Vintage Stringer

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by wrxinsc, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    I have come across the following stringing machine, clearly not a modern one. Here are some pictures.

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    Can anyone offer any information regarding this machine? OK for stringing tennis racquets, etc. Missing anything?

    Purchased from an estate sale and didn't have a chance to really check it out before buying...

    Thanks!
     
    #1
  2. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    You'll need a set of flying clamps, of course. Depending on how the tension rod is marked, it may be necessary to 'calibrate' it in order to place the weights in proper position for a given tension.
     
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  3. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    I am an obvious stringing newbie, but was attracted to the low price for an older machine run across by accident.

    Any idea of where to buy what i need for this to make it work for me, recommend me a set of floating clamps?

    And how much does one expect this machine is "worth"? It seems to be very well built and heavy in its machining.

    Any how to's to recommend?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who may know what manufacturer this machine is!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
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  4. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    You can buy Gamma clamps from TW and a calibrator.
    Stringway also has clamps ( Double/$49 Triple/$69 ) But only come with 1. Not 2 like you would need. All at Stringway's website (google it)
    Klippermate has some for only $35. And from what i heard, there pretty good?
     
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  5. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    For an old machine it looks to be in great shape. Though I would not pay more than $40 for it, just to have.
     
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  6. Adles

    Adles Rookie

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    What you have there is a BR-3. I had one in the 80's, but my version was the more basic version with a rubber band covered cylinder instead of the string gripper you have.
    As mentioned, you will need clamps. The originals where spring loaded, so your wrists got quite a workout. Maybe thirty years of flying clamp innovation will do you well.
    Be careful about mounting - as I recall, there is a fine line between too tight and too loose, especially as the rubber is sure to have dried out if original. I replaced the rubber with cut-up bike inner tubes.
    Good luck!!
     
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  7. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    Well I may have overpaid then. Picked it up for $70...

    It looks very substantial to me and is heavy. Built very solidly, not like many of the newer models I have looked at which all appear to be a bit flimsy to me.

    Eventually I will figure out how to string with it. As long as it works and I use it, I guess it will pay for itself pretty quickly. I go through poly in a hybrid in about 2-3 weeks. So will probably be stringing two racquets a month.
     
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  8. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    Never heard of a BR-3! Thanks for the information. I will check out all the things you suggest.
     
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  9. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    You tube has videos that will show you how to use it. Search for how to start a string job with flying clamps" This video will help you over the trickiest part. There may be markings on the weight bar that will show you the tension in pounds when you adjust the weight.
     
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  10. v-verb

    v-verb Hall of Fame

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    I think you got a good deal. It's a nice piece of old school craftsmanship. Solid, nice quality.

    I would have snapped it up without a second thought.
     
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  11. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    WRX,

    where in SC are ya?
     
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  12. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    Myrtle Beach
     
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  13. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    It goes to show you that the technology of DW machines has not change in the past 30+ years, just the materials used.

    I meant no disrespect that it's only worth $40, but that's what I would pay for myself. Klippermates can be had for $50-60 used and are just as solid, but not as pretty as your machine.
     
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  14. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    I didn't take your comment as disrespectful at all! Looking forward to easing into the world of taking care of my own equipment. This thing is built like a tank and it is kind of good looking in an old school kind of way! May keep it at my office... :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
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  15. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Ha! Spent a week there one night. ;)

    I grew up in Columbia and visited the Grand Strand more than a few times. As a rep in '79-'80, I called on Myrtlewood, the Tennis Club, Racquet Club, and Martin's Golf and Tennis when it was in an old gas station.

    In Columbia, we'd get the Canadians in our shop during Can-Am days...the March weather was still cold as heck; but those folks said it felt like summer to them!
     
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  16. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    OT alert >

    We do play year round of course. There are a few days here and there when it is just too cold, etc. We had a 4.5 league match the weekend before last and we just finished before the freezing rain and eventually snow came down! Highly unusual here to get snow of course, and in our defense the temperature dropped more than 20 degrees during the course of that day.

    I am sure things were a lot different here in the late 70's. One of my clients was city manager for Myrtle then, when he was in his early 20's. He came down from Charlotte. Said it was like the wild west at the beach. He's got some week in a night stories too!

    The Canadians are here now, and Martin's is a kind of a big deal with several big box stores in the region. The old Tennis Club, Racquet Club and then Kingston Plantation are all now mostly replaced with private clubs. We have Dunes Club, Grande Dunes, Prestwick, Litchfield, Riverfront in Conway to name a few. And Georgetown County just invested in a really nice public facility in Pawleys Island called The Stables. I am one of the newer League Coordinators for the Grand Strand, and we are studying in a focused way how to grow the USTA at the rec level, and how and/or what to tweak that isn't working as well as it could be to increase member satisfaction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  17. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I'll bet I wouldn't recognize the place. Couple hurricanes made for a blank re-building slate, I reckon. Haven't hit the Grand Strand in many many years; although I've been back to Hilton Head and Kiawah a couple of times.

