Advice on Stringing Gut

Discussion in 'Strings' started by kenshireen, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

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    I have been stringing for several years on a CP machine.
    I have stung everything except gut.

    I decided that I had to try gut to see if there really is nothing like it.
    I bought the expensive Gamma VS 17G and will string tomorrow.

    Is there anything I should do differently when stringing this.
    Should I prestretch? does it matter if I do 1 or 2 piece?.

    My racket is a 110 and I intend to string at 60 lbs.

    Any advice would be appreciated... This is $45 that I don't want to waste
     
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  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    About prestretching:
    Some does it to minimize tension lost. And some don't like the way it plays after prestretching. Mind you, gut already excel at the department.
    - I personally just yank it until the coil memory is gone. It's just easier to the string and prevent kinking. I can't really tell the difference between prestretching and nonstretched once it's on my frame.

    Do not bend or kink the gut, otherwise it's almost a certainty that it'll snap.

    Most of all, just take your time stringing. They're not indestructible like synthetic and polyesters.

    I also "seal" it with wax, as an extra layer of moisture protection.
     
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  3. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    If you can, do it 2 piece as there will be less string handling and less chance for burning. Just take your time and make sure your clamps are adjusted. Pre-stretching is not needed IMO, but it is a personal preference.
     
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  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, don't clamp the living hell out of gut.
     
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  5. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Babolat VS?

    Prestretch is up to you, the major reason you should bother is to reduce coil memory. When stringing gut, if you hold string ends in your hand the entire time, I would actually recommend dropping the string ends on occasion. You will propagate a twist in your string in your crosses, dropping the string will allow you to untwist the (subtle, at first) windyness of your string. I recommend two piece for this same reason, although you would have less knots...

    Knots are also something I do differently when stringing gut. I pull out as much slack as I can from outside the frame and then hand cinch the knots. I use a parnell. Don't EVER use the machine to tension a knot, and this goes double for gut. You can snap the knot AND/or the anchor string with pliers if you pull it too hard. Tight, tight bending is gut's worst enemy.

    As far as coatings go, modern coatings are pretty good for moisture sealing, but you can use olive oil to freshen up your strings over time, and I'd recommend clipping any major unraveling frayed ends.

    Finally, some people like to lightly wax their mains as they string. If you want to try this, get some paraffin wax at walmart or similar supermarkets. They can be found with the 'canning' supplies.
     
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  6. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Paraffin wax works, but for ease of access, I just use my car wax. Just anything that'll repel water should work.
     
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  7. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I wasn't referring to sealing, but for weaving. I can't see any problems with most car wax, though.
     
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  8. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    so should I use paraffin wax or olive oil? should I use it before weaving poly cross or after string job?
     
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  9. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    VS gut is pretty easy to string up. Just take your time and you'll be good.
     
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  10. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    paraffin is (generally) used during the stringing process. Very lightly wax the mains once they're complete, prior to crosses. It's very optional, as others said, take your time, avoid kinks, and it'll be fine.

    Be gentle on your knots.
     
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  11. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    since you mentioned olive oil, how/when to use it..
     
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  12. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't bother with oil unless you are having a really hard time with crosses. Just make sure you use a deep V pattern when stringing the cross to reduce tension when you pull and not create notches.

    It really isn't that bad, especially with expensive gut. With cheap guts, however, it can get pretty dicey.
     
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  13. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    this refers fanning correct?
     
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  14. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Yes. Do everything possible to not create any notches while stringing.
     
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  15. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Oh, you use it very occasionally, baby oil works well (and smells less), too. You basically use it to keep your strings conditioned after playing, if you see it drying out or fraying a lot, etc. It's extremely optional, i'd search the boards for baby oil and you'll probably find plenty of examples (I don't use it).

    Edit: You'd apply a very, very small amount to a wash cloth/small hand towel, and then very lightly coat the strings. You don't want a lot of liquid, just a light sheen.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
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  16. samarai

    samarai Rookie

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    been stringing pacific gut for a couple of jobs now and there's no extra precaution that I take. Strings pretty straght forward like a multi.
     
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  17. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

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    What do u mean that you pull out as much slack from outside the frame and hand cinch... I don't understand what you mean.. Are you addressing when you are about to tie off a knot... What is a hand cinch
     
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  18. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

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    What is meant by a deep V pattern.
     
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  19. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Whenever you tie a knot, there's always a short length of untensioned string between your clamp and the actual knot itself. Just make sure you pull out as much of this loose string (you can see it on the outside of the frame) before tying the knot. Hand-cinching is to pull the knot tight by hand (not with tools). I would probably use tools until you're comfortable with hand tying knots, OR just use tools, but don't tighten too hard with gut. BE VERY CAREFUL on knots.

