Replacing Grommets -AAARRGHH

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by winks, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. winks

    winks Rookie

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    Knowing how fast racquets are discontinued nowadays, I had purchased replacement plastic grommets when I bought 2 matching racquets a year or so ago. Well I needed to restring last night and decided to replace them - they were especially worn out at the top of the hoop....

    What a PITA! Whatever I tried I could NOT get more than a few grommets into the holes . My last brilliant idea leave them off but string through the grommet hole first and use the drop weight of the stringer to pull it in. This did not work. :mad:

    I ended up destroying the grommets and a set of brand new strings in the process. FWIW the racquet is a Head MG Extreme Pro and grommets seemed (at least to me) to be of very cheap construction. Made me wonder whether it is ever worth the effort.

    Does anyone bother to replace the grommets anymore and have any advice????
     
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  2. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Yes, you should replace the grommets if they are broken or split. Warm up the strips with warm water or a hair dryer and use an awl to help install them.

    Cheers
     
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  3. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Alas, replacing grommets gets better only with patience and practice. Ash is correct, it becomes easier to manipulate the strip when it is malleable which is what warming it will do--my recommendation is the "hairdryer method" rather than using warm water but each will do (do not, as one unfortunate poster once did, put them in the microwave) (the reason I prefer the hairdryer method is that, especially for a rookie, the strip will cool as you install it and the hairdryer makes a portable warm up easier--eventually you should not even need to warm it).

    It's best to take your time and use a blunt awl to line up the hole and snap the grommet into place--you will have to stretch the grommet a bit, but it snaps back when the hole is filled---but you need to make the grommet line up with the hole or you risk crimping the grommet which makes it nearly impossible. Good luck.
     
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  4. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    Some are more difficult than others but with little patience, it shouldn't be too bad. You definitely need an awl to guide the tubes through the grommet holes. Do one at time and press against the firm base to seat them as you go.
     
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  5. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    You should still be able to get those grommets. Also many times Head's grommets fit racquets of the same model from years before.

    I also do not believe that is a hard racquet to put grommets into. The key is patience. You have to take your time to work them in. Heat helps but you still need to be patient. Sometimes you get them in easier by working them from the head first, other times from further down the frame. Play with it and walk away from it if you need to.
     
    #5
  6. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    I leave the grommets in front of a heater for about 10 minutes, and it gets much easier to work with.

    It is good to have an awl to guide those grommets through the holes. Put a piece of tape or rubber over the tip, or else it would be very easy to scratch the frame with the awl.
     
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  7. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    And there's a very helpful how-to video by YuLitle.
     
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  8. wrxtotoro

    wrxtotoro Rookie

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    Hair dryer, 2 awls and a few zip-ties should help. But I agree that the Teflon grommet is a pain to install.
     
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  9. fortun8son

    fortun8son Hall of Fame

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    In addition to the above suggestions, using scrap pieces of string can help guide balky grommets through.
    Also make sure the frame holes are smooth and free of debris or obtruction.
    There's a darn good reason why this is part of the USRSA Certification test, and within a time limit to boot! :twisted:
     
    #9
  10. winks

    winks Rookie

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    This a little late but thanks for all the advice. Tried it again with the 2nd grommet set and this time gave it my awl (I know horrible pun :) ).

    Much better results this time. There is a reason they gave me one of those things when I bought the stringer.
     
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