tennis racket stringing: advanced tips + how to use a single clamp machineDavid Frank October 21, 2019 4 Comments
For the mains, you need about 9 racket lengthes worth of string So just measure 4 rackets and a half, then fold to double the length (you can see this technique applied to the crosses at 12:30) Here I’m using a 12m set of string for the mains, so… I’ll just cut it in half and keep the other half… for another string job, since I’m stringing an hybrid nylon/poly today. I always make sure both ends are very sharply beveled… it’s a lot easier to weave. Here I’ll string a racket that has it’s center strings’ loop at the head for rackets having the first loop at the throat, reverse the instructions accordingly… later on I’ll refer to those as FLT rackets (First Loop at Throat). Apply tension to both ends simultaneously… …adding 4Kg to the reference tension. Even out the tension by plucking/pushing until both strings sound the same then block at the throat the string that is farthest from you… and clamp this same string at the head. Now, you just weave/tension your mains number 1 to 4 (1 to 3 for FLT) on the other side. As you can see, I’m weaving the next main while tensionning the.. previous one. This is to let the string stretch. Tension maintenance will be much better this way. We have reached a main that is exiting at the head (4th or 3rd for FLT) we can switch side by blocking the string against the frame using a floating or a starting clamp (here a floating clamp). So I now place the central clamp at the throat to be able to retrieve and re-use the floating clamp that’s holding the first string. Here goes ! Now we can relieve the tension. Let’s continue on the other side : we’ll do 6 mains (7 on FLT) for the first one, the one that’s already held by the central clamp, we just apply tension, lose the clamp’s base, and then lock it back that way it’ll reach reference tension (it was double-pulled earlier, and that’s not enough). Always release the base first, then the clamp so that the string doesn’t rip against the clamp’s teeth. When I clamp the string, I always apply a gentle pressure against the side of the clamp like I’d want to pull it away from the tensioning head that way, when you release tension, there is no drawback, because you have already removed the slack. You’ll see that better at 5:36 Notice how the clamp doesn’t move at all when I relieve the tension. Switching sides again : move the central clamp first. Here the frame is too curved to use the floating clamp, so let’s use a starting clamp. … or rather two of them because I’m completely anal about slipping strings ! As you may have noticed, I’m regularly fiddling with some dial that you can’t see. That’s the tension dial, and the reason I do that is because I compensate for the slight bending of the frame by adding or removing some tension according to a map. You can see it in the summary that is posted with this video. Before tying the knot, I add +4.5 Kg on the last main. Ditto for the other knot. I recommend Wilson Pro knots. They are simple, reliable and beautiful. Now I’ll use my ears to perfectly even out the tension on the stringbed I just pluck symetrical strings : they must sound exactly the same. you can adjust by pushing downward on one string near a loop : the string you pushed will go down in pitch, while the string on the other side of the loop will go up, so it requires a bit of practice… (I also tune pianos !) This is Signum Pro Poly Plasma : a really nice co-polyester Pull first two crosses at +4Kg, and move the two strings back and forth while tensioning to even the tension Clamp the second near the loop and block the top one (we’ll tie the knot at the very end) then you just proceed to weave all crosses at reference tension (sorry for the dog snoring in the background !) when you apply tension, gently wiggle the cross toward you while it’s tensioning it will have a better tension since you removed some friction, and be less curved toward the handle. Always weave one cross ahead so that weaving is eased by the previously tensioned cross ! A tensioned cross pushes some mains down and others up, exactly as is needed for the weaving of cross n+2 While you pull the remainder of the string through the grommet, gently wave the cross up and down so that there is no friction burn on the mains. I use a spiked tool, but you can use your fingers too. The last cross is always hard to weave, especially with a stiff copoly like the one I use here. So the most efficient method is to weave it 2 mains at a time, pulling all the string through at each stop. Just curve a bit the end of the string so that it behaves like a tapestry curved needle. Tension at +4.5 Kg, tie the knot, then move the clamp to the first cross. Remove the starting/floating clamp, and re-tension at 4.5Kg, just losening and re-tightening the base of the clamp for a few seconds. tie the knot, straighten the strings, and we are done !