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Racquet Restringing Questions

Published: 26 Jan 2009 - 11:05 by Eddy01741

Updated: 26 Feb 2009 - 00:45

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Well, my school has a Prince/Ektelon Neos 1000 stringer, which is about 1100 USD online (so I'd assume it's pretty good). I think it is of the lockout type (crank till spring stops, then clamp it to move on to the next string), and it comes with two long glide bars on it.

 

Now, my questions are:

1. How do you switch from mains to crosses or vice versa without losing tension (this is assuming one piece stringing of course). The glide bars can only be mounted parallel to each other, aka, you can't mount one horizontal and the other vertical (with respect to the racquet). So essentially, I have three clamps, the two clamps on the glide bars, and the string tensioning crank (which can be used as a clamp). So since each glide bar has to be parallel to the other, to switch the orientation on one glide bar, I"d have to remove the other glide bar too, leaving me with only one clamp (the string tensioner crank) to secure a string which has two ends (One end where yous tart, and the other end for where you are about to switch from main to cross). Should I just instead just resort to two piece stringing (aka tie off at both ends)?

2. How do you tie off without losing tension? Like when you tie off on a lockdown stringing machine, then you take the end of the clamped string and tie it in a hole, is there a way to minimize the tension loss? Or do you just try andmake it as tight as possible with your fingers (or pliers in my case) and just hope it doesn't affect the overall tension by too much?

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From Adz - 26 Feb 2009 - 00:45

It doesn't sound like your stringer has much experience!

Are the strings still in the racquet?? If they are then I seriously wouldn't go back to that stringer!

 

String patterns are generally easy to work out with a bit of thought, which suggests that either the stringer is lazy or just stupid! If someone has little experience or has never tried to string before then I can understand that they won't know stringing patterns, but once you start stringing as a profession (or even a hobby) you should at least know how to work it out!!

If the strings are still in place then it's even worse that he turned you away, as you can trace the route from the original stringing. Either way they don't sound like a good stringer to me and I'd avoid at all costs!!

 

To start with I'd look for the larger eyelet holes in the frame. Are there 4 or them or 6? If there are 6 then the job will be probably very easy as you can use two separate strings - one length for main strings ad one length for cross strings. If there are only 4 larger eyelets then it becomes more difficult to trace the pattern, but an experienced stringer should still know how!

 

Cheers

 


Adz

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From ihlow - 25 Feb 2009 - 07:25   -   Updated: 25 Feb 2009 - 10:27

hello,

i took my GRAYS Supreme Maxi 500 racket, for restringing at my local sporting goods shop and the technician said that he could try it, but he needed the exact specifications for the job, like order of stringing and tensions.  He said he could not find them anywhere, even on the internet, and neither could i.  do you know where this information is published on line, or is this some kind of secret.  i could not find this information for any GRAYS racket.

i did find an interesting patterns summary page on the internet
http://www.eveshamsquash.co.uk/patterns.html, but it did not include my make and model.  even the official website of Grays http://www.grays-int.com does not list any stringing procedures or specifications.

unfortunately, i live in an area where there are very few squash players and i don't feel up to the task of restringing myself.

any advice that any of you can give would be greatly appreciated.

thanks alot,

winfield from oswego, ny, usa

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From Eddy01741 - 30 Jan 2009 - 05:59

Alright, thanks for all your tips guys, I got through the process of stringing my racquet (took only like 45-60 mins too). LIke I mentioned before, the neos 1000 machine I was using wasn't calibrated (and there wasn't a way to calibrate it), so I strung it to 28 lbs on there, and it seems about the same tension, maybe a little looser than the factory strings at factory tension (and I wanted it a tad looser in the first place). So I'll just remember to keep stringing at that same tension. I havn't yet tried out the Powernick 18s yet, since I heard that you should wait at least overnight before using newly strung strings. However, they do look pretty badass on my red Aerogel Tour.

 

When I get around to using them a bunch I'll post a reply on the one stop string shop about the strings.

 

Well, I'm glad to say that this is my first successful stringing (this is my second time total, the first time I strung my 20 dollar crap backup dunlop and it ended up undertension since 1. the machine was uncalibrated, and 2. I didn't know to tie off the mains after starting the crosses.

