Dealing with blocked holes

max

Legend
I strung for the first time the 93P 18x20 Prince Phantom. Played with it, it's excellent, might be my final choice for the next several years.

But really problems with stringing compared to my Volkl. Blocked holes tough to deal with.

Any tips?
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I strung for the first time the 93P 18x20 Prince Phantom. Played with it, it's excellent, might be my final choice for the next several years.

But really problems with stringing compared to my Volkl. Blocked holes tough to deal with.

Any tips?
Stick a scrap piece of string between the string and grommet when you pull tension. This way when you reach the cross with the blocked hole, you can pull up on the scrap string and unblock the hole.
 

pmata814

Professional
Never strung that racquet but for my pure drive plus i use blunt needles. Works great. Irvin has a video of this on youtube.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Razor blade.
Put a point on the string with a diagonal cut.
This (though I use my cutters) and needle nose pliers to help push it through. Grip it as close to the end as possible. It’s easier with a stiff poly than with syn gut.
And as I discovered the last time I strung, push down on the string coming through the blocked grommet. This can give just enough space for the pointy string end to fit through. You may have to push down on an adjacent string too. It worked for me.
 

Louis33

New User
Anticipate where the blocked holes will be and check the size with an awl and make them slightly bigger if needed. Cut your string to a point and push it through with pliers. If having trouble with this then push the string through the same hole in the opposite direction. Then pull out and try the correct way again.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru

This is the video i mentioned. Thanks @Irvin! It helped me a great deal.


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Thank you, one mistake I made in that video is I said there were ridges on one end of the needle. Those ridges are actually just glue that are easily tromped with acetone, then you have a smooth tube with no ridges on one end.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I still believe the easiest way to deal with blocked holes is to use an ATW pattern. There are many Wilson (and other manufacturers) 16 main rackets that skip 7&9 where the mains tie off at 6T. This create a problem where 7T is blocked by 2 strings. Use an ATW pattern and that problem simply does not exist.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
Huh. I play with the frame in question, so I’ve strung it a number of times. I’ve not had any problems with blocked holes. I simply cut the string to a sharp point, and that has been more than sufficient to pass the string through the couple holes that are blocked. I do use 18g poly, which undoubtedly helps my cause.

OP if you have a starting clamp, try this. Cut the end of the string you’re working with to a sharp point. Then, put that same end of the string (just the pointed end you cut - maybe a 1-2 inch section) all the way down into the jaws of your starting clamp and then let go of the starting clamp. The clamp will bear down on the end of the string and that should significantly diminish the size of that end of the string - to the point that passing the string through any blocked hole should be a piece of cake.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I still believe the easiest way to deal with blocked holes is to use an ATW pattern. There are many Wilson (and other manufacturers) 16 main rackets that skip 7&9 where the mains tie off at 6T. This create a problem where 7T is blocked by 2 strings. Use an ATW pattern and that problem simply does not exist.
While I do agree, obviously the ATW solution only works if you aren’t stringing a hybrid.

With the Wilson frames you referenced...and in the case of a hybrid string job, I like tying the mains off at 7t, and tying the bottom cross off at 6t. I find that that strategy often works well on those Wilson frames (and sometimes on similar frames from other brands).
 

lwto

Hall of Fame
Diagonally cut the string..thread the string past the blocked hole, use your pliers to pull it out.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
While I do agree, obviously the ATW solution only works if you aren’t stringing a hybrid.
Obviously but I never string my rackets with a hybrid anymore because there is usually a big tension maintenance. I always use same string in mains and crosses. Customers rackets are different.

With the Wilson frames you referenced...and in the case of a hybrid string job, I like tying the mains off at 7t, and tying the bottom cross off at 6t. I find that that strategy often works well on those Wilson frames (and sometimes on similar frames from other brands).
I assume you meant 8T and 6T for tie off locations not 7T. I always use tie off holes and don't like to stretch out a grommet in order to get two string in a hole designed for 1. Sometimes the tie off for the bottom cross is on a cross string and not a main.

Let's take a Blade 98 BLX for example using hybrid stringing. 18x20 mains skip 8&10 and tie at 7T. Crosses tie off at 6H and 12T. If you use the designed tie off locations hole 8T on both sides is blocked by 2 strings, if you use an STW problem does not even exist.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I assume you meant 8T and 6T for tie off locations not 7T.
Yup, my mistake - that’s what I meant. I’ve found no need on 16x19 Wilson frames like this to enlarge the grommet holes at 8t to accept another string - pushing the string through with pliers has been sufficient for me. While I admit this is contrary to mfg instructions, I’ve not observed any adverse outcomes from doing so.

