Eagnas Flex 940 swivel clamp issues

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Sizz, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Sizz

    Sizz New User

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    I've had my little flex 940 for 4 years now and it's been very good to me despite the low cost. I've strung around 300-400 rackets so far. The only issue I've had is the threaded rod stripping out of the swivel clamp handle. Eagnas want's $24 for the little cast handle which I bought a few months ago. Now the other handle is stripped and I'm thinking about replacing the whole handle/bearing assembly with quality parts from mcmaster. Anyone else having this issue?
     
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  2. Ken Sachar

    Ken Sachar Rookie

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    Sizz

    I used to have the same problem with my Hawk 800. I modified the McMaster replacement and they last quite a while. Give me an email address and i'll explain.

    Ken
     
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  3. Sizz

    Sizz New User

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    I jumped the gun and swung by mcmaster to get the following:

    2 Each 94750A582 Black-Oxide Steel Full-Thread T-Slot Nut 3/8"-16 Thread Size, for 1/2" Slot Width $2.43
    2 Each 6271K29 Die Cast Zinc Adjustable Handle 3/8"-16 Thread X 2-3/8" L Stud, 2-9/16" L Handle $8.56
    2 Each 5909K11 Cage Assembly for 10 mm Shaft Diameter, 24mm OD Steel Thrust Needle-Roller Bearing $3.17
    4 Each 5909K71 1 mm Thick Washer for 10 mm Shaft Diameter Steel Thrust Needle-Roller Bearing $1.08

    Every piece looks stout so I'm hoping this will last. The adjustable handle can't strip out like the original one piece. The bearings are much higher quality also. Ken, Can you post that info here for others to see? I assume this is a common problem.
     
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  4. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I thought the adjustable handle bolts were 8MM?
     
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  5. Sizz

    Sizz New User

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    Yep. M8-1.25. I switched to 3/8" for two reasons. First, the threads in the original T-slot nuts were wearing down. It was just a matter of time before they would get stripped out. I couldn't find M8 t-slot nuts that would fit the glide slots well. Secondly, a larger bolt will provide more clamping force and last longer. I had to drill out the holes in the swivel bases a hair larger.

    I just strung a racket with the new setup and it's a night and day difference. I was thinking about getting a new stringer just to get the quick cam type clamps but not anymore. The ball on the end of the handle, the added length, and the high quality bearings makes the clamps much easier to use.

    I'd recommend this upgrade to anyone with the standard eagnas swivel clamps, even if they are working fine.
     
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  6. Ken Sachar

    Ken Sachar Rookie

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    I just bought the clamp locking lever from McMaster (60235k41) for $8.75 and had the steel stud heat treated. What used to last 20-30 racquets went until I bought a new stringer.. over 100 racquets.
     
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  7. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    For the amount of rackets you have strung on your Flex 940, you could have bought a Gamma 6004.

    I used to own a Flex 940, but traded it for a Gamma 5003 after about 6 months. A year later I got a 6004.
     
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  8. zomg_rofl

    zomg_rofl New User

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    yah i had the same problem both my handles striped but i only had my stringer for like 8 months
     
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  9. Lakers4Life

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    ^^^Dang, how many rackets you string a week?
     
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  10. zomg_rofl

    zomg_rofl New User

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    well i keep a log of all the rackets i have strung. looks like about 200 since i got the machine
     
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  11. Sports101

    Sports101 New User

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    Hey sorry guys, I have a question. I am new to string machines, and I have been looking at the eagnas flex 940, but have heard some mixed reviews about durablity etc. It seems to be my top choice right now for its crank tensioning system, stand, and six point mounting system. Do you think its a safe bet? And let me know if you have any other suggestions, my range is from 400 to 500. Thank you.
     
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  12. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    You are better off getting the Combo 910, instead of the Flex 940. Same mounts and crank, with switch action base clamps.
     
