Lubricate strings? More spins?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by 2Hare, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    #1
  2. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    I rarely say this, but, please do use the search. There is at least a thread a week on this topic.
     
    #2
  3. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,592
    Location:
    Baseline
    It is old but well worth repeating.

    You don't need to lube the strings. A low friction hybrid will do the job just as well and without the mess or questionable effects on the ball!

    I've found gut mains on smooth copoly crosses in the high 40s to low 50s work best. Lower and control suffers. Higher and you lock up the string bed. Full coply in the mid to high 40s is good too but doesn't offer the range of feel of gut/ copoly hybrid.
     
    #3
  4. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    803
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL

    Exactly my experience!! I like both at 1.25mm too..
     
    #4
  5. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,147
    #5
  6. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    Runnin round backhands
    I've heard South Americans would sand down their strings to give it a little more bite.
     
    #6
  7. MesQueUnClub

    MesQueUnClub Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Colorado
    I've also heard they glue baby piranha teeth to natural gut to add more bite and spin while maintaining good power.
     
    #7
  8. sepidoel

    sepidoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    296
    The next question is what lubrication is best suited for this? Obviously WD40 is not the answer although it gives good result.

    I always used multi whether full-bed or hybrid setup, and my stringer used to apply candle's wax onto the string prior to stringing. I felt good about it despite there was still noticeable movement (I suspect the combination of Polystar Energy and Prince Premier was the cause, rather than "the wax didn't work").

    However one side effect I just noticed is some of the wax might transfered to the grip via my own hand, made it slippery quite fast. Two possible ways I can think of are by directly touched the string to realign it and by touching the ball that already contaminated.

    So, is there any suggestion?
     
    #8
  9. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    Thanks, I string my hybrid around low to mid 50s with gut main a few pounds higher, and the gut main seems to increase in friction quite fast and the ball start flying. I tried stringing it slightly lower and it had a bit too much power. That's why I decided to lubricate it, and it seems to work!
     
    #9
  10. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    #10
  11. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    really? I've never seen one, I'll go check them out thanks
     
    #11
  12. wrxtotoro

    wrxtotoro Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    280
    Yep. It work... I rub some baby oil on gut and it seems to make the more spin friendly.
     
    #12
  13. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    Runnin round backhands
    Omg?! No way I have to totally try this! :p
     
    #13
  14. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    worn gut has so much frictions, so baby oil works best for you? have you tried other lubricant?
     
    #14
  15. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,027
    The next time your string feels dead, or the strings won't go back in place (doesn't matter what kind) put the cheapest hand lotion on them, just enough to get the strings wet, move strings around, realign. You will be surprised.
     
    #15
  16. wrxtotoro

    wrxtotoro Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    280
    I don't know if it's the best thing but its cheap in walmart!!

    Anyone tried those teflon spray yet?
     
    #16
  17. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    teflon spray? I would try it if it wasn't for the health concerns about teflon. what about Mira-fit like the one they use in japanese study? anyone knows where you can get those in north america?
     
    #17
  18. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2010
    Messages:
    3,592
    Location:
    Baseline
    With a smooth poly cross I've found spin increases as the SB ages. I have at least 30 hours or more on my PSLGT gut/poly and it's amazing. Still perfect control but amazing spin. On a good WW forehand I can hear the zinging thwappy sound as the gut mains rip and snap back into place and the ball takes a crazy spinny arc.
     
    #18
  19. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,147
    Could just tube the mains
     
    #19
  20. sepidoel

    sepidoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    296
    I deeply thank you, Sir. This is one of the most useful lessons I got from TT. What I used was old (probably already expired) Vaseline for dry skin lotion, and now I'm addicted to apply that to my stringbed.

    To do it, first I unaligned my stringbed (all mains and crosses), then I rubbed one press (at most) of the lotion to the stringbed using my palm before I realigned the stringbed.

    I just tried it a few hours ago and the lotion truly helped the string movement back like new.

    My next question is, what is the most slippery lotion? Preferably cheap and common one.
     
    #20
  21. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,147
    Used Motion Lotion in the past.
     
    #21
  22. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    697
    Location:
    about 5000 feet up...
    Just as a quick point, WD-40 is not a lubricant - it is a de-greaser. We see the same mistake in the cycling industry all the time with people thinking that it's a lubricant. It works in the short term for a test like this because it is wet on the strings, but a true lubricant will be able to reduce friction even once it has 'dried'. For something like lubricating strings, I would think that a 'dry' chain lubricant for a bicycle (Pedro's Dry Lube) would be very effective. They tend to be wax-based and have very good durability and adhesion properties. The only question would be whether the solvent that the lubricant is suspended in would damage or weaken the sheath/outer layers of the string - though since it is safe for skin contact I doubt this would be the case...
     
    #22
  23. sepidoel

    sepidoel Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    296
    O.O
    That's actually a good idea, but can it still lubricate after hours or days being applied?

    Never heard of dry lubricant before. Definitely worth trying.

    Thanks for sharing. :)
     
    #23
  24. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,027
    Just use cheap lotion from your local department store, usually walmart in US.

    P.S. Don't tell your friends, they won't believe you.

    LOL
     
    #24
  25. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    Wow, thanks a lot man! Definitely trying that, as baby oil is killing my balls haha.
     
