clamp tightness

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by MuscleWeave, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Some say to use the end of the string to adjust the tightness of the clamps. But that's on a part of the string that isn't tensioned. I was wondering why I had to keep fiddling with that adjustment, while the string is under tension (dropweight). When is the best time during a string job, to set your clamps' tightness? It's an Alpha Pioneer DC+.

    Thank you
    MW
     
    #1
  2. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    i "constantly" feel the string/clamp at different times during a job
    to confirm that they aren't slipping. if i think i feel any slippage
    (usually just in the mind i think) i just tighten the clamp abit and
    keep rolling. if they are slipping alot it's a no brainer as i check at
    the beginning of each job a few times to be sure before moving on
    and checking less often.
     
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  3. topanlego

    topanlego Semi-Pro

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    Once tensioned the strings get a little thinner. I compensate this by setting the clamps slightly tighter than necessary when testing on the untensioned ends of the strings.
     
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  4. ccapp

    ccapp New User

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    I like the idea of clamping firm on the end of the string as a trial. Once you start, pay close attention to any string slippage. If it happens, it will happen right away. If you are using a multi-filament, it is probably best not to re-pull a string that has sliped 1-2mm through the clamp, because double pulling on a multi drastically changes the playing characteristic of that main string. I would wait for the next pull to tighten the clamp a notch. If it's a poly or co-poly, I would re-pull the string if the slippages was 2mm or greater. I have often wondered what amount of tension is lost in lbs, relative to the distance (mm) the string slips. I have strung racquets that had some string slippage in mm throughout the string job, but never thought that the racquet had ended up a noticeable amount looser. Again, the best thing to do is to pay attention and mitigate the problem right away. That's actually one of the useful things about manufacturers info being printed on the string. It provides a nice reference for whether or not the string is slipping. Unfortunately, I use black strings with no writing. :shock:
     
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  5. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for your answers to my question.

    MW
     
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  6. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    also, if i feel a string has slipped in the clamp i will release that clamp when the next pull is almost done, hoping to pull some of that slippage back with tension. not sure it works, but in my own mind it makes some sense.
     
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  7. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    When is the best time during a string job to set your clamp's tightness? NEVER!!! You should make sure your clamps are adjusted properly BEFORE YOU START!!! If you are stringing with a delicate string and the string slips through a clamp you should get another set of that delicate string and start over. Hope that string wasn't a $40 set of gut. If your clamps are too tight and you crush a delicate set of strings you should get another set and start over. Hope that set wasn't a delicate set of gut.

    You can not be fiddling with the clamps through the string job. If the clamp pressure is too tight when you start it is too tight and you may have damaged the string. Too tight is too tight! If the clamp pressure is too loose it slips and you may have damaged the string. Too loose is too loose! I have a hard time understanding what is so hard to understand about that.

    Everyone says when they first start they are going to get some scrap string and practice stringing a racket. One of the important things you need to work on is clamp pressure. You need to know what that feel is when the pressure is right. As far as I know there is no pressure gauge that tells you what's it good and what isn't. You just have to know. If you don't know your are not ready.

    When I string a racket the first thing I do 100% of the time is pull tension on the center two mains. Then I adjust my clamp so it puts the correct pressure on the string. If the clamp starts to grab too soon I open it up. If it grabs too late I close it. When it is just right I clamp the string to set tension in the clamp. Now I pull tension on the center main that is not clamped and do the same thing. After that initial setting of the clamps is done (if needed) I do not ever adjust them again unless I am using a hybrid setup. Then I adjust them again (if necessary) for the cross string. Do it the same way pull tension on the top two crosses and set the tension in the clamps and I don't use a starting knot. Do it that way for both clamps again.

    Irvin
     
    #7
  8. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Irvin,

    Is it okay that pulling the first two mains yields only half the tension, or are you using another method? Using a starting clamp comes to mind.

    Cheers
    MW

    PS: Is seeing a clamp draw back after tensioning a good sign that the string isn't slipping through it? It just occured to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
    #8
  9. dgdawg

    dgdawg Professional

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    I deff wouldn't recommend pulling 1 or 2 mains at 1/2 tension. That'll just take elasticity out of the string.
    I disagree with Irvin, in that, I would ALWAYS recommend setting clamp pressure (using the tail) before pulling anything.
    Depending on the type of string, you'll need to "fine tune" the adjustment to compensate for elongation, which "narrows" the string. On a Bab clamp, you barely "crack" it.
    I've strung a frame or 2 in my day and the procedure I fallow is:
    -set clamp pressure before threading M's. (1 or 2 piece)
    -pull the 1st M and clamp, micro adjust as necessary.

    It really is not that complicated. I strung 9 frames on Sat. They went from 18g to 16g to 15L....all over the board. Thats not to mention Hybrid's.
     
