Happy Thursday my good friends; to add on to Connor’s post on tension, which is one of the most important aspects of stringing traditional, as well as evenly spaced diamonds, I’d like to show a few things I do which I think make stringing traditionals a bit cleaner and why. Firstly, it must be mentioned that I have switched over to doing 1-string traditionals, in comparison to Connor’s 3-string; when referring to number of strings here, I mean the number of crosslace strings used, not the total number of strings for the entire pocket. 3-string is definitely easier to adjust after you’ve put it in initially, because you don’t have to scooch the crosslace in as many places when making an adjustment to it. With 1-string, it can be a pain if you haven’t done the tension just right when first putting the pocket together.
The first modification is using asymmetrical sidewall strings, which can be noted by following the white shooting string in the picture below. You can see that there are interlocks in the sidewall in different places, when compared side by side. There are two reasons for this: one is that traditional is not completely symmetrical in terms of crosslace appearance from side to side, so there are different needs for leather-to-sidewall on opposing sides of the head; the second is that is allows one more hole to be opened up near the bottom of the head, shown in the following picture below.
On the other side, I stopped my sidewall one more hole down, where you can see the white crosslace coming out now. The sidewall tie-off knot looks odd in this image because of the Gait head – two holes are very small then the next one up is really large, so I wrapped the sidewall string a couple times around and made a big knot to avoid slippage. Opening this hole for the crosslace gives it a place to go when the stringing is done.
I made the sidewall string asymmetrical by skipping one less hole when doing my first sidewall interlock. You can see in the picture below of the left sidewall, when looking from the back, that I skipped two sidewall holes before doing the first interlock, but only skipped one on the right side (not pictured).
Another thing I’ve found useful is to use a modified topstring, which, among those of you who cruise this site for traditional advice, should be known, at least in theory, so you can switch the pocket out if the head breaks. I’ve also added a modified “bottom string”, although bottom strings don’t usually exist in traditional, and this was because I’d prefer the crosslace to be locked in place at the bottom, but do not like cutting holes in the leathers. Cutting anything is going to make it weaker, and it’s hard to decide where to put the slit in the leather when first stringing the pocket, as you must string the pocket with leathers loose, instead of how I do it: string with leathers relatively tight, but keep the crosslace loose in the places where you want to make it loose, then pound the pocket in when all tied.
The final thing I try to do, when putting the crosslace in, is to leave the middle most crosslace section looser, as the ball will sit there so I think this channels the ball a bit more. In fact, I usually make the tension from tightest to loosest from outside to inside, to achieve a channel-like effect. Some of these explanations may seem a bit confusing to those who don’t string traditonal, but I am happy to expound upon them if anyone has questions.
Happy stringing! #stringyourown