View Full Version : Necessity of a starting clamp?

04-13-2004, 05:58 AM
I have a drop-weight machine with flying clamps. I never see anyone with flying clamps use a starting clamp, even on the silent partner video. I was just wondering if you need to have a starting clamp or are the regular flying clamps fine?

Gaines Hillix
04-13-2004, 06:53 AM
Christian, there are other uses for a starting clamp besides as a backup clamp for the clamps that come with the machine. It's a handy tool to have around, sort of like a third hand, if you will. Here's an example. On a drop weight, to start the job you thread 3 strings; 1LM, 1RM, 2RM. You clamp off on 1RM and 2RM with a flying clamp about 3" inside the frame and then pull tenion on 1LM. The clamp tends to twist in this situation. You could place a little tension on 2RM by hand and place a starting clamp on it outside the frame to help prevent the twisting. Another place to use one is when doing a 2 piece job. To avoid having to use a starting knot you can use a starting clamp on the first cross on the outside of the frame and then come back later and tie a regular tie-off knot. Starting clamps are also needed when doing some ATW patterns. They can be used when prestrecthing strings by hand. Just a few uses that come to mind.....

04-15-2004, 02:13 PM
Gaines, or anyone else who may be able to answer this, what is a good starting clamp, and where can I get it? Is the Gamma one from www.atssports.com a good one?

04-15-2004, 04:04 PM
The Babolat starting clamps are said to be very good. In particular, the 20 mm red-handled Babolat gets great reviews from users. The 27 mm blue-handled Babolat is supposed to be pretty good also, even though it is considered the "worst" among Babolats. The Alpha/RAB clamp is also supposed to be decent in quality and a good value. Check this thread for a more detailed discussion: http://www.******************.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=machinestools;action=display;num=10 78856702

04-15-2004, 04:26 PM
And where would I be able to buy a Babolat starting clamp?

04-15-2004, 07:49 PM
Their website has a listing of tools, but I am unable to scroll through their listing because of the way they use macromedia flash. You can try calling them at 1-877-316-9435. If you do call them, can you report back here to let us know how much their clamps are? Also, if anybody knows of a better/cheaper source of starting clamps, please share your wisdom!

Hawaii 5.0
04-16-2004, 12:28 AM
The starting clamp is a nice too to have, but not necessary,it can make things easier and allow you to do more things(backup flying clamps,do 50/50 patterns,reach the tensioner when you measure short if kevlar is wrapped through the holes), but for around 40 bucks it's your call.The Babolat Blue handle is what I use and has yet to fail me up to 70 pounds on everything from gut to poly to ribboned strings,etc.I've used the red handle and it's better, but only marginally imo becuase Bab starting clamps are soo good anyhow that even there worst should take whatever you can throw at it.Alpha RAB is easier to find and comprable to the Blue Handled Bab, but doesn't carry the Bab name and is the same price last I checked.And if I remember correctly isn't diamond dusted like Gamma stringing clamps or Babolat clamps and starting clamps.The RAB does look very nice though, but uses 2 very strong springs.I know Babolat has some very nice older clamps, but I only hear about them,I never used them, but based on who I heard about them I'd put my confidence in them.

Gaines Hillix
04-16-2004, 05:00 AM
I have an Eagnas(black handles, 3 springs) and a RAB(red handles, 2 springs) clamp. Eagnas=forget it. The springs have lost tension significantly since I got it a couple of years ago. The RAB clamp is great. Albert Lee, of ******************.com, tested several clamps and the RAB clamp held strings up to 80 lbs. just like the Bab clamps. The Bab clamps are overpriced, IMO.