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From Good Length - 29 Jan 2009 - 23:49   -   Updated: 30 Jan 2009 - 04:32

Eddy

As you will have read, Adz and myself disagree on the best method for doing the mains. I personally believe that starting on one side, will work but is very bad for the racket and possibly the final quality. It may be the case that it causes no problem whatsoever but I can't see any advantage to using it so why take the chance?

My recomenation is that you at least watch this video before you start http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIIWRTGTx1Q&feature=channel_page

which i beleive is a better method for the reasons explained above and also easier. It's also the method contained in the manufactures instruction for the macine you are using.

If you do proceed as per what you outlined. I don't see any reason why you couldn't tie off the first main as soon as you've done the main it ties off on. Then you don't risk the clamp slipping and it frees up that clamp. Starting in the middle of course removes the requirement to clamp outside the frame at all of course.

Also as for knots, PC and parnell are the same (or at least I can't tell the difference if they are not) and it matters little if you use that or the double half hitch. Try both over time and see which you prefer. I tend to use the parnell but not in every case. If you are doing two peice then either use the starting knot to start the crosses, or a starting clamp (if you get one) then just use a regular know to finish in.

There is a specific technique to tightening the knots to minimise tension loss. Again check the vids it's all in there :)

It will most likely take you couple of restrings before you really feel comfortable doing everything and no longer need to keep looking at the instructions and can remember the knots. I think stringing well requires a certain amount of caring about/understanding the details. But it is basically pretty easy.

When you come to do the crosses, weave one ahead of the one you are pulling it saves time for a few resons. I've seen a few people recommending that you never let go of the string tip when doing the crosses as it saves time from having to re-find it each time. 

What I found works better is to weave the next cross (1 ahead) but only weave it then leave a short end - don't pull it fully through. This means that a) the end is easy to locate each time because it's just sticking out the frame not on the floor. b) you don't accidentaly pull the string all the way through and have to pull some back to be able to pull the previous string.

1) So you would pull your next cross, clamp it.
2) Locate the end from the next cross (that you already wove 1 ahead) which is sticking out the frame by a few inches.
3) Pull that cross through (being sure not to burn the mains).
4) Weave the next cross and leave 2 inches of string protruding.
5) Back to 1 (pull the previous cross)

Good luck

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From Eddy01741 - 29 Jan 2009 - 22:28

Alright, just finalizing my complete stringing process, just tell me if I get anything wrong:

1. Take off the clamp from the glide bar and make it a "flying" clamp and clamp it on the top left corner of the racquet (on the outside) with four or so inches excess outside.

2. Thread the string through the first grommet on thebottom, get it to tension, quickly clamp using the other clamp which is on a glide bar.

3. Repeat step 2 until the mains are finished.

4. Tie off the excess four inches that I started with a double half hitch after taking offf the initial flying clamp.

5. Thread the last main into the crosses, tension, use the unused flying clamp to secure the crosses.

6. Switch the vertically oriented cross bar to horizontal and just use that for the crosses, and making sure to weave the crosses through the mains diagonally as well.

7. Continue doing the crosses in hte same way until finished, and then tie off the last of the string with another double half hitch.

 

Tell me if I'm missing anything.

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From Adz - 29 Jan 2009 - 18:56

Eddy, I use a double half hitch for all knots. I always found them easiest so some reason, but I guess you can use any know that works and looks neat!

 

Cheers

 

 

Adz

 

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From Eddy01741 - 29 Jan 2009 - 12:41

Alright, just wondering, when I finish the mains and tie off the starting 4 inches or so of string, what kind of knot do I use, I've looked up on youtube a buncha different ones like the double half hitch, parnell, PC, starting, etc. Which should I use?

 

And same question goes for ending the crosses.

 

Thanks in advance,

Eddy

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From Adz - 28 Jan 2009 - 19:11   -   Updated: 28 Jan 2009 - 19:30

Gonna have to agree with Good Length on this one......

