Getting the floppy end of a Kevlar string through the tie off/shared hole.

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by dman72, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Can any of you experts help me out with this nightmare? When stringing with Kevlar, it's basically like stringing with twine. When it comes time to push the ******* through the tie off hole, it took me almost 15 minutes the last time I strung my racket. I tried everything..cut the the end of the string as sharp as I could, I waxed it, I wet it, I damn near broke the awl trying to shove it through.

    Is there some trick to getting floppy strings through shared holes? Your help is much appreciated.
     
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  2. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Two easy ways to do that, use a pathfinder awl or a starting clamp.
     
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  3. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I'm going to assume you're referring to Ashaway kevlar, as most other kevlars are easier to work with (due to coating/construction). I like Ashaway the best, though, so there's no escaping it for me...

    Pathfinder awl is one of the most foolproof ways, but assuming you don't have one:

    You shouldn't be using the awl to shove the string through. The awl should (at worst) be used to create a little clearance for the string. Insert the awl carefully, making sure not to nick the string already in the hole, and once it's all the way through, wiggle it around. Force is not necessary here! Take a look before and after, putting your eye at grommet level. The top OR bottom will look a little more open when you peek. Line the string up with this side of the hole and keep the plier tips close to the frame. You should be investigating the source of blockage before fiddling too much, though. Use a flashlight on the other side of the hole, and it'll become pretty obvious what you're trying to do.

    If this still doesn't work, dip the tip in nail polish (super glue works in a pinch), and it'll stiffen up after it dries. This isn't going to save you a lot of time, though.
     
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  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Don't know why but couldn't edit my other post so here's how it is done. I run into this a lot when I string Prince rackets with Kevlar mains. Here you are tying the string from 10H to 8H.

    Before pulling tension on the 7th main put the pathfinder in 8H from the inside of the frame. After stringing the outside main put the tip in the pathfinder awl and pull it through. To use the starting clamp pre-weave the two outside mains and place the tail into the tie off hole. Ten use the starting clamp as a bridge to tension the 7th then 8th main before tying off.
     
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  5. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Also heating the tip of the string will make it stiffer and it may be able to be pushed through.
     
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  6. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Yep, stringing ashway kevlar 17 on a prince NXG. The end becomes so frayed and weak that it can't get through a hole with even a minor obsruction. You keep cutting it to try to get an edge, but after one push it bends about 2 CM from the end and now you're done.

    I don't have a pathfinder awl, but what I will do is cut a few string jobs worth of ashway to length and use the crazy glue before hand.

    Thanks for your help.
     
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  7. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder if you could cut off the end (remove burrs) of a basketball air needle and use it as a pathfinder awl? Maybe a piece of Teflon tubing would work also.
     
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  8. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    I string a guy's N5 with Ashaway Kevlar mains, and I've really never had a problem after cutting the point. I use scissors to cut it sometimes.
     
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  9. bigmatt

    bigmatt Rookie

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    Steve, I believe the N5 ties off on the sixth main, a much easier way to insert the string than if it tied off on the 7th (16 main pattern, IIRC). It sounds like the OP has a racquet that ties off on the next-to-last main, a real nuisance with Ashaway Kevlar (just did a 6.1 today, and I sympathize).
    The best way I've found to solve this problem is to prepare the hole ahead of time by using a waxed awl to open it up before stringing. You can even leave it in there until it's time to install the main.
     
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  10. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    bigmatt you are correct, and to make matters worse unlike the Wilson rackets that usually have fins built into the grommet Prince has nothing.
     
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  11. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for all you suggestions guys. The NXG is my main racquet and I alternate stringing the 2 I have left once per month (with kevlar playability actually improves over time until it breaks, IMO). I'm dreading the next stringing session less now.
     
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  12. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I'm glad you bumped this thread. I had an idea last night about using something similar to Chinese handcuffs for this. Braided nylon cord seems like it will work. Before you insert the main in 8H put in about 8" of small nylon cord from the inside of the frame. When putting the main string in the hole be careful not to wrap it around the cord then tension the 7th and 8th mains as normal. When you are ready to put the tail in 8H, place it in the hollow nylons cord at least 1" and push it up as far in the grommet as you can while pulling the cord in. Pull the nylon cord from the inside and the string comes with it as it is wrapped with the handcuff cord.

    EDIT: That's if you don't have a pathfinder awl or starting clamp.
     
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  13. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Good suggestion, I'm just wondering where to find hollow thin nylon cord.

    I was thinking about trying to use a coffee stirrer...pretty stiff, pretty thin, and hollow.
     
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  14. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    the chinese handcuff idea might work.

    i also wonder if a tiny bit of tri-flo, teflon lube might help?
     
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  15. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    as a climber, outdoor person....i'd say it will be hard to find nylon cord small enough. also, you'll have to pull the core out and cut it off so the sheath becomes your "pathfinder" that sheathes the tennis string.

    This is a sound idea in theory, to be sure. Not so sure it will be easy to achieve.
     
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  16. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Home Depot, Lowes, ACE hardware, Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, etc...
     
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  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Coffee stirrer / Teflon tubing would be a little too smoth on the inside and would not grab the Kevlar when pulled. It will also smash with tension so you could not push the Kevlar through.
     
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  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I got some nylon braided cord at Home Depot and it does not have a core. If there is a core like parachute cord I doubt it would be small enough. Maybe it is braided twine and not cord I am talking about. Home Depot has it in orange, yellow, white, etc... Whatever it is and it is about the richness of tennis string with a little tension.
     
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  19. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    gotcha. something with a core would/could work, but you'd have to cut out some core near the working end of the cord.

    so you are pre-installing the cord (in your "vision")?
     
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  20. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    ABSOLUTELY! If you don't put the nylon cord in first you will never get it in.
     
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