How to Measure String from a Reel
Purchasing strings in reels is much more cost effective than buying individual sets. However, it is very important that you measure your string efficiently for each racquet you are stinging.
If your reel is 660’, you should have enough string to string a minimum of 18 racquets. If your reel measures 726’, than you have enough string to string 20 racquets. In either case, we will have 36’ per racquet stringing. I am basing this on an average head size racquet that has a string pattern of 16 X 19 and 18 X 20. The easiest and most efficient way to measure string is to count 8 lengths of your racquet for both the mains and cross strings. The average racquet length is 27” and 8 times 27” is 216” or 18’. If you are going to string your racquet with one section of string, then simply measure 16 lengths of the racquet and that will do the trick.
Want More Spin? Use a Smaller Grip!
Many players want to produce more spin but don’t know where to find it. Try using a smaller grip size on your racquet and this will allow your wrist to move more freely which should help you to produce more spin.
A quick easy way to get a smaller grip is to take off your replacement grip and add two overgrips. This will make your grip size a full 1/8” smaller. This can also be accomplished by replacing your current grip with a Babolat Skinfeel grip. Both options will do the trick and help you produce more spin.
Having trouble taking off an old bumper and/or grommet strips from your racquet? Take care not to use force as you may damage your racquet, and more than likely, rip the bumper leaving hard to remove grommets still lodged in the frame. An easy way to avoid this is to use a heat gun. You can easily purchase one for about $30 at your local hardware store or Home Depot, Menards or Sears. Start out with the ‘low’ heat setting. Point the heat gun at the grommets from the inside of the hoop (racquet face) and move it slowly so as to heat all of them evenly. Be careful not to touch your frame with the heat gun as you will damage the finish. After a few seconds you will notice that the damaged or flared grommets will begin to melt or soften and become more pliable. At this point, you should be able to pull out the entire bumper/grommet system with incredible ease and without any damage to your frame.
Use vaseline on the tip of your awl to help open up a cracked or broken grommet that needs to be tubed. The use of the vaseline will help the awl slide easily into the grommet hole and will readily widen that hole so the platic tubing can easily pass through. A dry or non lubricated awl may cause the grommet to break off or away from the grommet strip and cause more damage than before. The vaseline will also allow you to use less force and to complete the repair quickly and efficiently.
Clean up your act with WD 40. Not a day goes by that I don't utilize my can of WD 40 for some reason or another. It is one of the best all around cleaning agents that I have found. I use it to clean marks off of a racquet frame that are cause by the ink of the ball from mishits. I use it to clean the racquet frame after I take off the bumper and grommet strips. Cleaning the frame just adds to the look of the racquet after a new bumper system is installed. In addition, I use WD 40 to clean a bumper that has been scuffed up by a hard court or dirtied by a clay court. The WD 40 acts like Amorall as it shines up the bumper to look like new. Lastly WD 40 is a great 'goo' remover. I use it to remove the sticky residue from previous racquet stickers before I put on my own. You'll score big points from your clients by cleaning up your act with WD 40.
Over the years I have tried many different methods to measure the 'short side' of a coil of string in preparation for stringing a racquet in one piece. Using a yardstick always works! Most 'short sides' require nine feet of string. Obviously, measuring 3 lengths of the yardstick will work, but you must have one handy. And, if you are always stringing in a frenzy like me, laying your hands on a misplaced yardstick takes time and often interrupts your rhythm.
Another measuring technique I have used in the past is measuring three feet of string with my outstretched right arm. I will hold the coil of string in my left hand positioned in the center of my chest. Then I draw out the coil of string three times with my right hand and stretch my arm out to the right as far as it will reach. Supposable this is nine feet but all arm lengths are different! And what happens if you need ten feet?
With this on my mind, I came up with an easy solution. Nine feet is 108 inches. A standard racquet length is 27 inches. Four times 27 inches is equal to 108 inches. Therefore, after my racquet is mounted on the stringer, I simply draw out four racquet lengths of string (measuring from the bottom of the butt cap to the tip of the racquet face) from the coil of string. If I need ten feet, I draw out the extra foot using the grip plus the length of the 'V' in the throat area as a one foot measuring stick. Be sure to make calculation adjustments if stringing a racquet that is longer than the standard 27 inches.
Stenciling Made Easy!
Is there any one else out there who dislikes stenciling racquets as much as I do? Aside from an ink applicator that will last as long as the ink inside the bottle, I have two major difficulties. The first is stencil alignment on side two of the racquet. You know, trying to line up the stencil on the opposite side of the stringbed that you just stenciled. And the second is keeping the stencil from moving or sliding over the stringbed when applying the ink.
In order to make my ink tasking easier, I have come up with a simple but effective solution that will ease the two difficulties that I mentioned earlier. You will need a hole punch and four snap buttons that are used to fasten the manufacturer’s information card on pre-strung racquets. Take the hole punch and make four holes in the top and bottom corners of the stencil. Then line up your stencil on the stringbed and pop in the snap buttons. The stencil will not move while you apply the ink and when you flip the stencil over to ink side number two, you can achieve perfect alignment. Now my next task is trying to figure out how to make the ink applicator last as long as the ink in the bottle!
Look soon for more tips from The Racquet Man. Good luck and Good stringing!