Does knot location matter for mains?

#1
I’ve been stringing my own racquets for a while now but after stringing some classic Prince frames I had this cross my mind - I know that stringing crosses bottom up can harm the structural integrity of a racquet but what about having the mains tie off at the top of the racquet? Has where the mains tie off been shown to matter in the same regard as stringing the crosses bottom up or top down?
 
#2
If mains end at the top/head/hoop - install string as one-piece or two-piece as specified by manufacturer.

If mains end at bottom/throat - install string as specified by manufacturer, which is either two-piece or a one-piece (bottom up). Or, it is the racquet owner's option to request an ATW (Around The World) one-piece pattern and in this case the stringer should ask the racquet owner to sign a waiver of liability relating to frame damage from not following the manufacturer's instructions.
 
#3
No, it does not matter. Just use the hole specified by the manufacturer. If you find that a cross string tie off point is shorter, that's OK provided you do not mess up the crosses. [You know you do not want to tie off the main until after you insert the cross. Also means the cross must tie off where a main would tie off.] ATW to force top down stringing of crosses do not require a waiver. There are at least 3-5 ways to do it without damaging/threatening the frame. If you do not want to bother, just always do a 2 piece.
 
#4
No, it does not matter. Just use the hole specified by the manufacturer. If you find that a cross string tie off point is shorter, that's OK provided you do not mess up the crosses. [You know you do not want to tie off the main until after you insert the cross. Also means the cross must tie off where a main would tie off.] ATW to force top down stringing of crosses do not require a waiver. There are at least 3-5 ways to do it without damaging/threatening the frame. If you do not want to bother, just always do a 2 piece.
I should have specified that I always do two piece.I think this has happened on Prince Graphite Pros, but I'll have to check when I get home.
 
#5
@esgee48 - question - if the manufacturer specifies a specific method, why would one not obtain a waiver for any method that deviates?

EDIT: Perhaps I should have written " ... to sign a waiver of liability for not following the manufacturer's instructions."
 
#6
Because the stringer you give the frame to is responsible for stringing the frame correctly. Way back in the Jurassic, I only gave my frames to a tech that worked at a local pro shop. I not only knew him, but trusted him to do the frames in the right manner. [Follow the instructions!] Then it got too expensive to be restringing every few weeks, so I learned how to do the stringing on my own the right way. That is, follow the instructions, which lead to ATW methods because I did not like to tie 4 knots for something that was not a hybrid. I would not give my frames to a Big Box stringer nor to anyone else that has little experience string frames. If a client is paranoid and asks, I will tell him I will follow manufacturers instructions or do ATW. If they want 4 knots, they will get 2 piece. You do talk with the client before doing the work.

If the stringer breaks the frame due to his/her negligence, they are responsible for it. That's why a good stringer will look over a frame before committing to a string job. If I found a crack or a bad area on the frame, I will tell the client and warn them what may happen. If they say 'Go Ahead', I will do so because they know about the potential for frame breaking.

Even if you follow manufacturer's instructions and do a cracked frame, the blame is yours if you do not tell the customer, and the frame breaks completely. Even if you follow instructions on an uncracked frame, there's no warranty that the client will not break it while playing. Prince frames for a period were notorious for breaking near the throat while stringing or when played. There are certain Head frames [Air/Cross Bows] where you have to do some of the bottom crosses BEFORE starting the top.

If you follow threads here, there are people who will say you must do all frames crosses top down even if manufacturer says bottom up is OK. Others, like me, will say follow instructions and if they allow bottom up, OK. If not and it says top down, that does not mean automatic 2 piece according to USRSA. That's why they allow the multitude of ATWs and you can also have natural top down layouts.. 3¢
 
#8
Another question: if a stringer is doing a two piece job and only has enough string to finish the second to last cross string at the throat, would it be advisable scrap the whole job or is it OK to tie off and use sans the final cross? Would that create a tension distribution the racquet isn't engineered for or does it matter as much as having loose outside mains?
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#9
Another question: if a stringer is doing a two piece job and only has enough string to finish the second to last cross string at the throat, would it be advisable scrap the whole job or is it OK to tie off and use sans the final cross? Would that create a tension distribution the racquet isn't engineered for or does it matter as much as having loose outside mains?
If it’s the stringer’s own personal racquet, it would be ok to leave the bottom cross off and play with it. If it’s a customer’s racquet? Absolutely not. Must be redone.
 
#10
And another one: what is the optimal window of time for stringing a racquet before you know you're going to hit to get the best performance out of the first hit? within 24hrs before hitting, within a week before, doesn't matter, etc.?
 
