Alternative racquet stringing system

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Atom, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Atom

    Atom New User

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    I was thinking about an alternative to conventional racquet stringing in which the strings would be installed in pieces rather than as a continuous length. Each piece would be a loop that would form two adjacent strings and would be secured on the outside of the frame by plastic ferrules that would allow the string tension to be adjusted upon installation or even after they had been installed and used. A special tool would be required to tension or retension the strings and would allow for replacement of a broken string at courtside in a few minutes. Such a system, if possible, would seem to me to be a great boon to tennis players. I may spend $200 on a racquet and then ten times that for stringing during the life of the racquet. I've never done any stringing myself, so I wanted to see what people who have think about the idea.

    I did a little research and found that someone has already patented such a system which you can see here:
    http://www.google.com/patents?hl=en&lr=&vid=USPAT3994495&id=EbM2AAAAEBAJ&oi=fnd
     
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  2. Gennady Mamzhi

    Gennady Mamzhi New User

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    Interesting, but useless. Strings lose tension and elasticity over time. If you replace only the broken strings with the new ones, you'll have an inconsistent string bed. Even with 2-piece stringing, you should restring both mains & crosses, not just the ones that broke.
     
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  3. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    I believe in the early '80s there was a Head racquet that had this concept. It was an aluminum midsize racquet that looked similar to the Head Professional (the Red Head), except it had a black throat. Each individual string was locked in place at the grommet and if one broke, you could continue playing, or just replace a couple of strings as needed. I have never strung one, so I can't give you the details on how each string locked in the grommet, but the racquet didn't last very long. It didn't even gain any popularity, so it must have had it's flaws. I probably only remember seeing one person with it when I was in high school.
     
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  4. Atom

    Atom New User

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    It was evidently the Head Edge or String-Lock Edge. I found a little information of a google but not much. And, I have to say they were aHead of their time :mrgreen:
     
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  5. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    I recall that Head racquet but cannot remember the model name. I did string a few then but the basic problem was once a single string broke it usually meant that several strings were about to go as well plus you ended up with different strings at different tensions, different wear, etc. and it became a pain. Plus, it required new grommets each time---more trouble that it was worth. I don't believe there was a court side tool to tension it. There was also the Berglin Longstring by MacGregor which you could adjust the tension at courtside but you could not replace a single string--it, too, was more trouble that it was worth.
     
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  6. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Yes, it was called the String-Lock Edge. I would think stringing these had to be a pain. I recently strung some gut on a friend's racquet and decided to use tubing on the first 8 mains at the throat and head. I did this like old-school string jobs to make try to make it last longer. This was really time consuming and it took my longer than doing the crosses. I can just imagine what a pain it would be to string a racquet where I had to lock the string at every grommet.

    I forgot about the Lennart Berglin racquet. That had to be pretty troublesome to adjust too.
     
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  7. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    It was the String-Lok Edge. I've strung them. Tension was inaccurate. You pulled the tension, placed the string lock (really a little wedge-like piece of metal), and released the tension. As the string pulled back, the wedge locked it into the frame. Then you clipped off the string. In reality, the wedges (or locks) didn't catch perfectly at the same tension release point every time. Therefore, you often had individual string tensions that varied a lot. Sometimes, the wedge wouldn't lock the string at all, or at least until half the tension had been lost. Good in theory, not so good in reality.
     
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  8. Atom

    Atom New User

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    What I had in mind is a little plastic threaded ferrule that you would tighten with something akin to a torque wrench. Assuming you could get the stuff manufactured precisely enough, the torque reading should be directly proportional to the string tension. Of course, racquets in the future will come with microprocessors and built-in automatic tensioning. Cool, eh? :wink:
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My idea is to sell disposable racket heads that you just snap off when you are done with them and grab another disposable head pre-strung and snap it back on. It'll make millions.
     
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  10. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    ^^^^While not disposable, you should check out Jenro rackets. Same idea.

    It's a viable idea, but not huge at the moment.....

    link: http://www.jenrosport.com/
     
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  11. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I have a Jenro racket. It's pretty neat. And, it feels as if it would be solid. I haven't hit with it yet. It comes with a key that you screw the head onto the handle.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Dang, somebody always beats me to the punch.
     
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  13. vsgut

    vsgut Rookie

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    The head vector

    Maybe they had an "edge" racquet but I did a few Head aluminum vector racquets the same as Steve Huff describes
     
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  14. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I've read a positive review of Jenro rackets from someone here on TTW. He said they're great for traveling because the dismantle to fit into a suitcase. Also, he has more than one head and just like having multiple frames you can have one or more off for stringing while having active replacements while being able to play with your favorite handle (for those that are particular about such things).
     
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  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    The Head Vector is what I was remembering that had the "string-lok" system. I seem to also remember a couple of racquets where the racquet face (the "hoop") was separate from the racquet and was held in place by, in one case, a throat clamp adjusted from a key in the handle (Tretorn?) and in the other case, an inflatable gasket of some sort. I think both were aluminum or steel. Cool but neither worth the trouble I suspect.
     
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  16. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    What kind of platinum string do you use?
     
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  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Actually there were two Head rackets that used the "String-Lock System." They were the String-Lock Edge and the String-Lock Vector. But these rackets had no means of adjusting the tension once the strings were in place, that was another racket (see next post.)

    The Head system utilized small barrel wedges to secure strings individually within string holes. Head recommended all strings in those rackets be replaced periodically to maintain uniform tension.

    BTW these rackets could be converted to a conventional stringing with the appropriate Head grommet strips.

    Irvin
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
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  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    The MacGregor Bergelin LongString was a racket that allowed you to adjust the tension with a tension key in the butt of the racket. That racket was string slack and tension was adjusted with the tension key (or a 3/16 inch hex wrench) after the racket was strung.

    Irvin
     
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  19. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Do yourself a favor and buy a stringer. $2000 for stringing? How much do you think you would spend for a stringer and strings?

    Irvin
     
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  20. Atom

    Atom New User

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    I've been using Wilson NXT 17 and average about one string job a month at $35 each or $420 per year. My racquets cost $130 per and I will likely play with them for at least 5 years. That's $2100 for stringing and $260 for racquets. I've started uisng 16 gauge string now to cut down on the cost, but I think my point that you pay more for string than racquets is correct.
     
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  21. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Any of the Head non-tubular aluminum frames of the day could be *******ed(I mean converted) to String Lok by adding the barrels. I had a couple of Red Heads that I string-lok'd just for grins. Unfortunately, it was the pull-back of the string tension that locked the wedge and ferrule together...hard to be consistent with that. Made for some colorful patterns, however...all you needed was a scrap of string +- one foot long and you could insert it into the frame. Sure made it interesting to be able to replace ONE string at a time, if necessary or desired.
     
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  22. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Wilson NXT costs $16 a pack. Shipping is free if you buy 5 sets or more at a time. So you would save $228 / year or $1,140 over 5 years. String one racket per month for a friend and they pay for your strings so you save $420 / year. String one racket a week for a friend and you pay for your tennis rackets, shoes, and balls.

    Sounds like a no brainer to me.

    Irvin
     
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  23. Atom

    Atom New User

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    I agree, so I'm in the market for a machine. Care to recommend one?
     
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  24. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Head String-Lock Edge

    Hi, Here is a picture of the Head String Lock Edge Racquet. Each string is individually inserted and held with a locking mechanism allowing for easy repairs. My stringer recalled the system as being quite a good idea.

    You can see a picture from below

    [​IMG]
     
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