Let’s make this part clear. Box pinching a head will void any warranty and is not legal in youth, HS, or college. So why do this? We’re answering that question on this week’s edition of #TheGopherProject.
One, box pinched heads are more accurate and have better hold. Two, I think it’s a great topic for an article. Now with the benefits being listed, there are some disadvantages. Box pinched heads are harder to catch with and require more attention on ground balls. So, keep that in mind before you try. For this week, we’re actually going to do the box pinch two ways. Let’s see which one works best. How are we going to determine that? Simple, I’ve got a factory box pinched OG Clutch. It’s got the best box pinch face shape I’ve seen.
Box Pinching Materials: #TheGopherProject
- A lacrosse head. For this we’re using the STX X10 (a great option). I’d love to give a huge thank you to www.sportstop.com for not only still having these in stock but ultra-fast shipping.
- A www.laxroom.com box pinch jig. This will be the controlled pinch process.
- Paracord or top string (this works better than regular sidewall).
- An oven….
- A sheet tray and parchment paper (to get heads safely out of oven).
- Oven mitts….unless you want to burn your hands (not recommended)
- Mesh, sidewall, and shooters. For these X10’s we are going old school with ECD (https://www.ecdlax.com/east-coast-mesh.html) fade and solid waxed mesh.
From here on, you need parental supervision and approval. We’re working with a 350 degree oven and a vinyl head. If you do not pay attention, you can burn yourself, melt the head, start a fire.
For both options, you’ll want to set the oven to 350 degrees. Place both the head or jig on a piece of parchment paper and then onto the sheet tray. That way it’s easy to remove and if you have a head melt, it’s contained to the sheet. Now, I’ve pinched many heads and never had one melt but better to be safe….
Box Pinch Option #1: The Laxroom Jig. Just as it sounds, it’s a metal jig that will create a constant pinch and is virtually fool proof. Place the head throat first into the jig and slightly flex the top-third to fit into the top. Push down firmly to make sure it’s in and you’re set.
Place in oven for three minutes and place in a spot to cool. I’ve added a step here. I place on the garage floor and with the oven mitts still on, slightly push the scoop against the garage step. It helps the scoop stay a little flatter than pointed, which I like for ground balls. I’ll leave this in the jig until it completely cools (let’s say 30 minutes).
Box Pinch Option #2: This is the manual box pinch. It’s a process I learned from Joe at Throne.
I added a few variations of my own. While I’m going to keep that high one-third pinch Joe talks about, I want a tighter pinch down on the throat as well. Tie a double over hand knot on your paracord/top string to start. I start on the third sidewall hole and run it across the head. I then go five sidewall holes and run the string to the opposite side but one sidewall hole lower (six on the side). I think this narrows the bottom two-thirds of the head more in lines with the Clutch.
Verdict? I took all 3 heads (the OG clutch, and both X10’s) and traced out the original shape to do a little after pinch comparison. Let’s take a look at the video:
Now let’s string these up. I’m going to string one myself and give one to my good buddy Brian (@laz_88) to string. We’ll each use and see which pinch and pocket is more optimal in a future article on #TheGopherProject…
Thanks for reading! Remember to tag all string ups with the #TheGopherProject to be included in future articles.