#11
If it’s the stringer’s own personal racquet, it would be ok to leave the bottom cross off and play with it. If it’s a customer’s racquet? Absolutely not. Must be redone.
OK good to know. I'm not taking any customers yet, but even so I would only be OK with this if it were my racquet and I knew it wouldn't cause damage.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#12
And another one: what is the optimal window of time for stringing a racquet before you know you're going to hit to get the best performance out of the first hit? within 24hrs before hitting, within a week before, doesn't matter, etc.?
Depends on the player. Some people don’t like how a racquet feels right off the machine. Some do. A week would be too long for me. But I’ve seen people drop off a racquet to be strung, wait a month to pick it up, and no complaints. Go figure.

I would only be OK with this if it were my racquet and I knew it wouldn't cause damage.
That’s my opinion, yes. (I suspect most other experienced stringers, particularly those who string for customers, would share my opinion on that subject).
 
#13
Another question: if a stringer is doing a two piece job and only has enough string to finish the second to last cross string at the throat, would it be advisable scrap the whole job or is it OK to tie off and use sans the final cross? Would that create a tension distribution the racquet isn't engineered for or does it matter as much as having loose outside mains?
It depends on the racquet.

I've had situations where leaving the cross off makes little noticeable difference. But I've also had the odd situation where leaving the final cross string off creates a racquet that vibrates heavily (and not very comfortably) on ball impact. Never had a problem leaving the top cross off though.
 
#14
It depends on the racquet.

I've had situations where leaving the cross off makes little noticeable difference. But I've also had the odd situation where leaving the final cross string off creates a racquet that vibrates heavily (and not very comfortably) on ball impact. Never had a problem leaving the top cross off though.
OK, but no damage/warping was seen to occur, correct?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#15
Another question: if a stringer is doing a two piece job and only has enough string to finish the second to last cross string at the throat, would it be advisable scrap the whole job or is it OK to tie off and use sans the final cross? Would that create a tension distribution the racquet isn't engineered for or does it matter as much as having loose outside mains?
If you can’t do it right you’re better off not doing it at all. Many mid plus 16x19 frame can be strung 2 piece with with 34’ or 35’ of string.
 
#16
If you can’t do it right you’re better off not doing it at all. Many mid plus 16x19 frame can be strung 2 piece with with 34’ or 35’ of string.
True, but I've also come close to running out on 18x20. You can't just make a 40' set 20' and 20' and know you'll be good to go. With the different amount of elasticity across each string it's a guess unless you're using the same string over and over.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#17
True, but I've also come close to running out on 18x20. You can't just make a 40' set 20' and 20' and know you'll be good to go. With the different amount of elasticity across each string it's a guess unless you're using the same string over and over.
If I have an 18x20 racket I need to string with a 40’ set of poly string I’ll start with a little over 10’ for the short side, string the mains, and tie off. What I cut off the long side has always more than enough for the crosses. If you start with 20’ for the mains (10’ each side,) and you have enough, you will throw away about 1’ tails for each side. My method save the tail on one side and ensure I have plenty of string without using a bridge to tie off both sides.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#20
Assume you had a 137” 18x21 frame a customer brought to you with a 40’ set of string. If you don’t cut it (assuming you’re string 2 piece) and you get to the end of the short side mains and realize it won’t work you haven’t completely destroyed the string because it’s all in one piece. Now find out how your customer wants to do.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#21
What is the best way to know beforehand?
Hold the end of your string with a starting clamp on the outer mains. Weave one side’s mains (no tension) and measure. This will give you a good idea of string length.

Measure the center 6-12 length of the racket, and the tip to tip length of the outside main. Add them together and multiply by # of mains/2. Add the width of the outside main to outside main, and the length of tail you need to tie off. Keep a record of a few rackets and you’ll get a good idea for any racket. Good idea to account for tension and stretch also. It will take more Kevlar to string a racket than Ashaway ZX.
 
#22
OK, but no damage/warping was seen to occur, correct?
Well I 've done it with softer flexier Yonex racquets without any issues. So I think it would not be an issue with stiffer racquets.

But, have only done it with my own racquets. Would never do it for anyone else. AND, I only did it a couple of times because of the horrible vibration feedback. Can't say what would happen in the longer term.

Keep in mind, racquet manuf. design racquets and associated string patterns for a reason. So IMO it is probably preferable to stick with what the racquet is.
 
#23
Keep in mind, racquet manuf. design racquets and associated string patterns for a reason. So IMO it is probably preferable to stick with what the racquet is.
I agree, but in a case where the needed string length is underestimated I know I would rather try to make it work vs cutting the string out and starting over as long as the racket integrity wouldn't suffer from it.
 
#24
If I have 2 frames to do and only ONE string pack of each. I do the mains somewhat differently than Irvin. I prestring all the mains and leave a tail on the short side to just reach the gripper, about 6-8". Then I put it on the machine and pull a loop from the LS to start the mains. After that, it's just tension, wait, clamp. Goes very fast because you do not have to fiddle with pulling mains. When I get to the last mains, tie off, cut remaining string from LS. You will have more than 1/2 the string left to do another set of mains. Or the crosses.
 
