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View Full Version : Fixed vs. Flying Clamps


LanEvo
09-04-2010, 10:39 PM
hey guys,

Currently, I own a Gamma Progression 600 FC I, the red based model with fixed plastic clamps. Well, the plastic clamps are worn down and the strings slip with softer strings. So I am about to upgrade, should I stick with fixed clamps and just buy another set? Or should I go with flying clamps? I have never used flying before, and they look easier to use. Also, they are cheaper, metal fixed ones cost $99 ea., while flying ones are around $35 ea.

LanEvo
09-04-2010, 10:43 PM
I am thinking about the Klipper Flying Clamps.

Irvin
09-05-2010, 02:42 AM
Fixed clamps are more versatile and easier to use. You will run into a lot of things you can't do with flying clamps. Send Gamma Tech an email you may be able to buy new plastic parts for your clamps.

Irvin

LanEvo
09-05-2010, 09:47 AM
Fixed clamps are more versatile and easier to use. You will run into a lot of things you can't do with flying clamps. Send Gamma Tech an email you may be able to buy new plastic parts for your clamps.

Irvin

Ok thanks, I sent Bret an email.

mixedmedia
03-11-2012, 09:23 PM
Fixed clamps are more versatile and easier to use. You will run into a lot of things you can't do with flying clamps. Send Gamma Tech an email you may be able to buy new plastic parts for your clamps.

Irvin

I know this is a bit of an old thread but I thought reviving it was better than starting a new one.

Irvin, what are some of the things one can't do with flying clamps? GG Tennis claims that the drawback and tension loss present when using fixed clamps is not there when using flying clamps, so that is the reason to use one over the other.

diredesire
03-11-2012, 11:40 PM
I know this is a bit of an old thread but I thought reviving it was better than starting a new one.

Irvin, what are some of the things one can't do with flying clamps? GG Tennis claims that the drawback and tension loss present when using fixed clamps is not there when using flying clamps, so that is the reason to use one over the other.

I think in this case it's actually better to start a new one. I'd also post a link to the information you have. I haven't seen any articles that give good arguments for floaters.

Off the top of my head, before i go to bed:

Flying clamps have (generally) a fixed width of strings they can clamp. It is extremely rare to find a string pattern with fixed spacing. This means that some clamp-offs are going to be stretching the string. This can (and in reality, WILL, albeit a small amount) affect tension.

Most floating clamps aren't made very well, IMHO. Stringway is an exception to the rule. Some of the old Prince composite clamps were actually OK in my book, too.

By design, floating clamps rely on another string to hold their tension. This (unfortunately, by design) means that there is going to be a bit of torque on the anchor string. This isn't a huge deal in real world terms, but it's one of those non-ideal things.

Yes, you can see systematic drawback from a fixed clamp, but it's generally uniform, whereas the amount of stretch on the anchor string, as well as torque isn't really going to be uniform on a floater.

IMHO, if you get a chance at some point in your life, try both systems, and you'll understand if you work on both long enough.

Irvin
03-12-2012, 02:22 AM
I know this is a bit of an old thread but I thought reviving it was better than starting a new one.

Irvin, what are some of the things one can't do with flying clamps? GG Tennis claims that the drawback and tension loss present when using fixed clamps is not there when using flying clamps, so that is the reason to use one over the other.

As far as what the clamps will do the flying clamps do almost everything a fixed clamp will do. I mean they both clamp the string. If you use flying clamps though you will have to clamp each string two times once when you are tensioning the string and again when you clamp the one next to it.

Fixed clamps will clamp any string in any direction. When get two strings a greater distance apart you have to work on getting the clamp on both strings unless you have a triple clamp then you clamp each string three times. The more you clamp the string the weaker it gets.

It is much easier to start you mains and crosses with a fixed clamp. If the clamps are adjusted and used properly there is less drawback with fixed clamps.

Irvin
03-12-2012, 04:28 AM
I...GG Tennis claims that the drawback and tension loss present when using fixed clamps is not there when using flying clamps, so that is the reason to use one over the other.

Are you really sure that is what John said? normally when using a flying clamp the tensioned string is clamp to the adjacent string before releasing tension. When the tension head is released the tensioned string twists the string you just tensioned along with the adjacent string you clamped it to so there is a lot of drawback due to twisting. More so than with a fixed clamp. If you use your clamps correct there is little or no drawback with fixed clamps. See this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WIEi_wrNo4&feature=plcp&context=C4913725VDvjVQa1PpcFO8JJPJb1mvo8kNyQtH2gQn F7HurnLeagk%3D) to see.

I will admit if you use a stringway triple clamp because you are clamping three strings there is much less twisting and drawback. If you have a starting clamp you can old the last main on one side with the starting clamp to free up the flying clamp you were using on that side. With two flying clamps you can greatly reduce the twisting action when you tie off the outside mains.

