Stringing higher tension to settle at desired tension

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by bkpr, May 8, 2012.

1. bkprRookie

Joined:
Feb 24, 2012
Messages:
309
Location:
Houston, Texas
Hey all. I'm not a stringer, but thought this'd be the best place to ask this question:

Is it standard practice to strong a racquet at higher tension in anticipation of the string settling at a desired tension?

I ask 'cos I asked my stringer for WIlson Sensation 17 @ 56lbs, and when I got it back the next day RacquetTune recorded 62-ish. A day or two later it recorded 56.6lbs before playing. I thought the my stringer was a genius

Is this standard practice? If so, the i guess the stringer would need to know how much tension a particular string is expected to lose so they can adjust. Also, would it not depend on when the racquet will be used next?

Or am I over thinking things?
Does it mean I have a good stringer?

Thanks!

2. KerryRRookie

Joined:
Nov 11, 2011
Messages:
232
Reference tension set on the machine and string tension on the completed racket are related, but rarely the same. In most cases, if you ask for 56 pounds, the stringer will set that on the machine. Depending on the person, the method, and the string, the finished string tension will vary from that, dropping slowly over time. The 56 pounds you asked for is just a reference tension-- the amount of force applied to the string by the stringing machine. It doesn't mean that it's yielded the same finished tension when you had it done by other stringers.

The real question for you is: How does the racket play? If it feels the way you want it, you can use Racket Tune to measure future string jobs and have a reference for the finished tension you like. You can measure the finished tension, and, if it's not the tension you know you like, you can ask for higher or lower REFERENCE tension the next time you restring. You can also use Racket Tune after every hitting session to monitor the continuing drop in tension. At some point, you'll find the tension significantly lower than it was originally, AND you'll find the racket begins to play differently, forcing you to compensate with your swing. Tolerance for this varies from person to person, and it's generally better to tolerate less; you don't really want to continuously adjust your game. Once you've identified your tolerance, you can use Racket Tune to let you know when you're getting close, and can re-string... WELL before they break, for most players...

No way to know from this if your stringer is 'good' from a single sample. 'Good' really means 'reapeatable', so that your racket comes out the same every time it's re-strung. I'm sure your stringer is fine.

Here's a useful article:
http://www.active.com/tennis/Articles/Racket-Tech-How-to-Know-When-to-Restring.htm?page=2

And here:
http://stringmeter.uniquesports.us/dynamics.html

Last edited: May 8, 2012
3. bkprRookie

Joined:
Feb 24, 2012
Messages:
309
Location:
Houston, Texas
So, when I ask for "56lbs", what I'm really asking for is "string it the same as last time 'cos I liked how it played" (assuming my previous stringing was 56lbs). If I want it softer or tighter "than last time" I'll really be using lbs as a unit to adjust higher or lower "than last time".

This is an interesting concept to me, and a little surprising. I've only been 'into' tennis about 18 months. I assumed that when a stringer sets the machine to xxlbs, that's what the machine pulls. And maybe this is the case, but after reading those articles you linked to there's much more that comes into play to change the tension set my a machine than I thought. Interesting stuff

Wouldn't RacquetTune measure the actual tension though, providing the info I plugged into it was correct? Thinking further I guess it really doesn't matter what the readout is as long as I like the 'feel'. I like the idea of testing the strings over time to see when on the reference scale (lbs) I start to notice a significant change in feel/playability.

Thanks for the info Kerry. Really helpful!

4. KerryRRookie

Joined:
Nov 11, 2011
Messages:
232
You're welcome!

5. WuppyProfessional

Joined:
Mar 25, 2012
Messages:
851
Location:
SoCal
Last edited: May 8, 2012
6. WikkyRookie

Joined:
Mar 7, 2012
Messages:
277
Location:
Chicago IL
Sorry to go a little off topic but I just watched Irvins video and hope he reads this and can respond.

I liked that you did a cross string unwoven, woven 1 ahead, and woven as a hard weave and i was amazed at the tension lost when doing a hard weave. Is there any chance you could re do that test and pull the hard weave twice to see if the friction could be pulled through on the first weave?

I learned this watching YUlite and is something that I practice for every hard weave I pull and I'd like to know whether i'm just wasting my time or not?

