Natural Gut-Self-breaking in bag

Discussion in 'Strings' started by jacp, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. jacp

    jacp New User

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    OK, I read about it in forums. Now it happened to me too... & more. See below.
    Details:
    Racket: Dunlop 4D 100
    String: Babolat Tonic+ 16 @ 57lbs
    Strung by TW (first string) in Jan. 2013 (not played a lot though, multiple rackets + injury).

    Chain of events:
    Played hard, no moisture present, minimal frying present in center. Put in a bag for 4-5 days. Took out of the bag and saw string snapped at 1 o'clock (main) right at loop outside frame. Swore and put the racket back in the bag.

    Week later took it out of the bag with intent to cut out strings and saw another string snapped at 7 o'clock (main) right at loop outside frame. Commented: WTF??. Took pictures cut out strings.

    Conclusions:
    1. It does happen to brand name strings too, previously only 2nd tier strings were reported to break.
    2. Grommets are not necessarily to blame (new racket).
    3. It does have something to do with internal tension.

    Jack
     
    #1
  2. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I've:
    a) Started to use a locker.
    b) Talked to the (certified) stringer.
     
    #2
  3. StringingIrvine

    StringingIrvine Semi-Pro

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    I'm thinking BECAUSE the grommets were new they might have still had some sharp corners. Thoughts?
     
    #3
  4. Shaun

    Shaun Rookie

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    Never had this happen to my gut strings.
     
    #4
  5. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    Did you ever leave your bag in your car for extended amount of time? If the car was parked outdoors the increase in temperature can cause your gut strings to break.
     
    #5
  6. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    Gut has some weird characteristics. If you have a mishit, it can sometimes break 3-4 days later, even without being hit with in that time period. Also, don't leave it in your car or in a hot bag too long.
     
    #6
  7. Triskadekaphilia

    Triskadekaphilia Semi-Pro

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    Been there, done that.

    Are we all just spoiled by synthetic strings?

    Did gut act like this in the 70s and 80s? Did players have to clean it and wax it every day to prevent premature snapping? Break in new grommets and such?

    Or is natural gut not as hearty today as it used to be?
     
    #7
  8. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    Natural gut is pretty durable. I've never had VS snap prematurely. However, it doesn't work well with players whose sweet spot is near the top of the frame.
     
    #8
  9. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Had a racquet strung with VS Tonic+ at 57lbs for 8 years or so and just had it around my place not using it on court but did use it to scare pigeons away. Heat, cold, moisture, arid it saw it all.
    Brought it on court a few months ago and played fine.

    Must be the grommets. I snapped 1.30mm Kevlar prematurely recently at the grommet...
     
    #9
  10. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Pretty interesting stuff if it broke twice with VS. Tension wasn't abnormal, conditions seem pretty normal. Was your 1 o'clock main on the tie off? The 7 o'clock main, if it's the one I'm thinking of, does have a pretty sharp turn. A stringer COULD try to help this by using a power pad, but I've had cheap gut strung in my retired 100 for a long time, and haven't seen any problems. It is possible you just got a bad batch (it happens). I doubt it's grommet flash, and it doesn't seem like machine error if it's always right outside the grommet. I'd call up TW and see if there's anything they'd be able to do. If you had already hit with it where it was fraying and it was 9 months ago, though, I'd guess you're probably SOL.
     
    #10
  11. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I had a half-set of ToughGut with poly crosses that I played with quite a bit. Even re-did the crosses and played with it more. It started to fray a bit in the center, but was still playing fine. Set it in my TV room for a while since I was using other rackets. It was fine there for about 3 weeks sitting out in the open untouched. Then one day, I find the gut snapped at a lower grommet.
    Not in any container, temperature controlled room, low humidity - would seem to be perfectly static conditions.
    Very strange.
    Certainly not upset about the life I got out of the strings, just interesting that the gut acted in that manner.
     
    #11
  12. bigdaddyps

    bigdaddyps Rookie

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    Once had a bag snap too with Babo VS gut after 2 playing sessions of doubles. 4 hrs or so only. I was ****ed as hell and figured their must have been a bad string job or defective set-I'm not a string breaker, don't leave it in a hot car, etc.
    Bottom line-took it back to store and insisted they restring for free. They did, and the next set lasted almost 2 months. something WAS wrong with the 1st set.

    If u want to maximize gut or gut/hybrid life, use string savers. Babo ones.
     
    #12
  13. BLX_Andy

    BLX_Andy Professional

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    Getting free restrings is always a positive :)
     
    #13
  14. stringmaster

    stringmaster Banned

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    Wow after 8 years the tension must have been 22 or something very low
     
    #14
  15. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Might be, that's why my poor stringer waxes the string before feeding it through the grommets.
     
    #15
  16. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I had it a couple of times (with my certified stringer) and it was always close to a knot...I've talked to him(maybe he's doing something different now) and hasn't happened since (I've also been using a locker, so don't even carry the bag to the court in my trunk etc).