#26
If I have 2 frames to do and only ONE string pack of each. I do the mains somewhat differently than Irvin. I prestring all the mains and leave a tail on the short side to just reach the gripper, about 6-8". Then I put it on the machine and pull a loop from the LS to start the mains. After that, it's just tension, wait, clamp. Goes very fast because you do not have to fiddle with pulling mains. When I get to the last mains, tie off, cut remaining string from LS. You will have more than 1/2 the string left to do another set of mains. Or the crosses.
If you're dealing with long and short sides it's a different method than what I'm using. I follow this video to the T for mains, but I'm not opposed to trying other stringing methods.
 
#27
If I have 2 frames to do and only ONE string pack of each. I do the mains somewhat differently than Irvin. I prestring all the mains and leave a tail on the short side to just reach the gripper, about 6-8". Then I put it on the machine and pull a loop from the LS to start the mains. After that, it's just tension, wait, clamp. Goes very fast because you do not have to fiddle with pulling mains. When I get to the last mains, tie off, cut remaining string from LS. You will have more than 1/2 the string left to do another set of mains. Or the crosses.
If you're dealing with long and short sides it's a different method than what I'm using. I follow this video to the T for mains, but I'm not opposed to trying other stringing methods.
 
#28
Not really; you can tie where ever you want.. but,,,,,,
raket would look silly if the manufacturer specified knot locations and you decided to tie somewhere else..
I tie where it makes most sense..
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
#31
For the Lendl pattern to be formally ATW on a 16x19 racket, you take 7+ m for the mains, leave 5 and a stretch to the left, weave 10 central mains, use the starting clamps for the two top 5 mains, then go 3 times ATW with the second piece, TO, and continue with the central 13 crosses using the long part of the mains.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
#33
Yes...

If you can help it you ant to to always tie off on the same side of the racquet so the grommet doesn't deform any more than it has to.

For reference:
  • Racquet is mounted right side up (top facing up) if the buttcap logo is rightside up. I always string this way unless it's not a racquet I had strung previously and was messed up.
  • Racquet is upside down (top facing down) if the buttcap logo is upside down.
I wish more manufacturers would do something like the Tecnifibre EZ Lock eyelet system:

 
#35
Suppose a manufacturer's instructions says one-piece and bottom up for crosses,
but you (having divested your stringing business and stringer) go to a racquet shop
and request an ATW because you believe crosses should always be strung top down.

What should the shop owner do?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#36
Suppose a manufacturer's instructions says one-piece and bottom up for crosses,
but you (having divested your stringing business and stringer) go to a racquet shop
and request an ATW because you believe crosses should always be strung top down.

What should the shop owner do?
What manufacturer says one piece and bottom up for crosses? If a shop owner is requested to use an ATW pattern he should use an ATW pattern or refuse the job.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#38

am1899

Hall of Fame
#39
I’ve never had a customer specifically request an ATW pattern. I’ve had a couple requests for 2 knots. I suppose it depends somewhat on the clientele you or your shop serve.

For the Lendl pattern to be formally ATW on a 16x19 racket...
What does formally ATW even mean?

At any rate, the Lendl pattern (and variations) seem to me more like box patterns, than ATW.
 
#40
I consider Box Pattern stringing to a be a variant of Around The World stringing. And ATW, to me, generally means using a technique to assure that crosses start basically at the top of the frame WHEN the mains end at the throat. This would be to comply with manufacturers' instructions.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#41
I consider Box Pattern stringing to a be a variant of Around The World stringing.
To me, the 2 different names are justified by some subtle differences in the procedures and outcomes. But I can see the logic behind your point of view, too. Semantics, maybe.
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
#43
I consider Box Pattern stringing to a be a variant of Around The World stringing. And ATW, to me, generally means using a technique to assure that crosses start basically at the top of the frame WHEN the mains end at the throat.
In ATW, the shorter side of the mains should always end at the top. That's why when you start at the throat you leave uneven strings and a stretch, when from the top - even strings and a stretch for the shorter side. This, of course, applies for one piece ATW only.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
#45
AFAIK, the primary objective of ATW is to force top down crosses on a racquet whose mains naturally end at the throat, with the added benefit of being able to tie only 2 knots. That’s it. All these other “rules” are news to me.
 

Imago

Hall of Fame
#47
AFAIK, the primary objective of ATW is to force top down crosses on a racquet whose mains naturally end at the throat, with the added benefit of being able to tie only 2 knots. That’s it. All these other “rules” are news to me.
There are ATW patterns in which the crosses start from the throat and end at the top. So the "top down" purpose is not necessarily embedded in ATW.
 
#49
I guess odd ball racquets like the T 2000 (although years ago they were not so odd ball as I strung a good # of those back in the day) , is an ATW pattern, as you do go ATW a few times with that pattern, or maybe it is considered a box pattern, or is a box an ATW, terminology?? So for the T 2000 it was not for top down.
 
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