Below are some solutions for blocked holes and some can work for shared holes to tie off as well.
I typically do not use an awl, as that can damage strings. It may not snap when you put the awl in, but can later from the damage, especially in a grommet area where the strings gets stressed.
For blocked holes try and take a scrap piece of string, and place it under the main string that will be blocking the grommet in question on the outside of the racquet.
Now when you get back to that grommet you can grab that scrap string with needle nose pliers and either push down or pull up to open up the blocked grommet and it slides right in.This works real well! You have to plan for it.
Plan ahead of problem area of tie off, and place a scrap piece of poly in the tie off hole when you place the 1st string in that grommet, then when you get back to that grommet to place tie offf string, pull out the poly scrap string and there should be room for your string to go through.
You can weave your top 2 cross strings before you tension the outside mains, and that eliminates 1/2 the blocked holes.Again you have to plan ahead.
If you did not plan ahead:
Cutting the tip to a sharp and flat point and pushing through with small increments works.Be sure to flatten it out nice I use a starting clamp, and cut to a sharp point, and push in small increments. This is really the best solution!.
You can also cut the tip to a sharp flat point as noted above but also then apply a very small amount of super glue to the tip, then spray it with super glue accelerator, so it sets up immediately and then it is stiffer to go through.
If an awl is absolute necessity, then take a stiff piece of poly, cut tip to point and you now have a plastic awl so not to damage a string. Place that poly
string that is lubed with chapstick, and move it around once it is through.
As you remove the poly string have your softer string right behind it to follow it through.
This is much better than using an awl!!
An awl is good for installing grommet sets, or enlargening a grommet hole, but I do not use it for blocked or shared holes, but.... to each their own, I like to not create problems like damage strings, especially nat. gut as I do string my share of gut, and that is a soft string, and I can get that string through without using an awl, so in reality anyone else can as well.
In reality just cutting the tip to a sharp and flat point and pushing through with small increments works 95% or more of the time,but the above tips may help if all else fails.
Good luck jim
Last edited by jim e : 10-01-2012 at 11:46 AM.