    Having said all of that, when a different person strung my racket, it snapped in my locker, after one long weekend, having been played only one hour (but it was a terrible string job, loud bang and even the stringer said that the crosses were strung too tight- to the extend that the racket was difformed/elongated).
     
    #16
  17. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    I am not saying this was your issue, but depending on what they did, a new racquet can saw thru strings.

    The issue is the grommets are not seated at first, they tend to slide in and out, so they can saw thru the strings during the stringing process. I had this issue myself when I strung a new racquet, or one with new grommets.

    I read somewhere that it's recommended to string the racquet with a cheap set of strings at first in order to seat those grommets.
     
    #17
  18. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    How many hours have you played with it?

    It happened to me once or twice out of last a few years but after I played
    with 100+ hours with it.

    I assume the string had some kinks when strung (whenever string breaks
    near grommet, especially guts). Not exactly top quality string job, I assume.
    99% of time, string pops slightly above string bed center, in my case.
    But I did not request re-stringing or anything like that since I played enough
    hours on it.
     
    #18
  19. jacp

    jacp New User

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    I maybe played 50 hours tops.
    It was not subject to extreme heat/cold (I do not leave rackets in car).
    It was string only once by TW, and I believe with volumes TW stringers go thru they know how to handle gut.
    Looked at the grommets and cannot see anything sharp.
    Jack
     
    #19
  20. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Dunno but it didn't feel loose at all.
     
    #20
  21. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    The explanation is simple: Gut is gut, it is a natural product. Usually it is durable but sometimes you are out of luck. No point to blame or sue anyone.

    You can complain with Mother Nature but all that will do you raise your blood pressure :grin:
     
    #21
  22. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Grommets or a mishit

    Sometimes, the stringer will also kink the gut (stringing or unraveling it) - which makes it weaker in that spot.
     
    #22
  23. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I've used many sets of Bab Tonic+ BallFeel 16G and never had any problems with premature breakage. My opinion is this is the best middle priced gut on the market. But, I have not used in the last 9 months as I have been playing less expensive multi. If I were going back to gut/poly hybrid, I would try Bab Tonic+.

    I think all guts sometimes have a bad apple in the batch. I just strung pac tough gut 16G for a friend and it broke right in the middle the 1st time he used it. Another friend had bab vs 16G (installed at reputable pro shop) snap at 1 o'c near the knot after using it only 3 times and they normally use strings for months - not a string breaker.

    Sorry you had a bad experience but Bab Tonic+ is normally a very durable gut.
     
    #23
  24. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I,m not saying this is the cause, but is a possibility since you are asking about this situation.

    Nat. gut is very sensitive to mis hits. It may not break when you shank a shot, but the string is weakened at the grommet area once a mis hit occurs due to the stress. You then put racquet in bag, next time out string broke at grommet when you took it out of bag, and naturally by then you forgot all about that mis hit shot at your last session hitting.That shanked shot may have even occurred a while back like 2 or 3 hitting sessions back, and once the damage was done, it was just a matter of time for the string to break.

    This is a reason I will not string a young hitters racquet that is a low level player without 1st speaking to a parent that this issue happens, so the racquet does not come back to me with this string breaking in bag issue and asking for free restring, as nat. gut is expensive, and should be reserved for clean hitters, or hitters that can easily pay to have it restrung when needed.
     
    #24
  25. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sold on mishits as being the main culprit, at least not for my case, since it doesn't explain why:

    a) Using a locker almost totally fixed the issue. I've also talked to the stringer at same time.

    b) Using a different stringer (for a poorer string job) resulted again in a breakage in the bag, in the locker, after about 1 hour of play here and there over a couple of days.
     
    #25
  26. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    The bottom line is nobody knows exactly why gut breaks prematurely. Those of us who are stringers are guessing based on our past experiences.
     
    #26
  27. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    True, but after having been using it continously for about 5 years now, in a couple of sticks at the same time, a good stringer + a locker are my main factors in avoiding too many incidents.
     
    #27
  28. jacp

    jacp New User

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    jim e theory makes sense to me. As indicated by wear area being right in the center of racket I hit fairly consistently in center. Occasional mis-hit would definitely stress other area of strings. Multi or other man-made string material would probably break right away. In NG damage was done but initially absorbed. Keep in mind that I experienced second self-breakage after I put the racket away without cutting strings after first break. What it tells us that internal tensions in gut "travel" or take time to reach breaking point, hence breaking x-days after miss-hit.
    Fintft indicated storing racquet in locker almost eliminated an issue.
    Well, in my case racket was never subject to extended high or low temperatures. I can agree heat exposure can weaken strings and contribute to breakage but I do not think it is the main culprit.
    My gut, no pun intended, tells me contributing factors are:
    1. Kinking string during stringing process (not in my case).
    2. Mishit (my case).
    3. Heat exposure (not in my case).
    4. Any combination of above.

    Jack
     
    #28

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