    This is "fanning the crosses." Check out YULitle's video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0FPGEBcBHo#t=40s
    A "deep V" is just a more exaggerated fan. You should note that you don't hold the string in the deep V, you want to keep them moving (YULitle covers this).
     
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  20. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    yea this. vs is really better than most other gut
     
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  21. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I'll be stringing my first gut/poly hybrid today when I get home from work. I usually tighten knots with my starting clamp. Are you saying I should not do this?
     
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  22. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

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    Should I do one piece or two

    i am ready yo begin tonite and was looking for an opinion.I appreciate all the input
     
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  23. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    Two piece. The less handling of the cross string, the better.
    Weaving is traumatic enough without running it through the main grommets, too.
    Also less likely to be damaged or kinked, stepped on or snagged.
     
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  24. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

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    I did it..some thoughts and observations

    I used one piece..my reason was that even though I have new grommet strips I have had problems getting some string through some of the grommets towards the top and bottom. Also, I believe (and this is just an emotional thought) that one piece retains tension better.

    I went to Walmart and they didn't have parafin wax and my car wax is a liquid/cleaner and I was afraid to use it.

    I fanned like crazy but it would have been nice to have the crosses glide a bit easier.. Could I have used anything in lieu of the parafin.

    There were alot of kinks which I made sure were straightened out before I pulled the crosses... There were kinks right our of the package... which BTW was a pain in the rear to open... I kept cutting and it wouldn't open... I was concerned about snipping an outside string.

    The crosses made a strange squeking sound that I had never heard before.. I have strung everything except gut.
    It made me a bit nervous... I didn't know if the string was going to snap or my racket was going to crack.

    I strung it a 60 (OS) and am curious to see how it plays.
    Will it raise my level from a 3.5 to a 5.0... I doubt it...but I had to experience it once in my life... I tried the indian gut and it sucked and shredded

    Anyways.. thanks for all your advice
     
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  25. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    This was Babolat VS?
    I've never had a problem opening the package or had it kink right out of the package either.
    Perhaps you need to refine your set uncoiling technique.
    The simplest way is to place the entire coil on the handle of the racquet and slowly pull on one end while teasing the coil with the other hand.
    This avoids most bird's nest problems that can occur with other methods.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
    #25
  26. kenshireen

    kenshireen Professional

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    #26
  27. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    I agree with this. In fact, I recently "recycled" the gut strings from one racquet and strung 'em again on another racquet. Yes...I took the used natural gut from one stick and restrung the same natural gut on another frame. The strings were bent and fraying in some areas, but still strung up fine... Easy...lol
     
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  28. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    It's fine to do this if you know what kind of force and bends that gut can handle. If you don't, it's VERY easy to get TOO much leverage with a starter or good pliers. Gut can and will snap when tying knots, so it's better to err on the side of caution your first time or two. I will generally knot by hand on gut. To each their own, though. I won't say it's the best way to do it, but if you've ever snapped gut, you know that... gut-wrenching (snicker) feeling when it happens.

    Regarding the "holding tension better" -- you should spend some time thinking about this personal feeling and use reason to confirm your logic. There IS one side of the string bed that doesn't have to deal with the tension loss from a knot, but what about the other side? There's some tricks you can do to mitigate some of the tension loss, but the tension isn't absolutely symmetrical across the string bed as a result. The less gut you pull through grommets/frame the better, but again, if you're comfortable with one piece, go for it. Just know WHY you're doing it. Saying you do something strictly for emotional/irrational reasons is kind of silly (but I'm an engineer, so that kind of stuff doesn't fly in my life).

    If you don't have paraffin, you can get by with a little beeswax or chapstick (which is primarily beeswax), but it doesn't glide as smoothly. Again, wax is strictly optional and won't change your experience THAT much.

    I have a feeling you're using "kink" incorrectly. A kink is strictly an extremely tight bend, and in gut, this will result in discoloration, and often times the string will unravel a little bit in the kinked areas (the twisted gut fibers will separate, but not peel). If you truly had kinks out of the package, something is wrong. Slight bending or imperfections are normal, so make sure you get your terminology straight.

    As far as the packaging, plastic/foil is required due to humidity reasons, so there's no way around it. It shouldn't be too much of a pain to open, just make sure you're cutting below the seal.

    Squeaking is normal on gut, it'll be a high pitched squeal - this is just due to the coating that is applied to the string at factory -- the string is slightly sticking to itself as you fan. Some wax may help here, but as long as you're fanning at a slow enough rate, you should be A-OK.
     
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