Stringing natural gut...

Hi guys,

I'm a new stringer... just did job 10 today and really enjoying it. I'm working up to doing natural gut and had a specific and a general question.

The specific question is about starting the crosses. I just cut out my old natural gut set that came from the pro shop. For the crosses, the first cross wasn't tied off on anything - they just used a bulked up knot (on the inside) and pulled against a grommet; is that good practice for natural gut? I've attached a picture - it's the knot on the left:



General question - aside for being careful and never kinking it, any advice as I work up the courage to give it a try?

Thanks!
 
General question - aside for being careful and never kinking it, any advice as I work up the courage to give it a try?
String it two piece, and pre-stretch. The less coil memory the better. It will make it easier to keep from kinking. If you don't already do it, string one ahead to help avoid friction burn. The best advice is to just take your time, and don't rush. It's not as daunting a task as some people build it up to be, but it is pretty easy to kink it.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I would not use a stop knot without tying it around the anchor string that would put all the pressure of the stop knot on the grommet. Check out Richard Parnell’s video on his Parnell Loop below. Looping the string around the anchor string before tying you starting knot will take pressure off the grommet. A double overhand stopper knot (aka VS starting knot) makes a good starting knot for gut. But gut is usually pretty slippery so I Loop the tag end of the string through the 2 loops of the overhand knot (iKnot) and it will never slip but if your using the thicker gauge gut the iKnot is very large. Another option is to place a starting clamp on the tag end of the VS starting knot.
 

esgee48

Legend
I do NG infrequently. When I know I have to do one, I clean the machine, especially the clamps. Then I adjust the clamps. Examine the string fresh from the package looking/feeling for defects. Pre-stretch a little, just enough to remove coil memory. The rest is the same as above. With plastic based strings, you normally do not have to look for defects, but with NG, you do. If you find a defect, do not pass GO. Call the customer and ask for their permission before continuing. If they are willing to bear the risk and cost, go ahead. But there is no string warranty. I am also extra careful going over the frame especially if it is old and battle-worn.
 

jim e

Legend
I string gut all the time.
when you start cross strings I use either a starting clamp,and then use parnell knot to finish it , or
weave top 2 cross strings, place machine clamp, anchor clamp, on 2nd cross farthest from tension head, pull top cross tie off with parnell knot as normal on proper anchor string. Pull 2nd cross remove anchor clamp, then clamp as normal, continue as normal.
Never an issue with Parnell knot on gut strings. I would not use knot as you shown, maybe it is okay, but I never used that, looks like it can distort grommet.
I would take the string walk it back and give it a manual pre stretch so less coil memory.
last thing you want is to pull on a kinked string, it will ruin it.
If you have a diablo, diabolo or whatever you call it, if you pull the same string twice I would wrap it a second time on the second pull so tension jaws are in a different place.
Only hand cinch knot with gut as string is fragile, no need to excess pull on tail.
Take your time to handle it properly, and you should be fine.
One more thing, on bottom two cross strings, they have a tendency to twist at the end, I would either weave one at a time like sewing, or push or pull a loop and that makes twisting a lot less.
 
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SavvyStringer

Professional
String it two piece, and pre-stretch. The less coil memory the better. It will make it easier to keep from kinking. If you don't already do it, string one ahead to help avoid friction burn. The best advice is to just take your time, and don't rush. It's not as daunting a task as some people build it up to be, but it is pretty easy to kink it.
Accurate. Do a 2 piece for sure just to have less wear on the long part of the string that will be the crosses. I don't pre-stretch by hand unless asked but it's a good idea to eliminate coil memory. And no, I would not use the floating bulky knot. I would use a starting clamp and use whatever knot you are most comfortable with. FWIW with 16g gut I use regular pro-knots, with 17g gut I use parnell knots just to add some bulk.
 
Accurate. Do a 2 piece for sure just to have less wear on the long part of the string that will be the crosses. I don't pre-stretch by hand unless asked but it's a good idea to eliminate coil memory. And no, I would not use the floating bulky knot. I would use a starting clamp and use whatever knot you are most comfortable with. FWIW with 16g gut I use regular pro-knots, with 17g gut I use parnell knots just to add some bulk.
@SavvyStringer makes a great point with the knots! I do the exact same thing... Pro knots for most jobs, but for thinner gauges, or wider grommets, the slightly larger Parnell knot is my go to.
 

pvw_tf

Rookie
Hi guys,
The specific question is about starting the crosses. I just cut out my old natural gut set that came from the pro shop. For the crosses, the first cross wasn't tied off on anything - they just used a bulked up knot (on the inside) and pulled against a grommet; is that good practice for natural gut? I've attached a picture - it's the knot on the left:
Thanks!
This more something from the past. When working with wood rackets it worked out pretty well. But with the current rackets and the grommets it is not the best option use this way.

Peter
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
I am a Neanderthal when it comes to stringing when compared to many. I have strung Nat Gut quite a few times, fullbed and as hybrid. I use a crank Neos 1000, tie double half hitches and a starting knot for my crosses. It is much easier to string than Zyex. Depending on brand of Nat Gut you might want to dip the ends in some thin viscosity super glue so that the ends don't unravel, while making the tips into hard spear points - makes stringing so much easier.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
@graycrait if your tips are unraveling you must be push weaving and not pull weaving. I try to pull weave when stringing gut in crosses so it does not unravel so much.
 
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