquets should be initially strung at 65 lbs with nylon... then cut out and restrung... to seat the grommets... that argument would hold water since it's consistent across all frames.
     
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  22. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Bud, you and I are on exactly the same wavelength. Since there is no absolute tension stated for seating the grommets, I do not understand how x+2 does anything special so long as x is a moving target.
     
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  23. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Yep. Logically, it makes no sense.
     
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  24. tenis

    tenis Professional

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    I always string a new racquet or new grommets tighter, becouse of grommets "sitting" - see also my post approx. month ago. Not too many stringers do that, except the masters. The young guns have to learn more (sometime they are way too much arrogant).
     
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  25. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    I think what it means, as previous posts imply, is that with new grommets, ur string job will feel about two lbs looser, than broken in grommets.

    So, say u normally string a racket at 60, it'll feel like 58 lbs with the new grommets, if u can tell a couple lbs difference in tension.

    The grommets will be seated either way, just feel a little looser. By the next string job everything should be fine.
     
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  26. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    This depends on the type of stringing machine used. A constant pull or dropweight will just keep pulling until the grommets are seated. So, perhaps you are correct if referring to a lockout type machine.
     
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  27. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    It has nothing to do with arrogance. No one who strings 2+ more on newly grommetted racquets can explain logically why it is more effective. It has nothing to so with art, old masters or young guns.
     
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  28. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    Way too many close minded dualistic thinkers here. Let us know when you evolve to a contextual way of knowing and reasoning and then we can have an enlightened conversation. Until such a time (many years likely) it is fine to do and believe whatever you please. No one is twisting anyone's arm, just stating the way EXPERIENCED stringers would respond to the OP's question.
     
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  29. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    In my experience, I've received no complaints from stringing +2 lbs on new grommets. i recommend it to the coaches I work with, and they are A-OK with it. IMO, Stan and RP are the guys that are speaking strictly from experience. I'm not talking about a few dozen racquets every year for a few years, these guys are stringing hundreds and hundreds of frames, and are stringing at a very high level.

    IMO, you guys are getting it a little wrong, it's not that a +2 lbs job is better at seating grommets, and it's not doing it more effectively, the technique in question is SIMPLY a compensation for the grommets settling.
     
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  30. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I get the Pete Sampras thing. It makes a lot of sense if you're using gut. The nylon would not just seat the grommets, but would create the nice smooth edges in the plastic that aren't there on the first stringing. Then when the gut goes in it would not get chewed up as much.

    As for the 2 extra pounds on the first stringing, I doubt it's going to do much for a constant pull string job with a poly. If you're using a soft multi, or using a lockout, I could see it making a difference.

    With a CP machine, the tension is going to stay on the string while the grommet relaxes. After you're done stringing, the tension isn't going to get any higher, only lower so they won't relax much more unless they are really hard plastic which can not fully deform at 50-60lbs. Of course once you start hitting the tension keeps going down as well.

    So, I'd be interested to see some data, but in any case if I get a fresh strung frame I'd rather it be 2lbs. tight than 2lbs. loose, so for my frames it would probably be a safe thing to do.

    I think this is one of the things I like about woofer grommets. They hold up much better than typical grommets because of those smooth curved woofers are built into the strips already. There's not as much plastic deformation, and the string doesn't have to make it's own smooth curves.
     
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  31. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    What a bunch of meaningless verbiage... close-minded dualistic thinkers... contextual way of knowing and reasoning?

    When you use words/phrases like this, please expound (relate back to specific points, etc.)

    It's interesting that you state that experienced stringers do this 2 lb. over technique... but can't explain why they do it. Do you always do things without asking questions or wonder why you do them?

    Finally, when someone calls you on it and asks for a logical reason/explanation you resort to phrases like... close-minded dualistic thinkers... and contextual way of knowing and reasoning :roll:

    Basically, this tells me... you have no clue why the +2 lbs. is important... whether it effectively seats grommets... you've not noticed any significant difference since you didn't offer your personal experience as evidence.
     
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  32. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Thank you DD. This is more what I was looking for. As I stated in another post above... this would also depend on the stringing machine. On a constant pull, this would not be necessary. On a lockout... I can see a small benefit since it would give that little extra pull and take up any slack between grommet strip and frame.
     
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  33. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Yep, this is a clear answer that makes sense.
     
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  34. Gimmick

    Gimmick Semi-Pro

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    We need to think past the tension of stringing alone. When the player uses the racquet the grommet experiences 58-60lb + the force of the STROKE. The stroke then causes additional seating of string in the new grommet strip. To have the desired tension on the string not just fresh off the stringer but after a couple minutes of use, you should add 2 lbs to a new grommet strip.

    Or don't, and ignore common sense, experience, and the advice of the better stringers on this board (not neccessarily me).
     
