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Stringway Cross Stringing Tool Revisited

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In September 2009 we took our Stringway Cross Stringing tool for multiple test drives and blogged about our experiences. (You can read about them here).  Shortly after reviewing the tool we set it on the shelf in our workshop where it saw about as much action as the Captain and Tennille channel on our Pandora radio.

Several weeks ago we pulled it out and began using it for full poly-based setups.  The more we used it, the more we began to develop a deeper appreciation for it.  We have decided to incorporate the cross stringing tool into our daily use whenever we string full poly-based setups.  We believe it offers some significant advantages which are frankly too significant to ignore.

1. Using the tool is infinitely easier on the strings.   It allows the majority of the cross strings to be installed without friction.  The top 3 crosses  are put in using a standard weaving technique as are the bottom 3 or 4 depending on the racquet.  The center crosses all go in with the use of the tool.  This permits them to go in with almost no frinction which allows them to avoid notching and more importantly keeps the profiled poly-based strings from twisting.  The end result is strings installed exactly as designed which can lead to extended string life and better overall performance.

2.  The tool makes stringing less stressful on the stringer.  Even with multiple dense pattern racquets using full poly, the end result is that the fingers feel fresh and limber after stringing.  Comfort is increased a great deal with the use of this tool.  Also the tool features some ergonomic advantages.  The process of sliding the cross string through the channel on the tool allows the stringer to remain in a more upright position. Less bending and craning of the neck over the long haul can reduce the occurrence neck and back discomfort/pain.

3.  Stringing is easier with the use of the tool.  We found that the tool did not add time to the stringing process for us in most instances and in fact saved a bit in some.  We would not characterize saving time as a huge advantage, but using the tool, especially in the context of full polys with twists or profiles, makes stringing easier and more enjoyable.  In our previous review we noted that it added time.  We now believe this was more a case of us getting used to working with it. We needed to have more time and experience with the tool in order to work it into our routine.  Once the initial awkwardness is overcome, it becomes faster, easier and much more instinctive to use.

4.  The tool carries and aura of cool.  Since using the tool in our shoppe, I have had a number of customers stop, watch and comment on it.  Without exception, all think it is very cool.  It is perceived by the public as a high-tech tool and stringers using the tool are seen as being on the cutting edge of technology.  Using the tool in a public setting can help stringers and shops stand out from the crowd.

After numerous racquets and thorough examination of the stringbed stiffness results, we have concluded that our previous concerns and observations were caused by us not understanding the tool fully and not using it correctly.  Today we do not position it as close to the previously strung cross string as we did in 2009.  We leave approx. 1 – 2 inches space.  We also do not force the tool to work near the top and bottom of the frame.  In the past we tried to squeeze every cross string possible out of the tool.  It was at these extremes that we really had to apply a great deal of pressure to get it to create the channel.  This was definitely a factor in overstretching the strings and leaving marks.  We no longer attempt this and we are now also stringing at lower tensions.  We believe this combination of changes has allowed us to generate the consistent results we now find with the tool.

We have now fully embraced the Stringway Cross Stringing Tool and in fact we might go so far as to say we love it.  And you know what?  The love we have for this tool may in no way be analogous to the type of love we might have for a muskrat, but we are thinking that “Love Will Keep Us Together.”

The Stringway cross stringing tools are available from our friend Mark Gonazalez at Alpha Sports.  Mark is the Stringway distributor in the USA.  The tools can be found on his web site at New Tech Tennis.  With leads like this, there is no need to “Shop Around.”

