Do other stringers do this to prevent tie-off loss?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by travlerajm, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I noticed the other day that on a frame I received new and strung by TW ( a BLX Pro Tour with 18g kev/17g SPPP at 43/42 lbs), the outer mains had almost no tension when it arrived (I would guess less than 20 lbs).

    I assumed that this was evidence of a sloppy job. And sure enough, the stringbed softened up more than usual within the first hour of play.

    But then I compared the outer main tensions (just estimating by feel when I pull with my fingers) on all of my racquets (sample size of about 20).
    All of the frames had substantial play on them. And about half of them had been strung by me (I purchased a dropweight stringer a year ago), and the other half strung by stringing shops.

    What I noticed is that the stringbeds I strung myself seemed to have at least double the tension (on the outer mains) of the jobs strung "professionally." I've also noticed that I seem to have less issue with tension loss since I started stringing for myself.

    Now, I may be a rookie stringer, but I'm also very careful to do what I can to minimize tension loss to ensure a quality job on my racquets. I realized that I am routinely doing something that most stringers may not do (or have time to do):

    When I am tying off the final outer main, while leaving the drop weight horizontal, I go through and pull on every individual string, starting from opposite side. I pull on the next main with another finger before relieving the pressure on the current one. By the the time I progress all the way across the bed to the last string (which is directly pulled under tension from the dropweight), I have eliminated much of the friction slack (from accumulated loss of many clampings), and the dropweight will drop an extra 5 degrees in angle or so. There is something satisfying about seeing the drop weight go down that extra amount, akin to getting a big burp out of a baby. I then ratchet up the dropweight back to horizontal, and repeat the process, progressing again by pulling individual strings sequentially to eliminate the "friction slack." The second time, the dropweight will typically only drop about 2 degrees. And the third time, it might not drop noticeably at all.

    But after I tie off, I find that the mains are now all tight feeling (and sounding). And it seems to translate to longer lasting playability with less tension loss. It also means that the average stringbed tension is higher on my stringjobs than on the ones from the shop for the same reference tension.

    Does anyone else practice this technique - it seems so obvious that it makes sense to do that I can't be the first?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
    #1
  2. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    TW uses a LO Neos 1000, so your tension is automatically going to be lower than your DW. As far as your method for evening out the tension on mains, there is an older thread on this. I don't know who does this.

    I sometimes do this on stretchy multis, but not on polys or kevlar. However, I do it only on the center 8 mains because I want to even out tension due to the initial start of mains.
     
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  3. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Traveler..I will try this since I have a constant pull machine and am using multis now for the most part. It is a rather interesting thought and would only take an extra 20 seconds or so.
     
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  4. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    Seems like this would simply produce a stiffer string bed than what you 'should' get from a given reference. How do you ensure repeatability?

    FWIW, an older version of JayCee did something similar: after the mais were complete (and tied off), the strings were pushed down with the thumbs, hard, from outsides to middle to move 'slack' to the middle (as opposed to your method of moving all the slack right out of the bed). After completion, strumming the strings produced a consistent drop in pitch from outers to middles. It was said this eliminated most of the break in period from the racket. It had the added benefit of making the outside mains tighter for those who judge string jobs by 'testing' those strings. But, the question remains: how could this be done repeatably and quantitatively?
     
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  5. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    I would submit that this method produces more repeatable and reprodicuble results than can be achieved without it. consider that it doesn't matter exactly how much force you use to pull with your fingers because the dropweight is providing the tension. I'm just making sure that I get all of the strings as close to the reference tension as possible. Repeating the process several times until I don't notice a change anymore ensures that I have done the procedure in a way that gives a reproducible result with all of the strings as close to equalized as practically possible.
     
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  6. TaihtDuhShaat

    TaihtDuhShaat Semi-Pro

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    Im going to use this technique in the future instead of uppimg the tension on the last string.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
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  7. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    I used to string the outer mains 5 to 10 lbs higher, but over time I began to like them loose.

    Now I don't raise tension on those at all.
     
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  8. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    PP, it'll take longer than 20 secs...:)
     
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  9. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i do this and my string jobs feel far more consistent since i started doing this than prior.
     
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  10. verbouge

    verbouge Rookie

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    This sounds like a legitimate practice, and it may well even out the distribution of string tensions in the mains. Have you considered, also, that you'll still lose tension by the mere act of tying off? I'm an MRT, and realize that the USRSA doesn't recommend pulling "knot tension", but I do it anyway. I believe that this practice produces a tighter, more consistent, longer lasting string bed. Customers are almost always delighted at my work, and I think doing this is one reason why.