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  13. zomg_rofl

    zomg_rofl New User

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    agreed. yea the clamps look 10x better on that machine. and you probably wont get the same issue that we have been having
     
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  14. Sizz

    Sizz New User

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    I'd agree with the quick cam clamps. They are easier to use but they are not bulletproof. A friend broke his clamp while adjusting the clamping force (it was slipping). He took it apart and said the parts inside were not quality. They are much more expensive to replace but I think the risk is worth the ease of use.
     
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  15. Sports101

    Sports101 New User

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    So the only difference between the 940 and the 910 is the clamps? And there's an eighty dollars difference for the clamps, so you guys think its worth it?
     
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  16. Sizz

    Sizz New User

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    They wanted $110 a piece for me to upgrade my standard clamps to the quick clamps. So $80 seems like a good deal if they hold up. I think there's a chance either type will break. That's the risk of going with something half the cost of next step up(gamma 5k or 6k). At least in my case, the standard clamps can be easily upgraded and serviced. I dug up the email my friend sent me regarding his broken Combo 910 clamp :

     
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  17. Sports101

    Sports101 New User

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    Ok thanks this helps me a lot. I guess there is the chance of either braking, like you said, so I will just hope it doesn't happen to me. But do you see it as a good machine otherwise? Is the machine in general worth the risk of the clamps?
     
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  18. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I owned a Flex 940 for a year before I bought my SP Aria, and now my sister is stringing on the Flex 940. I did indeed upgrade the clamps, if you can call it that, for a total of 200 bucks after wheedling him down 20 from 220. They aren't worth it because the clamp bases are not a quality product. I honestly would just use the conelock ones as they require next to no adjustment whereas the cam clamps need to be finely adjusted sometimes as you're stringing.
     
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  19. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    I'd be interested in hearing more specifically about how the inner workings of the spring-assisted clamp bases are "cheap" or "not a quality product". I own a 910 and one of the first things I did when I got it was to disassemble the clamp bases. The base utilizes an extremely simple mechanism and consists essentially of four solid metal parts. I'll concede that the bases don't use polished stainless steel handles like some more expensive spring-assisted clamp bases, but that hardly equates to cheap construction.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I'll throw in that I think crank-tensioned stringers are such simple and basic machines that it's silly to pay upwards of $600 for one. I've heard comparisons like "the Eagnas is a Kia and the Gamma is a Lexus", but these comparisons fail to recognize that cars are complex machines and crank stringers are not. Basically, a crank stringer consists of a spring that measures the tension and some clamps, the rest of the machine is simply metal structure that doesn't affect the machine's performance. Unlike a car, a crank stringer is exactly the sort of simple machine that the Chinese can accurately and inexpensively replicate with little loss in quality.
     
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  20. Lakers4Life

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    I kinda agree with you, but the quality between an Eagnas and a Gamma are night and day. The Taiwan made machines are much better quality than the China made machine. Prince and Gamma machines are still made in Taiwan. Eagnas were also made in Taiwan, up until a few years ago, then the company switched to China production. The difference in the Eagnas machines that were made in Taiwan and China are also night and day.

    The main difference is the tollerances and the quality of parts. Like the Cone-Lock base clamps of the Flex 940. Before they had adjustable handles, now they are fixed. As for the tension head it had not changed, though the Gamma tension heads are much beefier than the Eagnas. I recently got a Plus 6500 as a backup machine, and was surprised the tensionhead was spot on when I tested it.
     
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  21. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    The real question is if you strung 2 rackets; one on each of your two machines, could anyone tell the difference? I have an Eagnas and get a lot of frames that were strung on expensive machines, mainly Prince and Babolat, but the feedback I get is they can't tell any difference. I still believe the stringer is more important than the machine, and paying a lot for a machine does not guarantee a good string job. I have to agree with Lawdog, machines are really simple devices and do not warrant high cost.
     
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  22. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    That's true, I've seen rackets strung on high end machine strung badly. It probably the operator's fault or bad machine mantainance. I've always said that all machines do the same job, it's all a matter of simple you want that job to be.

    A poorly maintained machine is more like to break down or cause damage to the racket.
     