    Returning to the OT, you might check around with your tennis buds to see if they have a set of flying clamps lying around. They're 'universal' in that they don't mate with the machine; so, just about any would work. No need to double your investment on a set of clamps until you know if you're going to like the machine.

    That brings us to another point...what racket are you using? If it's a mid/plus at reasonable tensions, that machine would be capable. Things will get more complicated as the rackets get bigger and the tensions higher. Not a big deal for an experienced stringer familiar with the machine; but a bit of a challenge for a 'new guy'.

    As mentioned, YouTube, etc can provide a wealth of visual aid...something we did NOT have back in my day.

    Good luck and have fun with the machine. :)
     
    #17
  18. Adles

    Adles Rookie

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    After looking at the photos of the machine again, I have a few more comments...

    The towers do rock a little bit as you adjust them - you need to make sure they are tilted inwards, or towards each other, when you adjust for your racquet's hoop size, or they will tilt in on their own when tension is put on the mains. I may have cracked one of my Black Max's this way (but apparently they cracked pretty easily anyway.)

    Also, the rubber inserts in the photos look really dried out and should be replaced with something firm but gummy, or else you will need to really crank down on those mounts to keep the frame from slipping sideways with the crosses.

    Also, I laugh when I look at the brake on there. I used to string a guy's T-2000 by basically turning the turntable to make the string parallel to the others, then tightening the brake. After I tensioned, then I would thread the string through the wire on the racquet. So, I suppose it is a pretty good brake!
     
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  19. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    My racquets are all Volkl C10 Pro's which are 98's. I use Poly in the mains (currently using Lux ALU Power) at 50lbs. and any ol' syn gut I can get my hands on for cheap (current favorite is the Wilson basic syn gut) at 55 in the crosses. I'm getting too old and slow for full poly. :(

    I will check out the videos for sure, and will be certain to hit you guys up on here once the mood hits me to try this out!

    Thanks!
     
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  20. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    awesome. thanks for the heads up on the towers tilting! interestingly my first racquet was a T-2000 hand me down from my dad. played all through high school varsity tennis with it. pretty well had to hit dead center with that damn thing from what i remember!

    anywho. the rubber seems to be in pretty good shape surprisingly! check out these close ups.

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  21. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I'd like to see more frame-matching curvature for those mounts. You could round those corners just a bit or cushion them with old leather or synthetic grip scraps(just don't build the platform up too much or the racket won't be 'held' back properly.

    Excellent classic racket choice BTW. I spent a bit of time with those before switching to the Tour 10 and 9.

    Good catch by Adles on the towers. Someone familiar with this type of machine would know to look out for the 'tilting'. Someone NOT familiar might lose a frame learning about it. ;)
     
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  22. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    http://s937.beta.photobucket.com/user/clintspin2/media/DSCN1195.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1

    http://s937.beta.photobucket.com/user/clintspin2/media/DSCN1196.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

    As per Coachrick's advice: The photos above show a frame support made by Dave Sperling. It's made for the upgrades he has made for old machines like the Ektelons. I have him making some for the Alpha Stringpal because Dave's have such better support. I will be passing the Stringpal on to a novice and I would like it to have better support. It looks like David's supports would be a perfect fit for your machine.

    You can find his website by searching Ektelon upgrade on the web or Youtube.
     
    #22
  23. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    Not sure if this topic is still being viewed, but I have strung with the BR3 for probably 40 years. I don't believe the tower upgrades proposed would fit the aluminum bar of the BR3 as both head and throat supports would have to slide on the bar and fit exact dimensionally. I am always concerned about the BR3 supports allowing the racquet head to compress as it is only a 2pt mount.

    Some improvement to consider though; using the neoprene from inexpensive mouse pads to replace the rubber on the supports as surely it is no longer soft and pliable as it needs to be.
     
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  24. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    Cool thanks! Been busy so haven't had a chance to do anything with this stringer.
     
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  25. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    I would love to find some replacement support towers for this machine, but they would have to both fit the slide bar dimensionally. And I don't even have the "updated" string clutch device that you have. With mine you have to wrap the string around a hub over itself to operate the clutch tightener.
     
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  26. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    Question for this small audience that knew this was a R.A.Y.C.O. BR3.

    The threaded posts in WRX's photos are much longer than mine and my threads are actually flattened on opposite sides (no idea why) and no where near as clean. I probably wouldn't have enough threads to secure a wide beam racquet.

    Does anyone know if the threaded posts can be removed from the supports and replaced?
     
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