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ten11 01-29-2013 10:39 AM

MRT preparation
 
I am preparing for it and like to create a thread for my questions and hope to get some helps. I have gone through the previous related thread and found some very helpful tips but would like to get few my own concerns answered.
1. For the knot, I am going to use the (Yulite video) parnell knot to tie off and bulk knot as starting knot. I have used them for few years and really get use it them. Both knots are not included in study guide, do you see a problem to use them in test.
2. For the gut pre-stretch, I believe it is required in test.
I will do it this way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=praasXlb0Ls. Will this be good enough?
3. For the written, do I need to memorize the material or just need to understand? Other post mentioned things about strings and big company's racket technology. it is a bit challenging to memorize all those.
4. For the things much less popular today, such as single grommet replace, tubing, racket ball handle griping, etc. Is that really big part of the test? I read there are 95 questions and the passing score is 84%. I don't think I have much room for error.
5. For the racket evaluation part, what is that include? Is that written or hand on?
Thanks.

fortun8son 01-29-2013 08:37 PM

I'll take some out of order. I've been studying for 3 years.
I understand that they will show you a racquet with errors/damage to evaluate.
You will not need to perform single grommet replacement, tubing, etc, but it's very useful to know.
Your knots will be fine, they are aware of the good alternatives.

p.s. Bring your own tools, if you can.

I know that Jon W.(USRSA Master Tech) is a member of the TW Staff, perhaps he'll chime in on this one.

Lakers4Life 01-29-2013 08:38 PM

You left out replacing grommets, install a grip build up, and Replacement grip.

fortun8son 01-29-2013 08:52 PM

You will also need to bring a racquet of recent design (3yrs) and a grommet set for it.
Choose wisely and, no, O-Ports don't count.

Irvin 01-29-2013 09:25 PM

You're going to use a bulky knot as a starting knot with natty gut? Good luck.

kkm 01-29-2013 11:57 PM

They won't give you a frame to inspect, they'll have you inspect the frame you take to the test. It's hands-on.

No single grommet replacement. No racquetball gripping. No tubing.

At least try to understand what's in the study guide. For some things simple memorization would probably be fine.

For prestretching the gut probably you'd clamp one end of the gut into a starting clamp and the other end into another starting clamp, and you and the tester would each hold one of the starting clamps and pull, for at least 30 seconds.

It shouldn't matter if the knot you use is not in the USRSA guide, all they have are the double half hitch, figure 8 starting, and something else. The double half hitch isn't even a good knot, you won't see it used by tournament stringers, and instead of using a starting knot, use a starting clamp to start the crosses. As long as the knots are properly tied knots it won't matter for the exam.

You will have to apply a heat-shrink sleeve and replacement grip, and remove the grommets and install new grommets and bumper guard. So unless you have a grommet grinder or want to take a bit of time cutting flared grommets with snippers to be able to pull them out, don't take a racquet that comes with flared grommets.

ten11 01-30-2013 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irvin (Post 7179141)
You're going to use a bulky knot as a starting knot with natty gut? Good luck.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have ordered half set of pacific gut to try it out before test. I will try it out to see if that will work. I will have some gut left after the job, so I can practice the bulky knot more to see if it will present a problem and report back.
Definitely appreciate the heads up and will get this taken care of.

ten11 01-30-2013 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kkm (Post 7179279)
... don't take a racquet that comes with flared grommets.

This is a bit challenging. I am planing to bring in a pure drive. The tie off grommet is huge and not easy to pull out. Normally I just cut out with a knife but I don't think that is acceptable in test. (I did scratch the racket before while cutting. )
Need to think about some way to cut it safely.

Irvin 01-30-2013 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ten11 (Post 7179817)
Thanks for the suggestion. I have ordered half set of pacific gut to try it out before test. I will try it out to see if that will work. I will have some gut left after the job, so I can practice the bulky knot more to see if it will present a problem and report back.
Definitely appreciate the heads up and will get this taken care of.

If it was me and I was going to use a starting knot on gut I would use a VS Starting knot. I would also put some (not much) tension on the tail with a starting clamp to ensure the knot does not slip while tension is pulled. When tying all your knot in order to reduce drawback and keep the knot from being sucked into the grommet hold the tail up and against the frame with a starting clamp. If you don't have one use theirs.

EDIT: Knots are one of the easiest things to do right and one of the biggest problems for most stringers.