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  23. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Lakers said it perfectly: the Eagnas clamps are not built to the same quality standards as other companies' clamps. One of my Eagnas clamps worked flawlessly: buttery smooth action, smooth glide, tight clamping to the turntable. The other clamp needed to constantly be adjusted to keep it gliding and clamping all at the same setting. It would get loose enough to become unlocked even just by holding tension! The parts used to make them are made on a budget, and because of that, you really are shooting in the dark which makes a great point about the equipment: if two clamps are 200 dollars of a 500 dollar machine, then just how cheap is the rest of the equipment, or just how badly are Eagnas gouging you? ;)

    I agree. The stringer makes the machine do its best work, but the machine can slow down or add elements to the stringjob that the good stringer otherwise would not expect to happen (i.e. uneven mounting points causing undue stress on the frame).
     
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  24. Sports101

    Sports101 New User

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    lawdog, You said that you own a 910, and Im guessing that you don't agree with the negative comparisons. Would you recommend me buy a 910? Is it worth it, and is it durable enough? Im looking to buy a stringing machine and this has been my top choice for some time. Let me know, thank you.
     
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  25. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    Sports: Sorry for the delay. I've been out-of-pocket for a couple days. I wholeheartedly recommend the 910. To state my position briefly, the 910 is functional, accurate and inexpensive in comparison to the competition. In my opinion, that's all it needs to be. If you care to, then read on for some more in-depth thoughts.

    When I was looking for a machine, the 910 was the best value I found--it accurately strings racquets and costs less than other comparable machines. I wouldn't disagree with all of the negative comparisons, but I would say that they are largely misplaced. For example, the paint is thin and the machine has been assembled/disassembled before you receive it, so there will likely be some chips, etc. I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing for Eagnas to verify that all the parts fit together before sending a machine out, but I understand that some people might disagree. More importantly, for me, the proper measure of a stringing machine's vaule is not it's paint job, but it's ability to produce consistent results when used in a consistent manner. I think the 910 achieves this goal.

    A crank stringing machine is basically just a stand, table, center bearing, crank and clamps. As far as the stand and table are concerned, all they need to do is hold the machine level and withstand the moderate forces that stringing puts on them. The bearing just needs to be stable and smooth to rotate the table. The crank just needs to be accurate. My 910 satisfies all of these requirements. In addition, I didn't find a single complaint about any of these criteria when I was doing my research on the 910.

    As pvaudio points out, the clamps are 40% of the 910's cost. I don't think that this necessarily means either Eagnas is gouging customers or the rest of the machine is "cheap". With regard to accusation of gouging, I think this is simply a pricing strategy that gives the customer a basic choice: (i) don't pay for the spring clamps, (ii) pay $200 for the clamps after you buy a machine or (iii) pay $100 to step up to the machine with the spring clamps when you buy. Based on this pricing structure, I would guess that profit margins are higher on the 910 than on the step down machines without the spring clamps. Price gouging, however, occurs not when sellers use pricing structures to encourage buyers to purchase high-profit-margin items, but when sellers take advantage in an unfair or improper way of a buyer's weakened position (e.g., by overcharging for a necessity like gas during a shortage). With regard to the rest of the machine being inexpensive, my point is exactly that, because of its simplicity, the entire machine should be inexpensive.
     
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  26. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    Almost forgot, I would also agree that Maxline, the small and sole U.S. Eagnas importer, is run by an eccentric individual who is short on patience. I didn't have any problems, but its probably wise to be polite, tread lightly and pay with a credit card. There are laws that govern the sale of goods (specifically, Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, as adopted by CA), but they can be a hassle and are not particularly consumer friendly. By contrast, the credit card dispute process is simple, powerful and easy to navigate.

    Also, only because I noticed it, I'll point out that Eagnas claims on it's website to hold U.S. patent No. 4,706,695 for it's self-centering mounts. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), however, lists no such patent for Eagnas or Maxline. In fact, if you search the USPTO's website at http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html, you'll see that neither Eagnas or Maxline hold any U.S. patents.
     
