Starting crosses

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Muppet, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Muppet

    Muppet Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    5,026
    Location:
    Boston
    I always start my crosses by securing the top cross with my starting clamp, outside the hoop (after I've weaved the top 2 crosses). Or is it better to get a little more action out of the top of the face by double pulling the top 2 crosses, setting a table clamp on the 2nd cross, pulling full tension on the top cross, setting table clamp, tying knot, then pulling full tension on the second cross and clamping? I realize that the only difference is that full tension is only pulled on the top cross once instead of twice. Is there a noticeable difference? Would you recommend one method over the other for the racquets in my signature?
     
    #1
  2. am1899

    am1899 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    IMHO both methods work well, and I don’t think of either method as superior than the other. Seems to me more of a personal preference.
     
    #2
  3. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,102
    Here's what I do @Muppet.

    (LO Stringer, single pulls) ...

    1/ Weave the top three crosses.
    2/ Secure the top cross with a Starting Clamp on the outside of the frame.
    3/ Pull tension on the second cross.
    4/ Clamp the second cross.
    5/ Weave the fourth cross.
    6/ Pull tension on the third cross.
    7/Clamp the third cross.
    8/ Pull tension on the first cross.
    9/ Remove starting clamp.
    10/ Clamp the first cross.
    11/ Tie off the first cross with a finishing knot.
    ...
    12/ Continue down the frame.

    (LO Stringer, pull tension twice to simulate CP stringer as per @Irvin's videos) ...

    1/ Weave the top three crosses.
    2/ Secure the top cross with a Starting Clamp on the outside of the frame.
    3/ Pull tension on the second cross twice.
    4/ Clamp the second cross.
    5/ Weave the fourth cross.
    6/ Pull tension on the third cross twice
    7/ Clamp the third cross.
    8/ Pull tension on the first cross twice
    9/ Remove starting clamp.
    10/ Clamp the first cross.
    11/ Tie off the first cross with a finishing knot.
    ...
    12/ Continue down the frame.
     
    #3
  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    19,097
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    It really does not matter how you pull the crosses. More often than not I use a starting knot now. But any method is fine. I preweave 2, 3, or 4 crosses depending on the racket. For instance if I’m stringing a racket with O Ports on the side I start preweaving in the grommet above the top O Port. You’re not Going to get more action out of the top crosses by stringing them tighter unless maybe you hit the ball up there and your talking about shearing action.
     
    #4
  5. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,102
    @Irvin, if you use a starting knot, do you pull tension on the first cross, clamp off, and continue? Given it is at the top of the string bed, could one skip pulling tension on the first cross and go straight to pulling tension on the second cross (IE same side of the hoop as the starting knot)?

    That would save me a bit of time. I just have to learn how to tie a starting knot!
     
    #5
  6. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    19,097
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    You could but I would not. You will have a loose knot and very low tension on the top cross that way. I use an iKnot which is actually very easy to tie once you get it down.

    EDIT: here are a couple of videos on the iKnot

     
    #6
  7. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,102
    Cheers @Irvin, I will give it a go. Thanks Mate! :)
     
    Irvin likes this.
    #7
  8. Muppet

    Muppet Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    5,026
    Location:
    Boston
    This method interests me. Does it leave a little slack in the 2nd cross? And is that why you do it this way? When you clamp the 2nd cross, do you clamp on the same side where the knot is going?

    Also, do you think it would help to nudge the 2nd cross a bit during step 8 while the 1st cross is under tension?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    #8
  9. jim e

    jim e Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,241
    I weave top 2-3 cross strings.
    Pull both 2 top cross strings together.
    Clamp machine clamp 2nd cross string farthest from tension head, and starting clamp on 2nd cross outside frame near tension head.
    Release tension head.
    Pull top cross string, clamp, tie off.
    Pull 2nd cross string, remove anchor clamp, clamp and continue as normal stringing one ahead.
    Each string is tensioned and finishing knot used.
    USRSA published this in their magazine when I sent it to them many years back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
    Shroud, 1HBHfanatic and Stefanm like this.
    #9
  10. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,102
    I imagine it does leave a little slack in the 2nd cross. However, I tend to string mainly Polys which are on the stiffer side so that might mitigate any negative effects somewhat.

    Yes, I clamp the second cross on the same side as I tie the knot.

    I'm usually targeting SBS values rather than tension numbers off the stringer and tend to hit the marks most of the time. Playability is fine.

    Nudging the 2nd cross probably wouldn't hurt but I don't bother doing it. In fact I don't bother holding or nudging any strings when I'm pulling tension.

    The only thing I do under some circumstances is to pull tension twice. I've noticed that by doing that with some strings I get lower rate of tension loss over the playing period. But I don't really care about that because I tend to restring every 6 hours of play regardless of the state of the string bed.

    One point I will make. I have been stringing for higher SBS values over the past year or so. Targeting values in the mid to high 40s range (IE DT between 45 and 50). Recently, I have started experimenting with much lower values - low to mid 30s. Early days, but I guess the odd slack string is going to be even less noticeable now.
     
    #10
  11. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,102
    @jim e, So are you pulling tension on the 2nd Cross against the anchor clamp on the same string on the far side of the hoop?

    So this means you have that anchor clamp, the grommets, and the clamp on the first cross all offering resistance to the tension head. Yes?