The biggest benefit for fixed clamps for me is the ease of use and speed. I have some old flying clamps which I'll be the first to admit are not the best but they hold very well. I think I have much more feel with the fixed clamps that I do with the flying clamps and therefore there is less chance of damaging the strings.

mixedmedia
03-12-2012, 08:44 AM
Thanks for the responses, diredesire and Irvin. (And yes, maybe I should have started a new thread...this one just had the same title I would have used and everything.) I will post a link below. My interpretation is based off of some comments he made in the blog in response to my question.

[real name of GG Tennis] /blog/forum/stringing-machinestoolsdiagnostic-equipment/best-flying-clamps/#p317

diredesire
03-12-2012, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the responses, diredesire and Irvin. (And yes, maybe I should have started a new thread...this one just had the same title I would have used and everything.) I will post a link below. My interpretation is based off of some comments he made in the blog in response to my question.

[real name of GG Tennis] /blog/forum/stringing-machinestoolsdiagnostic-equipment/best-flying-clamps/#p317

"meh." I'm not saying he's wrong, but you can minimize (almost to the point where it's really not an issue) drawback of a fixed clamp by pre-loading the clamp. This basically consists of: Clamp the string with the clamp head. Nudge/move the base towards the direction of tensioning, and then lock the base. You'll notice dramatically less drawback doing this.

He's also talking strictly about using SW Triple clamps. These are bulky, and still suffer the same problems as any other fixed clamps, namely fixed-width teeth. These clamps do an excellent job of resisting twisting, which is why i have no problems with his recommendations/claims. As far as his statement about reclaiming all twisting tension loss vs drawback tension loss, I don't see what the difference is. Yes, there may be some added systematic (mechanical) resistance to being repulled from a fixed clamp perspective (the clamp may have "set" in the shaft/socket interface), but this shouldn't have a significant difference versus a repull on a flyer, IMO. I'd have to do some tests to state this as fact, but a fixed clamp pre-load (which admittedly, is not as effective/possible on all fixed clamp systems) solves the problem on most all fixed clamp machines.

If you really are curious, you have the budget to pick up SW triples, as you're getting a good deal on your machine. Experiment and report back your results.

KerryR
03-12-2012, 09:15 AM
Much of what GG says is also specific to JET, where the last main and sometimes cross is the second to last, so that the last main or cross runs through the CENTER of a triple clamp, after a double pull . In this condition, the rotational drawback is pretty much zero just before the knot, which, it's said, reduces tension loss on the last couple strings once the knot is tied and the clamps removed.

mixedmedia
03-12-2012, 09:33 AM
"meh." I'm not saying he's wrong, but you can minimize (almost to the point where it's really not an issue) drawback of a fixed clamp by pre-loading the clamp. This basically consists of: Clamp the string with the clamp head. Nudge/move the base towards the direction of tensioning, and then lock the base. You'll notice dramatically less drawback doing this.

He's also talking strictly about using SW Triple clamps. These are bulky, and still suffer the same problems as any other fixed clamps, namely fixed-width teeth. These clamps do an excellent job of resisting twisting, which is why i have no problems with his recommendations/claims. As far as his statement about reclaiming all twisting tension loss vs drawback tension loss, I don't see what the difference is. Yes, there may be some added systematic (mechanical) resistance to being repulled from a fixed clamp perspective (the clamp may have "set" in the shaft/socket interface), but this shouldn't have a significant difference versus a repull on a flyer, IMO. I'd have to do some tests to state this as fact, but a fixed clamp pre-load (which admittedly, is not as effective/possible on all fixed clamp systems) solves the problem on most all fixed clamp machines.

If you really are curious, you have the budget to pick up SW triples, as you're getting a good deal on your machine. Experiment and report back your results.

Pre-loaded like in Irvin's video? If I remember right, he seemed to think that was only necessary in certain situations. If one never pre-loads, will it hurt the string or just make the tension consistently lower?

As for trying the flying clamps, I'll consider it. I definitely want to, but I think I will first get to a good, consistent place with the fixed clamps, then consider testing out the flying clamps. Is it possible to use some combo of fixed and flying or it that just useless and cumbersome? If/when I do decide to try flying ones, should I go with the top of the line SW ones or another brand? And what configuration--a double and a triple?

diredesire
03-12-2012, 10:22 AM
Pre-loaded like in Irvin's video? If I remember right, he seemed to think that was only necessary in certain situations. If one never pre-loads, will it hurt the string or just make the tension consistently lower?

As for trying the flying clamps, I'll consider it. I definitely want to, but I think I will first get to a good, consistent place with the fixed clamps, then consider testing out the flying clamps. Is it possible to use some combo of fixed and flying or it that just useless and cumbersome? If/when I do decide to try flying ones, should I go with the top of the line SW ones or another brand? And what configuration--a double and a triple?

