Originally Posted by diredesire
Again, this is a question about how well one knows themselves, but it's not always the right path to start with the lower end machines.
Very well said. I always encourage people to buy the most machine they can afford, but I throw in the little caveat that you have to be sure you're not the kind of person that will get tired of it after 2 months. I tell them if they're not sure, start with a low-end machine to test the waters. There's a kid I teach (high school, 17) who I taught how to string in order to save money (and my time). He could come over any time and string his racquets. His first experience with stringing was with someone standing over his shoulder, walking him through the entire process using a fairly nice machine with an electronic tensioner. Long story short, he's pretty much done, and this kid is a string breaker. I'm back to stringing his racquets with his parents footing the bill...for now. I suggested to him a while back to consider investing in a machine, but now that he's tried it (and under very favorable conditions) I guess he figured out it just wasn't for him. Fair enough.
I knew I was going to be into stringing for the long haul, so I sprung for decent machine. Unfortunately it wasn't the most machine I could afford; it was the most machine I could convince my wife to let me purchase without having to hear her nag me day and night!
Anyway, congrats on your purchase, and there's no need to hurl; you'll be fine I'm sure. As dd referred to, far too many home stringers start stringing for others sooner than they should, and I was one of them. On the positive side, it took me a while to build my customer base, so I didn't screw up too many racquets.
Take your time, learn as much as you can, gain the experience you need (I'm not going to put a number on it--you'll know), and I'm sure you'll end up with satisfied customers willing to spread the word about a new local stringer with a great selection and good prices.
By the way, I may have missed it in a previous post, but what do the local pro shops charge for labor in your area? The ones here just went from $15/hr to $20/hr, so I'm quite certain I'll have a few more people ringing my phone in the future.