    Also, I'm interested to know why you initially pull both top crosses together? Are you using a CP or a LO stringer. (I can't remember!)
     
    #11
  12. jim e

    jim e Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,241
    After I tension 2nd cross, I remove anchor then clamp as normal for 2nd cross.
    anchor clamp is on 2nd cross string as well as starting clamp.That is what is giving resistance to tension head.
    CP machine.
    Pull the both initially (they both get tensioned separately eventually) , that allows to set anchor and back up with the starting clamp, so the 1st cross pull has resistance in other direction. CP machine
     
    Karma Tennis likes this.
    #12
  13. 1HBHfanatic

    1HBHfanatic Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,691
    Thanks for this, Ive been using your example for a while now,,, mainly on softer cross strings and when dealing with nat.gut...
     
    Shroud likes this.
    #13
  14. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,147
    Hmmm reading this I realized that I may not like how I start crosses.

    -weave top cross backwards and pull enough string to reach tensioner.
    -place starting clamp outside frame
    -pull tension on top cross and clamp
    -do 2 more crosses then go back and pull/clamp/tie off 1st cross

    Thinking it's unnecessary stress at the starting clamp both on the string and the frame

    would it be better to skip pulling the first cross to start and start by pulling the second cross since you have to go back and tension the first cross to tie off anyway?
     
    #14
  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    19,097
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Yes and faster.
     
    #15
  16. Muppet

    Muppet Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    5,026
    Location:
    Boston
    Isn't it risky to pull full tension on the 2nd cross as your 1st pull? Are racquets strong enough at that location? Are you anchoring the lower end of the 2nd cross with a starting clamp, or are you anchoring with a table clamp at the end of cross 2 opposite the tensioner?
     
    #16
  17. elkwood

    elkwood Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,696
    Thats pretty much how i do mine also
     
    #17
  18. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,147
    I would be anchoring with a starting clamp on the first cross, so it's sort of a double pull, but I go back a couple pulls later and put full tension on the 1st cross, remove the starting clamp, use the fixed clamp and tie off.
     
    #18
  19. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,438
    For Head FXP crosses (since they are slicker than two eels in bucket of snot):



    For most crosses:



    For certain frames, to include my frames with gut
    Mains and poly crosses, I use a starting clamp outside the frame and tie a finishing knot poly tied off on poly. I don't tie off poly crosses on gut. Shanked overheads tend to snap the gut mains more often when I tied poly off on gut mains. Stopped tying poly off on gut mains and the shanks have fewer snapped gut strings.
     
    #19
  20. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,102
    So I took the plunge and used a starting know for the crosses for the first time ever. Went with the iKnot as per @Irvin's videos.

    Found it easy enough and it simplified the whole process for me. Probably saves me a couple of minutes but no big deal there.

    Can dispense with the Starting clamp for the crosses now. So it looks like I've just doubled its useful life. LOL!
     
    Tennis_dude101, Ft.S and Irvin like this.
    #20
  21. Ft.S

    Ft.S Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    Maryland
    I have been using the I-knot almost since I started stringing, it is a great way to start the crosses and eliminates one of the possible tension loss points as you can pull full tension after putting the knot in.

    One possible area of downside is when stringing natural gut/poly hybrid. If you put the i-knot around the natural gut mains, you just need to be a little more careful in not damaging it while pulling the string to tighten the knot or when pulling the i-knot back towards the grommet. Black VS Touch gives me the most grief in this area as it shows slightest friction on the gut more prominently than natural color NG.
     
    Karma Tennis likes this.
    #21
  22. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    19,097
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    There was a VS Starting knot designed for using a starting knot on gut. But the VS starting slips ever so little and could leave the tag end protruding out just a little. The iKnot tuck the tag end up in the knot, tuck the end against the frame, and makes the overall knot bulkier.

    EDIT: I’ve tied poly to gut, and gut to gut and so far never an issue.
     
    Ft.S likes this.
    #22
  23. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    13,502
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    I do this method and love it. Its the easiest way for me to start and I can use a tie off knot on all knots.

    Its also the best way to string zx crosses since my variation does not use a starting clamp. I just set the machine clamp as jim describes but dont back it up at all with the starting clamp. I find the double pull is plenty to get the machine clamp straight. And how many of you are pulling crosses at 86lbs? If it was a problem shroud would have found that out years ago
     
    jim e likes this.
    #23
  24. graycrait

    graycrait Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,049
    I use @Irvin bulky starting knot now after watching Origin 17 slipping out of its standard starting knot, no such issues with Irvin's knot and the tail fits snugly against the frame as opposed to standard starting knots tail/tag point to the middle of the racket. Works with 17g prestretched Zyex really well. Zyex can be "delicate" when knotting. Dang it! I just strung a racket with Zyex crosses for a fella, I am going to start using Irvin's starting knot as a cross tie off for Zyex when possible. I normally use a loose DHH with a drop of super glue.
     
    Irvin likes this.
    #24
  25. CosmosMpower

    CosmosMpower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,516
    I string the second cross then the first. I leave enough to tie off on the first cross and put the starting clamp on the outside of the frame. Then I pull tension on the second cross and string all the way down. At the end I tie off at the bottom and pull tension on the first cross on the top and tie off.
     
    #25

Share This Page