    I learned this technique from JayCee, by the way. JayCee may be a lot of things, but he is most definitely dedicated, innovative, and imaginative. I've found his advice to be useful more often than not. Not willing to do the flying clamp thing, though. A guy does have his limits.
     
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  11. KoaUka

    KoaUka Rookie

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    What is pulling ” knot tension”? Are you saying that you tighten the knot with the tension er?
     
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  12. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    It took me 2 stringjobs to realize that I can't pull decent tension on a knot without using the tensioner.
     
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  13. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i dont do this......i feel the reason the last outer main usually is looser is because of the slack from the tie off. best way is to reduce the slack of the tie off before tying the knot.
     
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  14. Wikky

    Wikky Rookie

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    Pulling tension on the knot with the tail of the knot is definitely not something you want to do. I feel like its an easy way to break the anchor string (Something I've seen happen before) and also ruin the grommet by slicing into it. By knot tension most people me reference tension +10 to 15% so that that outside main is the same tension as the rest once you account for tension loss by slack when you tie off.

    As for the reason the outside main appears looser than the other strings even when you do this is because of friction. Since there is no string next to the outside main the cross strings naturally push it out which is why its very easy to pull it outside towards the edge of the frame, same with the bottom and top cross.
     
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  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Many electronic machines have a means to pull a string at 10% over tension so if your tension is set to 60 pounds and you press the 'knot' buttom it will pull one string at 66 lbs. Still the difference in string stretch from 60 to 66 pounds is no where near the normal drawback distance. When you tie a knot the knot is tied at the edge of the grommet if you pull tension on the knot with the tensioner (really a big no-no IMO) you will not have any where near the reference tension on the tie off string past the knot. Remember you have to pull around the friction of the frame on the string, around and through the knot then the string make a 90 turn to go into the grommet and then there is another 90 degree turn when it exits the grommet.

    The best way to get the string going back in the grommet tensioned up is to pull the knot down the anchor string then slide the knot back up to the grommet. But again you can't force the knot up in the grommet so when you tie off and release your clamp the string will drawback some especially on new grommets. You can cut that down a bit by flaring the tie off grommet so the knot can get closer to the frame.

    If you string long enough you will break a string tying off by hand. If you pull knots with your tensioner you will do it (edit - break strings) quicker and more often.
     
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  16. KoaUka

    KoaUka Rookie

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    Ah I see. I have a drop-weight so I do not have this button. So far, what i've been doing is increasing the tension 4lbs or so for the last string b4 tie off. Then I tighten the knot as you describe, pulling up the anchor string then arching back. You demonstrate this well in your video of the wilson pro knot and it has been very helpful to me, thank you.

    So far, my outer mains have a good amount of tension, ie I can't pull them that far, they are pretty snug. It's funny you should mension breaking a string when tying off. So far, i've been pulling very hard to tighten the knots, so hard I almost tip the stringer off the table. I have not had a string break when doing this....yet. After cutting out a recent string job, I was surprised to see the condition of the anchor string by the knot, it was totally mangled. In your videos it seems you are not pulling so vigoriously, just hand tight. Is this correct?
     
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  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You are correct. I used to pull much hard but I have given up on that. Looks at it this way your stringer weighs maybe 40 you could pick it up with the tie off string and you would not be putting at much pressure as if you pulled tension with the tensioner.
     
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  18. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    Irvin,

    Just out of curiosity, what's your take on the practice mentioned in the OP's first post?
     
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  19. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    When you start tugging on string across the racket I think you will have varying tensions all across the racket. Also the main strings in the center of the racket should be lower after you finish the mains because the head of the racket compresses. When stringing the crosses the racket will straighten out.
     
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  20. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    I figured that would be your take. Thanks. I'm on the fence, but the tugging WOULD seem to be an additional variable added to an already complex system. Dunno.
     
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  21. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    For the anal types, the extra tension on those last 2 mains does help keep the strings in place a little bit better.
     
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  22. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Im still a rookie myself and noticed on my first several string jobs that my outer mains were a little loose. I was only going up 2-3 lbs on the last main.

    Once I moved up to 5+lbs on the last main I have been pretty happy with the tension. I also think that as I string more racquets I am getting better at the knots as well which makes a difference in tension loss.
     
