A Makeshift brake for your brakeless machine. No boomerang or Sharpie req’d.

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by SpinDog, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. SpinDog

    SpinDog Rookie

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    I’ve been debating whether or not to post this because it’s such a ridiculously simple idea but here goes: Lately I’ve found myself doing a fair amount of ‘O’ port racquets. On my last one I tried something different. I thought that I’d throw this out there as one possible way to address the ‘O’ port problem of stringing those few crosses that cause string / ‘O’ port / tensioner misalignment issues. I have a table top machine without a brake and I don’t have any of the boomerang tools to aid in stringing those few problematic crosses where the tensioner pulls the string to the wrong side of the ‘O’ port. Using the “hip” method doesn’t work for me because my machine, being a table top, tends to move across the table when attempting this method plus it’s cumbersome and I worry about the accuracy / consistency. I’ve used implements inserted between the strings as spacers before and although I’ve had success in doing so there are some inherent problems associated with this method as well, namely friction / tension variability plus they interfere with getting the clamps as close to the frame as I’d like.

    The following method may seem ridiculously simple, even crude, but it worked for me and I believe that it delivers a final product that rivals the accuracy and consistency of a string job done on a machine with a brake. It in effect accomplishes the same function as a brake. No specialty tool or boomerang is required. This method consists quite simply of a length of 1/8 inch nylon cord one end of which loops around, thereby anchoring to, the tensioner post. The other end ties to the racquet handle. The key is that a taut line hitch knot is used on the end of the cord that attaches to the tensioner. This particular knot allows the length of the cord to be quickly and easily lengthened or shortened without untying or retying the knot, thus adjusting the angle at which the cross string exits the ‘O’ port. You simply slide the knot up or down the taut line to adjust the cross string angle out of the ‘O’ port. The other end of the cord ties around the racquet grip with a simple half hitch. This knot allows the cord to be quickly untied so that the turntable can be spun around in the opposite direction as required to address ‘O’ ports on the opposite side of the frame. I’ve found that a simple half hitch knot grabs the grip just fine and is quickly untied and retied.

    Quite simply the method is this: Once the cord is installed (loosely at first; slacken the taut line hitch), apply some but not all tension with the tension head. The turntable will begin to turn and the string will orient itself in the ‘O’ port naturally (incorrectly at first as you would expect, pulling to the wrong side of the ‘O’ port). At this point adjust the taut line hitch knot appropriately by sliding the knot along the taut cord such that table rotates slightly and the cross string becomes oriented properly within the ‘O’ port. Continue to pull tension as normally. Clamp the string off when you’ve achieved your tension setting. Release tension as normally. That’s it. Untie the half hitch end of the cord and swing the turntable around and repeat the procedure on the other side of the frame for the next string.

    This method may seem like it adds a lot of time to the job but it really only adds a few seconds and it’s only for a small number of crosses to begin with. It has the advantage of installing a cross string in a straight line to the tensioner with absolutely no interference to adversely affect tension. It also allows the clamp to be positioned very close to the frame when clamping off, eliminating yet another potential loss of tension. In my opinion it’s the next best thing to having a brake. I’ve only tried this method on the racquet that you see in the photo and haven’t tried it on others so it may be a little premature to post this but what the heck, someone may find it useful. It works for me. It’s quick, simple, and accurate.

    Here's how to tie the taut line hitch knot: http://www.netknots.com/html/tautline_hitch.html

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Good job spindog!!! i have a boomerang and a table brake, but i see no reason for it not to work on all O3 and speedports...
     
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  3. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    'Spindog' you get an 'A' for effort or should that be an 'E?' But why go through so much? Why not just do a 2 piece 50 / 50? No tools, brake, or anything required.

    Irvin
     
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  4. SpinDog

    SpinDog Rookie

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    The short answer is that I’ve never done anything the easy way in life (for some reason), with both good and bad results. :) The fact is though that I’ve still got a lot to learn about stringing, having only been doing it for a short time, so I’ve been doing the best that I can by going strictly by the book; quite literally the Stringers Digest suggested patterns. When I started I only intended to string my own racquet but I seem to be getting more and more requests. It’s a good learning experience. It's taken me in a lot of different directions. I’ve read a lot about the 2 piece 50/50 most likely from one of your posts and I look forward to trying that soon. I’ve learned a lot from all of you folks and continue to. I’ll certainly give it a try at some point. Thanks.
     
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  5. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    As you can see with the 2 piece 50 / 50 all cross strings center to top and center to bottom pull right with no tools. I called Prince (1 800 2 TENNIS) and his is a legal accepted method for stringing any O port rackets.

    [​IMG]

    Above is how I start. I like to set the tension in the flying clamp and hold with a starting clamp to make sure there is no slippage to damage the strings.

