"new" wood racket - how many stringjobs will it last?

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#1
Looking to purchase a few wood rackets to experiment with off the auction site.

How long does a "new" (old stock) wood racket generally last?

Is the number of stringjobs the largest factor in the lifetime of a wooden racket?

I'm specifically looking at the Jack Kramer Pro Staff. Thanks!
 

PBODY99

Hall of Fame
#2
Wood is organic & how many stress cycles it has left is anybodies guess
I have a 1972 Cliff Richey Wilson Ultra with 5 total restrings, last strung in 1978.
Still a nice occasional hitter.
 
#4
I get 5 to 6 outta all mine .. mine don’t crack they get warped or misshapen and I string them according to the manufactures instructions to a T.
So now i only use pro blend .. well partially I use prince Kevlar mains and isospeed control in crosses in my woods which are my Donnay flex pro and my Donnay junior allwood and my Donnay Borg pro junior . I know it’s weird to use a wood junior but I just flat out cannot handle the weight of most normal woods . My Donnay flex pro only weighs 12.2 oz. somehow .. I got lucky on that one . Both Donnay juneeez. Are at The 12.5 oz weights . Which are still too heavy for me really
 

ba4x

New User
#5
I get 5 to 6 outta all mine .. mine don’t crack they get warped or misshapen and I string them according to the manufactures instructions to a T.
So now i only use pro blend .. well partially I use prince Kevlar mains and isospeed control in crosses in my woods which are my Donnay flex pro and my Donnay junior allwood and my Donnay Borg pro junior . I know it’s weird to use a wood junior but I just flat out cannot handle the weight of most normal woods . My Donnay flex pro only weighs 12.2 oz. somehow .. I got lucky on that one . Both Donnay juneeez. Are at The 12.5 oz weights . Which are still too heavy for me really
Am I understanding correctly that you string wooden rackets with kevlar mains? Do you see any relation between the choice of kevlar strings and the tendency of your frames to warp?

I always thought natural gut (or a very soft synthetic string) was the only option for wooden frames. Admittedly, I never put much thought into it.
 

max

Hall of Fame
#6
I don't think I'd put kevlar in a wood. The chances are good that the wood's less resiliant due to drying out over the years. I'd go 17 gauge syn gut.
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
#8
I have kirschbaum competition in my wood frame and I don't really plan on restringing it again unless it breaks. I only hit with it a few times a year maybe, and so far I've had no issues with it. It came with the original victor strings when I got it. They looked new or close to it. Broke them in 2-3 hours. Put the poly in and it's been a very good hitting stick with the poly. I think I strung it around 35-40lbs. Probably twice as stiff as the original strings, but still hits soft with that nice wood flex. I do store mine in a frame to prevent warping.
 

ba4x

New User
#9
Can I ask how you guys are stringing the wooden frames? On a standard stringing machine with standard 6 point mounts, or do you have access to some archaic machine with the proper mounts?
 
#10
Can I ask how you guys are stringing the wooden frames? On a standard stringing machine with standard 6 point mounts, or do you have access to some archaic machine with the proper mounts?
I've been using my 8 or 9 year old Stringway ML90 to string all my wood racquets. Never had a problem. I even recently strung a 100+ year old racquet with it.

I used to string them with synthetic gut (and even tried poly once), but now I use gut. Synthgut and poly just kills the wood racquets too quickly.
 
#11
I get 5 to 6 outta all mine .. mine don’t crack they get warped or misshapen and I string them according to the manufactures instructions to a T.
So now i only use pro blend .. well partially I use prince Kevlar mains and isospeed control in crosses in my woods which are my Donnay flex pro and my Donnay junior allwood and my Donnay Borg pro junior . I know it’s weird to use a wood junior but I just flat out cannot handle the weight of most normal woods . My Donnay flex pro only weighs 12.2 oz. somehow .. I got lucky on that one . Both Donnay juneeez. Are at The 12.5 oz weights . Which are still too heavy for me really
I think most of my wood racquets are around 12.5 - 13 ounces strung. Two of them are a bit heavier. I have a Jack Kramer Pro Staff that is 13.7 ounces strung. I struggle a little bit with it.
 
#12
I would use a multifiliment or natural gut. I string mine between 40 and 50 #, but I think the would take higher. They do warp, but that's generally from leaving them in your car where they get too hot. Store them in a closet and you'll be fine.
 
#14
Looking to purchase a few wood rackets to experiment with off the auction site.

How long does a "new" (old stock) wood racket generally last?

Is the number of stringjobs the largest factor in the lifetime of a wooden racket?

I'm specifically looking at the Jack Kramer Pro Staff. Thanks!
I think I have a couple of these still. Let me know what grip size you're looking for.
 
#15
Looking to purchase a few wood rackets to experiment with off the auction site.

How long does a "new" (old stock) wood racket generally last?