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  10. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I just test out a piece of the string end before i start. I clamp it and try and pull it out with the starting clamp. If it slips I tighten a little.
    The first long mains are always the ones most likely to slip. If you get past those, usually you are good if you want to loosen a little.

    Remember..."visual" clamp marks are OK, but if you can feel them, you are too tight.
     
    #10
  11. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I'm sure what Irvin is doing is pulling the 2 central mains, then setting the 1st clamp, (the anchor clamp), then pull each string separately, so each string is individually tensioned. I basically do the same thing, except that I also place a starting clamp on the outside of the racquet on the clamped string that has the anchor clamp on it, this way it takes some of the stress off the very 1st pull, wich has the most stress placed on the clamp,(and you do not have to have the clamp so tight to hold as well for that 1st pull), and with the starting clamp positioned where I put it, it also keeps the anchor clamp in position without falling down when the tension is released on that 1st pull, then I tension the other main and clamp, then go back and tension the main with the anchor clamp, remove the starting clamp and release the anchor and clamp that 2nd main to hold tension. The benefit is that you do not have to put the clamp on a limp string, you are clamping the string in the same line where it will be when you are done, and the 1st clamp does not take all the force of the 1st pull by itself. This is explained in Sept. 2009 issue of RSI magazine,( The magazine of the USRSA), and is called the Yusuki method of starting mains, (for fixed clamp machines). The USRSA is a great org. to join as it has all kinds of tips and advise, yet alone the stringers digest and free strings.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
    #11
  12. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    When I pull the first two mains it is to adjust the clamps and set the tension in my first clamp. The I release them and tension each string individually. I don't double pull the strings to set tension on the string. Big difference.

    Irvin
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
    #12
  13. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You hit the nail right on the head 'jim e.'

    Irvin
     
    #13
  14. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Irvin,

    My concern was that you won't have the correct tension on the string inside the clamp, because that string is only at half tension, and it would be harder to set an accurate tightness, wouldn't it? Could you hold full tension between the gripper and an outside starting clamp on one main while setting the first clamp?

    MW
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
    #14
  15. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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  16. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    At least the way Irvin is stringing it, the clamp section does have some tension in it, as that is a benifit of the way he does it. Many just clamp a limp string and start.To be honest that little amount is insignificant as well. If you want to get picky on things, how about all the angled pulls other than the 2 starting main strings, most other strings are pulled on an angle.How about all the very sharp angled pulls of stringing O port racquets, or using a boomerang that puts additional friction on the string, or when you pull the cross strings across the mains, I'm sure that friction holds up some of that reference tension.On almost all machines there is friction of the string with the grommets as well. It is not an exact science as many are making it out to be.
     
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  17. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Sorry jim e, but I love getting picky on things. Part of why I'm enjoying this so much is that there's so much room for improvement with equipment, materials and techniques. I can keep searching for the perfect string job for the rest of my life . . . and never find it. But, there should be many very good setups along the way.

    And no, I'm not even being facitious.

    MW
     
    #17
  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Ok let's get picky. When you pull tension on both the two center mains initially I agree you will have half tension on each string and the tension inslide the clamp will be less than the tension outside the clamp after you tension the string on each side. But the string will pass straight through the clamp. If you clamp the string without pulling some tension the string may go through the clamp in something other than a straight line. Let's just assume for a minute the string is higher in the clamp on the head side and lower in the clamp on the throat side. And when you pull tension on the string that is clamped let's assume you know to raise the clamp up to the right position so your tension head does not have to pull the clamp up. So when you pull tension on one side and the string going into the clamp is at a level position with the grommet there is no sliding of the string on the leading edge of the clamp. Now you are going to be pulling tension on the side that is not level. So you have a string going through the clamp at an angle. When you pull tension I hope it is not a delicate string like gut because you are going to ruin it if the clamp allows the string to slip up or down, or when you first start opening the clamp and the string snaps up or down.

    Irvin
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
    #18
  19. Darkhors

    Darkhors Rookie

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    This is exactly how I do it. I double pull the center mains, clamp the anchor and then use the starting clamp on the outside of the anchor string. It helps from the string slipping and as well as maintaining some tension on the anchor string. This works like a charm.

    DH
     
    #19
  20. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    There are actually many ways you can start your Mains. There is the Yusuki method that 'jim e' described, the 'Drakulie' way, and the YULitle way. I think all three of these methods are good methods. The Yusuki and 'Drakule' ways both use starting clamps while the Yusuki and 'YULitle' methods both start out with half tension inside the clamps. All three use fixed clamps.

    Some prople don't have fixed clamps and some don't have a starting clamp so your opitons are limited. But there is always the YULitle method to start mains without double pulling with flying clamps or a starting clamp. Notice how when he first pulls the mains he does not double pull.