EDIT: Natty gut is THE easiest string to break when tying knots. Why else do you think the make you use it. The very last thing you want to do is break it. Without a knot or kink in the string it is as strong as any other string. Mess it up with a clamp, knot, kink, or main string friction and you will find yourself paying for another test. If I were you I would buy the cheapest 17 gauge gut I could to practice with rather than 1 half set of good strong gut. If you can string it without breaking it you will find the good stuff much easier.

ten11 01-30-2013 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irvin (Post 7179878)
... the cheapest 17 gauge gut I could to practice with rather than 1 half set of good strong gut. If you can string it without breaking it you will find the good stuff much easier.

Thanks, Irvin. Great advise. I have posted in string trade section and hopefully I can find some. I am not in a rush for the test until I fully prepared. This will build my confidence in working with natural gut. I am planing to string at least 5 rackets in low 50lbs. I am not sure if the cheap gut can be strung in 55lbs on neos.

MAX PLY 01-30-2013 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ten11 (Post 7179943)
Thanks, Irvin. Great advise. I have posted in string trade section and hopefully I can find some. I am not in a rush for the test until I fully prepared. This will build my confidence in working with natural gut. I am planing to string at least 5 rackets in low 50lbs. I am not sure if the cheap gut can be strung in 55lbs on neos.

55 lbs on a Neos will not be a problem at all. But as Irvin mentioned, as long as you take care to not kink or crush the string, gut is not hard to string--just take your time.

kkm 01-30-2013 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ten11 (Post 7179827)
This is a bit challenging. I am planing to bring in a pure drive. The tie off grommet is huge and not easy to pull out. Normally I just cut out with a knife but I don't think that is acceptable in test. (I did scratch the racket before while cutting. )
Need to think about some way to cut it safely.


Yes, be sure not to scratch the frame during the MRT exam. I wouldn't use a knife to cut a flared grommet. I would advise making small snips in the flared portion using the same cutters you use to trim knot tails, then using your fingers to compress the flared area a bit, and pulling the grommet out, hopefully pulling on the rest of the grommet strip for leverage.

Also remember that when you are given the polyester and natural gut strings for the stringing part of the exam, they will be unmarked strings, and quite similar in color/general appearance, so be sure that you know how to tell them apart, and use the correct string for the mains and the correct string for the crosses, because mixing them up would mean an automatic fail.

Irvin 01-30-2013 10:04 AM

Good advice kkm. If you don't have a grommet grinder ask them if they have one. Call USRSA and ask the best way to remove those grommets. I pull them put by hand and break them off where they are flared and pull them out from the inside the frame. When you put the grommets back in are you going to flare that grommet? If not make sure the grommet does not pull out when tensioning that string on either side.

ten11 01-30-2013 10:14 AM

how to tell gut and syn gut?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kkm (Post 7180039)
Yes, be sure not to scratch the frame during the MRT exam. I wouldn't use a knife to cut a flared grommet. I would advise making small snips in the flared portion using the same cutters you use to trim knot tails, then using your fingers to compress the flared area a bit, and pulling the grommet out, hopefully pulling on the rest of the grommet strip for leverage.

Also remember that when you are given the polyester and natural gut strings for the stringing part of the exam, they will be unmarked strings, and quite similar in color/general appearance, so be sure that you know how to tell them apart, and use the correct string for the mains and the correct string for the crosses, because mixing them up would mean an automatic fail.

I will practice remove grommet more just use pliers. The test is about to use right technique and got its reason. I need to be good at it to pass.
Thanks for the wonderful advise of paying attention to the strings. These are the advise I am seeking.
I think I should able to tell them by looking at the string. One is solid core and the other is not. Any other better way and sure way to tell them apart? coil memory? softness? Can I ask the tester and mark it? or it is part of the test to tell them apart?

ten11 01-30-2013 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fortun8son (Post 7179083)
p.s. Bring your own tools, if you can.

Yes. I am going to bring enough tools just in case.
starting clamp, cutter, pliers, knife, yard stick, magnifying glass for racket check, double sided tape, ...
extra set of grommet. even extra strung racket.

kkm 01-30-2013 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ten11 (Post 7180121)
I will practice remove grommet more just use pliers. The test is about to use right technique and got its reason. I need to be good at it to pass.
Thanks for the wonderful advise of paying attention to the strings. These are the advise I am seeking.
I think I should able to tell them by looking at the string. One is solid core and the other is not. Any other better way and sure way to tell them apart? coil memory? softness? Can I ask the tester and mark it? or it is part of the test to tell them apart?


