How do you tighten your knots ?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by TimeToPlaySets, May 31, 2018.

  1. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    The the finishing Parnell knot, how do you tighten the loop?
    I use pliers, but tend to damage the string.
    Should I just use my fingers to tighten the loop?
    Then I pull the end of the string with same pliers.


    For the starting knot on the crosses, you're supposed to pull both ends of the knot's double loop
    How do you pull both ends?
    When I first started, I would use 2 sets of pliers.
    Then I just used one, and would just tension the other end with the drop weight.
    Now, I just sort of hand tighten, no pliers, and drop weight one side to tighten, and then yank the end of the string with pliers.


     
    #1
  2. loosegroove

    loosegroove Hall of Fame

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    Your fingers are fine. I use a starting clamp though since I have one.
     
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  3. 1HBHfanatic

    1HBHfanatic Hall of Fame

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    Use to use just my hands,, that did not work long,, skin started to split
    used needle nose pliers for a time,, until strings started to break, theeth on pliers are to ruff to pull strings with force
    now I use the starting clamp,, it has enough grip for the job..
     
    #3
  4. Stefanm

    Stefanm Rookie

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    I’ll generally use a starting clamp, but will use my hands on more fragile strings like gut
     
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  5. Tennis_dude101

    Tennis_dude101 Semi-Pro

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    I use a starting clamp as well. You cut off the piece that it damaged through crushing so I don't see the issue.
     
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  6. Stefanm

    Stefanm Rookie

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    To clarify, I use my hands for gut because I have a bit more feel to avoid overtensioning with bare hands
     
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  7. 2nd Serve Ace

    2nd Serve Ace Professional

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    If you knot to start that grommet is going to get crushed big time!

    Get a starting clamp.

    For tightening knots honestly, just using the gripper but being careful had been fine for me (I tend to avoid delicate strings)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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  8. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    Starting clamp, hands, regular pliers with a sheet of folded paper to prevent damage to string. If you use a DHH, you can use the machine, but ratchet the tension down to about 10-15#.
     
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  9. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    The biggest issue people have with knots IMO is they try to tighten them too tight thinking the tighter the knot the less drawback they will have. You need to make sure the string between the knot and the clamp is taught before you tie the knot. As long as what you use to tie the knot does not damage the string anything is fine I use a starting clamp.
     
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  10. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    The issue is when you break the loop.
    Then you just yank the remaining end, and hope it's tight.
     
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  11. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Why do you think it is so important to have the knot tight? There is a section of string that starts at the untionsioned side of the clamp, then it goes through a grommet and into another grommet shared by another string. You’re going to then tie a knot around an anchor string. If you tug on the string past the knot hard enough to remove all the slack from the untensioned string you will break the string. There is no possible way to avoid that.
     
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  12. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    I have never thought about it, to be honest.
    I just figured the knot loop should be pulled as hard as possible.
    But, I suspect this is not the case. Next racket, I will look more closely.
     
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  13. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Nice way to break a lot of strings.
     
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  14. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

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    With gut I use my hands, otherwise I use a long nose plier. Mine is pretty much an antique, a Snap-on 96, which is 7" long. I don't use Parnell knots. I use another self-cinching knot that is a bit larger.
     
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  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I use DHH knots now and use either my hands or if it's poly I use a starting clamp.
     
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  16. 1HBHfanatic

    1HBHfanatic Hall of Fame

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    You learn real quick, all that time you spent stringing the raket perfectly can be wastes by screwing up the knot (pulling incorrectly, pulling too much, etc).. specially when dealing with soft strings like nat.gut..
     
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  17. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    You can hurt yourself using pliers to pull knots tight. The sharp gripping surface on the pliers can actually snap the string and cause you to pull bash the pliers right into you mouth, teeth, face, neck, or chest. It’s actually happened to many folks on this board. Please get a starting clamp so that you don’t put yourself at risk.
     
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  18. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    Just remember this video lesson on what to do when finishing off knots
     
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  19. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

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    Using the tensioner, to tighten knots, is not a good practice. o_O

    ^^^
    Exactly. ;)
     
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  20. 1HBHfanatic

    1HBHfanatic Hall of Fame

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    One other thing I do when finishing knots, is hold the string thought ( after the knot, with starting clamp), while releasing the base.clamps,, this allows the draw back to also tighten the knot..
     
    #20
  21. CosmosMpower

    CosmosMpower Hall of Fame

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    Starting clamp, I cinch the knot then release the clamp.
     
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  22. SavvyStringer

    SavvyStringer Semi-Pro

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    I use a Proknot 95% of the time. I'll use a Parnell on gut or thin multis. I tighten with an old starting clamp.
     
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  23. nb1234

    nb1234 New User

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    A starting clamp is good, if you have one.

    Pliers are fine, too, if that's all you have. The "trick" to not have the string break on the edge of the plier jaws or serrations is to not let the string bend over the edge in the first place. Grip the string and always pull directly in line with the tension - don't let the string wrap at all over the jaw edges. You do need to make sure you're squeezing firmly so the string doesn't slip. And it is true, you cut out the portion of string that is crushed a bit by this anyway.