The reason I learnt to string in the first place was because of the poor string jobs (or very expensive jobs) I'd had done in the past. My two problems with stringing is when people either do a crap job or charge the Earth! Especially when I now know how much strings cost to buy compared to what people charge.

In the UK I know of many open source (e.g. no membership required) places to buy strings from for reasonable prices. Stringing normally takes me 30-40 mins per racquet (longer for some, less for others) and I charge £10 labour plus change per racquet. By change I mean rounding up the string costs to the nearest 50p. Open honest pricing that I tell anyone who asks. At first I got a few complaints about this as other stringers in the area are claiming to charge £8 per racquet labour. So if they supposedly make £2 less than I do on the labour, how come my prices are on average £2-4 LESS in total? When people realised that I do a quick, consistently good and comparably cheap job my stringing went from 1 every 2-3 weeks to about 2-3 per week!! And as I said, I've never advertised!

What I really don't get is how people can get stringing jobs for other people WRONG. If you want to botch your own racquet then go ahead, but when you do it for others DO IT RIGHT!!!

Just like Good Length, I've seen missing strings, "repair jobs" that obviously lost all tension in the racquet, missing crosses, scratched frames, notches burnt into new strings, missing weaves, incorrect stringing patterns, incorrect tensions, uneven tensions and heard about cracked frames.

For anyone on here that is reading this and wants to take up stringing...........

DO NOT STRING ANYONE ELSE'S RACQUET UNTIL YOU CAN DO YOUR OWN PERFECTLY

And even then you should tell them how much experience you've got, and be honest abbout what they can expect. Better to be honest at the start than destroy your reputation by making a "school-boy" error!

 

Now I'm by no means perfect. I've done complete stringing jobs and the next morning decided that it was too tight or too soft and re-strung everything from scratch. I've snapped strings or cut the length too short and had to start again from scratch. I've even taken back racquets to people  (when I hadn't been told a tension) and then restrung them as they were too tight/soft for what the person was looking for. But I've always been open and honest with people before I take on their racquets!

 

But the really important thing in all of this is that people now know they can trust what I do for them.

 

Anyhow, on a side note........ Them Prince O3 frames....... Ever seen strings "cut" into the frame at the O3 ports?? I've seen it on about 6 out of 10 of them and it doesn't fill me with confidence (and no..... the cuts weren't strung by me! HA!!).

 

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From rippa rit - 28 Jan 2009 - 08:40

Adz, Good Length, etc. - Good clean, respectful, and honest discussion make this forum a really healthy (not necessarily wealthy, ha!) place.

You will have many members wanting to have a go at stringing and that can also be of great benefit in the long run for them.

I am sure there are many others lurking about on this one too

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From Good Length - 28 Jan 2009 - 06:28   -   Updated: 28 Jan 2009 - 07:42

Adz, 

Fair enough, I'm quite confident that you are able to make your own informed decisions so if it works for you that's cool with me. And I won't claim to be an expert stringer by any means. I must admit though if nothing else it just sounds like it puts you to some unnecessary trouble with no benefit.

I found frames like the o3 deform very easily - even at squash tensions. And the throat is too narrow for my mounting points so I would personally be extra cautious with these frames. The mounts should not hold the racket too firmly they should just about touch and stop movement and thats about it.

For any other budding stringers, I would suggest following the advice in the videos (and the NEOS manual which is the same) unless you have a very good reason not too. Cos that YULitle on youtube guy REALLY seems to know his stuff!

One thing I have noticed in the short time since I've been stringing that the majority of rackets I've had in have been strung incorrectly by the previous 'professional' stringer to some minor or major degree.

I've had nearly every single Prince power Ring model without the correct hard weave on the last cross. Pretty impressive considering you got a 50/50 chance if you don't know what you are doing! I've had an extra cross at the top where they had strung 1 piece and it should have been 2 so the only way to work it was add an extra cross sharing the main grommets at the very top. Tennis string used. Outer mains missed. Really bad ghosting from the clamps being poorly adjusted (too tight), etc etc.

