Anyone ever had this happen to a starting clamp?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by sstchur, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]


    Not sure how obvious it is from the photo, but a small rectangular piece (the part that I suppose has the diamond-coated / "grippy" surface on it) fell out this afternoon when I opened the clamp.

    It's not a huge deal because I do have another starting clamp, but just wondering if this has ever happened to anyone else?

    Also wondering if some epoxy or gorilla glue might be able to secure it back in place, but I'm not so sure I'd trust it if I fixed it myself that way.

    EDIT: The piece in the background that is out of focus is the diamond-coated piece that fell out (not that you can tell from the photo, but that's what it is).
     
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  2. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Some starting clamps have the diamond coating on thin plates like yours and others like the ones at gss have the coating right on the clamp itself without the plate.
     
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  3. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Ah ha! I didn't know that. Perhaps I should snag one of the gss clamps, as obviously this issue can't happen if the coating is right on the clamp itself.

    Thanks for the info.
     
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  4. liehssahmster

    liehssahmster New User

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    Exact same thing happened to me. I glued the plate back on and have used it as a bridge occasionally since with no problems. But bought a new one from gss to use as my starting clamp.
     
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  5. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i recall someone else had this problem w/ the Gamma starting clamp.

    out of the 3 different brands of starting clamps i have owned and used, the gamma was the worst. eagnas and babolat starting clamps are better from my experience. other's experiences may vary.
     
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  6. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I have an Alpha, a gamma and a GSS starting clamp, and the Gamma is the only one of the 3 I have that has the glued on plates with the coating, the Alpha is a larger size clamping surface, and my preference of the 3 I have is the GSS clamp, as it holds real well, and only has 2 springs. It seems that starting clamps have no standard of holding power, as I read on another site where someone who had a starting clamp with 4 springs had less holding power than the one he had with 2 springs.
     
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  7. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    My personal experience was first with the Eagnas clamp. I bought it before I had a Gamma machine. I thought it was great when I first got it, as the hold power seems extraordinary. It's actually quite difficult to squeeze to get it to open.

    When I got my first Gamma machine (I have two now) I kept on using the Eagnas clamp at first, because it seemed stronger. Over time though, I started using the Gamma for cinching up tie-off knots, b/c it was just easier to open.

    I then progressed to using it for everything, including starting my crosses, and eventually I came to prefer it, because it never showed any evidence of slippage (I monitored it carefully) AND it seemed as though it was gentler on the string. Thus, I eventually came to feel that the Gamma was the superior clamp.

    I never had any issues with it, until today.
     
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  8. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If you glue it back on do not use gorilla glue it expands. Careful not to get too much glue in there or you will glue the two plates together.

    EDIT: I would call gamma and see if they would replace it or have suggestions.
     
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  9. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    From what I've seen, only the Gamma has these plates. The surface they're glued to isn't really machined flat or anything, it looks casted/molded to my uneducated eye. This doesn't promote great adhesion...

    Go with the GSS clamp, it's the most well rounded, IMO. The Alpha fat-jaw is too harsh on string. I DO trust the alpha to hold to near 3 digits in tension, though.

    It might be me :) I have owned/worked with around 7?? starting clamps over the years. The gamma(s) I've used have been the worst (starting) clamps by far. My experience has been echoed with people I've worked with (and shared tools with). The diamond dusted plate is too smooth. It works very well provided you have no slippage, but once slippage occurs... It's also hard to clean without clamp disassembly (which I never attempted). Isopropyl and/or acetone don't wipe out gunk, I imagine a wire brush would do admirably. I tried the sock/shoelace/isoprop trick, but it didn't work very well.

    GSS RAB (used to be RAB/Alpha) clamp is excellent.
    Alpha clamp (current version) has aggressive texture in the jaws, the jaws are wide, and the springs are ridiculous strong.
    Babolat clamp (that I've tried) is similar to the Rab clamp with wider jaws. The one I own doesn't have eyelets for bridge usage, so I don't use it.
    Babolat clamp 2: Very similar to the Alpha clamp, texture is more gentle than the Alpha clamp, but jaws are thinner and more squared off than the current RAB clamp, very similar, though.
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Liking my Mutual Power starting clamp still. Cheap and it works good.
     
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  11. red rook

    red rook Rookie

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    I just picked up a pro's pro clamp. Three springs, black handle. Never seen it talked about before?
     
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  12. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i believe the pro's pro starting clamp is the same as the eagnas.
     
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  13. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Speaking of Mutual Power, are they still in business? Web site is devoid of content and says nothing more than "This page is under construction. Please come back soon!" Been this way for a while now.
     
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  14. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Simple to take springs off starting clamps.
    With the GSS clamp, and the Alpha and the Gamma clamp, (the 3 starting clamps I own, but I would assume all starting clamps are built similar to take apart) , all you need to do is grab an end of the spring and push it inwards compressing spring and you can lift the spring right out. Do this with the 2 or 3 springs (depends on # of springs your clamp has ) , and you can then easily clean the surface of the starting clamp with the springs out.

    Put on end of the spring into place and compress the spring with fingers and it goes right back to place, just have the curve of the spring oriented back properly. If the clamp is not kept clean it can slip, as it did on me with a set of VS gut. I keep them all clean now after that incident.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
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  15. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    ^^ jim e, very helpful as always! many thanks!

    and it's very simple just as jim e described. i just took apart my 2 starting clamps and did a deep cleaning. took all of 5 mins! 8)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
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  16. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I know how to pop springs off of a starting clamp ;)

    I was referring to removing the pin that holds the jaws together. Even if you remove the springs on a starter (assuming RAB/Alpha), the jaws don't even open up past 30 degrees. I place the string pretty deep down into the jaws, and even a toothbrush won't reach it there. I've tried a shoelace, but I haven't been able to get enough brush action to dislodge the more stubborn residues.

    Edit: I should mention that the RAB/Alpha has handles that are much closer together, which causes them to be especially difficult to clean.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
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  17. Gamma Tech

    Gamma Tech Professional

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    Try cleaning the surfaces to get them as smooth as you can. Apply Super Glue to one side and carefully lay the pad in place. Put a few business cards in between the surfaces and press clamp together. Even though Super Glue sets instantly, that usually only happens when you get it on your fingers. Let the clamp and glue sit for an hour or two before you using it.

    The best adhesive I’ve seen for non porous surfaces is Loctite 392. It is a two-part application that includes a primer followed by the adhesive. Good stuff, but really expensive.
     
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  18. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! I'll give this a try. My other Gamma Starting Clamps has been fantastic and never shown any signs of issue. I love it and plan to keep using it. Probably just a fluke on the one that this did happen to.

    Thanks for the tip.
     
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  19. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    hmm...that's interesting...not sure, DD, on mine, i just pressed the pin w/ my awl and it slid right out very easily.
     
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  20. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Yeah, I did a visual inspection a little while ago, and the pin looks pretty simple. Out of curiosity, is your pin tapered? I know on watches the retention pins for the links are tapered in one direction. I couldn't tell, but it seemed one of the sides fit less tightly than the other. Maybe I'll try it... I'm not really stringing a ton these days anyways, though.
     
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  21. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    my pin is not tapered. it slides out easily by pushing in either direction.
     
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