Mounting too tight / too loose?

am1899

Hall of Fame
About a month ago, I attempted to string a EX03 Blue on a 6 point CP. I cut the strings out and began looking over the racquet. I mounted it, and began stringing it 2 piece. The mains went in without incident. I started the crosses, and it was then that the problems came. Upon tensioning the second cross, I heard the dreaded sound of graphite cracking. Upon inspection I saw that a significant crack had opened up at the 3/9 o'clock position of the hoop. Now I've strung quite a few racquets in my day, and honestly that's never happened to me. When I removed the racquet from the mounts, I was surprised how difficult it was to loosen the mounting dials. So I guess my question is, is it possible that the racquet was mounted too tight or too lose, causing the racquet to crack? For the record, it was strung fairly tight - 62 if I remember correctly.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Well it should have been hard to loosen the side mounts. With only the mains installed the racket want to deform. When it does it pushes the sides out and that makes the side mounts tighter. Next time you may want to cut the strings out before you try to unmourned the frame.
 

jim e

Legend
Very well could have had a fracture before you even started to string it.
I look over each racquet very close before I even cut the strings out.
It may have been more difficult to remove because of the crack causing some deformation. You do not need to over tighten the side supports, just snug enough to give the racquet some support. At this point could be difficult to say what the exact cause was. If there was significant racquet rash, then possibly could be owners abuse, but would still be speculation.
Some of the cracks I have noticed in past on pre stringing inspection were at the 2 and 3 oclock positions. I also spotted a fracture in the neck of a racquet as well.
Very important to carefully inspect each racquet before you cut the strings out.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
@ Irvin - i did end up cutting the mains to be able to loosen the supports to get the racquet out. I did inspect the racquet prior to mounting - always do. The string was already broken when I got my hands on it...so i cut those out before inspection. I didn't see anything during inspection that concerned me at all. I guess I am second guessing protocol as to how tight the racquet should be mounted. I remember being told finger right when I learned to string. But should it be mounted looser - just tight enough that the supports barely touch the racquet? Or should I go much tighter? For example - the 12 and 6 supports be tightened to the point that one can see the racquet stretch a bit?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
DD beat me to it. On my Gamma 6004 I turn in the bottom side supports snug while I have the bottom 6 o'clock supports touching. Then expand the 6-12 until the top support is snug. Finally I turn in the top side supports then make sure everything is snug. I don't try anymore to stretch out the racket any.

On the Star 5 as I understand it the mounting is different from what I've been able to see. I'm going to turn in the side supports until the touch they touch and then turn in the top and bottom supports until they just touch.

So how tight you make the supports depends on your machine.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Shouldn't have happened if mounted properly, and that location is also a strange location for a break. I'd suspect the frame was cracked to begin with.
 

tennis_ocd

Hall of Fame
I have worried about this.... what is the correct remedy? Is the stringer on the hook to replace customer's racket??
 

diredesire

Adjunct Moderator
I have worried about this.... what is the correct remedy? Is the stringer on the hook to replace customer's racket??
Up to the policy of the stringer. If the customer is given a heads up beforehand regardless of the policy, then it's fine. You'd need a written policy, but in general, stringers should be inspecting a frame before putting it on the machine. Any obvious defects should be brought to the attention of the customer before any string is removed or inserted.
 

struggle

Legend
i've strung cracked rackets without breaking them, but i do take pics and let the owner know before proceeding.

I'd assume braking rackets while stringing is not that common, yet you'll certainly hear about on boards such as these.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I've also strung cracked frames numerous times but I always show them the crack and get their permission to string it before I do anything. If it looks like a hairline paint crack to me it's still a crack. If a racket has paint chips all over like it has been abused I warn the customer it could be cracked and the consequences of stringing it. If I'm stringing a racket where the customer supplies the string then I charge for labor only and make sure they're aware of it before I string it.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Fortunately, in this case, the manufacturer replaced the racquet under warranty. But, as you can tell, it's still eating at me. I've been nervous about stringing oversize Prince frames since. :(
 

Kam2010

Rookie
I have a question on this guys, I use a Tyger String Eco -45 so far no problems etc.
Thing is I am not 100% sure on tension sometimes because when mounting the frame I make sure it's just snug so I don't overtighten it causing cracks etc..
So once tighten and then start stringing, when it comes to the crosses half way down I notice one of the clamps become slightly looser than the others, now is this normal or have I just not tightened it too much?
When completely strung it's clamps are not as tight when first on but become slightly looser and frame is easier to take out.
Saying this, racket does not be deformed or whatever and plays fine so not sure if this is an issue?

Also with this stringer I have had it for about 3 years I think now never calibrated it as it's drop weight am I right in thinking it doesn't need to?

Thanks
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
By clamp I assume you don't mean string clamps. You may want to clean the points where your hold downs touch the racket. Placing a piece of leather may also help give a little more grip.
 

tennytive

Professional
I think he means one of the side support clamps.

This happens to me as well, and I would guess as you pass that section of racket, the crosses help pull the racket back to original shape and therefore help to make more room between those 2 side support clamps.

I usually bring the side support clamps just up to the racket so they touch but still can wiggle a little side to side. I'm more concerned about the two main supports. Too tight and it's bad for the frame, too loose and the racket can shift a little to the side and almost pinch against one of the mains when starting out.

I do hear some creaking from time to time when doing the crosses. I never hear a sound when I watch the videos tho, so I wonder if that's a normal thing or am I doing something I shouldn't.
 
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