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  27. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    I'll try to get a video of the inner workings of the clamps at some point. In the meantime, this sounds like the thread lock on the adjustment screw had dissipated--a simple fix that has little, if anything, to do with quality of construction of the clamp bases.

    Also, do you think that Prince and/or Gamma parts are not "made on a budget"? All manufacturing is done with an eye toward cost. Have you ever asked Gamma, Prince or any of the other major manufacturers how much they charge for clamp bases to upgrade one of their machines?
     
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  28. Sports101

    Sports101 New User

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    Thank you so much Lawdog, you have been a big help. I plan on getting one as soon as possible, and I will let you know what I think, or if I have any other questions. I appreciate it.

    Sports101
     
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  29. Sports101

    Sports101 New User

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    Oh what do you think would be the best way to buy it? I live close enough to drive to Maxline, so buy it with a credit card, and go pick it up? Any suggestions?
     
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  30. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i owned a combo 910 before getting a prince neos 1000. the combo 910 is a decent machine for the price, but i couldn't get used to the wobble of the turntable especially as i was coming from the flex 865s which had a turntable that had no play whatsoever. i'm glad i got the neos 1000 as the quality & fit of the machine is much better than the combo 910. i would buy a combo 910 used, but i wouldn't pay the new price. however, if you're set on getting a new 910, then yes, since you're local, pay for it w/ credit card & go pick it up.
     
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  31. Lakers4Life

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    Now that you mentioned it, there is a Alpha Revo 4000 in the south bay going for about $450. A better deal than new Combo 910. It's basically the same machine, just a table top version.

    I did have a wobble with my Flex 940, but not with my Plus 6500. I was able to fix it by cleaning and greasing the turntable shaft. My Gamma 5003 also had a wobble but after a few adjustments it works fine.
     
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  32. mad dog1

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    no amount of grease & cleaning would eliminate the wobble & play my flex 940 & combo 910 had. the manufacturing tolerances of the shaft were very generous.

    the Plus 6500 seems to be a different/better animal. it seems to be built to much tighter tolerances.
     
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  33. Lakers4Life

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    It all depends on the user, I guess. All Eagnas machines are built the same. Though the older ones seem to have better quality that the newer ones. The Plus 6500 is not any better, just a different turntable and brake.
     
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  34. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    i haven't seen or used the plus 6500 firsthand. i've only seen a video of the turntable being spun around and rocked left to right and it seems tight (ie no wobble). that's what i meant was better. i should've qualified my response. the swivel bases, clamps and tension head are all identical to the combo 910.
     
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  35. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Dude, that's a contradiction in terms. There a lot of factors that would cause a table to wobble, most are atributed to loose bolts and un-seated parts.
     
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  36. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    my 910 does have a tiny amount of wobble. i don't see it as a problem, it's not sloppy.
     
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  37. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    nope, not a contradiction in terms. since another member got the plus 6500, i specifically asked if he was experiencing any wobble in his machine. he sent me a video demonstrating it was wobble free by spinning it and rocking it from left to right. when he tried rocking it, there was no play. that's why i said i haven't seen it first hand, but am reasonably confident the quality of the turntable mount is better than the 910.

    i can assure you that my 910 and 940 were properly assembled & had no loose bolts. it's the design that allows for the play. the design of the flex 865s turntable is much better which is why there is no play. i suspect the design of the plus 6500 is also better than that of the 940 & 910 but i don't know for sure since i don't have one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
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  38. Lakers4Life

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    Rocking and wobble are the same thing. SO you saying it rocked but did not wobble is a bit confusing. It either does or it doesn't. Though if it were slightly misaligned, it would seem to rock when spun.

    The Flex 940 and Combo 910 are practically the same machine, the only difference are the base clamps. The Flex 865s is really a table top machine on a stand. If the Flex 865s has the same center mount of the Flex 740 it's totally different from the Combo 910/Flex 940. It's kind of backwards in design.

    I think it's the disc brake that causes some of the wobble. The screw brake on the Plus 6500 is the same screw brake on the Flex 920. Much more simple in design.
     
