Spaghetti Stringing (Part 3: Stringing an AMF Head Master 2)
Posted by Rob Marshall on 5th July 2020
A closer look at recreating the 'spaghetti' stringing system and the practicalities of converting a conventional tennis racket.
The spaghetti stringing system differs greatly between racket models, as each frame requires nuances in the design to tailor it to the specific string pattern and grommet configuration. The patents filed by Werner Fischer do not clarify some of the finer practicalities of stringing a racket with his system, nor do they contain solutions to racket-specific problems that may be encountered. There are various complications that can arise without first examining the system in closer detail.
Spaghetti Stringing (Part 2: How to String a Spaghetti Racket)
Posted by Rob Marshall on 13th June 2020
An overview of the main characteristics of the 'spaghetti' stringing system and its design development.
The spaghetti stringing system had the potential to revolutionise the tennis racket industry. Its inventor, Werner Fischer, realised there was an opportunity to turn his unique system into a lucrative business and, prior to the ITF’s rule changes in 1978, filed several patents for iterations of the spaghetti system in an attempt to protect the rights to his invention.
Spaghetti Stringing (Part 1: A Brief History)
Posted by Rob Marshall on 3rd May 2020
An introduction to 'spaghetti' stringing, taking a look at events in the 1970s leading up to the ban of the controversial racket.
In the modern game of tennis, the size and composition of rackets are strictly controlled by the sport’s governing body, the International Tennis Federation (ITF). In order to comply with the ITF Rules of Tennis, rackets must have a uniform string bed comprising interwoven layers of main strings and cross strings. Only one set of strings is allowed on the hitting surface of the racket. But for the first hundred years of the game’s history, such rules did not exist and unusual racket designs and stringing systems were commonplace.
UKRSA Around the World Pattern
Posted by Rob Marshall on 5th April 2020
Step-by-step instructions for stringing rackets using the UKRSA 'Around the World' pattern.
The Around the world (ATW) pattern is a particular method of one-piece stringing used with tennis and squash rackets, where the main strings would naturally finish at the throat and conventional one-piece stringing would necessitate starting the crosses at the bottom. The ATW method ensures the crosses are installed from the top of the frame, as is often required under the racket manufacturer’s warranty, thereby protecting the frame from distortion during the stringing process.
Stringing Machine Maintenance
Posted by Rob Marshall on 29th December 2019
Guidance on how to clean and maintain stringing machines.
Stringing machines have numerous moving parts, each of which require regular cleaning in order to maintain a well-functioning machine. Although most routine cleaning and maintenance can be done only periodically, stringing machines benefit greatly when this is done as regularly as possible in proportion to usage, as it will not only ensure smooth operation of the mechanical parts, but will prolong the machine's working life.
Stringing Eye Squash Rackets
Posted by Rob Marshall on 20th October 2019
Some tips for stringing Eye Rackets squash rackets.
Eye Rackets squash rackets require a little extra attention when restringing, compared with rackets from most other leading manufacturers. Eye rackets are unique in that they do not have conventional grommet/bumper strips, but instead have 'eyelets' that are inserted into individual grommet holes, much like with badminton rackets. The purpose of this is to minimise surplus weight at the head of the frame, thereby helping to achieve optimum balance. However, when they are not held in place by tensioned strings, the eyelets have a frustrating tendency to fall out and can easily be lost, particularly when pulling out old strings. This is made worse with factory strings coated with stencil ink, as the strings are slightly thicker than usual, which can cause them to catch on the eyelets.
Stringing Machine Conversion
Posted by Rob Marshall on 19th October 2019
A guide to retrofitting manual stringing machines with the Wise 2086.
Electronic stringing machines offer far greater accuracy than manual ‘lock-out’ machines, primarily due to the constant-pull technology offered that compensates for the string continuing to stretch after the set tension is reached. However, electronic machines are a significant investment (often upwards of £3,000) that only a full-time stringer doing high volumes of rackets may be able to justify. For a rookie stringer buying their first equipment on a limited budget, a cheaper drop-weight or crank machine is often the preferred choice, as these can be bought for as little as £250.
Blackburne DS 107 Super-Mid (1995)
Posted by Rob Marshall on 27th July 2019
The Blackburne Double-Strung Racquet, one of the most unique racket designs ever created.
The Blackburne DS 107 tennis racket incorporates a unique ‘double-strung’ design where two sets of strings, or string beds, lie either side of the frame. The racket was designed by Robin Blackburne, a British wine merchant and inventor residing in Bermuda, and was developed over 20 years by Blackburne Advanced Racquet Systems.
Extreme String Tensions in Professional Racket Sports
Posted by Rob Marshall on 27th July 2019
A look at the professional tennis, squash and badminton players both past and present, pushing the limits of string performance.
Through the history of professional racket sports, players have explored the limitations of what both racket and string technology at the time were able to offer. String tensions among the elite players have varied considerably, often to bizarre extremes intended to suit their particular playing style, exploit the latest in material development or simply give them the competitive edge over their opponents.
How to Tie the Wilson (Pro) Knot
Posted by Rob Marshall on 30th June 2019
Step-by-step instructions for tying the Wilson (Pro) Knot, an alternative to the double half hitch.
There are a variety of knots that can be used to tie off the end of a string. The double half hitch knot is perhaps the most common and is the simplest knot to learn. The Parnell knot and PC knot are also common alternatives, while some experienced stringers may even use a ‘signature’ knot of their own to mark their work. Whichever knot is used, it must secure the tension without damaging the anchor string (the string that is already installed and tensioned) and it must not come undone.