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View Full Version : String Way Floating Clamps


orangeblood
03-10-2008, 08:06 AM
This has been discussed previously in a few other threads:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=149446&highlight=*********+clamps
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=146036&highlight=*********+clamps

But I thought I'd share a few of my own experiences after stringing with these. Just some background information, I purchased a Gamma X-2 roughly 2-3 months ago, did maybe 2-3 jobs with the composite flying clamps that came with the machine and was dissatisfied with them (they still do a relatively good job at tensions lower than 60 lbs but what really got to me was how hard it was to clamp down and release the clamp) so I called up Mark Gonzalez from Alpha and he hooked me up with a double and triple clamp from SW. As others have said, he really will make suggestions based on your needs (I highly recommend him for whatever stringing needs you might have).


The design is very good. The entire clamp is solid metal construction with the SW logo in a pleasant shade of red, easy on the eyes. The locking mechanism is also shielded by rubber, so I guess that provides some shock absorption whenever you have to clamp the string (hard to describe ... but anyone who has used the composite plastic ones will tell you it can be a pain to snap the clamp together on the strings; not so with these ones).
These are very easy to adjust to different gauges of string because the thumb knob is very loose but firm (this was an improvement over the composite ones because the adjustable thumb screws felt like opening an older locker).
As emphasized in the few threads before, there is very little drawback/twist to be associated with these clamps. Although I don't have the money for an ERT-300 to measure actual tension, just based on what I can tell, there's very little noticeable tension loss whenever releasing the dropweight arm after clamping.
Cleaning is extremely easy. I was never really sure how to clean the Gamma ones because I didn't know how rubbing alcohol would affect plastic over time (so I didn't want to mess with that). But with the SW clamps, I simply use rubbing alcohol to clean the teeth, then use compressed air to blow out any dust that might be in the hinges. Typically, I'll use the rubbing alcohol about every 1-2 weeks while the compressed air debris blowing is about a month. If you keep the clamps enclosed somewhere safe and dust free, I imagine you probably won't even need to do this step.
Only qualm I have with the SW floating clamps is the bulkiness in doing ATW patterns. For those (and any one-piece patterns that require the clamping of one string at a time), I use a thinner double-clamp from Alpha that clamps single strings better.


http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/6469/p00036ud5.jpg
http://img174.imageshack.us/img174/6401/p00037pm5.jpg

I apologize that I don't have better picture quality, these are taken from my cell phone camera (I haven't had a real camera for awhile, but if anyone wants to see a close-up picture of the actual clamps, I can borrow one).

YULitle
03-10-2008, 08:12 AM
They look good. I like the triple clamp. Is the drawback obviously less with the triple? Also, if you don't mind me asking, what did the triple set you back?

orangeblood
03-10-2008, 08:33 AM
YULitle, I would say the drawback is less on the basis of how it feels in an open pattern (with the Radical, it's not as exposed). But whenever I string my friend's Prince TT Bandit OS, the stringjob is noticeably softer with Gamma clamps than with the SW clamps. He too says he can notice for at least a day or two that the more recent string jobs have been tighter (but since he hits with ******** amounts of topspin, I end up restringing his racquet pretty often regardless).

The negatives? It's mostly an issue with bulkiness with the triple clamp. I've tried to do most of the ATW patterns that you've posted, but especially with ones like the box pattern where you're criss-crossing all over the frame, it's really a pain to do with thicker flying clamps. That's why I ended up getting a thinner double clamp from Alpha to do them.

I would say though that the main positive that comes from the triple clamp is the mains and tying off (based on JayCee's method of double-pulling on the last two and clamping off on the second to last main), minimizing tension loss. For the crosses, I usually just use the triple to start and end them (to clamp the larger distances). Rest of the crosses, I just use one double.

itsstephenyo
03-10-2008, 08:39 AM
Man, those clamps look like freakin' tanks. This is pretty interesting, though. I sometimes have a hard time with my Alpha floating clamps clamping off the top and bottom crosses on my Liquidmetal Instinct because of the extra space between them. It seems like this triple clamp would remedy that issue.

1012007
03-10-2008, 09:24 AM
What price did you pay for them?

As for the ARW patterns, you surely cant do them with flying clamps esp the box pattern as only 1 string is able to be clamped and thats the one being tensioned

orangeblood
03-10-2008, 10:35 AM
What price did you pay for them?

As for the ARW patterns, you surely cant do them with flying clamps esp the box pattern as only 1 string is able to be clamped and thats the one being tensioned

1012007, the double is $60 and the triple is $70 (I think this was a recent price change because it used to be a little cheaper, but I'm not complaining :)). You're right about the ATW patterns, I've still been trying to figure those out (especially the box pattern). Most of the ATW patterns are do-able with a double pull here and there (the one with no starting clamp is almost literally just a one-piece, so that's the one ATW flying clamps for sure can work for it). I know double pulling is condemned, but I haven't figured out another way yet.