    #25
  26. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Desert
    Another popular, wax-based cycle lube is FinishLine Clean Ride/White Lightning
     
    #26
  27. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Indeed it is true about WD40. People assume that since it's used to loosen joints and stop squeaks that it's actually a lubricant. It's actually intended to displace water, hence the W and D. Twice a year I apply liquid graphite to my stringing machine's rails (it's ultra fine graphite powder, think pencil dust), and it's by far the slickest thing I've encountered, and is completely inert so it doesn't damage anything. Unfortunately, I'm not positive that it would work in the slightest on tennis strings, and is very expensive.
     
    #27
  28. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,394
    I think I used to use that graphite stuff to make the wheels spin better on small model race cars. It may work on strings, but for some reason I have my doubts. Maybe I don't trust it because I never won a race!
     
    #28
  29. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Desert
    Graphite is great for slow moving, precision, metal parts like locks.
    Teflon or synthetic grease is better for higher speeds
    Wax is probably best for strings (that is usually the main ingredient in hand lotions)
    Watch out for Lanolin. Too slippery!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
    #29
  30. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    that's a lot of great info, thank! do you lubricate the strings yourself? how well does that work for u?
     
    #30
  31. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    If anyone is wondering what I'm talking about, then here:

    http://www.greenchem.com/058drygraplu.html

    And mixedmedia, that's how I have some. I used to race RC cars, and that stuff is commonly used for a number of applications.
     
    #31
  32. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Desert
    Sounds like great stuff! Maybe it would work for strings!
    And, no. I don't lube strings(except for some Chapstik to get past blocked holes), but I heard tell...
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
    #32
  33. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,147
    Can you wax your strings on the changeovers? Whip out a bar of wax and get busy.
     
    #33
  34. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    I'll put that on the my try list too, thanks! someone gotta do playtests of lubricants someday. I've tried baby oil, it works, but it wear off too fast and makes the balls dirty.
     
    #34
  35. mixedmedia

    mixedmedia Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,394
    Ahh, I see. I almost want to try it since I went and found the tube in an old toolbox, but I probably won't since I hit flatter shots anyway.
     
    #35
  36. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    I've checked out some local graphite based sprayed on lubricants, seems like they are toxic. is this non-toxic?
     
    #36
  37. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    ok I've tried bike lube, worse than baby oil. grease up the ball like crazy and and smell worse than baby oil. I guess I'll try hand lotion next!
     
    #37
  38. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    This is really awkward lol
     
    #38
  39. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,147
    And this is not awkward?
     
    #39
  40. 2Hare

    2Hare Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2010
    Messages:
    485
    Ok, after trying bike lubes, baby oil, body lotion, and finger ease, I think I'm ready to give some feedbacks. body lotion and finger ease work the best. my setups are gut main poly crosses on blx90 and a few other frames.

    1. Bike lubes and baby oil are simply unsuitable for lubricating strings as they grease up the balls so much so they are almost unplayable. Plus once that happens, the string stop sliding much again.

    2. body/hand lotion and finger ease both revitalize the string beds well. sure not as good as new string setup, but I'm damn impressed about how much they make strings spinny and gripping cupping the balls again. Here's the breakdown.

    Hand lotion: cheap, easy solution that smells good too! applied it with my palms, and then pulled on the mains to coat the sliding part of the gut main. On the court, it works well for a few hours. reapplying the lotion bring the strings back to life again.

    Finger ease: slightly more expensive, but easy to apply as you can just spray it all over strings. it's a product designed to work with gut strings in the first place, so without saying, it works very well, I would say more than the lotion. I think it lasts about as long as the hand lotion when applied generously.

    Please let me know if u think there are better lubricant for tennis strings out there, thanks =)
     
    #40
  41. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Hah, touche!
     
    #41
  42. AR15

    AR15 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, USA
    I prefer Astroglide :)
     
    #42
  43. bruintennis

    bruintennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    450
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    interesting thread. i'll have to try the hand lotion trick.
     
    #43
  44. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,027
    Easy answer: OOPS
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
    #44
  45. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,587
    I'm going to be trying some hand lotion once my sticks get back from the stringer... I'm interested to see how it will work on full poly beds!

    -Fuji
     
    #45
  46. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
    #46
  47. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    With the advent of the Steam 99s and all the string chatter, this topic popped back up on my radar.

    Honestly, if ATP100 is still here, I'd like to send him a Valentines card and a dozen roses! This trick works incredibly well on the Steam 99s. I tried it out today and on some strings that were about halfway cooked, and I swear to you all that the string bed felt like a fresh string job again (and the strings were once again returning to their normal resting positions). The control and excessive spin returned. This is a fantastic and very cheap idea for this frame. The results lasted for about 90 minutes (one very long tiebreak set) after which I merely applied another small amount to the string bed and poof......it played "fresh" once again. This is a really really good find for this frame IMO.

    Plus, if you pick your hand lotion carefully, you can smell nice:)

    Also, I did not notice any ill effects on the balls as they don't seen to pick up the lotion, at least not to any significant degree.
     
    #47
  48. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    Texas
    I have found the same result on almost any racquet that has poly strings in it using hand lotion. I apply it every changeover and instantly it feels like I am using a fresh string job. Such a great idea!
     
    #48
  49. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    The Desert
    Someone mentioned in another thread that SEXWAX surfboard wax works well. There are some soft snowboard/ski waxes that would probably work, too.
     
    #49

Share This Page