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Stick Tech Workshop - ReADeR TIPS!

WARNING: Ovens, lighters, matches, knives, and other tools called for in this tips section can be dangerous when not properly used. If you intend on trying any of these tips at home, you must tell your parents exactly what your plans are before proceding. Improper use of some of the tools suggested can result in cutting, burning or staining yourself or your family's property. So ask FIRST, and be careful!

By Max McCool
Materials needed:

  • Two 3 ft pieces of sidewall string
  • Total of 17 feet of nylon to be sure
  • Two leathers
  • shooting strings
The Grunk Pocket is a cousin of the Turtle Shell, so you wont need to learn anything new for this one. I rearranged some of the elements in the pocket to give it more support from the sides, so it rattles less.

String-O-Meter rating:
Not for Beginners

Step 1: Cutting your string

Cut 5 feet for the middle crosslace, 3 feet for each sidewall and sidewall string loops, and then two 6 ft. pieces for the rows of twisty things. I would also recommend that you make as many of these strings individual (i.e. cutting and tying each string at the bottom, instead of continuing to string) as you can, that way it's easy to adjust each section when you're done.

Step 2: Sidewalls

Put in sidewalls as you normally would, but make them tight and tie/cut them off at the bottom.

Step 3: First Row of Loops

Next, a row of loops are going to hang off the sidewall. Start where you want, but keep the knots tight and similar. For the knot here, (stringing from the back) come up under the sidewall and then around itself. For the second half of the knot, go down and through the sidewall, and then up through the loop that the string makes. Pull both sides of the knot to tighten it. You will find it easier to tighten/form the knot if you twist the strings in one direction or the other, you'll see it fall into place at one point. The tighter the knots, the more solid the pocket. Make wider loops at the top, and more frequent loops in the middle for the deeper section of the pocket. When the head narrows towards the throat, make the loops smaller, or else you wont have enough room for the middle track. Look at the pictures for loop sizes and frequency.

Step 4: Leathers

Install two leathers down the middle of the head, as seen in the pictures.

Step 5: The middle nylons

I start from the bottom and string a twist up the middle. The black marks on the leathers show where I had electrical tape on them. I do that so the pocket stretcher can hold them out for me. So I twist all the way up, matching the twist with the number of loops I have on the side. This is where you can make it bigger or smaller "diamonded" for how you like it. When you get to the top you can either tie off and begin with a new string, leaving yourself more ability to modify the head later, or just turn around and begin the row of loops down the side of the leather. Take your crosslace and make loops parallel to the leather down the side, connecting with the twist that's going down the middle. Pull these snug, but no so much that they make the leather bunch up. Try and make both sides equally taut.

Step 6: Pocket nylons

Finishing the pocket, we'll use twists similar to those used in the Turtle Shell. I started mine from the bottom. At first, I went back and forth, with the loop knot on the leather AND the sidewall loop. There was just not enough space for the twist. After you do 2 or 3 twists, come away from the loop on the side and tie the Z knot. You do this by going down and through, then around itself, then down, through, and around again. I'm sorry if that's complicated. Look at the close-up pictures for help.

The first Grunk pocket I strung had simple traditional loops around the sidewall loops. It shifted up way too much and wouldn't release the ball. The loop knots that you now see on the sidewall string loops are tight, and keep the pocket where it is. I tried to keep the Z knot towards the middle of the loops, but they slide on their own to where it'll rest when it's broken in. So you're going to the side and making a loopknot, and then going back to the loops on the leather to make the Z knot twist. Keep them symmetrical, I suggest a pocket screw to help. I set the leathers where they are just legal, and then string the pocket. The shooting strings help take in the pocket depth. If it reaches a point where it's illegal, just pull back the leathers.

Step 7: The Shooters

Use however many shooting strings you wish. I'm going to use a nylon shooter up top with 3 hockey laces underneath it. You can play with yours (shooting strings) to feel like you want them to.

Tie off all of your strings with knots that won't pull through the holes. Burn the ends and you're ready to go. Enjoy.

BONUS: Splatter Dye

Materials Needed:
  • Scarlet and Evening Blue RIT powder dye
  • Hot glue gun
  • A stove and pot

The dye job is a 2 color splatter. The trick is moving hot glue between colors. I started by putting hot glue all over the entire head. Put as mush as you want. I then faded the bottom blue. After that, I removed the hot glue that was on the middle section of the head. I also reapplied glue to the parts that were now blue.

Before I dipped the top in the red dye, I filled in the back of the scoop with hot glue, but I demonstrated how unclean the lines are with hot glue. To make a solid blocking out effect like I was going for, it's easier to use tape, and cut along the edge with a (sharp) pizza cutter.

When the red is faded on, purple appeared a little where they mixed, but I need a deeper pot so I can fade farther up the stick. The new glue that I added stayed blue, and the glue I removed turned red while the stuff around it went purple. There were white spots around the middle. If you want to prevent these and have all color in the middle, put on the second batch of hot glue around what's already there before you take any of the glue off. Take all the hot glue off, and you have a red - to - purple to light blue head with red, white and blue hot glue patterns.


Each pocket design found in the Stick Tech Workshop will be assigned a String-O-Meter rating. This is just a relative measure of how difficult it is to string the sticks.

EASY - This refers mainly to mesh pockets and those for the novice and first time stringer.
MEDIUM - This refers to sticks such as the six and eight diamond stringing. The designs aren't too tough, but require some concentration and time.
DIFFICULT - This refers to sticks like THE "Dog Track". These sticks are usually variations from the basic traditional pocket.
ADVANCED - This refers to sticks that take more time and careful attention to string properly. Overall stringing capability and ability to tie more complicated knots are usually needed to string a pocket reading 4 on the String-O-Meter.
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