Grommett gets pulled out when I pull tension.

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Robert F, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    I'm finishing the mains on a Aeropro Drive GT. As I pull tension on the 8th main, the grommet gets tugged to the side and disappears into the frame and the outside of the grommet base pops out. I'm afraid if I tied down and then release it will be stuck and would be hard to manipulate with an awl.

    Any suggestions? I didn't have any problems on the other side for the 8th string.
     
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  2. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

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    @Robert F,
    I'll give you a detailed response in a few minutes, but answer a quick question first...
    have you (or anyone else) ever replaced the grommets on this particular frame?
     
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  3. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    These are new grommets I just put in. These are the ones just outside the throat. The plastic piece I think has 4 grommets on it.
     
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  4. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    1st thing is to release the tension on that string. Then lift the grommet strip up and check the frame underneath. Make sure that the graphite channel has not collapsed. If there is damage there, the frame is a goner.

    You said that the other side's 8th main was pulled without any problems with the grommet strip. Is there any difference between the plastic strips on the sides? There shouldn't be, but wondering. Could one side have damaged grommet tubes? Images would help. The old APD grommet sets were pretty straightforward.
     
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  5. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

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    Uh huh... as I suspected (and hence why I immediately inquired).

    I'm willing to bet that (in replacing the grommets) you've installed the side grommet piece (which runs from 10H all the way down to 10T) upside down.
    You may not think it makes a difference because, at first glance, that side grommet piece appears to be symmetrical, but it's not.

    The very last hole/tube in that side grommet piece is bigger at one end (to accommodate 2 strings), and smaller/regular sized at the other end (to accommodate only 1 string).
    You must orient the end with the bigger hole/tube towards the throat of the frame, and not the head of the frame.
    This is because 10T is a tie-off location (for the bottom cross) and you need to have this bigger grommet barrel going into 10T, and not into 10H.
    Otherwise, it will cause multiple problems with the grommets fitting correctly.

    Yes, I know that the mains don't even run through this side piece whatsoever.
    So, you may be thinking "even if this piece is upside down, what difference would that even make when I'm pulling tension on that 8th/last main?"
    Just because none of the MAINS actually pass through that side piece, don't fool yourself into thinking it couldn't possibly make much difference (after all, the mains actually only pass through the grommet piece along the lower shoulder).
    It's hard to put into words but, take my word for it, it does have an effect.

    If/when this side grommet section is oriented incorrectly, the end with the smaller grommet barrel will be down at 10T and the end with the bigger grommet barrel will be all the way up at 10H. Having the bigger grommet barrel up at 10H will pose an even bigger problem at the junction where the side grommet piece meets up with the grommet strip section that resides in the bumper guard (between 9H and 10H).
    If the big grommet barrel is up at 10H, then it will not want to fit all the way into/through the actual drilled hole in the frame. This will cause the grommet(s) to awkwardly bulge outwards.
    The grommet at 10H won't sit correctly within the frame. Therefore, one of two scenarios will occur. The grommet junction outside the frame (between 9H and 10H)...
    1. will not have a loop of string over it, and the grommet strip ends will bulge badly outward (as if someone is pulling the end of the grommet strip up with invisible pliers), or...
    2. will have a loop of (cross) string over it, thus the bulging effect will expose this section of string to court scrapes (the string will now be above what the bumper guard can protect).
    The 2 scenarios above are dependent on which side of the frame the bulging grommet happens to be on... as well as which side of the frame the crosses were started on.

    And... if the side grommet piece in installed wrong, you will also encounter troubles in attempting to tie off the bottom cross at 10T (because the smaller barrel grommet is now at 10T, rather than the larger one).
    You'd find yourself wondering why it was difficult to get your tie-off string through that smaller grommet (after all, it wasn't meant to have 2 strings passing through it).

    Now, the reason you didn't have any problems with the other side of the frame is because, in all likelihood, you simply got lucky and installed that side grommet section correctly (bigger grommet tube being at 10T, instead of up at 10H).


    Additionally, even when the grommets are installed properly, certain racquets (especially Babolat) have a tendency for the grommets to pull out/away from the frame when tensioning some of the mains.
    Namely, whichever main first exits the bottom grommet at the lower shoulder of the frame (if the frame has 6 holes in it's throat bridge, this would be grommet 4T... if the frame has 8 holes in it's throat bridge, then this would be grommet 5T). The angle of the pull will sometimes try to make the end of the grommet strip pop out.

    The same thing can sometimes also happen when tensioning other outer mains too (just like when you were tensioning that 8th/last main).
    It is a very good habit to always hold these grommets in place, with your fingers, just before AND during tensioning of these main strings.