Yep, that's pre-loading. It won't hurt the string if you don't preload, and the tension would only be consistently lower if the drawback wasn't fully pulled out on the next string (hence, why it's only necessary on the outside most mains). Reducing drawback wherever possible is good practice, though (it takes literally a fraction of a second).

KerryR pointed out something I missed. If the string under tension is in the center, it is true that there will be extremely little drawback/tension lost to twisting. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, KR.

As far as your final question, IMHO it's silly to have both fixed and flying. It's also (generally) going to be silly to use both at the same time. If you were to use the above JET method, it'd be cool to clamp the final string as prescribed. I'd use the flying clamp from above the string bed, to minimize any cramped spacing, though.

As far as all this discussion goes, IMHO, you need to stop worrying about the minute details for the time being, buy your machine, and get some racquets under your belt. EVERYTHING will make so much more sense once you've actually gone through the procedure. There is no real way to plan everything ahead of getting your machine (I tried to, too). A lot of the stuff you're wondering about really doesn't matter at the start: knots, starting clamps, clamps, etc. You're going to struggle and everything's going to be relatively foreign to you when you start ;) [take the plunge, hinthint]

mixedmedia
03-12-2012, 10:25 AM
Thanks for the answer. Haha, I got the hint. Thankfully, I will be starting earlier than previously planned! About two weeks from now, I should be struggling through my first racquet.

kabrac
03-12-2012, 10:27 AM
I absoulutly love my SW Triple flying clamp. Great investment. Somtimes I think I would just like to get another one of these and say the heck with the fixed clamps. Both have their neccessities, but picking one of these up, just like a starting clamp, would be/is a great investment.

mixedmedia
03-12-2012, 10:36 AM
I'll consider it after getting some real experience.

Rabbit
03-12-2012, 10:41 AM
I've owned/own both and would never use flying clamps. Fixed clamps are much better IMO. The Neos 1000 has glide bar clamps which are built like tanks.

My ideal machine would have swivel clamps. My wife told me when I wear the Neos out, I can buy a machine with swivel clamps. I figure I'll be 386 years old when that happens.

mixedmedia
03-12-2012, 10:49 AM
Hahaha, thanks for the input. And good luck wearing it out. :-)

Irvin
03-12-2012, 11:24 AM
Yep, that's pre-loading. It won't hurt the string if you don't preload, and the tension would only be consistently lower if the drawback wasn't fully pulled out on the next string (hence, why it's only necessary on the outside most mains). Reducing drawback wherever possible is good practice, though (it takes literally a fraction of a second)...

I only try to pre-load when I get near the end for tie offs but you need to be careful. Your intention if to get the slack out of the clamp and not to increase tension. If the top portion of the clamp is not supported by the frame then you can actually increase tension by pre-loading. You shouldn't put a lot of pressure on the clamp. I know that I have pre-loaded too much is the tensioner kicks in and starts pull more.

eagle
03-12-2012, 11:31 AM
I have the LaseFibre/Stringway machine and have both the fixed and flying clamps. (see link for Keohi tennis below)

I love both types of clamps but the fixed gets the job done quicker.

If you go with flying clamps, the Stringways are one of the best if not the best.

r,
eagle

Tennis in Hawaii: http://www.tennisinhawaii.com
Gonna Love It Tennis: http://www.gonnalove-it.com/tennis
Keohi Tennis: http://www.keohi.com/tennis

Irvin
03-12-2012, 12:04 PM
Drawback is going to happen no matter what you do. Best thing is to minimize what you can and forget about it.

mixedmedia
03-12-2012, 12:55 PM
Haha, all right, I'll string a few racquets and see how it goes.

Clintspin
03-12-2012, 02:27 PM
You could switch to these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjhK91lRl54

diredesire
03-12-2012, 02:46 PM
I've owned/own both and would never use flying clamps. Fixed clamps are much better IMO. The Neos 1000 has glide bar clamps which are built like tanks.

My ideal machine would have swivel clamps. My wife told me when I wear the Neos out, I can buy a machine with swivel clamps. I figure I'll be 386 years old when that happens.

Your wife is wise... Sabotage the machine and sell it :)

I only try to pre-load when I get near the end for tie offs but you need to be careful. Your intention if to get the slack out of the clamp and not to increase tension. If the top portion of the clamp is not supported by the frame then you can actually increase tension by pre-loading. You shouldn't put a lot of pressure on the clamp. I know that I have pre-loaded too much is the tensioner kicks in and starts pull more.
Yep, that's a good point. You can definitely preload and pull the string... clamps have a bit of a mechanical advantage over backtension in that case. I'd have to caution a "watch what you're doing."

mixedmedia
03-12-2012, 04:05 PM
That is a good point, and I'll be sure to watch what I'm doing.