7 thoughts on “Stringway Cross Stringing Tool Revisited

  1. JayCeeParis on said:

    I am very pleased to see that you have adopted the SW Cross-stringer. This is an amazingly usefull tool, in 2 sizes for different string patterns : the HD (high density) and LD (low density), it is good to have both, but the HD is the most important one to have, it really is the one I use the most. Of course for dense string patterns (small frames x 18*20 and 18*19) with polys/co-polys mains/crosses this tool is just incredible, it makes stringing these sticks so much easier with an end result so much better, but more than the great results, the lack of effort on our fingers is the real bonus, I wouldn’t be without it . . .
    For more difficult cross-strings like natural gut and multi-facets co-polymers (3 and 5 sides) especially the twisted strings, this tool changes everything, the strings are not damaged because there is no direct contact with the mains during the weaving, no friction, no notching, very efficient.
    I agree with the impact on the clients, the precision, lack of stress and total control for the stringer gives most of my clients a very positive impact on their perception of the way I work. Most of them are facinated by the way I string and often watch carefully to try to understand how I work. Not only does it look like the cutting edge of stringing techniques, it really is.
    I most highly recommend these SW Cross-stringers.

  2. Fred Timmer on said:

    Of course it is very nice to hear such positive comments about a tool that you developed.

    But there is one thing that amazes me a little.

    Why not use the tool for the first 3 to 4 cross strings?
    Just place the unit in the middle of the string bed with the short channel at the side of the head and pull the string through.

    The advantage is also that you can start directly in the way that you prefer to use the tool and no need to think about how to weave the first strings.

    I prefer to move the tool against the direction of weaving because it is easier to enter the string into the channel, going over the free string next to the tool.

    The video shows this:

    But of course every body is free to use the tools as one prefers.

    Anyway I wish every user of the tools a lot of “convenient weaving”.

    Fred Timmer

  3. GGTennis on said:

    @John and Fred – Thank you for your posts and valuable insights!

    Fred, the method of stringing I use finds me pre-weaving the top 3 cross strings before any tensioning takes place. In my situation there is no need for me to use the cross stringing tool before the 4th cross. I realize others may use it sooner. I also like to put it in place one time. I set the long side of the tool so it is facing the throat whenever possible. This way once the tool is in place, no adjusting is needed. My tool is slightly damaged and is not easily popped in and out of the stringbed. Someday I will get around to replacing it.

    A couple of days ago I was stringing a Dunlop Aerogel 300 and had difficulty getting that string pattern to work with the tool. I am wondering if perhaps the missing comb may help solve this issue for me? I purchased the tool when first released and have the two inserts, but not the third. Again, when I get around to refreshing my tools I hope this will make using it even more pleasurable. Thanks again for posting.

    • Fred Timmer on said:

      This proves how important “being used” is;
      Most of the time I start with the short channel and continue to use it for all the crosses until I have to remove it. The disadvantage is that you have to take it out earlier. On most racquets you have to do 4 crosses by hand then.

      The shorter comb that is supplied with the HD unit is specially meant to use for very tight string patterns, the longer HD comb can get in the way with the 8th main string from the middle.
      The comb is available separately so Mark can supply you with one.

  4. Igor Sokolovski on said:

    The Stringway Crosstringer is excellent tool for weaving the string it can be used both ways Patterns ONE Piece ,BOX and two piece hybrid method.

    Of course the best thing would be to use on natural gut and avoid damaging and fraying out the string.

    It`s not designed for fast stringing rather for smarter stringing definitely.

    Every serious pro should try it out

  5. Hooked on said:

    I use gut or multi mains with poly crosses and am thinking about this tool to reduce notching. I notice it most when using Technifibre X-One Biphase mains. No matter how careful I am, the Black Code I use for the crosses always seems to notch it significantly. My question is when to pull tension with this tool. Do you pull with the cross “free” inside the channel the tool creates or do you release the string so it is touching all of the mains and then pull like you would normally with a hand woven cross? I can see some pros of pulling it without any friction in terms of no notches and more consistent tension across the cross. Thoughts?

  6. GGTennis on said:

    I, personally, do not pull tension while the string is inside of the channel of the tool. I believe using this approach would drastically alter the overall stringbed stiffness. I understand the desire to be friction-free, however, the tool greatly reduces friction in the weaving process (it is NOT actually friction free and there is some contact, but not enough to cause notching or burning even if you pull through fast). Pulling tension with the normal amount of friction should not cause any notching on the mains. Where you will need to be most careful is on the final 3 (maybe 4) crosses where the cross stringing tool is too large to fit.


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