7. bkprRookie

Joined:
Feb 24, 2012
Messages:
309
Location:
Houston, Texas
Thanks Wuppy.
I can see how it's all relative. That YT video makes that clear. I cringed each time the tensioner was pulling a string tight. If I was stringing I'd be wearing safety googles, hehâ€¦

Alos, that second link was the same as what Kerry posted

8. bkprRookie

Joined:
Feb 24, 2012
Messages:
309
Location:
Houston, Texas
I'm resurrecting this thread because I have a related question, and a semi-related sub-question

I've just moved from Malaysia to Houston, Texas. I've found a good stringer (by all TW accounts) and sent my first racquet to him. I've asked for the same tension as was being strung in Malaysia with the same hybrid string setup: BLX Blade 98, Sensation 17 main, Dunlop Syn Gut 17 cross, 54/52lbs. The racquet came back much looser than it's Malaysian counterpart, 'RacquetTuning' in at ~44lbs after ~24hrs. The previous racquet 'Tunes' at 49lbs after two months use (it's a second Blade 98 stick). So, a difference of 5lbs at a minimum. There is a big difference in feel, which is my I checked on the tensions with RT.

Question 1: Does this seem normal? Can a different stringer + machine + technique + racquet (+ continent ?) result in such a discrepancy? I'm assuming the stringer followed my instructions.

Question 2: There are two stringers at the courts I go to, and I don't know which strung my racquet. Is it acceptable to ask who did it and request them next time for consistency, or would this be rude? Will two accomplished stringers produce a very similar result on the same equipment?

Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
9. IrvinG.O.A.T.

Joined:
Mar 15, 2007
Messages:
17,845
Location:
Marietta, Ga
Two stringers could produce different results on the same stringer with the same tensions, rackets, and strings. What type of stringer did they use?

10. bkprRookie

Joined:
Feb 24, 2012
Messages:
309
Location:
Houston, Texas
That I cannot tell you
I know the Malaysian stringer used a digital pulling machine (as opposed to a stick with a weight hanging of it), but that's about as far as my knowledge goes unfortunately.

11. esgee48Legend

Joined:
May 30, 2010
Messages:
6,225
Location:
SF CA
Rather than speculating about what happened here :twisted: , ask the stringer(s) why you received the lower tension the next time you see them. They may have used a lock out rather than a constant pull. The ambient temperature may have been higher resulting in more stretching, etc.

12. bkprRookie

Joined:
Feb 24, 2012
Messages:
309
Location:
Houston, Texas
Will do. I'm not upset, just curious. I'll just ask for an extra 6-7lbs on my job next time

Any thoughts on whether I should/shouldn't ask/specify which stringer to do my racquet?

13. danotjeRookie

Joined:
Oct 7, 2012
Messages:
202
If you're looking for consistency, then I would ask for one of them to do it every time. Just takes a variable out of the equation.

14. RamonHall of Fame

Joined:
Sep 4, 2011
Messages:
4,372
Location:
Florida
I've noticed tension differences of as much as 16 pounds based on RacquetTune. So what you are telling me isn't that surprising.

I used to get my racquets strung by pro shops or by a friend. I would often ask for 56 pounds but my racquets would come in at the high 40's fresh from the stringer. I now string my own racquets with a drop weight machine with fixed clamps. If I set my machine to 52 pounds and use a soft synthetic string, I'll get about 60 pounds on RacquetTune, and my machine has been calibrated.

Stringing machine and technique have a lot to do with tension. A constant pull machine (drop weight, high end electronic) will give you higher tension than a lockout machine (crank, low end electronic). Also, if you rush to get the job done on a lockout machine (like most sporting goods stores and pro shops do to maximize productivity), your tension will be much lower than the setting. On my drop weight machine, I pull the mains for at least 5 seconds and the crosses for at least 20 seconds (while I weave the next cross). Weaving the crosses increases tension on the mains, which is why I always get stringbed tension higher than my setting.

15. IrvinG.O.A.T.

Joined:
Mar 15, 2007
Messages:
17,845
Location:
Marietta, Ga
How does the string know how it was pulled? If 3 different tensioners are all pulling at 60 lbs how is it that two of them are pulling higher than another? Technique makes all the difference in the world.

16. IrvinG.O.A.T.

Joined:
Mar 15, 2007
Messages:
17,845
Location:
Marietta, Ga
Once the racket is taken off the stringer the string bed will continue to loose tension over time. How much and how fast it looses that tension depends on the string used, tension, time for tensioning, technique, how hard you hit, and a lot of other variables,