Is the number of stringjobs the largest factor in the lifetime of a wooden racket?

I'm specifically looking at the Jack Kramer Pro Staff. Thanks!
When I play with a wood racquet I usually use a Jack Kramer Pro Staff.

To give you an idea on durability. Years ago I played a retro wood racquet tournament using a JK pro staff. I practiced for a month or so in advance I think, playing a couple times a week with it. Strung with 16g or 17g synthetic gut. The strings started sawing through the wood in various places by the throat between around 4 and 8 o'clock. I restrung once before the tournament began.

I played singles and mixed doubles in the tournament and won both categories. By the end of the tournament the strings had almost completely sawed through a few areas of the racquet and after hitting with it once more it broke.

Going forward I had another JK Pro staff, also strung with synthgut. I only played with it occasionally, but I used pieces of leather this time to protect the racquet and also some plastic tubing. I only use it occasionally, but overall this seemed to protect the holes a lot. Unfortunately, though, it started to warp! Possibly from stringing too tight at around 55 lbs and also from moving to a humid climate.

With my current JK PS that I use, I made further adjustments to my M.O. This one was a new unsused racquet when i purchased it.
- cheap gut strings
- lower tension (40s?)
- keep moisture absorbers near the racquet.
- use leather power pads (but no plastic tubing)

So far after 3 years, it has remained immaculate. Have played with it probably about 5x a year. So maybe 15x total. Mostly doubles and once practicing some serves.

 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#16
When I play with a wood racquet I usually use a Jack Kramer Pro Staff.

To give you an idea on durability. Years ago I played a retro wood racquet tournament using a JK pro staff. I practiced for a month or so in advance I think, playing a couple times a week with it. Strung with 16g or 17g synthetic gut. The strings started sawing through the wood in various places by the throat between around 4 and 8 o'clock. I restrung once before the tournament began.

I played singles and mixed doubles in the tournament and won both categories. By the end of the tournament the strings had almost completely sawed through a few areas of the racquet and after hitting with it once more it broke.

Going forward I had another JK Pro staff, also strung with synthgut. I only played with it occasionally, but I used pieces of leather this time to protect the racquet and also some plastic tubing. I only use it occasionally, but overall this seemed to protect the holes a lot. Unfortunately, though, it started to warp! Possibly from stringing too tight at around 55 lbs and also from moving to a humid climate.

With my current JK PS that I use, I made further adjustments to my M.O. This one was a new unsused racquet when i purchased it.
- cheap gut strings
- lower tension (40s?)
- keep moisture absorbers near the racquet.
- use leather power pads (but no plastic tubing)

So far after 3 years, it has remained immaculate. Have played with it probably about 5x a year. So maybe 15x total. Mostly doubles and once practicing some serves.

Thanks for the tips!

Where exactly do you use the leather power pads on your JK ProStaff?

I was thinking of stringing gut at 50#, but maybe will go 45# if warping is an issue with these older wood rackets...
 
#17
Thanks for the tips!

Where exactly do you use the leather power pads on your JK ProStaff?

I was thinking of stringing gut at 50#, but maybe will go 45# if warping is an issue with these older wood rackets...
I put leather powerpads on the 6 lower pairs of holes on each side of the racquet.


I'm not sure if the tension was the cause of the warping. My previous racquet was used in southern California, which is less humid and I never had a problem stringing at around 54 lbs. It broke before it warped.


 
#18
I recently strung my 100+ year old racquet with gut at super low tension. Been too scared to play with it, but will soon. I bought a couple 100+ year old racquets. One to use and one just to collect.
 

max

Hall of Fame
#19
The times I've strung wood, I've used a Klippermate and synthetic gut. We used to go to 60 or 65 pounds back then. But I wouldn't advise this tension today. Go 40.
 
#20
Can I ask how you guys are stringing the wooden frames? On a standard stringing machine with standard 6 point mounts, or do you have access to some archaic machine with the proper mounts?
Strung a couple Dunlop Maxply Fort on 6-point Gamma 602FC, no problem. Strung Alpha gut @ 40 lbs n SG @ 25 lbs. Felt pretty good.
 
#21
Two things: 1) Wood comes from trees. The material is not 100 homogeneous. The sticks may not be all equally strong. Or weak at the same spot.
2) From what I read/hear the big hitters would break them sooner, especially the big servers.
3) If you play with them long enough, ALL wooden racket will break sooner or later. My dad saw short a wooden racket for my first racket. When I broke that it was like a rite of passage, I can play tennis now.
 
#22
Can I ask how you guys are stringing the wooden frames? On a standard stringing machine with standard 6 point mounts, or do you have access to some archaic machine with the proper mounts?
I have a Prince Neos 1000 and have strung 30+ wood racquets on it. Works great. I would think any quality modern machine would work well.
 
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