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  35. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    Bud - my point exactly. probably one of those things that has been passed down from wood racquet stringers who are "all in the know".

    what a load of BS. + 2 lbs to seat grommets? give me a break.

    do it if you want. whatever turns your crank. bottom line - you DON'T NEED TO. but if you want to, it's all up to personal preference. there is no harm either way. don't let someone tell you 2 lbs makes a difference. grommets will seat just fine at 58 lbs vs 60 lbs.
     
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  36. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    At the risk of continuing the argument, I dont think they're really saying the grommets will seat better +2 lbs, I think they're saying the intial string job will feel about 2 lbs looser than a 'broken in' set of grommets would feel.
     
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  37. Stan

    Stan Professional

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    I hope this will be my final post on this topic.

    If you take a racquet that has been strung one or more times and string it at tension X (insert your own tension here!) and measure the stringbed stiffness on the RDC or ERT, you will get a reading of Y. If you then replace the grommets on the racquet, restring it with no other variables (ie same string, tension, pattern, etc) you will almost always get a reading of Y minus 2, 3, or 4. In order to generate a final stringbed stiffness with new grommets, (remember, consistency is what we strive for!) then increasing the tension approx. 2 pounds will often land you closer to where you want to be (the original Y variable) than not adding 2 pounds of tension.

    Why is this? Honestly I don't need to know, as long as I know it happens. Why does my wife's car get better gas mileage in the summer with the windows down instead of the air conditioning on when my car gets better mileage with the air on and windows up? You know what??? It doesn't matter as long as I understand that it does. Why does the blue raspberry snow cone turn my son's tongue blue for a significantly longer period of time than my daughters? I don't know why, but it just does. I believe that observational/contextual data is under appreciated in many venues, but I for one value the real-world experiences and knowledge and always try to learn from direct observation.

    Someday someone may be able to identify the science behind the gas mileage variances, snow cone colors and even why the extra two pounds of tension with new grommets helps make stringbed stiffness consistent. Until such time, I am more than content with knowing what direct observations have revealed.
     
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  38. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Yes, it is a little more machine dependent, however, you also assume grommets settle in a (very) short amount of time, which in my personal experience isn't the case. I've seen in numerous cases that grommets are molded with slight "imperfections" or tapered ridges that tend to flatten over time (along with the grooves on the outside of the grommets). I can't quantify how long it takes for these edges/ridges to wear down (i.e. get flattened), but I've seen them hold up for more than one string job, and eventually smooth out and fall into place.

    I think it is a true statement that hitting (and time) will eventually pull down a grommet/bumper guard down to the frame much better than a single tension pull. I've replaced a ton of bumper sets in my time, and I've only seen a very select few really settle in and behave nicely. This of course can be aided by heat guns and/or boiling methods (don't ask), but due to the molding of these plastic pieces, I tend to think that this procedure does take time.

    Yes, of course it's not necessary. IMO, as long as you (the stringer) are consistent, it's better than the hacky jobs you'll find at a sports chalet or something similar. It's also not necessary to weave one ahead, but besides it being easier for the stringer, it also is a little easier on the string. This is one of those "last 5%" adjustments that I feel sets apart a good stringer from a stringer that "just knows what (s)he is doing".

    However, I won't state that it is NECESSARY, just do what you do every time. IMO, I feel that a 2 lb (rough estimate) tension bump renders a string job closer to the reference point that you're trying to achieve, which is really what this is all about.
     
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  39. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    now that i have re-read the posts, there is a point that i have missed.

    i can see + 2lbs on a new grommet strip to get the right reference tension - if the person is anal and would notice. i have never noticed any difference but that's just me.

    + 2 lbs to seat the grommet on the frame - still totally unnecessary IMO
     
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  40. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I agree... this makes more sense than the 'seating the grommets' argument.

    But, don't the experts state that a racquet strinbed loses like 10%+ of its initial tension within 24 hours (and this is without hitting with the racquet).
     
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  41. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    The point is that you approach the same reference, regardless of a 10% drop. I'm not sure of the point that you're trying to make here. The purpose and job of the stringer is to give a consistent string bed to the customer. If all strings lose ~10% of their tension, the reference tension we are trying to hit is 10% less than what the customer specifies. This is completely normal, as we're only trying to achieve the same string bed "feel"/stiffness. The idea here is that on top of the 10% drop, the rule of thumb is that the string bed will experience approximately 2 lbs of a drop via the grommets/bumper deforming and/or wearing down and fully seating.

    IMO, if i were to guess, measuring the stringbed shortly after stringign would yield a higher tension in the newly grommeted stringbed. I think the merit of this practice is achieved over a short break in period of playing. This is just my opinion and "educated guess" based on my real world experiences. I honestly do think that grommets aren't seated necessarily on the machine, and that it does take some time. Recording the data would only be useful if you did so across the life of the string job A/B with the same frame (eliminating frame to frame differences). This is hard if not impossible to do while eliminating all other variables.
     