    This exact technique can been seen from 4:25-4:32 in the following video by @Richard Parnell. You'll notice that it is the 8th/outside main that he is tensioning, while holding the grommets in the frame with his fingers.


    And also here, from 6:50-7:17, whilst tensioning each of the 4th mains exiting from 4T.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  6. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Many new grommets will tend to pull out when tensioning the mains in the four corners of the racket. That why some manufacturers (like Babolat) flare their grommets that tend to pull out. If you’re not going to flare them you need to hold them in with you thumb the first few times you string the racket.

    I haven’t tried it but I would imagine you could flare them with a heat gun and a pencil if you don’t have a flaring tool. Just soften the grommet and push the pencil in the grommet while holding the grommets in from the outside.

    EDIT: Search the page http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/articles/2006/01/industry_news_12.html for “flare-it” it’s a good way down. You could also make one with a C-Clamp.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  7. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    Good advice everyone.

    I might have put the side strip in upside down. Hence the overlap between the strip isn't as strong. Was trying to figure which way was up and down. Seemed one way fit in better than the other when lining up the grommts. Also not sure if this is a change with the replacement grommets, but I thought the originals were more flared out in the past and now they are just straight tubes.

    I just didn't think my thumb would be strong enough to hold in place, but will try next time.

    Thanks guys.
     
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  8. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Put the strip in upside down? Impossible, the 8th from met is in the lower strip and the bottom grommet is very long. You would have known it was wrong. The original grommets are flared but they have to be flared after the grommet strip is installed . They are flared to prevent them from going through the frame. Good luck getting them through the frame if they are flared before you install them.
     
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  9. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

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    Not impossible. More racquets are coming with a 6 piece set such as the Head Graphene Radical; bumper, throat piece, side, side, side throat, side throat. These regular side pieces are very symmetrical.
     
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  10. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    The OP is talking about grommet hole 8T in an Aeropro Drive GT. That grommet is on the lower side grommet, if you put it in upside down the lower grommets will not reach through the frame.

    EDIT: In this video you can see the strip that has grommets 4-9T on an APD. Notice how long grommet 4T is.

     
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  11. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

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    Nice catch Wes!
     
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  12. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    How does the position of the of the grommets in 10H to 10T cause grommet 9T (8th main) to pull out when tensioning the 8th main? After you tension the 8th main you could remove the grommet strip between 10H and 10T, and turn it around if you wanted to, as long as the grommet was new and there were no crosses installed. @Wes are you willing to give me odds?
    As you observed since none of the mains run through that side piece how can If cause 9T to pull out?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  13. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    I was wondering if one end had a beefier lip that overlaps and helps keep the grommets in place?
     
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  14. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I assume you’re talking about the side grommet strip. Go back up and look at the video I posted in post 10. Pay particular attention to about 1:20 to 2:00 minute mark in the video. There is a tie off hole in the bottom of the side strip and no tie off on top of the strip. If you put the strip in upside down you have no good place to tie off.
     
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  15. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

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    Irvin, why are you trying to put words in my mouth?
    I never said that the side grommets would cause 9T to pull out. You like to see/hear what you want to see/hear, rather than what has actually been stated.
    I never said anything about cause (and certainly not the sole cause). The point, that I made, was that correct grommet orientation helps aid 9T from being pulled away from the frame as easily.

    There are several factors in play (a synergistic effect, if you will). I covered several contributing factors. Why are you focusing on only one (to the exclusion of everything else I covered)?

    ^^^
    Correct. The side grommet piece overlaps the lower shoulder grommet piece. This, somewhat (but not entirely, Irvin) helps it stay in place when tensioning the 8th main exiting 9T.
    There is also slightly less likelihood that 9T will be prone to pulling away because the larger barrel grommet residing in 10T (as it should be) will create more friction (within the hole in the frame) than if/when that side grommet piece is upside down (putting the narrow barrel grommet in 10T, which would have a tendency to allow 9T to pull out more freely when tensioning the 8th main).

    Nonetheless, I well covered the procedure of holding the grommets in place before AND while tensioning outer mains (which is the more important component here anyway).
    I have no idea why Irvin can't see the forest for the trees.
    I thought I was pretty clear about everything, but perhaps I'm wrong. Did anyone else misunderstand? If so, my apologies.
     
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  16. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

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    This, too, I already covered...

     
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  17. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Here the op says the grommet is pulling out when he tensions the 8th main.
    Here you suggest the side strip is upside down which has nothing to do with his problem
    Why am I putting words in your mouth?
     
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  18. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    Unfortunately, I have given the player his racquet back.
    Next time I get it, I'm going to try and compare. When I took them out to replace them it was tough to find a difference. I'll focus on how much the grommet sticks out and double check the ties off which I didn't have any problem with.
     
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