Let's take a Blade 98 BLX for example using hybrid stringing. 18x20 mains skip 8&10 and tie at 7T. Crosses tie off at 6H and 12T. If you use the designed tie off locations hole 8T on both sides is blocked by 2 strings, if you use an STW problem does not even exist.
Again, I agree. But in the retail environment in particular lots of folks use hybrid stringing. So in that case, with the example in question...I’d be inclined to tie the mains at 9T, and tie the bottom cross at 7T. Then the blocking situation you described doesn’t come up. But, if I had to enlarge holes to do it, I wouldn’t bother. I’d suffer through using the mfg tie offs. ;) If the customer asked for the same string throughout, rejoice! I can use ATW!
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I’d be inclined to tie the mains at 9T, and tie the bottom cross at 7T. Then the blocking situation you described doesn’t come up. But, if I had to enlarge holes to do it, I wouldn’t bother. I’d suffer through using the mfg tie offs. ;) If the customer asked for the same string throughout, rejoice! I can use ATW!
If you have an 18x20 racket the skips 8&10T (like the Blade 98) and you tie off the mains at 9T the string going from 11T to 9T will be held higher or lower than the string going from 7T to 9T depending on which string is above the other going through 9T unless you have fins on the grommet that keep the strings aligned. Now you have another issue as the cross string looping from the 19th to the 20th cross will come out of 10T and into 8T will be above and below the strings going into 9T. Nothing terribly wrong with that, but it just does not look right to me.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
If you have an 18x20 racket the skips 8&10T (like the Blade 98) and you tie off the mains at 9T the string going from 11T to 9T will be held higher or lower than the string going from 7T to 9T depending on which string is above the other going through 9T unless you have fins on the grommet that keep the strings aligned. Now you have another issue as the cross string looping from the 19th to the 20th cross will come out of 10T and into 8T will be above and below the strings going into 9T. Nothing terribly wrong with that, but it just does not look right to me.
Yup, I know exactly what you mean @Irvin. I usually try to keep all the main loops below those “fins” - which sometimes requires some measure of futzing when tying off. That way any crosses that need to pass by later can go above those fins. To be fair, my strategy doesn’t always work - and I end up with one main loop under the fins, and one loop over. But rarely does this failure happen on both the right and left sides of the racquet. In which case, so long as I start the crosses on the correct side of the racquet, to me the end result looks reasonably good aesthetically. To me, the former looks better than using the mfg tie off’s in a 2pc scenario and dealing with the resulting blocked holes and busyness. To each their own, though, of course.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
@am1899 What you’re saying never happens to me because I place blunt needles in the grommets and route the mains I’m tying off above and below the needles on either side so one is above and the other is below the grommet holes and fins (if they are there.) After the strings are tied off I can remove the needles and the strings are held in place by friction and or the fins. Nothing is left to chance and I have the strings outside the frame neat.
 

jim e

Legend
I don't use needles just a scrap string on outside of racquet under string that blocks hole. Always able to lift up or push down on scrap string to get access. Don't need to do anything on racquets with the fin on grommets.
 
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mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I don't use needles just a scrap string on outside of racquet under string that blocks hole. Always able to lift up or push down on scrap string to get access. Don't need to do anything on racquets with the find on grommets.
This is what I’ve been doing for years now and I believe it was you who I learned about this technique from so thank you. :)
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
I use a little mini screwdriver (because I had a set in my tool box), creates space and leverage easily then if needed cut the string to a point.

edit: I only point out the mini flathead cause people may already have it and not have to buy/order a special tool. ;)

 
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darklore009

Hall of Fame
I deal with block grommet holes a lot more than I should. I usually use a straight awl into the grommet where the string is suppose to go; which give it leeway for the cross string to be inserted into.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I deal with block grommet holes a lot more than I should. I usually use a straight awl into the grommet where the string is suppose to go; which give it leeway for the cross string to be inserted into.
Why not use a scrap string in the hole that will be blocked before you tension the string that will block the hole? After you finish tensioning the mains you can remove the scrap string and friction hold the string off. Works just like the awl but there’s less danger of damage.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I strung the 93P 18x20 Prince Phantom ... problems with stringing ... Blocked holes tough to deal with.
What strings do you use?

EDIT: Does that racket have fins on the grommet around the skipped grommet holes. They will be hard to see with strings in the racket.
 

jim e

Legend
When you are installing main strings and are skipping a main, place a scrap string under that main that blocks hole, placing scrap between racquet and string that blocks opening., Now when you want to install cross string, you can grab ends of that scrap string with needle nose, and push down or raise up to open blocked hole, and no need for awl , as awls can damage strings. Also helps to flatten tip with starting clamp and cut to sharp point. this works every time, and if 2 strings blocks same grommet opening, then place 2 scrap strings, one for each and there is no issue.
Naturally if racquet has those fins nothing is needed.
 
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