    [​IMG]

    Above is how the strings pull center to top normally.

    [​IMG]

    Above is how the strings pull center to bottom normally.

    Irvin
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
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  6. SpinDog

    SpinDog Rookie

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    Thank you precision2b! I started this job on a Saturday night at 11:00 for a guy who had to have it early Sunday morning. It was an idea born out of desperation. Thanks for your response!
     
    #6
  7. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Irvin, I to am fairly new to stringing (3-1/2 years) Started out the same as spindog – just stringing my racquets and it has grown and grown and grown… I take stringing very seriously and that is why I like this site… you can learn a lot from people like yourself… I do a lot of the O ports and i assume it will work on the speed ports as well??? Thanks for the great post…
     
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  8. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Great job guys, and thanks for uploading the photos.
     
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  9. SpinDog

    SpinDog Rookie

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    Thanks Irvin! I look forward to "cutting the cord" and giving it a whirl.
     
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  10. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
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  11. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Spindog, that's a pretty inventive way to solve a problem. Good job.

    Irvin, thanks for showing that. I've done it that way too and it works well. Nice pics.
     
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  12. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I suggested to the USRSA that using a one ahead method to string the crosses cut down on cross string friction. They replied to me it was not such a good idea and to use a 'V' pattern to cut down on friction. Six months later they featured a one-ahead method to save five minutes stringing a racket. Oh and by the way they had a mis-weave on the front page of their magazine's feature article.

    Later I suggested a knot that would hold better than what I thought their recommended knots did. They replied that if I had trouble I should use a figure 8 knot. Now my knots are known as the 'Parnell' knots.

    Pardon me, but when it comes to the USRSA, my 'Give-a-damn' is busted.

    Irvin
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
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  13. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Hey Irvin, do you ever run out of string when you are near the end of the cross at the top or the bottom? Do you just run the center crosses through the middle in the same method as the mains? That's my only concern.
     
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  14. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I don't cut my string to save a inch or two here or there. I use 19' of string to string my Mid-plus and have about 1.5' on each end. I string my racket center to top and then string all the bottom crosses.

    By stringing like the mains I would think you mean do I string on on top, then two on the bottom, then two on the top, and so so. No I do not do that.

    Irvin
     
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  15. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Oh ok, so no need to alternate. And thanks for the measuring tidbit, now I feel more confident about doing this.
     
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  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The OPs stick looks like an O3 Royal which is what I use. It has 19 cross strings so that it makes it a little bit trickier to measure out the string versus a stick with an even number of cross strings. One of these days I'll get around to buying a starting clamp and doing my sticks with Irvin's method. I'll just have to do some experimentation with measuring out the string.
     
    #16
  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I use a starting clamp and a floating clamp in addition to my two fixed clamps but I am not sure I have to. I just like to make sure the string is not slipping in the clamps.

    Irvin
     
    #17
  18. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Hi Irvin: When I purchased my 1st machine back in 1968, the old timer that sold it to me also spent some time and taught me to string, taught me a knot that no one in our area used at that time, said it does a great job, and would also distinguish my job from others out there. That knot is now called the so called Parnell Knot.Evidently that knot was used by a # of people over the years.
    Back in the woodie days that was the only knot I even used, except on the Wilson T-2000's as they had their own knots for that frame, and even one of the knots for that wilson T-2000 was a sort of variant of the so called Parnell knot, as it was similar to it with one added loop, and with 3 different pulls to make to cinch it up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
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  19. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    The 50/50 method is nice, but it does require extra tools. You need at least one additional clamp besides the machine clamps. If you have the tools at hand that's a fine solution.

    Also, to the original tie-down solution, I think it's a good solution and since there typically are only a few ports at the top of the frame where you run into the need for the brake or boomerang, it's probably more practical than it might look at first glance.

    I think the only thing I would recommend is tying off on the turntable itself instead of the racquet.
     
    #19
  20. gotwheels

    gotwheels Semi-Pro

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    Irvin, Does Prince approve the use of the 50/50 method with the crosses being strung middle to top and then middle to bottom? I ask, as the frame stress of this would appear to be similar to a bottom to top cross stringing.

    I understand why one would do the 50/50 from middle to top and middle to bottom, as it is easier and faster than alternating the crosses when stringing from the middle (this requires the hassel of continually moving the starting clamp, as senn in the YUlitle stringing video).

    Again, my question is directed to the stress placed on the frame (~ 10 & 2) with your 50/50 stringing of middle to top followed by middle to bottom, not the ease of managing the string position at the O or speed ports.

    Thanks
     
    #20
  21. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Yes Prince said it was OK. But this is a two piece 50/50 method not a one piece 50/50. One piece 50/50 will not work.

    Irvin
     
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