HOW to Prestretch Nat Gut?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by brucie, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. brucie

    brucie Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,318
    Like it says basically, Iv heard people say they dont pre stretch their gut others do my machine is Eagnas DEN 4000 manual crank machine so it has no pre stretch feature.
    so how do you STRETCH your GUT STRINGS?
     
    #1
  2. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,723
    You need some punctuation, buddy ;)

    As far as pre-stretching, you really don't have to worry about it. Some would argue that it will suck a little bit of the "bouciness" out of your gut, which isn't desirable for most.

    If you are dead set on prestretching, find a smooth, sturdy, upright pole that won't nick the string. Use your clamp heads (i'm assuming here you're stringing yourself). Remove them from the clamp bases, clamp one end of the gut in one clamp, and the other in the other. Use the pole as an anchor, and walk far enough away where the string becomes taut. Lean back gently until you feel the string relax a bit.

    Again, i wouldn't pre-stretch if i were you, as you run the risk of damaging the string more than benefitting from pre-stretching..
    Either way, good luck.
     
    #2
  3. brucie

    brucie Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,318
    Ok then! So I should be fine stringing without stretching then. By the way diredesire, do you string yourself, if so what expeiances have you had with gut, is it difficult to work with?
     
    #3
  4. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Western MA
    As far as pre-strecthing goes, some manufacturers do not recommend it any more. If you want to do it, use the method diredesire suggested if you're doing it yourself. Of course, be aware of nicking, kinking, etc. If you have someone to help you; Each clamp one end of the string (if you have flying clamps). Walk away from each other. When the string is taut, follow diredesires one person method.

    Working with gut is almost identical to working with a soft multi. The biggest three issues: Watch the kinking, don't clamp too tight (possible crushing), and nicking. Take your time, make sure the grommets are smooth, and if you have a tight bend, you may want to consider tubing or power padding. Be patient getting the string through shared or blocked grommets. (I use a pathfinder awl a lot.) Then enjoy. Natural gut is the crack of the tennis world!
     
    #4
  5. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    879
    to prestretch, have either a flying clamp or starting clamp. clamps from machines with fixed clamps aren't great for prestretching because they tend to slip from any vertical force and the weight of them could cause slippage from gravity. i made a prestretch box where i put a starting clamp to hold one end and i have a wooden dowel handle covered with leather to hold on to the other end with



    working with gut just takes practice. go slowly at first and just be careful. as you string more and more gut, you will be able to go faster but accuracy is still key. even when i string for the pros at tournaments, i sometimes still have to slow down to make sure everything is perfect
     
    #5
  6. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,723
    Interesting tips chris, I know not everyone has a starting/flying clamp available, but I actually do prefer a flying clamp to prestretch.

    As far as working with gut, yes, i string for myself, and have worked with gut on various occasions. It's not as ultra-delicate as people make it out to be. Just watch the amount of "twisting" you put on the string (i.e. when you're weaving crosses, or threading mains, if the string is starting it's natural twisting, remove the twist with one hand, and feed the string through with the other.

    The other tips in this thread are good. Avoid nicking, kinking (tight bends that happen during the described times above) and clamping too hard. Don't be too afraid, if you're inexperienced though, I would probably wait on the gut job unless you're doing a hybrid. Hybrids really aren't so bad.
     
    #6
  7. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    I have a thick dowel about a foot long with a hole drilled in it i use for prestretching. stick the string ends through the hole and rotate the dowel a couple turns and you have a great handle to prestretch with. All gut benefits from a degre of prestretching i think...springy gut like VSTeam and Bow benefit from a more vigorous prestretch and less springy like Klip Legend should only be given a gentle prestretch I feel
     
    #7
  8. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    986
    I strongly recommend a gentle pre-stretch. Yeah, you don't want to ruin the string or compromise its resilience, but it really helps to get the string to relax just a bit and greatly reduces the risk of kinking, which can be a real gut-killer.
     
    #8
  9. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,526
    I dont feel that these ways of stretching gut are correct.If you want to check the way i was taught by some pro stringers,check my post in natural gut tensions.

    To do it correctly you must stretch each string,this pulling the whole set does nothing more than help with the kinks.

    I only use gut mains+syn. x's,i have been using gut for 3 years now+even in the high humidity,which i have been playing in the last 7 weeks,my strings play great.

    I have stretched gut different ways+to me there is only one way to do it right,by prestretching each string it plays better right away+keeps playing great.

    If i use gut without stretching,or stretching the whole set it plays fine at first.But after about 3 days it starts to loosen up.

    I play everyday+i can get a good month out of one string job.By using my method of stretching it will play good for the life of the string.
     