    #38
  39. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    I'd pay with a CC and go pick it up to save the cost of shipping. I had mine shipped to the east coast (~$50). Also call to confirm they have one on hand before you make the drive. Keep the packaging until you've strung a few racquets and are satisfied with the machine (I'd do this with any stringer). Dude who runs Maxline will allow you to return the machine if you don't like it. I don't expect you'll have any problems. If you do, then be polite with the owner, he definitely strikes me as a little eccentric, though not unreasonably so.
     
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  40. struggle

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    i don't think he was implying that the machine wobbled, but rather that the guy rocked it to and fro and it didn't wobble.

    and disc brakes don't cause any wobble, the disc has enough free play on the bolts so that it doesn't affect the turning table at all.
     
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  41. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    tbuggle, thanks for helping to clarify what i was trying to explain. that's exactly what i meant. :)

    i agree w/ you that the disc brake isn't the cause of the wobble.
     
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  42. mad dog1

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    i don't think the disc brake causes the wobble as the neos 1000 utilitzes the same disc brake and has no wobble. i believe it's the mfg tolerances. the 910/940 turntable post just fits much looser than the neos1000 post.
     
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  43. alcheng

    alcheng Rookie

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    So far I haven't experienced any wobble or rocking from my 910, either with the disc brake on or off.

    The only problem, or issue I have is the clamp-base get loose very easy, I have to push the base-handle further and further during the string-job. I'm thinking about putting some lock-tite on the lock-nut underneath the clamp-base.

    cheers
     
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  44. struggle

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    there two nuts. tighten them against each other. 'might even consider a lock washer between the 2 nuts, but loc-tite should work fine.
     
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  45. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    I wouldn't put lock-tite on the nut underneath the clamp base. Tbuggle is right, tightening the nuts against each other is sufficient.

    You need to open the clamp base on put something on the threads of the adjustment screw. Here's what's going on inside the clamp: When you turn the clamp's handle, a little plug pushes against the center of the base, locking clamp in place. The adjustment screw for the clamp base moves this plug closer or further from the center of the base, tightening or loosening the clamp base. The clamp bases come with some thread-lock goo on the threads of the adjustment screw. If you played around with the screw a bunch (like I did) by over-loosening and over-tightening the clamp, then you pushed most of the goo to the outer edges of the threads. As a result, each time you turn the handle, the adjustment screw is pushed a little further into the little plug, loosening the clamp base. I fixed this by opening up the clamp and pushing the goo back onto the threads of the adjustment screw. Alternatively, you could add some more goo to the threads, but I wouldn't use lock-tite. The object is to make the threads harder to turn but still adjustable. Lock-tite would lock them in place, but the benefit would be gone once you moved the screw and broke the seal.

    The goo that comes with the clamps is sort of the consistency of grease but doesn't have the same lubricating properties. In fact, it does just the opposite, making the threads harder to turn. I can't remember what that stuff is called. Anyone out there know?

    I don't think you want to use anything that will lock these threads. Instead, you just want something that sort of snugs them up. Make sense?
     
    #45
  46. alcheng

    alcheng Rookie

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    I wouldn't put lock-tite onto the set-screw, but the two lock-nut under the clamp-base underneath the turn table
     
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  47. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    Understood, but that won't solve your problem, unless you have the clamp improperly attached to the rail (i.e., you don't have the two nuts tightened against each other).
     
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  48. struggle

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    agreed, loc-tite on the lock-nuts can't hurt and may not help, but DON'T put
    loc-tite on the set screw. i don't know what the stuff is like (haven't had my clamps apart yet, i'll wait til i need to) that you speak of, but seems it would be a common adjustable set screw glue/goop. maybe i'll do a search!!

    edit: i reckon it's not really a set screw, but an adjustment screw.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
    #48
  49. lawdog

    lawdog New User

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    That's exactly what it is. I just can't remember what the stuff is called.
     
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  50. struggle

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    a buddy of mine suggested pipe joint compound.

    what does the stuff in the clamp look like? is it white-ish?
     
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