stringing a vintage grommetless graphite racket

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by dennis, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    I've never strung one before, is there anything in particular I need to be aware of?

    I would prefer to do a two piece job, it's currently strung with a one piece pattern. I saw another thread where the use of power pads in the throat was recommended, it doesn't have any in currently.

    I saw that in the places where two strings pass each other at the head of the racket, the strings have been taped over to protect them from being scraped on the ground as there's no bumper guard.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    #1
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,455
    No, you string them just like anything else. I would look at the holes when you cut the string out. Sometimes if they've been strung a lot, they can become grooved. That can lead to premature breakage. You can tube those areas that look suspect (if any).
     
    1HBHfanatic likes this.
    #2
  3. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    Ok, thanks. Do people buy tennis specific tubing or can you get away with any teflon tubing of the correct dimensions? (eg looking at another racket, the grommets are 3.5mm outside diameter and about 2mm inner).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    #3
  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,455
    #4
  5. Geoff

    Geoff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,671
    Location:
    In the now
    I agree with @Rabbit . Tubing was commonly used especially in the throat area. You may also want to use power pads to lessen the string angle in that are (the original intent of power pads). Tubing will offer the ultimate protection though.
     
    #5
  6. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Um, this racquet is not strung conventionally. I'm looking at the 1988 Stringer's Digest and Fox ATP Molded Hole Series has a half page of directions including a diagram. To give you an idea, mains start at 9RH. I am kind of busy, if no one else can provide the directions I will photograph the page and private message you with it later.
     
    #6
  7. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Messages:
    482
    This sounds highly unusual/odd.

    @10shoe, when you have the time, I'd love to see a copy of that page/diagram as well, if you wouldn't mind.
     
    #7
  8. Geoff

    Geoff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,671
    Location:
    In the now
    Is this one of the Fox frames that has holes where the string goes inside of the frame. In other words the outside of the hoop is solid. If so these are the most difficult racquets to string that I ever encountered.
     
    #8
  9. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Or as Irvin would say: "A piece of cake."
     
    #9
  10. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I can't figure out how to send a private message with attachments. Anyone interested in the instructions for this racquet, send me an email address.
     
    #10
  11. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    I would really like to see the diagram, thanks! I'll send a pm. Why does the racket need a special pattern?
     
    #11
  12. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    no, it doesn't have a solid outer. The strings pass through the frame, you can see right through the gaps from either side of the frame.

    I'm a novice stringer, so I don't know, but it looks like you could tie off anywhere as each gap has plenty of room for two strings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    #12
  13. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    @dennis

    I hope your machine has fixed clamps.
     
    #13
  14. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    no, it doesn't. It's a drop weight with flying clamps. Is that game over for me?:( I had a look at the pattern you sent and couldn't figure out how I would pull tension but I'm watching the Isner/Anderson match at the same time ...
     
    #14
  15. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I'm not sure it's impossible with flying clamps but I suspect it is. Anybody out there know how to do a box pattern with floating clamps?
     
    #15
  16. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,908
    Location:
    SF CA
    What is the issue? Skips 7,9H and 7,9T and shared holes at 10H. Mains end at throat so either 2 piece or ATW. The are many candidate ATWs. You don't have to follow the instructions exactly if you meet the basic requirement of top down crosses.
     
    #16
  17. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    These are the instructions. The coloured dots are still visible on my frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    #17
  18. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I suppose you could pull tension on the first five strings all in one pull, secure with a floating clamp and then re-pull that 8" lead (which will probably need to be longer to reach your tensioner). Haven't really thought it through all the way but that might work to get the stringing started. A starting clamp would be useful here but something tells me....
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    #18
  19. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    thanks for your help. I think I need to start trying to string to make sense of the pattern. I still haven't figured out the reasons behind why racket needs to be strung this way. If I went for a conventional 2 piece method, starting the mains in the middle, would there be unwanted friction at the holes between the strings?

    I see what you mean about pulling 5 at once. 8RM, 3X from bottom, 8LM,2ndX from top, 7RM, tension on 7RM and clamp it to 8RM. I suppose it doesn't matter that these are at low tension as they are outside the hitting area.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 4:18 AM
    #19
  20. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,908
    Location:
    SF CA
    I would not try stringing the frame using the FOX instructions unless there are no holes that go thru the frame. 70# is too high, but is probably needed to compensate for all the lost tension. The turns ensure that you will lose a lot of ref tension. If it could be done conventionally, that's the way I would do it and at no more than 60# initially using SG. If the frame survives that, then try your normal setup.

    Whoever designed this frame for stringing this way may have been on drugs when they did it. It is so stupid.
     
    #20
  21. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    I was going to do it at 52lbs. I see in the guide it says "Do not start Ms in the centre"! All the holes go through the frame.

    There must be some reason behind this design! I wonder what it was.
     
    #21
  22. Geoff

    Geoff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,671
    Location:
    In the now
    This is an older frame from the 80s when recommended tensions were much higher than they are today.
     
