How to string 18 gauge Kevlar - any tips?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by samalo0, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. samalo0

    samalo0 New User

    Sep 14, 2008
    Lexington, KY
    Hi guys,
    I have a client who I am starting to string for who is a perfectionist (as I try and be). His string of choice is Forten Thin Blend, which is 18 gauge Kevlar and 17 gauge synthetic gut.

    He had some of his racquets (he has 6) strung locally at a pro shop and two of them popped strings at the knots (the Kevlar) almost immediately.

    Here were his instructions:
    - 60 lbs Kevlar on mains, 65 lbs synthetic gut on crosses
    - Use double knots(?)
    - Use tubing

    His previously strung racquets have tubing at 4 places - in each place where a knot is to be tied (two at the top for starting the synthetic crosses, two at the bottom where the Kevlar ties onto itself).

    - What does he mean by double knotting? I typically use a single Parnell knot and haven't had any trouble with synth gut or poly. This is my first experience with Kevlar. Should I tie two Parnell knots?

    - The Kevlar doesn't stretch at all; first attempt at stringing I didn't get enough slack out of the string on the outside of the frame and it killed the tension in the edge main. I cut the knot and had to repull all of the mains and try again; I was tempted to toss the string, but I have more on order so I figured I would just get this racquet the best I could and maybe cut it out if it didn't work out when I get more string. Is this OK that I pulled it twice? Should I pull more tension on the last main before the knot?

    - I put tubing to match the way it was done previously; just about 3/4" so that where the knot is tied is covered in tubing and a bit of a way out to the outside of the frame. Is there a certain length one should use? Also, is there any reason to use two pieces at the top as you only start the crosses from one location, not two.

    - I used the "two loops around the main and back through" starting knot for the synthetic gut. Should I have done anything else? It appears to be working and holding well.

    - Any other recommendations to help him get the most durability out of these strings?

    I use a Prince Neos, and the racquet is a Wilson hammer (black and yellow, 16 mains)...

  2. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2009
    At Large
    I've had picky clients ask for specific knots too. Use a double half hitch. The difference between DHH vs Parnell is basically only cosmetic, but you should honor his request.

    When using Kevlar I would definitely recommend raising tension on the last mains before your knot.

    It sounds like the pro shop who strung his rackets previously must have pulled the knots with the tension head to make sure its secure (bad!).
  3. Toad

    Toad Rookie

    Jun 11, 2009
    I use a 18 ga Ashaway Kevlar/17 ga Gosen OGSM as my string. It sounds to me like he wants the tubing and knots used so that the knots don't slip through or ruin the grommets...I have never had this problem personally. I put tubing in the top 4 center mains (2 pieces) to prevent those grommets from breaking (do it on polys as well to help reduce the risk of shank snap).

    I always pull 4 lbs higher with Kevlar on the last main (string it at 52 lbs for reference). Having a lower (or higher) tension on the outside main won't really affect the feel of the string bed with Kevlar, but with such a thin gauge, it will move around like crazy if it is to low and that is annoying.

    I have no idea about the second piece of tubing on the top...for symmetry maybe? If he is that picky about what knots you tie, maybe he is that picky about the balance of his racket and the gram that the tubing weighs will completely throw his game off if not matched on the other side :p .

    Of the 10 times I have strung this setup for myself, (and probably about 16 total times I have had it in my racket this past year), I have never had a problem with the string popping at the knot.

    Dunno how long this set up is lasting him, but mine will last me a little over a week (about 20 hours).
  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Mar 15, 2007
    Marietta, Ga
    If he is a Cardinal fan string it any way you want he won't know the difference. If he is a Wildcat fan it's different story. LOL

    First I would explain to him the benefits of the Parnel knot. I think it can be tightened up good enough you don't need to up the tension on the outside mains if you do it right.

    He probably wants the tubing because the strings are breaking at the grommets when you tie off. I would check out the grommets and see if they need to be replaced. Replace them with either a complete set if you can get them or the individual ones. About using the tubing at two locations at the top. Same thing again. The knots have probably been tied on both side and the existing grommets are worn down and the strings are breaking if there is a knot or not. You need to replace both top grommets if you are doing the individual ones.

    By the way you need to look at all four tie off grommets in the throat too.

  5. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2008
    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C
    I think what he meant is that kevlar is prone to slipping. I once was in a huge hurry years ago and only made 1 knot on the kevlar mains while cutting the string nice, neat and short... Ugh needless to say it lost tension like crazy and the knot slipped straight through. Kevlar can DESTROY groms if you're not careful. Since it's so stiff it flat out breaks them. Adding in some tubing helps a bit.
  6. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

    Jul 27, 2008
    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C
    Oh, Crazy glue the tip of the string as well... saves you so much frustration cutting new tips if you miss a grommet

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