The McGovern Maneuver

#1
I spend most of my TT time reading and sharing in the Strings forum. But the insight I want to write about relates better to stringing techniques. I hope I'm not trespassing on your turf too much.

It helps while stringing to recognize when a clamped string has been idle for more than one or two minutes. This often happens while you're stringing the mains and one side waits while the other side is tensioned four times. The last clamped string on the idle side relaxes and loses tension. The solution is very easy. After applying tension to this side and releasing the clamp, give the new string under tension a small nudge sideways to carry the slack through the frame. Now the new string under tension can deliver the slack to the tensioner where it will be taken up.

A quick nudge can be done after releasing a clamp any time it looks like there may be unwanted slack in the string. Sometimes a string goes through a 90 degree turn through the frame. A nudge the next time tension is pulled will deliver the slack to the tensioner. But my main concern is with the usual installation of the mains. The string waits in the clamps four times. Given the small amount of slack that causes significant tension loss I think it's a good idea to work this slight nudge into our routines.
 
#5
I think that this is probably more of a problem for new-ish stringers, who haven't had enough reps to work out inefficiencies in their technique. I haven't put a stopwatch on it, but I would be greatly surprised if a string stays clamped for more than 2 minutes at any point of a string job that I'm doing. The only time it would even be close would be on the mains... Also wouldn't any of that slack balance out after the knot is tied as part of the percentage of tension loss that occurs after the racquet comes off the machine?
 
#6
It helps while stringing to recognize when a clamped string has been idle for more than one or two minutes. This often happens while you're stringing the mains and one side waits while the other side is tensioned four times.
I begin with 2 strings left, then 3 strings right, then 2 left, 2 right, 2 left, 2 right, etc. At no point do I find myself four ahead. And the entire process of main string installation takes about 5 minutes.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#7
I use a similar method except I pre weave the 4 center strings, then tension 1 on one side 2 on the other then the last one. Preweave 2 more on each side and tension 1 on one side 2 on the other then the last one. Continue until done and tie off. Takes less than 1 minute to tension and clamp 4 mains that way.

What method you use does not matter. After you finish and tie off mains and they continue to lose tension. Just pick a method and stick with it. Don’t cry about any tiny amount of tension you’ll lose.
 
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#8
I use a similar method except I pre weave the 4 center strings, then tension 1 on one side 2 on the other then the last one. Preweave 2 more on each side and tension 1 on one side 2 on the other then the last one. Continue until done and tie off. Takes less than 1 minute to tension and clamp 4 mains that way.

What method you use does not matter. After you finish and tie off mains and they continue to lose tension. Just pick a method and stick with it. Don’t cry about any tiny amount of tension you’ll lose.
There was a poster who complained about the frequencies of his main strings when 'strummed' not sounding like he expected. My advice to him was to try this nudge method to even out the tensions. When I thought about it more it seemed worthy of its own thread. And I love stressing about losing tiny amounts of tension.

Another one I've written about concerns the final strings before tie-offs. Most stringing machines with clamp bases have a little slop when you release the string from the tensioner. Pushing the clamp base away from the tensioner and holding it while you fasten the clamp base down, then releasing tension, will greatly reduce the slop and will give you straighter outside strings. Especially the final mains.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#9
There was a poster who complained about the frequencies of his main strings when 'strummed' not sounding like he expected. My advice to him was to try this nudge method to even out the tensions. When I thought about it more it seemed worthy of its own thread. And I love stressing about losing tiny amounts of tension.
My advice would be quit strumming. LOL
 
#10
Well each main string is going to sound differently even if the tension is exact because they are different lengths. And as far as the final strings before tie offs, that is why many stringers bump up tension on those 10-20%, to make up for the "slop."
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#12
Well each main string is going to sound differently even if the tension is exact because they are different lengths. And as far as the final strings before tie offs, that is why many stringers bump up tension on those 10-20%, to make up for the "slop."
I have a fix for that, if you strum the strings after stringing the crosses they all sound the same. The devil made me that that. LOL
 
#15
I take a lot of time stringing a racquet. Usually 45 min. to an hour. The whole time I'm thinking about how my methods could be improved, in addition to what the next step is. It's not an automatic exercise at all. And I've been at it for 8 years. Maybe I'm building up the pooty.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
#16
I take a lot of time stringing a racquet. Usually 45 min. to an hour. The whole time I'm thinking about how my methods could be improved, in addition to what the next step is. It's not an automatic exercise at all. And I've been at it for 8 years. Maybe I'm building up the pooty.
It would seem to me the longer you take the harder it would be to be consistent from racket to racket. No need to go lightening fast but a good steady pace is a good option.
 