    #22
  23. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    I guess I can just use photoshop with the picture above and trace a conventional 2 piece pattern and see if things work out.
     
    #23
  24. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Yes, I agree with your last statement. Some looseness in the outer strings isn't going to be a big deal. And I suppose you could use your second floating clamp as a starting clamp since you can probably do the rest of the job with just one clamp. I would re-tension that thing they call an 8" lead at the end of the job.

    As far as why this strange pattern, I don't recall how much room there is on the sides of the frame or how small the holes are but if you string conventionally instead of the Fox pattern you will have double loops of strings in the shoulders where the Fox pattern will only have single loops.

    Did the previous stringer use the Fox pattern? It should be evident.
     
    #24
  25. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    And I think the crosses and mains will cross over each other very close to the edge of the frame if I used a conventional pattern.

    The holes in the frame are big, however, the groove around the edge is tight, hence the comment above about the protective tape.

    It hasn't been strung as per the directions above. It has only two knots. One knot on the 5th main at the head (as opposed to the 4th in directions) and the other on the 6th main at the throat on the opposite side to the one at the head. I think the pattern in the diagram above has three or four knots. The current strings have obviously been in for a very long time so seem to have worked. EDIT: I cut the strings out so I'm just going by the photographs I took before cutting them out...After looking more carefully at the photos, I'm sure the wrong holes had been used; the crosses were unevenly spaced and they ran slightly diagonally. It looks bad but I wonder if it matters to hitting the ball in any way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 9:13 AM
    #25
  26. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    70# is for the Silver Fox, OP has Gold Fox.
     
    #26
  27. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Agreed.

    The Fox pattern is unusual but once you get going I don't think you will find it particularly difficult.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 9:57 AM
    #27
  28. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    I'll give it a shot.
    I found a better picture on this forum. Only two knots here and they are in different places from what the guide recommends, so I guess they didn't follow the instructions but it looks ok to me

    [​IMG]

    This model must have been slightly different though as it has 3 white markers in a row as opposed to mine which has the variously located coloured dots
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018 at 6:03 AM
    #28
  29. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    18,741
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Piece of cake if you have a starting clamp. Watch out for miss weaves. I would suggest stringing the racket with some cheap SG hand pulling and no knots. That will help you ID the problems (if any) you’ll encounter.

    EDIT: The first time your mains and crosses cross (8RM and X16) determines how you will be weaving all the other intersections.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018 at 6:34 PM
    #29
  30. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    18,741
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    with flying clamps it will be difficult. I’d suggest you start the same way you would start a normal racket except the main string is not centered. After stringing the ten center mains and tying off the short side use, string one more main on long side then use the long side for your box. The top and bottom crosses will be doubled pulled with a main. After that you are good to use a flying clamp to hold tension on all strings and the only lower tensioned strings will be the top and bottom cross.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018 at 5:46 AM
    #30
  31. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    could the reason for the high recommended tension be due to the instruction's requirement for pulling two at a time? ("pull the center mains 5LM to 5LR two at a time from the head only"). Any idea why it wants you to pull from the head only? So you don't stress the frame's 'grommets'?
     
    #31
  32. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    18,741
    Location:
    Marietta, Ga
    Normally the center mains on a racket have lower tension because the outer mains are pulled last. Because the center mains on this racket are pulled last there will higher tension on the center mains. Possibly the reason you double pull the center mains to get a lower tension.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018 at 7:39 AM
    #32
  33. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    60 lbs isn't particularly high considering the vintage of the frame. Back then everyone was using lockout machines and even the 85 sq in Wilson Pro Staff had a decal that recommended stringing 65-70 lbs.
     
    #33
  34. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    Thanks for all the help, I've done it. Slow to get going but then it was fine, obviously the pattern was new to me so that slowed me right down, on the plus side the gaps are larger than grommets so feeding strings through was a bit quicker. I don't have a starting clamp so I used wooden shims and vice grips outside the frame to get going and then retensioned that edge main at the end.

    I followed the pattern above including knot placement, but contrary to the instructions I pulled tension from both the throat and head for the mains rather than doing two at a time from the head only. It seems quite tight for 52 lbs, I measured the frequency of the string bed to be 650 Hz on completion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018 at 9:05 AM
    Irvin likes this.
    #34
  35. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Vise grips and wooden shims...that's inventive!

    Congrats on getting it done. Maybe you can get your hands on the ATP Fox that doesn't have exit holes for your next project? Two pages of instructions for that one!
     
    #35
  36. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    252
    ha ha, I was lucky it was just the Gold! The good thing about the vice grips and shims is you can set the pressure to not crush the string which doesn't look possible to me with the starting clamps as far as I can see. Also the wood is less likely to crush the string, it held it no problem at this tension though. I use small pieces of masking tape on strings to see if they're slipping in clamps.
     
    #36
  37. 10shoe

    10shoe Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Messages:
    336
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I use a Flair pen. A small mark between the last 2 teeth closest to the tension head.
     
    dennis likes this.
    #37

Share This Page