    Personally, I use a pair of needle nose pliers and grip the string so that the string is oriented along the length of the needle nose jaws, with the string basically exiting the very tips of the needle jaws. When tugging tight (not too tight!), I just keep the pliers pointed directly at the grommet hole while rocking side-to-side a bit to pull things snug. This eliminates excessive strain on the string. No breakage, ever.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    #23
  24. jim e

    jim e Legend

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    Just a suggestion.
    If anyone does use pliers, be sure not to pull in direction of your face.
    I have heard stories of pliers in face, which could be worse if in eye.
    A number years back someone even on these boards posted a picture of his face after needle nose ended in face after pliers either slipped of string broke. It does happen.
    That said, I just use fingers to cinch up knots, as it does not take much to cinch it up.
    Poly strings can take the extra forces, but nat. gut and some thin multi strings can be ruined at end by just pulling too hard on knot tail.
    Pulling excess on tail with Parnell knot will not accomplish anything but stress out string, as once the 2 loops are pulled tight pulling more on tail is worthless to do.
    You can orient tail in direction you want it to be when you release clamp by holding tail in direction you want it to end at and that's about it, but makes no sense to pull excess on tail.
    I used fingers to cinch knots back in the 1960's when I started stringing
    (I was taught the now called Parnell knot back in 1968 by an old timer that taught me to string) ,
    and still use fingers now when cinching knots, as its no big deal, once you know how to tie properly.
     
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  25. 1HBHfanatic

    1HBHfanatic Hall of Fame

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    Do you recall what the name of the "parnell knot", was back then? Just curious..
     
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  26. jim e

    jim e Legend

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    When that person taught me that knot back then he said that it was a good knot to use as it was easy to cinch, and that no one in our area used it and it would be able to identify my work from others, never gave it a name .He spent one evening teaching me to string and I bought one of his machines and I was on my own, this was in 1968.
    He was correct as this was in the wooden racquet era and there was no serial numbers to record back then. One time a player told me one of my knots came undone and he later brought in the racquet for me to restring it. I immediately knew it was not my work as knots were all just half hitch knots even though string and racquet was same brand. I showed him the knot I use on my racquet and told him he must have another racquet with same string in it as that one was not my job. Said he has a few of same racquets All strung the same and checked the others and said he spotted mine with the different knot.
    Only other time back then I would use a different knot was with the T2000 racquets as they specified specific knots to use with that one.
     
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  27. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

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    I use long nose pliers. I am right handed. I grab the string with the pliers held in my right hand. So, I am squeezing the pliers with my right hand. But I pull the knot tight with my left hand by grabbing the nose of the pliers and pulling up with my left middle finger while pushing down against the racquet with the heel of my left hand. I do this because, yes, just pulling up with your right hand is dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    #27
  28. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I'm getting the feeling that every new stringing machine sold should come with a starting clamp.... :)
     
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  29. SavvyStringer

    SavvyStringer Semi-Pro

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    Both of the ones I’ve purchased came with starting clamps. Companies really should include full tool kits with their machines. I still use many of the tools from my alpha tool kit with the baiardo.
     
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  30. Technatic

    Technatic Semi-Pro

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    We advise to use a very simple hook to tighten the knot and especially the piece of string between the clamp and the knot.

    We also use this hook to make room for a second string.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  31. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Indeed, a hook is so much safer!

    ARRR, matey, let me tighten that Parnell for you!
     
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  32. jim e

    jim e Legend

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    I can see using the hook if I was stringing a great number of racquets daily,
    but for the typical home stringer like myself, fingers have worked for many years to cinch up knots.
     
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  33. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    ^^^In all seriousness, I agree with jim e. I use my hands almost exclusively (even with most polys). Occasionally, and usually when there is not enough string to grab, I will use my starting clamp and a few times I have used cam-action pliers but those occasions are quite rare. Despite my poking fun at the hook, I do see its value--that stated, I try to keep as few tools in my tray as possible and I don't see the need to have it too (at least on a regular basis).
     
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  34. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    I hand tightened the knots this time.
    Yank loop with fingers, then yank end of string, and then a light tug with pliers.
     
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  35. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Here is how I tighten my knots

     
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  36. Geoff

    Geoff Hall of Fame

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    I use cam action pliers that I have had for years.
     
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  37. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    Irvin, excellent video.
    I see how you make the loop really big, so you can grab it.

    Thanks for taking the time to film, edit, and post it
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  38. loosegroove

    loosegroove Hall of Fame

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    There, fixed it for you ;)
     
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  39. jim e

    jim e Legend

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    I think you are off the hook for now.
     
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  40. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    An old pirate walks into a bar...

    The bartender said "Captain John! It's been a long....what in the world happened to you?"

    Captain John replied "What ye mean?"

    The bartender said "You've got a hook for a hand, a peg for a leg, and you've a patch over your eye. You had none of that last time you were in port."

    Captain John answered "Aye....a shark took me leg off the coast of Florida whilst we were searching for gold. Later, we were boarded by the Spanish...I lost the hand in a sword fight and they give me this here hook."

    The bartender said "That's terrible, but what about your eye?"

    Captain John sighed and said "A seagull shat in it"

    The bartender was incredulous "Now I'll believe a lot of things but there is absolutely no way a seagull crapping in your eye will put it out"

    Captain John said "Aye that be true, but it was the first day with me hook."
     
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  41. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    Slight tug with a starting clamp works for me (rocking, etc).
     
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  42. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    @TimeToPlaySets here is another video I made today while stringing with natural gut and poly

     
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