Does natural gut need to be pre-stretched?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by levy1, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    My long time stringer says his machine automatically stretches the gut and there is no need to pre stretch it? He has the latest electric stringer. I have always read it needs to be pre stretched before the racquet is stung. If this is correct can I do it myself before I give it to him?

    I am testing quite a few racquet's with natural gut/poly and I want to make sure my racquet's are being string correctly. He strings for OSU and I dont want to get him mad but on the other had I am paying a lot of money for string jobs lately. Six just this month.

    thanks
     
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  2. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Six this month?! It's only the twelfth. Maybe you shouldn't be using NG if the cost of replacing strings every two days is getting to you.
     
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  3. levy1

    levy1 Hall of Fame

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    I am not replacing I am testing different setups and tensions. Do you have any information to add or you just wanted to comment?
     
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  4. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I didn't know you were testing, didn't read the post too carefully, sorry. No information to add.
     
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  5. DE19702

    DE19702 Rookie

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    I do not understand the need to prestretch any string. Gut has a lot of elasticity and if you prestretch it wouldn't that take out some of it? Gut supposedly loses about 9%-10% tension. Why would you want to speed up the process.
     
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  6. InsideOutBackhand

    InsideOutBackhand New User

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    The only reasons I would pre stretch is to remove coil memory for easier stringing or to reduce tension loss post stringing. Neither of which seems appropriate in your situation. Someone else is doing the stringing and natural gut has great tension maintenance.

    Pre stretching is an additional stress on the string which introduces another source for potential variability. I cannot pre stretch by hand the exact same tension for the exact same duration every time. Not something I would attempt when testing out new equipment/setups.
     
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  7. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Most decent electronic stringers have a prestretch function.

    With it turned on, the machine pulls the string 5%-15% higher than your desired tension (you specify the percentage). Then it drops the tension back down to your desired tension.

    That's one way to prestretch strings. But I do not like overshooting the tension.

    I also do not like to prestretch gut. I suppose VS would do fine when prestretched, but I hate prestretched Klip Legend, which loses all of its gut qualities and turns boardy and stiff.

    But when I do prestretch any string, I'd like to do it by hand. My guess is that when I hand-stretch it, I probably do not overshoot my desired tension and take out too much of the string's elasticity.
     
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  8. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I string a decent amount of nat. gut.
    The majority of time, I just give the string a light hand pre stretch only like others said to get rid of some of the coil memory, as that makes the job to string easier.
    As far as the machines pre stretch function, I never use it. As said it just over shoots the tension then relaxes back to the reference tension set.
    My problem with this is how well does the tension go back to the set tension with all the friction with the string across the grommets, and more important the friction of the cross strings against the main strings. I would find it hard to believe that the string would go back to the desired tension with all that friction, and as a result the tension would be higher, and more so with the cross strings. I'm sure if someone strung a racquet both ways, a light manual and a machines prestretch I bet the machines prestretch would result in a greater stringbed stiffness and probably due to a higher tension with the cross strings.Just my thoughts.
     
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  9. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    Only pre-stretch if you like stiff, of course then why buy gut if you want it stiff....
     
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  10. Tennis_Crazed

    Tennis_Crazed Semi-Pro

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    Same here...i do a very light stretch as well...nothing to hard...don't trust the prestretch function - who knows whats going on there.
     
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  11. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Didn't people traditionally pre-stretch gut by tying it around a doorknob and wrapping around a stick - or something like that?
     
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  12. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    That is basically a manual or hand pre stretch. I just clamp one end of the string to my machines fixed clamp (heavy machine), and walk back to the end, and pull back a while to reduce some of the coil memory. You can actually feel the string give a little and its not a great amount, and it does make the job go easier, as the last thing needed stringing gut is kinks, and this helps as less coiling,therefore less chance of kinks.
    I just would find it hard to believe that the machines prestretch would completely relax the tension back to the reference tension properly with all the frictional forces involved, that is why I would not use that, and you would also be dealing with excess coil memory as well, as the machines prstretch does nothing for that.
     
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  13. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    So that once it is in your racquet, it doesn't lose 9-10 % tension, as it has already been stretched.

    When one pre-strectches gut, they may do it for a variety of reasons.

    As Jime pointed out, to simply take out some of the coil memory and as a result make it easier to string.

    Another point of pre strectching gut, would be so that you stretch it before you put it in the frame, thus resulting in it not stretching and thus losing more tension, while in the frame.

    It is really a matter of preference. For some customers, they want a pre-stretch. For other, they don't. Yet others, really don't care either way.

    In my experience, Gut that has been thoroughly pre stretched where teh string completely lies flat and relaxed, loses way less tenions over time, than one that has not been pre-stretched.

    The down side is the string that is pre-stretched is not as lively as the one that hasn't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
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