    Irvin
     
    #20
  21. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    When you pull the 2 center mains to set the anchor clamp like Irvin said, keeps the string straight, but also, if you have a constant pull machine, when you release that anchor clamp, the tension head will constantly be pulling to tension that string at the proper reference tension anyways. I really don't see your point.Next time you string a racquet, use the method I described above, and when both center mains are tensioned, along with a few others on each side, go back and pluck each center main, and you will see that they sound identical, at least they do when you use a constant pull machine.
     
    #21
  22. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    I guess there are a lot of ways that things could go wrong. I usually write posts to ask about how things can go right.
     
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  23. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    I get it. Each center main only holds half the tension, but afterward all of the tension has been transfered to the anchor clamp. Good.

    Thanks
    MW
     
    #23
  24. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    This half tension thing is a myth, forget it. When you pull tension on the two center mains you are only trying to get the straight so you can make sure your clamp in connected properly, you are not tensioning the string but only stretching it a little. It is no more than pre-stretch a portion of your string. If it messes up the string as has been said there is a awful lot of gut out there being ruined.

    Irvin
     
    #24
  25. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    So is tension in a string like electricity in a circuit, where there will be full tension all along the string, no matter the length?
     
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  26. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I give up maybe a video would help. I will put that on my 2Do list.

    Irvin
     
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  27. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    I really do understand it now with my electricity analogy. And I think YULitle has it covered in this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NDlkeJ5E4U&fmt=18

    I would like to see how jim e uses a starting clamp for this though.

    Another analogy would be having the string acting like a pipe that's 1/2 full of water (tension). If you increase the water to 3/4 full, it's like higher tension. But all of the water level (tension) is present at each point of the pipe.

    MW
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
    #27
  28. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Or, more simply, the tension is on one string. If it were cut at the loop end and secured, each piece would hold half the tension. But one length of string will carry all of its tension at each point along its length.

    MW
     
    #28
  29. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Look, The bottom line is each string is eventually tensioned separately, so each string has the reference tension pull on it. The 2 strings pulled in the beginning is just to set the anchor clamp and thats it, irregardless of the tension that pull has.
     
    #29
  30. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    I just found out from another thread that my Alpha clamps can be difficult to use. So these nuances have become much more important to me.
    Would you have a video on how you start the mains using your starting clamp?

    MW

    PS: I can only speak for myself, but many of the things 'that you can't tell the difference of anyway' really doesn't apply to people who are making the effort to read up on tennis forums. I, for one, am able to tell the difference between a pound of tension, but I don't have the experience to put clout behind it. I like to disect what I don't understand because I'm in a learning process. Scrutizing the details, in my opinion, will make me a much better stringer.
     
    #30
  31. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I don't have a video camera, and also would have no idea how to post it if I did. The way I start the mains is very simple.

    1. Pull tension on both center mains, (This is just to set the 1st clamp is all). Both these strings will be later tensioned individually.
    2. Clamp the 1st string, 1RM,(1st Right Main), and also clamp 1RM at outside of racquet closest to machines tension head. This keeps some tension on that anchor clamp (the machines 1st clamp used), so it keeps the clamp straight and in line, and will not fall down.This string will be tensioned again later.
    3. Pull tension on 1LM, clamp with machines clamp.
    4. Pull tension on 2LM, clamp with machines clamp.
    5. Go back and pull tension of 1RM, remove starting clamp, remove machines clamp that is on this string which is the anchor clamp, (since constant pull machine, this string will be properly tensioned exactly like the 1LM, no loss of tension).Then clamp this string as normal.
    6. Continue stringing as normal.
    This way, the 1st clamp (anchor), remains straight, and when you make the 1st pull against the anchor clamp, it puts the most stress against that 1st clamp, as there is no tension pulling against it like there is with the remainder of stringing the mains, so the starting clamp helps to back up that clamp, so you do not need to keep a too tight of a clamp on that anchor clamp, so it is easier on the string, and also will not need to worry about slippage.Many stringers can have that anchor clamp too tight, or too loose, and it can damage string, and shortly will see the string snap at the frame center main. Bring it back to the stringer, and he blames it on a shanked ball, (which can happen, but also can be because the 1st clamp either crushed the string, or was slipping and caused damage to string because it was not adjusted properly) ,This method is nice because the clamp does not need to be so tight, and holds well because it is backed up with the starting clamp. You could have also backed up the clamp with the starting clamp directly behind the anchor, but it will not keep the anchor all that straight doing it that way.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
    #31
  32. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Thanks jim e
    I'll try it out when a racquet frees up.

    MW
     
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  33. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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  34. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Thank you Irvin. Your videos are very helpful.

    MW
     
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