I also recently read a blog by a tennis stringer that did one of the PSA squash events and he also said he couldn't believe how badly many of the [pro's] rackets they had in were strung. Same mistakes as I've seen. So just be a little bit careful about the quality of any (even 'expert') advice you've received.. including mine! Ha. :)

 

Edit: Here is that link. http://www.grandslamstringers.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1224351526/0

p.s. Adz, I'd also like to say that I've been lurking in this forum for a few years now and found your string review post and others most useful and informative.

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From Adz - 27 Jan 2009 - 21:56

Good Length,

Great post for the youtube clips, but I'm afraid no "doh" moment for me. Appreciated that under the higher tensions used in Tennis racquets you could get some frame distorsion, but under the lower tensions of squash racquets (when clamped correctly) you don't get this effect.

When first taught to string this was the method I was shown and it was used by the stringer when completing jobs for top county level squash players. I have since seen the same method used for the top pro players (e.g. start from the edge and not the middle). From my own experience I've never advertised my stringing and only started off stringing my own racquets. Since then I've now got about 50 people who come to me for stringing on word of mouth alone. Some are international level and so far I haven't had a complaint and the stringing doesn't feel unbalanced on one edge, so hopefully there isn't a problem. Just for reference I don't string tennis racquets or badminton and only focus on squash, which I don't believe suffers from the same torsion movements as the higher tension tennis or the thinner framed badminton racquets. BUT I'm always happy to take on board the points of others and you do have a very good point!!

Either way this doesn't change the fact that the videos you linked to are fantastic for people starting out in the stringing world and I think Rita or Ray need to add them to a library page somewhere for stringing questions.

Points on the type of machine is extremely important and something I should have mentioned earlier (I think it's on another post somewhere!). I use a crank machine that is calibration checked every week to two weeks. The tensions are very consistent with what comes off the Babolat Electronic machine used in a local club, but they can differ slightly on some racquets (especially the Head Flex Points, but this is probably down to how tight the frame is clamped into place!).

Once I get a pay-rise in work I'll be looking to get a new machine, so work begins now on finding what to go for and how much to spend!!

 

Once again, even though I might not agree completely with you, I do think what you said was very useful and massively important for a new stringer.

 

Cheers for the great post and even better link!!

 

Adz

 

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From Good Length - 27 Jan 2009 - 12:03   -   Updated: 27 Jan 2009 - 12:04

p.s. On a separate note. If you are comparing string tensions be careful to check the type of machine used. For example if I strung at 25lb on my dropweight you might have to use 27 or 28 on that crank machine to give the same result. It's not calibration, it's because that machine locks out as it reaches the set tension and stops pulling. Whereas a dropweight or electronic machine keeps pulling until you stop it. So what happens is that more of the slack gets pulled out (from the string stretching and friction) the longer the pull is held for and the resultant tension is higher. 

One of the many benefits of stringing yourself, is that 27lb on my machine is always the same as 27lb on my machine. You are taking pot luck at a shop. If you ask for 27, even if they are careful with the job and do everything fine, it could be several lb different to the last time you had it done at 27lb by someone else if one used an electronic or a crank.

(Calibration is mainly required on spring machines because he spring changes over time. Dropweights don't have this problem.)

Provided you are not loosing tension because of poor technique or slipping clamps and the machine is calibrated (to the same each time) then find the tension that works on your machine and stick with it the numbers are meaningless as long as you get the same each time.

Advice from us is just a staring point. And you might need a few sets of string to work it out.

 

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From Good Length - 27 Jan 2009 - 10:47   -   Updated: 28 Jan 2009 - 09:40

Adz.. you don't start the mains completely on one one side and work across do you??? Eek!!.

I can't think of ANY reason to do what you are doing and I'm pretty sure it should be avaoided at all costs!

Start in the middle and work out to the edges! no more than 2 strings ahead either side. And be sure to start at the correct end - which should be obvious from the grommets. My two dunlops are both start at the throat. See the videos for how to tell.

You will put even load on the frame and you certainly don't need a starting clamp for a dunlop one piece (although it helps for tiying off without loosing tension because you can pull the knot more easily with it than pliers).

You just, pull and then clamp, go to the other side, weave the next and pull it. then release the clamp from the one you just pulled and move it up. When you reach the short side, clamp it off, then just tie off. Then you can release that clamp. Then the other side start your first cross and pull tension and you can release the second clamp and just continue doing the crosses all the way down and tie off.