    #9
  10. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    879
    tlm, there are currently two schools of thought on prestretching. many of the US stringers don't like the prestretch function on their machines so they prestretch gut by doing the entire length of the string at once. other players feel that the prestretching function on the machine feels better and they do that. pretty much it is all up the stringers. but the key is to be consistent. if you prestretch, always do one method or the other and stick with it. don't switch unless a customer specifically ask you differently.

    also, having strung some events on the circuit, nobody that does events on the tour prestretch as it takes up time and space, which are both in small supply at events. however, pros don't care about the benefit of prestretch making the string play better for a longer period of time because they cut it out often after a week or so
     
    #10
  11. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,526
    Those are good points Crisplchs,It doesnt apply to the pros because they dont use the same string job for even a match let alone a week.

    Nobody was asking what the pros do,I am talking about the rest of us, that have to pay big bucks for gut.

    I will agree new gut plays fine wether it is stretched or not.But i have tried both ways a lot+ stretching each string to me is much better.

    Also you can easily do the same thing with a dropweight machine.
     
    #11
  12. brucie

    brucie Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,318
    So if I use gut its worth trying to pre stretch then tlm?
     
    #12
  13. dmastous

    dmastous Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,132
    I know a guy who strings on a star 2. He clamps one end and pulls until the stringer moves. That's his prestretch. I have a pretty strong bar I can use to just lean on the string to stretch it myself.
    The bottom line is to be consistant. You can prestretch or not prestretch, but do it the same way each time so your stringing comes out feeling the same way.
     
    #13
  14. Gaines Hillix

    Gaines Hillix Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,240
    Just my $.02 on the effects of prestretching....IMO, the effect of a 20% prestretch on a 12" string are going to be different than on an 8" string because tension effects string in relation to its length. An 8" string tensioned to 60 lbs. is going to have a higher dynamic stiffness than a 12" string. So, the effect of a machine prestretch is going to be greater on the short strings than on the longer strings, which is just the opposite of what one wants, IMO. But, the effect on the string will be uniform if it is stretched in one piece.

    EDIT - I only give nat gut a gentle prestretch....just enough to take some of the coil memory out of it to help avoid kinking. If any of you decide to take your USRSA certification you'll need to be able to demostrate how to properly prestretch gut in one piece.
     
    #14
  15. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    I aree with Gaines. Also, I think prestretching every string on an already firm playing gut like Klip Legend would pretty much ruin it I believe
     
    #15
  16. tlm

    tlm Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    7,526
    To answer brucie,yes it would be worth stretching.As far as Gaines point about stretching different length strings,there might be a small difference but i dont think it is noticable.

    When you stretch the entire string i also think the stretch changes from the end of the string as opposed to the middle,in other words you are not getting the same amount of stretch throughout the entire string.

    All i can say is i have tried it both ways+the one string at a time seems much better to me.But if you never try it you cant make a comparison.

    As far as hurting the string i have never had that problem.I dont notice hardly any difference with new gut wether you stretch it,dont stretch it,or use different stretching methods.Its after you play with it for a while is when you notice the difference!
     
    #16
  17. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    879
    tlm,

    in simple mechanics and statics, if you stretch the string all at once, the force and tension is EQUAL throughout the entire piece of the string between the two ends. Granted, that is for an ideal conditions where there is no deformation. however, even if there is deformation (i.e. stretching) the science laws governing force and tension are really similar with only minor variances.

    the thing is that people here need to try each method and feel which works better for them. i can only tell you what i use, how i use it, and why i use it. prestretching one string at a time is a fine method but i don't use it because i don't believe it is better than stretching the whole thing at a time.
     
    #17
  18. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    I think it important to note that it depends upon which gut you are prestretching. dont prestretch a really stretchy gut, and you will get lots of tension creep and your strnbed may fairly quickly turn to mush. prestretch a firm playng gut like Klip Legend too much, and you can ruin the playablity of it and make it feel boardy. This is a value of a good stringer.they know which strngs to prestretch and how much to prestretch them and dont just prestretch the hell out of a string so it makes it easier to string
     
    #18
  19. chiru

    chiru Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,455
    how do you do powerpads? like is there a place to get leather? what works well? do i just put it on top of the throat grommet outside piece?
     
    #19
  20. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,915
    Location:
    Parts unknown
    you really dont need powerpads these days, but if you want to try them, we used to make our own out of old leather grips...cut them into small pieces and fold the small pieces in half
     
    #20
  21. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    879
    go to (grand slam stringers) dot com.. they sell leather strips that you can make power pads out of. power pads kind of went out of the way with oversize racquets and teflon tubing but some pros still insist on using them
     
    #21
  22. Larry Baldridge

    Larry Baldridge New User

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    61
    I have strung gut for over 25 years in my own racquets and for others. Personally, I do not pre-stretch for myself as it stiffens and deadens the feel of the string bed. If you want to pre-stretch gut, try cutting two pieces of 2X2 wood about 6"-8" long, drill a hole through each piece. Slip one end of the gut through the hole on one block, and the other end through the hole on the other block. Clamp onto the ends with a starting clamps. Wrap around a post (or tree)[cushioned by wrapping a towel around the post and placing the string around/on the towel] and pull @ 45 lbs. of tension for 45 seconds.
    [Wilson n-code 6.1/Babolat VS Team gut (17g) @ 68#]
     
    #22

Share This Page