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  23. mad dog1

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    it is an additional variable, but it is controllable. easiest to do this if you a constant pull machine. i can't see doing it w/ a crank.
     
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  24. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    How would you go about making it controlable/repeatable with a reasonable degree of precision? You do, after all, have to pull each string by feel alone, right?

    I guess a good way to test the method would be to compare the 2 methods by measuring the string with a tension meter (the twisty kind) before and after the pulling.
     
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  25. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    first you need CP to do it. if your reference tension is 50#s, you can not pull and recover tension greater than 50#s in your previous mains. the most you can pull and recover is up to 50#s. once you do it, you see what i'm talking about. it takes a few tries before you get it down though. the more you do it, the faster and easier it becomes. but you're basic trying to match the pitch for the first 3 or 4 left and right mains. if you're stringing a round racquet, it's going to be the middle 6 mains (3R & 3L). if you're string a yonex or a 18x20 pattern, it's going to be the middle 8 mains (4R and 4L).

    if you're tone deaf, that could be problematic.

    the end result of doing this is that you can string your racquets 2-5#s lower than previously meaning you don't have to overstretch poly. i used to string in the low to mid 50s. now i'm stringing in the high 40s and my stringbed feels tighter and also maintains playability for longer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
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  26. TaihtDuhShaat

    TaihtDuhShaat Semi-Pro

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    I just tried this, while tensioning the outer mains I pulled on each string from center out on the side being tensioned, and the dropweight went down another 10 degrees past horizontal. What i mentioned earlier on the thread doesnt really apply i figured out. I like this technique as it gets rid of a lot of slack left from the clamping process. Great idea. Ill use this now instead of upping the tension on tieoff strings.
     
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  27. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I firmly believe that the stringbed tension is a result of the stringer's technique and not a number selected on a dial. Point being, if you go to the same stringer over and over and ask for 60lbs, that's your 60lb reference point. If you go to a different stringer who perhaps upps tension on outer mains or crosses ad ask for 60lbs, then you'll likely get a much different feeling 60lbs. In other words, it's consistency that matters from any given stringer, not the exact tension chosen because it's impossible to ever have exactly that.
     
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  28. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    But you see, this is exactly what I'm talking about. Four different stringers who are given 45lbs reference will yield four different stringbed tensions. Say one pulls at medium speed. Say that another pulls at the slowest possible speed. Perhaps another pings the mains. And maybe the final one pulls at the middle speed and ups 10% on tie-offs. That's four legitimate methods, but will yield four different stringbeds. It just depends whether or not the stringer is consistent with his or her customers.
     
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  29. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Seems to me like we have a disaster waiting to happen. If you want to ping the strings so they are all the same frequency you could use the rackettune app. But how do you get all the string lengths the same on all the mains. You do realize that is the string length changes even though the tension remains the same the tune changes don't you?
     
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  30. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    That's not the idea behind it. It's similar to the JET method. You want each string to be tensioned so that given its length, its tension causes them all to resonate at the same frequency. In other words, all strings are at different tensions to create the same resonant frequency. What the misconception about this technique is is that, like you have stated, the strings are not at the same tension.
     
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  31. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    in a round head w/ a 16x19 pattern, the 6 center mains (3L and 3R) are about the same length. in a round head w/ a 18x20 pattern the 8 center mains (4L and 4R) are about the same length. in a isometric yonex head w/ a 16x19 pattern, the 8 center mains (4L and 4R) are about the same length. the shorter outer mains will not ping the same, nor is it possible to get them to ping the same or close to the same pitch. i believe the reason why JayCee drops -4# in tension for the next 3 mains is to compensate for their shorter length. even when you drop the tension -4#s, the pitch on these strings will still come in much higher than the center mains.

    i used to hold the same view as irvin but after i started this method of recovering tension back towards the center mains, i realized how much more consistent the stringbed felt. also, the players i string for also felt and liked the difference.

    i like the feel of my stringjobs as do the guys i'm stringing for so at least for me, the proof is in the pudding.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
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  32. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    valid points. that's why i tell my new customers that it may take 2 or 3 times before i get the feel of the stringbed dialed in to what they're used to. i ask what machine and tension they've been having their racquets strung on. this way i know i'll get in the ballpark. since i've been using this new method, most of the feedback has been the stringbed feels tighter than before so i now know to drop tension another 1-2#s from the start. there's only one customer who can't tell the difference. but he can't tell the difference between any string. says they all feel the same anyways. and he asks me to string his racquet in the low 60s and lets the stick sit for 3 months in the trunk of his car to allow the tension to loosen before hititng w/ it.
     
