So how did you become a faster stringer?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by justacityboy, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. justacityboy

    justacityboy Rookie

    May 12, 2008
    other than the obvious (more experience), what were some of the tips and tricks that helped you speed up?

    Right now I can finish a frame in 30 minutes if i'm concentrating and not distracted. The only major difference between myself and what i've seen in pictures is that i only use one clamp while i weave the crosses, placed directly in the middle of the frame. I've seen some pics where both are used, one on each side. I tried to emulate this but it stretched the mains trying to get it to fit into the right position.

    Also, I've heard that weaving one cross ahead of the one you're pulling tension on helps to speed you up. I've tried it both ways (pulling after i weave, or going one ahead before pulling tension) and i can't tell a difference.
  2. diredesire

    diredesire Adjunct Moderator

    Mar 16, 2004
    For me:
    Stringing one ahead is probably the most time savings for me. You need to get used to it before you can really "tell" the difference. I suggest trying it for 10 racquets, or until you stop thinking about HOW to string one ahead. After you get used to it, switch back. I can almost guarantee you will wonder why you didn't switch earlier. The stagger is less pronounced, so you get easier weave and less string burn, why NOT? It's a little confusing at first, but that goes away right quick.

    Second, keep track of your string ends. Having to find string ends is AGGRAVATING.

    Third: General prep work. Do it right and don't rush. You'd think this would make you take longer, but doing things right the first time will save you time in the long run. Measure and make sure you've got it right. Cut string tips to help guide them through tough/stubborn holes (especially blocked ones).

    Weaving fast is the biggest obstacle for most stringers, so most of that is just experience. Hundreds and hundreds of racquets will help you speed up in a hurry ;)

    Weave in a "V" shape towards the throat, then back towards the hole. This increases the distance (and therefore margin of weave) per weave motion.

    Stay relaxed, and don't PUSH the string too hard, let it glide on top of the other strings. Give yourself plenty of slack on each weave. Pulling against the stagger is just making life hard for yourself. You don't really require much force for most (>75%) of the strings out there.

    Good tools: Good tools, such as nice flush cutters, parallel pliers, starting clamps, etc are definitely not considered "necessities," but having the right tools for the job can speed things along when things get a little weird.

    Be prepared: Figure out the pattern(s) beforehand, take note of little things about the frame such as wear and tear in the grommets. Finding out halfway through the mains that you're going to need to tube a grommet will slow you down in the long run if you have to stop and go treasure hunting.

    One tip that I personally found very useful (others do not): Keep a rhythm going. If you are doing something repeatedly, keep doing it! You can get into a groove.

    Example of above: I pre-lace my mains. I personally find that this is a tiny bit quicker than stringing each main individually and then lacing the next. I never have to find the string end (until the last main or two) and I can just keep a groove/rhythm by lacing over and over and then all I have to do is tension over and over. It's pretty rare that the mains take >5 mins for me, but this does NOT work for everyone.

    Come up with shortcuts! Measuring string to the foot is kind of a hassle. I personally don't worry about squeezing out an extra half of a string job from my reels since they last so long in the first place. I use an estimated measurement system based on my arm span. I know it is slightly over 5', so I just round off and count in arm spans.

    Finally, the most overlooked speed trick: Quit worrying about being fast. You'll just get tense and fumble with the string, and lose focus. Relax, breathe, and have fun. On the rare occasion that I time myself (generally in a friendly competition with a good friend) I stay relaxed, and the speed will come itself.

    Hope this helps a little bit ;)
  3. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    i strung....
  4. Booyah

    Booyah Semi-Pro

    Jul 17, 2008
    thanks for the tips diredesire.
  5. Max Winther

    Max Winther Semi-Pro

    May 14, 2007
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Yeah thanks diredesire, I think those will help me. What kills me are the crosses. I can, on the rare occasion, push weave, but the string usually develops too much friction and I can't make it to the hole. I usually loop weave (I think thats what its called) which takes like 15 seconds per weave for me. I think I just need to relax and stop trying to go so fast like you said.
  6. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida
    Very good tips diredesire, thanks.
  7. Dags

    Dags Professional

    Aug 29, 2008
    I can testify to this. I wasn't that big a fan of the cheap tools that came with my machine, and the snips were already blunting a little so I decided to treat myself to an upgrade all round. The new snips cut string like a knife through butter, but it was the parallel pliers that impressed me most: it made pushing through a blocked hole so much easier than before.

    As it happens, it was also my first attempt at the DireDesire ATW pattern. I liked it. ;)
  8. TokyopunK

    TokyopunK Professional

    Jan 20, 2006
    Chicago Suburb
    Practice makes perfect.... but I after 100 stringjobs I am still not perfect and can miss a hole on occassion!!

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