To some extent you could probably tell the difference by looking. One is monofilament polyester, the other is natural gut. As far as telling them apart, the tester will not tell you which is which, and you will not know until you finish stringing the racquet whether your choice was correct. So basically it is part of the test. If you have any doubt before prestretching what you think is the natural gut, you could do one or more of a couple different things, snip a small piece of the string at a diagonal and see if you can separate the strands (natural gut is made up up several strands), or near one of the ends of the string, see how much the string resists being pinched into a "v," the monofilament polyester should resist this more.
You shouldn't need a yardstick, and forget about taking a magnifying glass, a general naked-eye visual inspection should be good enough (all you have to do is sort of pretend to inspect anyway), and you'll be given a synthetic replacement grip with adhesive backing, so you shouldn't need doublesided tape. I would take a blunt awl along instead for straightening the strings. You should at least try to straighten the crosses as you go along. Straighten the mains too, even if it's only at the end after you finish the crosses.
Remember to hold the first grommet where the string exits the frame from the bottom in place with your thumb when the string is being tensioned, and remember to hold the knot tail up before releasing the machine clamp before trimming the knot tail, the tester will be looking out for these things.

ten11 01-30-2013 12:15 PM

avoid blocked hole and cross over
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kkm (Post 7180209)
To some extent you could probably tell the difference by looking. One is monofilament polyester, the other is natural gut. As far as telling them apart, the tester will not tell you which is which, and you will not know until you finish stringing the racquet whether your choice was correct. So basically it is part of the test. If you have any doubt before prestretching what you think is the natural gut, you could do one or more of a couple different things, snip a small piece of the string at a diagonal and see if you can separate the strands (natural gut is made up up several strands), or near one of the ends of the string, see how much the string resists being pinched into a "v," the monofilament polyester should resist this more.
You shouldn't need a yardstick, and forget about taking a magnifying glass, a general naked-eye visual inspection should be good enough (all you have to do is sort of pretend to inspect anyway), and you'll be given a synthetic replacement grip with adhesive backing, so you shouldn't need doublesided tape. I would take a blunt awl along instead for straightening the strings. You should at least try to straighten the crosses as you go along. Straighten the mains too, even if it's only at the end after you finish the crosses.
Remember to hold the first grommet where the string exits the frame from the bottom in place with your thumb when the string is being tensioned, and remember to hold the knot tail up before releasing the machine clamp before trimming the knot tail, the tester will be looking out for these things.

Thanks. Some of these has been noted and I am incorporating them into my stringing now. I want to make them part of my habit so when I go for the test. I just do what I normally do. Things like holding angle exit, hold the tie off string with starting clamp while release clamp, etc.

I am studying the string pattern for my test racket pure drive, which has the tie off at throat and main skip at 8T/B. To avoid a blocked hole on top, I am think about to weave the first cross before finish up the last 2 mains and tie offs. Will that be acceptable?
Go one step further, I probably will weave the second cross. That way I can avoid the cross over much easier.

Irvin 01-30-2013 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ten11 (Post 7180365)
Thanks. Some of these has been noted and I am incorporating them into my stringing now. I want to make them part of my habit so when I go for the test. I just do what I normally do. Things like holding angle exit, hold the tie off string with starting clamp while release clamp, etc.

I am studying the string pattern for my test racket pure drive, which has the tie off at throat and main skip at 8T/B. To avoid a blocked hole on top, I am think about to weave the first cross before finish up the last 2 mains and tie offs. Will that be acceptable?
Go one step further, I probably will weave the second cross. That way I can avoid the cross over much easier.

If you're stringing two piece I would pre-weave the first three crosses before typing off the mains. Then there is no blocked hole at the top. The mains tie off at 6T and the string on the outside of the frame from 6T to 7T hold the 8T hole from being blocked so there are no blocked holes to speak of.

kkm 01-30-2013 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irvin (Post 7180381)
If you're stringing two piece I would pre-weave the first three crosses before typing off the mains. Then there is no blocked hole at the top. The mains tie off at 6T and the string on the outside of the frame from 6T to 7T hold the 8T hole from being blocked so there are no blocked holes to speak of.


I would not pre-weave the top three crosses before tying off the mains if blocked holes are the concern. ;-)
I would finish the mains and tie off as usual. I would enlarge hole 8 (using a smooth awl and a bit of chapstick or something like that) on each side at the top of the racquet before mounting the racquet so that getting the top cross through hole 8 around the main string otherwise blocking hole 8 won't be an isue. Enlarging a couple grommets is quick and easy. I would also enlarge hole 8 on each side at the bottom of the racquet for the same reason.
Babolat suggests tying the bottom cross to hole 10, which is the next to last cross.

Lakers4Life 01-30-2013 01:28 PM

If I were provide my own racket, I would choose an easier one to work on like a Prince POG or a Wilson 6.1 95 16x19. Since the new Wilson Steam 99s/105s came out, one of those.

But if you are stuck on bringing a Babolat PD, at least take out the factory grommet and install a new one. So when you pull it out it's much easier than having to deal with flared grommets. Give yourself as much adavantage as the rules allow.


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