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  33. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    'mad dog1' I have a customer that does something similar. He plays with three rackets and breaks strings about once a month. He plays with one racket and lets the other two sit. When his strings break he gets it strung and plays with another until it breaks then he get out the third and lets the other two sit and starts the pattern all over again.

    He said he does it that way because he broke two string in one match and worried the rest of the match the third one would break and he would have to forfeit. Makes a lot of sense to me just like the pros alternate rackets only he plays with them a lot longer. LOL
     
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  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I do the same thing with my 3 rackets. Play 1 until breakage or cut them out after 2 weeks. So each of my sticks sits up to a month after stringing before I use it.
     
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  35. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    A large part of this is misconception and part of it is just a fact of life. The outside mains being easier to pull with your fingers is definitely NOT an indication of a poor string job. The other mains are locked in because there is a main string on either side of them.

    The slightly lower tension of the outside mains in no way affects playability.
     
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  36. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Well why don't you try it and let us know how it works? Or doesn't work. LOL
     
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  37. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    This is a huge reason why I like non polys. I don't feel that bad about letting them sit for weeks freshly strung.
     
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  38. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Irvin, you are too old to use LOL twice in the same thread. :)
     
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  39. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    No and I beg your pardon, (LOL) I resemble that remark LOL.
     
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  40. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    LOLLOLLOLLOL
     
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  41. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Haha I'm a staunch detractor of the method because at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with tension. Them "pinging" at the same pitch actually tells you all of the strings are at different tensions since they're different lengths. I think it's silly, but there are those that disagree. :)
     
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  42. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    This trumps 10char any day of the week :lol:
     
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  43. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    It is a DireDesire trick. You can also write hidden funny stuff with this method. :)
     
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  44. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Having now compared frames strung with and without this method, I strongly disagree.

    When I remove the slack using the method of the original post of this thread, the stringbed initially feels about the same as if I don't. But after an hour or two of hitting, there is a stark contrast. The stringbed strung "normally" with looser outer mains feels much mushier, while the stringbed with slack removed still feels almost as crisp as new.
     
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  45. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    Well, this is the kind of test I like to hear about. Sounds like a reasonable comparison with favorable results.

    Does the process from the OP increase SBS? If so, how would we go about accounting for the process when shooting for a specific SBS? Perhaps drop the ref. tension by 2ish pounds, or something like that?

    I'm not actually exactly clear on what the process is. Here's my take: do all the mains, tie off one side, leave the other under tension. Push down on the tied main, then the one next to it. While keeping the downward tension on that main, push down on the next while releasing the previous. Continue that way all the way to the main that's still under reference tension, and repeat 'til there's no more further drop. Does that sound right?

    Is it possible that what we're really doing is just removing some of the elasticity of the string, similar to a pre-stretch?
     
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  46. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Good question. That is the OP just saying what he said before. But you also have to look at his other posts:

    If only the drop weight is applying force how does the string bend and stretch? And if the string stretch is removed how much and how does that relate to the SBS

    As long as you are pulling tension on Kevlar (OP uses Kevlar mains which does not stretch but he manages to get an extra 0.2" out of it) I believe your are OK but I would not try this with other strings.
     
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  47. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

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    Yes.

    It keeps the strings in place better.

    The strings hold tension longer.

    You can string at a lower tension.

    You dont have to worry about slicing through your grommets by pulling tension after tying knots.



    Pushing down and strumming the strings like a guitar from both ends (mains) towards the center helps even out the tension.

    String the same way every time.
     
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  48. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Some of you pull knots on the mains with the tensioner? I never do that personally.
     
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  49. KerryR

    KerryR Rookie

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    I believe this is a process promoted on "Stringforum": The last main is pulled and clamped, the tail passed through the tie-off grommet and placed under ref. tension (the string spans across the racket) and blocked with an awl stuffed in the grommet along side the tensioned string to hold the string in tension while the knot is tied. Places a lot of stress on the grommet and takes a bit of extra string, too. I don't do this, myself. Is that what you guys are talking about doing, or are you tying and pulling the knot tight somehow with the tensioner??
     
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  50. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My first job I busted a knot with the tensioner. Will not do that again.
     
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