Help me, too! I have a machine with a dropweight, but I have fixed clamps (Does not apply to the X-2 or Progression 200 or other machines with floating (flying) clamps.). How do I start my mains?
Here is a simple version. Methods vary. This will get you started with at least basic procedures for clamping, tensioning, and lacing mains in an alternating manner (left and right of center to maintain equal tension on both sides of the racquet). Remember to take your racquet type and string type into consideration. Note: If you have an electric or crank machine, use that tensioning system as is appropriate. The clamping method noted below still works.
EXAMPLE: Gamma Progression II 602 FC
A Basic Starting Mains Method for Fixed Clamp Machines
Lace your center left and right mains (LM1 and RM1) from head to throat or vice versa depending on what your racquet requires. Check your pattern. See information above about one-piece vs. two-piece stringing.
Note: You can start on the left or right. The following is an example.
Clamp your RM1 (right main one) near the frame on the side of the starting loop (Loop in the center of the racquet that leads to LM1 and RM1.). Make sure you have the clamps clean and tight enough to hold the string.
Insert the LM1 (left main one) string in the gripper and pull tension by lowering the drop weight arm (See alternate methods of positioning the arm above.). And I hope you have the weight on and adjusted to a reasonable weight! Drop the bar so it is about horizontal. If above, insert less string. If below, insert more string. If you have a ratcheting model, use it as appropriate to bring the bar to about horizontal depending on your model. You are now pulling tension on LM1.
WHILE MAINTAINING THE TENSION (bar is horizontal), clamp LM1 (RM1 is still clamped near the side of the start loop near the frame.) on the side opposite the start loop near the frame. YOU MUST maintain tension until you've clamp the string. Then you can release tension. Raise the bar.
Lace LM2 and tension after you've rotated the racquet. Move the clamp for LM1 to the opposite side on LM2 close to the frame.
Rotate the racquet. Pull tension on RM1. Move the first clamp you set on RM1 to the opposite side (side of the tensioner) of RM1, and clamp close to the frame. Remember, you must keep the string tensioned (bar horizontal) as you remove and move clamps.
Lace RM2, rotate and tension. Continue to lace, rotate the racquet, and tension each string, never getting more than two ahead on either side (alternate tensioning string on the left and right of center).
Remember to skip grommets (called "main skips") when necessary (used for crosses). After you've completed the mains left and right (final mains tensioned and clamped), insert the string in the grommet for the tie off anchor string and tie a finishing knot (Parnell, double half-hitch, Pro/Wilson, etc.).
(Continued in Post #13.)