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#TheGopherProject: May Monthly Mailbag

It’s May! Time for another mailbag on #TheGopherProject!  This time, we’ll break these questions into four sections (stringing, heads, dyes and summer!).

Stringing

Do you prefer SI (Special Interlock) or KSI (Knotted Special Interlock)?

I prefer the KSI since I like how it locks the mesh and knot in place. If done correctly, it won’t loosen over time.

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How do you do the knots you used in the Goalie Traditional string up?

Those are double interlocked knots. As with any knot, you have to make sure they lay flat and the tension is correct.  Here are a few pics of how to string it (easier than video with these). If you’re looking down at the leather, you want the crosslace under the leather and over (first pic).  Then, you are bringing the crosslace under first loop and pulling through (second pic). Pull this firm but leave room to pull crosslace through the loop from the other side. When you work back to the other side, you’re putting the crosslace across the top of the leather (pic 3) and then the same way again to complete the interlock (pic 4).  Once the interlock is flat, tighten to secure in place.

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Maybe I should do a “How-To Knot” video one week….

When stringing mesh, do you prefer SI’s or Anchor Knots to start the pocket?

It’s all preference but for me, I prefer anchor knots. I think sometimes SI’s at the top pull the top third too tight and makes GB’s more difficult

Low Pocket or Shifty Pocket?

Why not both? A well-strung traditional pocket will be a mid-pocket if you cradle with two hands and a low pocket if you cradle one-handed.  If I had to pick only one, I’d go shifty. I need more hold in my stick then you get in a lower pocket. Now, you can get that with mesh but it takes some practice.  I’ve found Force Mesh can do both.

Heads

If you can change one feature on a recently released head to improve it, what would it be?

Interesting! Now, I’m not going to do something radical and take a low pocket head and make it mid/high, that’s too easy.  I’ll take the Epoch Z One for this one. Even though I am not a low pocket fan, I really like the face shape and string-ability of this head.  I would change the scoop, though. I think it’s too pointed for my style. I’d round that and reinforce the plastic on the sides of the scoop.

What is a past head feature you’d wish a company would revisit?

I’d love to see a company redo a modern head without the offset.  Same face shape and sidewall but non offset sidewalls/cant. I’d love to see if it would catch on.

Dyes

I just got a vinyl cutter and want to begin cutting vinyl, what’s your best advice for first time decals?

Take it simple at first. Get used to sizing vinyl and working with the software. Stars, shamrocks and flowers are all good first time images.  First, you can easily find good vector or AI files on those. Second, there is not a lot of detail to them. When you start to get into more complex designs, you need to remember that sometimes less is more.  For example, pulling some detail out of an image will actually make it look better post-dye. Why? Simply put, you’re taking a detailed image and shrinking it down to an inch square. If you leave all that detail, it’ll look muddy.  Keep the key detail, remove things you don’t need. Experiment! It’ll take time to perfect.

I can’t get the entire decal to lift (using clear transfer tape), any ideas?

Make sure you’re using a new piece of transfer tape (I use the Cricket Clear Transfer tape).  Lay the vinyl and transfer tape on a flat service and use a ruler or firm piece of plastic and rub the tape over the vinyl and lift. This should adhere the decal to the tape.

Summer!

What’s your favorite league to play for the summer?  

Great question! You want your league brought up in next month’s mailbag?  Contact me. Here in Northern Virginia there’s a few.

Thanks for reading!  Next week, get your Hogwarts robes ready, we’ve got a wizardry Spotlight….

Remember to tag all string ups with the #thegopherproject to be included in future articles or earn Weekly String Up honors!

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