And to be honest when doing a two piece such as a Prince, at squash tensions it's not a problem pulling direct tension on a starting knot. It's only tennis that you might have problems doing this.

Please see the link I posted, I think those will make it very clear. 

 Also here are the Neos stringing instructons.. Prince Neos 1000 instruction manual

Unless I'm missing something major, you have probably just had a big "Doh!" reading this :)

Good luck! :)

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From Adz - 26 Jan 2009 - 23:49

Eddy, I used to use the same technique before buying the starter clamp, and there is a way to avoid tension loss..........

Following the same descriptions as my earlier post......

Instead of the starting clamp, use the SECOND flying clamp out of the holder on the outside of the frame. This will allow you to progress to the half way point of the mains as before, but at this time you won't have a second clamp to change to at the half way point. As you cross the half-way point of the mains you can change the first clamp into the second clamps holder, thus freeing up the first clamp holder underneath the tensioned first half of the main strings. At this point you will have clamp 2 outside the frame holding the string, the first clamp in the second clamp holder and just over half-way of the mains under tension.

Now pull the 4 inches of string to tension outside of the frame (as before), and whilst the tension head has the string clamped you can remove the second clamp from outside of the frame and replace it into the first flying clamp base. Then clamp the tension on the string as before and tie-off as instrusted above.

At this point you should have always had the mains under tension between either one clamp or another, but it does take a bit of fiddling to get the clamp into the holder (you may have to extend the base outside of the racquet frame, insert the second clamp and then push it down to swivel it back under the tensioned main strings.

 

It sounds tricky, but it is easy enough to do.

 

Anyhow, hope this helps with the tension problem. And for reference, the starting clamps shouldn't be any more than $20 in the US as they only cost about £12-15 in the UK.

 

Cheers!

 

Adz

 

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From Eddy01741 - 26 Jan 2009 - 22:31

Alright, sounds pretty good Adz, I might not be able to get a starter clamp (after all, I don't think my parents are too keen on spending money for a machine that is not even mine), but I think it should work out.

 

What I usually do to start off the stringing (I did this on my 20 dollar POS dunlop that I just broke the strings on) is use one of the clamps on the vertical glide bars (or as you call them the flying clamps) to clamp the start of the stringing instead of using a starter clamp. I then use the other flying clamp to secure the mains after successful tensioning.

 

I think the problem I had was that I didn't tie off the start of the mains after finishing hte mains (I'd switch to cross stringing but instead of tying off the mains, I'd just try and swiftly switch the two glide bars to horizontal and reclamp the starting 4 inches or so of string (which of course lead to tension loss. So next time I'll just tie off the mains before starting the crosses.

 

For the crosses I just used one flying clamp to clamp them while I tensioned. The other flying clamp was, as aforementioned, holding the start of the string (that I should have tied off that I didn't).

 

Unfortunately Ialso don't have access to a tension calibrator, but it seems like the machine might be a little loose on the tensions, so I'll adjust accordingly.

 

Thanks anyways for the help Adz, I'll probably restring soon enough.

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From Adz - 26 Jan 2009 - 19:56

Eddy...... From one of the other posts I'm assuming you're trying to re-string a Dunlop?

Not everyone will start the same way, but I recommend you buy yourself a "starting clamp". They look like a pair of pliers with 2 or 3 springs between the handle-arms. Basically they can clamp onto the string without being attached to the string machine itself.

You can start the stringing with a "starting knot", but I personally find the "starting clamp" much more user friendly.

Ok, so you've got the racquet held in the clamps.....hopefully 6 of them - two on the inside edge of the frame at top and bottom of the head and 4 on the outer edge of the frame on the outer corners (if you assume the head shape is like a rounded rectangle shape.

Locate the outer-most vertical eyelet at the TOP of the frame (left or right side doesn't matter). This is your starting point for the stringing. Clamp about 4 inches (12cm) of string on the outside of the frame using your starting clamp. The string then makes the first vertical (Main) string by entering the frame at the starting eyelet and exiting the frame at the corresponding bottom eyelet.