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  42. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    That's all it took to settle down the argument. I think this was more a case of misunderstanding than ignorance/arrogance.

    The true reason was to reach a similar reference!
     
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  43. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    thanks to the OP for asking this question, it made me aware of this issue
    i am a new stringer, but i require the "why?" something is done for my own personal curiosity
    in this link posted above and here, is what i beleive to be the reason for the 2lbs increase, mentioned by "mooseryan"
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=34446
    the reason is as simple as his answer in my opinion, the grommet plastic need to flex arround the racquet, and the riggidity of the material is what the 2lbs higher are trying to compensate
    the "grommet seating" term like above mentioned is being misunderstood, its not a matter of just getting the holes to line up and through the other side, but also to make the grommet strips "stay put", once the tension is removed from them,
    in my opinion if you did not increase the 2lbs, the rigid plastic would try to flex to its original shape (straight), and thus reduse tension by how ever riggid the plastic piece is (unknown to me), also emntioend above 2lbs seems to be a good general number to compensate for this
    2lbs difference while is not a change many new players would be able to feel, constant players like many here that are used to a certain tension would be able to
    now that i think i know the why, i will use it and explain it when i ever i am asked
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
    #43
  44. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    If the rigid plastic could resist stringing by "trying" to return to it's original shape, then that would actually raise the tension.

    The critical question is how much tension does it take to fully deform the grommet strip. If that number is higher than the reference tension, then you might need to raise tension a little to allow for the settling in that could occur once the new strings are hit with. If the number is lower than the reference tension, you'll just end up with a 2lb. higher string job, which most people will not notice without something to compare to.
     
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  45. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    That pretty much summarizes how I feel after reading through this thread. Now, I'm not chiming in to pile on or assert authority as there are obviously many well informed and experienced people doing just that. This is just how I feel about it, and I would bet some of you would be able to guess without me posting it. Be that as it may, here I go.

    Doing it forever (raising tension 2/3/4/X lbs,) and not having anyone notice is only proof of one of two things. It either DOES help compensate for the new grommets settling, as the proponents of the practice suggest, OR it simply confirms, yet again, that the vast majority of players (pros and amateurs alike) can't tell the difference in two pounds of tension.

    Either way, the way I feel about adjusting tension for this and that has always been that it's complete and utter BS. The VAST VAST VAST majority of people who get their racquets strung have NO CLUE about their tension, string, etc... They use their racquets long after the string is dead, making the tension it was strung at initially irrelevant and I consider it a huge waste of time to delve over the many eccentricities of stringing to help them pinpoint an attribute that will become such. I have ZERO patience for such mental exercises when they will never lead to ANY results. This level of fine tuning should be reserved ONLY for pros OR amateurs that get their racquets strung at LEAST once for every 2-4 hours of play.

    So here's the rule of thumb. Try it. Like it? Do it again.
     
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  46. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Agreed....
     
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  47. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I have to chime in on the mental part: I think the mental aspect is a big factor in this discussion. I will tell a player beforehand if I want to bump two lbs, and if they aren't comfortable with it, I will avoid doing so. Simply put: a player doesn't want to have to doubt their equipment, and the utility of a stringer is to avoid them having to do so. (Hence my constant pushing towards consistency!) I will tell a player "I am going to change your bumper guard. Usually I like to bump the tension up by two lbs so the grommet strip will settle in at the tension you actually want." I won't try and explain anything further. If they don't want to proceed (which has happened to me a few times), I won't bother to do so.
     
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  48. tenis

    tenis Professional

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    Did you get it???
     
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  49. Richard Parnell

    Richard Parnell Rookie

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    Change of tension for this and that is utter BS !!.No comment. I am rather surprised that you talk about pro's that can't tell the difference of 2 lbs. I would suggest (respectfuly)you keep to what you have experience with.Have you ever serviced the racquet for a professional player ? There is a reason for players asking to have their frames strung the same morning as pick up. The reason being that they can notice the difference of 2 lbs or less just from the tension loss. Why do professional players sometimes kick back a frame and ask for 1 lb less.
    Believe it or not, adding 2 lbs for a new set of grometts works, I and many other tour stringers have used this for years and if it were an unnecessary eccentricity or "utter BS" as you put it then we would have stopped using it as we also analyse our actions. I have used this practice on top 10 players ( with its subsequent SB deflection test) and to say that they can't tell a difference of 2 lbs just shows your lack of contact with tour stringing.

    My rule of thumb is : string for an amateur the way you would string for the worlds best player. I do it and IT WORKS.
    All the best,
    Richard
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
    #49
  50. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
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    2,681
    In his defense, he said the vast majority of players. I really doubt he was referring to pro players, but the majority of players in general. The 3.5s, 4.0s of the world. Not the Nadals and Federers.
     
    #50

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