Last week we went through the steps to break and stretch in your leathers. This week, let’s take the next step. This is how I string my six-diamond pockets, it may be different from how others string theirs. Remember, there is one way to string this. If this differs from how you do it, let me know how and why you string yours.
Here’s what you are going to need. Now, the measurements I give will provide you with excess strings after you finish. I’d rather have a foot of crosslace extra then have to try a knot with ¼ of an inch string. After you string this, feel free to adjust the string length to your style.
Six-Diamond Traditional Pocket Stringing Materials
1 Lacrosse Head
2 2ft sections of sidewall
1 1ft section of sidewall
15 ft of crosslace (this will be a single string pocket)
3 to 4 shooters (Your preference)
1 pocket stretcher or pounder
1 Lighter (or rope cutter)
1 needle nose pliers
Knots: All strings will start with a double over hand knot and end with a single knot.
When I string this pocket, I string it flat and then throw it in a stretcher to create the pocket and adjust the tensioning. If you use a Traditree, I’ll note below when you use that.
Step 1 – Let’s string up the sidewalls. There is a million ways you can string the sidewalls, I like to hitch knot the sidewalls all the way down the head (Hence the 2 ft of sidewall). If the head has holes that do not allow this, I try to double interlock the top 1/3 of the head. Why double interlock? I feel this holds the sidewall tighter to the head and doesn’t loosen over time.
Start at the first sidewall hole and work your way down skipping every other hole.
Step 2. Attach the leathers to the top of the head. Pretty straight forward. I use both slits when I string men’s pockets but adjust to your preference.
Step 3. The bottom string. This is how I attach the leathers to the head. I do not like cutting a slit in the bottom of the leather, I feel that over time, this is where they fray/snap when I do this. There are other methods (Connor did a great video of one a while back) so here’s where you can experiment on your own.
Look at the 4:50 timestamp of the video to see Connor’s method.
Take the 1 ft section and feed it through the bottom sidewall hole. You then need to loop the sidewall through the bottom of the head making sure the loop is under the head not over. Slide each leather through the loop and tie off on the other side. Make sure there is some slack in the leathers, don’t crimp them tightly to the bottom of the head. I first saw this being used by Brian at Minlax and Greg Rose, I’ve been a fan since then.
Step 4. Crosslace time, start with the 1st sidewall hole and pull all the crosslace through. It’s important to keep the crosslace from twisting. If this happens, grab one end and run your hand through the crosslace to work out any kinks. If you are using a Traditree, here’s where you place it where you want the pocket. We are going to be working from left to right. The Head should be facing down (you’re looking at the back of the head) and run the crosslace along the back side of the leather and loop around, at this point, leave some slack in the loops. Run this to the sidewall and make a loop and return to the leather. Now, we’re going to work down the head creating 6 of these. I try to space it out at about 1 ½ apart.
Note: If you are using a Traditree, make sure all the tension and interlocks are tight and clean as you go.
When you get to the bottom string loop, I wrap the crosslace on the first loop and go to the 2 leathers.
Now work your way up the head running the crosslace between the second and first leather. It’s important that you do the interlocks properly. You’ll need to do the reverse of the previous interlock. For example, we originally pulled the crosslace over the back of the leather to the right, this time, you’ll need to the left side. If the interlock is not flat, you need redo.
Work your way up the leather and run the crosslace between the head and second leather.
Now, you should see that interlocks on the second leather are in the middle of the interlocks on the first leather, if not, slightly adjust. The first and third leather interlocks will line up evenly, same as the second and forth. We’ll be adjusting the tensioning later but you want to keep these consistent as you can from the start.
From here, you are simply working up and down the leathers until you get to that area of the fourth leather and sidewall. Here, you’ll notice that where you attach the crosslace here will not be symmetrical with the other side, that’s fine. You just simply need to attach it so it’s evenly spaced down the sidewall. Tie off at the bottom and you’ve done the hard part!
Throw the stretcher, pocket device, etc, in the spot you want to build the pocket. Loosen the bottom sidewall string to allow the leathers to shape the pocket. I know what you’re thinking, “My pocket looks like a hot mess!” yep, it does….
Go back to the first interlock we strung and you want work your way down the head taking a large portion of the slack out of that row (do not pull the interlock so tight that it won’t slide). As you work down this row and up the next, pay attention to the spacing (first and third mirror each other). Complete until you’ve pull all the excess crosslace out and adjust the spacing with each interlock. Tie off but leave about 6 inches of extra string (in case you missed something so you can correct). You can clip and burn all the sidewalls at this point.
Step 5. After all the tension is to your liking, dunk the head in a bucket of water. What? You want me to get my leathers wet? I do, it won’t ruin the leathers nor will it mess up your pocket. What it will do is help set the pocket and quicken the break in process. A quick dunk to get the pocket wet, we’re not bathing a dog here. From here, place the head in a warm and dry place to sit overnight.
Step 6. Take the stretch out of pocket and make sure all interlocks and tensioning are perfect. If not, make the adjustment here.
Step 7. Shooters…. finally. I always string these up after the pocket has sat overnight, I feel it takes the shooters better this way.
I use 4 shooters in my personal traditionals, I feel it gives me the cleanest release. I also weave instead of roll. Again, it’s just the way I prefer. You can roll your shooters, just make sure each roll is tight. Experiment with the number of shooters and how they’re strung. You may find you like the other better.
You’ll need to put the hours in properly breaking the pocket in. When the crosslace starts biting into the leather at the interlock, you’re nearly there. You’ll have to adjust the shooters and pocket depth during the process but once done, it’ll quickly make its way into your gamer rotation for life.
Any questions? Let me know. String yours up this week, make sure to use the #thegopherproject on your post.