#17
I take a lot of time stringing a racquet. Usually 45 min. to an hour. The whole time I'm thinking about how my methods could be improved, in addition to what the next step is. It's not an automatic exercise at all. And I've been at it for 8 years. Maybe I'm building up the pooty.
So I'm guessing that you're looking for ways to improve consistency? You must have quite a bit of time in between pulls, which would raise your concern for clamped strings sitting for more than 2 minutes... Are you using a drop weight machine that takes a lot of time to even out the drop arm?
 
#18
Personally, I try to limit compensating for various things during the stringing process. This would be something else I need to remember to do to stay consistent. And as far as consistency goes, the less steps I have to do, the better.

Besides, if you’re doing a little guitar playing on the mains, they’re different lengths. So they shouldn’t all sound the same anyway (unless you’re doing some kind of proportional job). Sure, side to side they should have similar pitch - L1 and R1 for example, and so on. But IMO there’s little value in obsessing about minute differences here. And if there is significant variation between the same main string side to side, then that calls into question the machine, the operator, or both.
 
#19
So I'm guessing that you're looking for ways to improve consistency? You must have quite a bit of time in between pulls, which would raise your concern for clamped strings sitting for more than 2 minutes... Are you using a drop weight machine that takes a lot of time to even out the drop arm?
I upgraded my Alpha Pioneer DC+ drop weight with a WISE 2086 electronic tensioner. But I'm still moving methodically as if I'm still using the drop weight. I should try dropping the caution and let one step flow into the next. Maybe I can complete a racquet faster and better and enjoy the process more.
 
#20
Going from a drop weight to a WISE, I would expect some time savings there. As long as you can be steady, speeding up should actually help your consistency.
 
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#21
A WISE set for a 3 second pull would take 54 seconds to pull 18 mains. Even if you take another 3 seconds to release and clamp, where do you get a clamp holding a string for 2 minutes? On the crosses I might see it because of the weave time, but the mains? I don't get it.
 
#22
I am a bit of a heretic. I pre install all my mains without tensioning. Make sure the short side is long enough to reach the gripper. Make sure the proper skips are there. Install scraps where needed. Leave a loop for L1-R1 and then start to tension the mains. Takes me ~5 seconds per main to get the string into the gripper.
 
#23
It's your turf as much as anyone's (y)
I'm not sure where you went here.
@Muppet

It was a lame reference to "turf".

To your OP, I don't go to the extreme when stringing. It ain't rocket science and I desperately strive to not overthink my gear, game, or stringing nowadays. It just seems to me that stringing has been turned into this PHD program instead of being what it is, running strings into a frame and applying tension. I find that this tendency to overthink spreads into all aspects of my game. I may be overstepping here, but I would seriously advise the KISS method to stringing: Keep It Simple Stupid. This not only applies to how you do it, but how you mentally approach the task.

Now your idea of fun may be the topic of this thread. But for me, this kind of fun can quickly turn into fodder for my OCD tendencies! :)
 
#24
@Muppet

It was a lame reference to "turf".

To your OP, I don't go to the extreme when stringing. It ain't rocket science and I desperately strive to not overthink my gear, game, or stringing nowadays. It just seems to me that stringing has been turned into this PHD program instead of being what it is, running strings into a frame and applying tension. I find that this tendency to overthink spreads into all aspects of my game. I may be overstepping here, but I would seriously advise the KISS method to stringing: Keep It Simple Stupid. This not only applies to how you do it, but how you mentally approach the task.

Now your idea of fun may be the topic of this thread. But for me, this kind of fun can quickly turn into fodder for my OCD tendencies! :)
I do like to grind on things, until I've reached the stopping point. Then I can stop and focus on the next thing. No problem with OCD for me. But it might seem like OCD to the casual observer.
 
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