Pull the string to tension and clamp as close to the frame as you can at the bottom eyelet.

Next run the next main string vertically from bottom edge to top edge, through the relevant eyelets. Rotate the racquet around pull this string to tension from the top edge. Whilst under tension rotate the "flying clamps" (the ones on the two runners you mentioned earlier) to now clamp this next main string as cloe to the top frame edge as you can. You now have TWO main strings pulled to tension.

Repeat this process for each main string up to the HALF WAY point of the main stringing. This is the point when your mains become closer to the opposite side-edge of the racquet face (on the Dunlops it is when you get to the 4th complete eyelet (out of 6) on the throat section of the bottom edge of the head.

Once you reach this point you can use the other "flying clamp" to clamp the string to tension (swapping from the first flying clamp that you've been using so far). Now you should have just over half of the main strings under tension and one flying clamp free UNDER the tensioned strings.

Rotate the racquet head around to pull the STARTING thread to tension - e.g. your 4 inches of string that was outside of the head. You can then use the free flying clamp to hold your first main to tension as close to the starting eyelet as you can. It should give you about 1cm of untensioned string inside the frame and the 12cm outside the frame which you will now use to tie the first knot in the string. Try to get this loose amount of string as tight as possible when tying off to avoid any tension loss. The place to tie this off is through the "tie-off" eyelet which is normally the 3rd vertical eyelet from the edge on Dunlops (you will notice that this eyelet is wider than the others to allow more room to pass two strings through it.

 

So you are now in a situation where you have the first knot in place and just over half of the main strings held to tension by the 2nd flying clamp. Return to the open end of string (which should be about 5.5 to 6.5m in length depending on how much string you used - for 470cm2 Dunlops I usually use 7.5 to 8m of string for a one piece job. You need to complete the mains using the same routine as before (thread the string through the relevant eyelet and then pull to tension, clamping as close as possible to the exiting eyelet).

 

When you complete your last main string it will run from the bottom edge (on the corner by your outer clamp), to the top corner outer edge. Between the exit point and the nearest main eyelet will be a cross eyelet. This is your starting point for your cross strings where you will re-enter the head, weave through the mains and then exit through the opposite side of the head.

Remember not to just pull the cross strings through the mains or you will "burn" through the main strings. Instead work on using a diagonal pull-through - Check youtube for an example video of this, but effectively your cross string will not be a straight line between the two eyelets, but instead it will be a "V" shape pulling towards the bottom edge of the head.

When the string exits the frame pull to tension and clamp using the FIRST flying clamp used earlier which can now be released from the string as your FIRST KNOT will hold that end of the string to tension. Once again clamp to the closest outer edge of the frame. You now have your first cross string under tension. Re-enter the frame in the relevant eyelet and once again weave the cross through the mains and exit using the relevant eyelet on the other side-edge of the frame. Once you pull this string to tension you need to clamp using the SECOND flying clamp from earlier. You now have TWO cross strings held to tension using BOTH flying clamps. Repeat this weaving process alternating the clamp used to hold the string to tension depending on which side of the frame the cross string exits.

 

On the 4th or 5th (?) eyelet you will notice that the bumper strip of the racquet finishes and the side-strips begin. Traditionally you should skip one eyelet to ensure that BOTH joins between wht side-strips and the bumper strip are held in place by a loop of string (look at the side of a new racquet for an example). With ALL new Dunlops you DO NOT need to do this and can just continue to weave each cross string in turn.

Once you get to the end of the crosses, depending on which Dunlop model you have, there will be a tie-off hole to finish the crosses in. These holes are slightly bigger than normal (as mentioned for the mains!) to allow for 2 strings to pass through them with greater ease.

Once you tie this string off to tension you should have a completed stringing job!

 

Hope that helps! But let us know if you get stuck!

 

Cheers

 

 

Adz

 

p.s. Some racquets require some "quirks" when it comes to stringing and aren't as easy as the Dunlops. In general the round-head Dunlops are one of the easiest racquets to string (with the Ultimate being slightly different due to the denser string-pattern).

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