gamma quick action clamp on a eagnas combo 6500

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by kensan, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Hey folks,

    Just getting people's opinions. I bought this clamp for my eagnas because one of my clamps was slipping. It glides up and down the rail fine, once I detach the rail;-), but the problem is the bolt goes too deep for the turntable itself:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My question is can anyone think of a better way than to trim down the bolt and get a new nut, or to sawzall the bottom out of the turntable? I'm leaning towards the first method.

    Does anyone know if the Switch Action Cam-Lock Clamp Base is shorter than the quick action? That's also an option (yes I know a $240 clamp on a machine probably worth that much)

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  2. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Since you can take the turntable off, have you considered raising the entire turntable platform by using metal or plastic washers?

    If you are careful, it is quite easy to clamp the bolt in a vise and (using a fine tooth hacksaw) trim off the excess. Will need a same diameter bolt, but shorter as you stated. 2 cents.
     
  3. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    I fail to see what raising the turntable will do for the OP. The problem is see in the photos is that the turntable is not milled all the way through as I think most turntables are, so he needs a very low profile bolt/nut to avoid hitting the turntable.

    Rather than a sawall approach to cuttin out the entire "trough", how about tracing the slot from the insert onto the turntable material and cutting out a correspondin slot, perhaps with a metal sabre saw blade?

    Maybe Esgee means to raise the slots themselves up from the turntable using spacers and longer bolts? Usually these are inset, but yours obviously secure above the turntable surface.
     
  4. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Thanks for the ideas guys.

    Raising the slot will require quite a few washers, the bolt is that much longer on the gamma clamp.

    Regarding extending the hole so to speak instead of the entire trough, I would have to make the hole a little larger to accomodate the nut. The nut fits in the whole, but I cannot fit a tool over the nut, to tighten / loosen it for example. So would probably need to do the whole trough.
     
  5. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    It appears as though the Gamma clamp base has a much lower profile that the Eagnas. Instead of using washers why not try a piece or two of particle board (or something similar) under the rail. That will need to be cut a little larger that the rail with four holes for the bolts and cut a slot for the clamp to slide.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  6. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Interesting idea, Irvin. Won't look ghetto at all to have one rail sitting on a piece of particle board;-)

    It's actually a great idea as far as I can return it back to stock original condition.
     
  7. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Another idea would be to use a 1/2" piece of wood with a clear finish.
     
  8. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    If I am not mistaken, that's the Gamma clamp left in the photo that has the higher profile, or deeper profile because what the OP cares about is how far below the slots surface the bolt and securing nut goes.

    Good idea, the particle board, but I would use something more rigid like a piece of thermoplastic or circuit board, cutting out the slot. You may even want to duplicate this procedure with the slot using the Eagnas clamp for a consistent look and feel. One concern I would have is the constant clamping of the underlying material each time you secure the clamp tower, another reason not to use a flimsy material.
     
  9. Gamma Tech

    Gamma Tech Professional

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    My suggestion would be open up a slot on the turntable rather than cutting the bolt and shaft on the clamp base or using a space to elevate the insert.

    The reasons being:
    1. Cutting through the 17mm locknut and shaft will probably be more difficult than it appears. Plus the fact that the 17mm locknut has a nylon insert in it that provides the friction to help it lock and remained tightened on the threads of the base clamp shaft. If you cut that nut/nylon insert in half you will most certainly damage the locking capability of it. What will happen next is that the nut will quickly work itself loose as you move the clamp around. It’ll probably drive you crazy within a week.

    2. If you try to elevate the slot insert using spacers or even wood sheets you will probably begin to notice a lot of string clamp movement due to the clamp base rocking back and forth. Sheet metal of the proper thickness, length, and width would most likely solve that problem but it will require fabricating, time and cost.

    My suggestion would be to take your turntable to a local machine shop and ask them to mill a slot of the proper length and width. That should be job they can do in about an hour. My guess is the cost would be around $20.00 to $30.00 or so
     
  10. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I think I agree with you want I meant was the top of Gamma clamp base does extend as high as the Eagnas. Because it does not extend as high raising the rial up will give the OP more room for the bottom bolt which extends farther down.

    John, I can see a lot of rocking if only spacers were used on the ends as the rail would bend in the center. But if there were something supporting the rail from end to end wouldn't that prevent rocking?

    EDIT: I would agree though having something harder like fabricated sheet metal would last longer and provide better support that anything softer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013
  11. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Did you buy Gamma rails also, or are you retrofitting them to the Eagnas rails?
     
  12. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Just retrofitting them to Eagnas rails.
     
  13. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    I think I would agree with Gamma Tech, that the best thing to do is to have a machine shop mill slots in the Eagnas turntable. Be mindful however that these new slots will have to be wider than the slots in the rails themselves. They will need to be as wide as the diameter of the nut holding the clamp tower from underneath, plus a little extra. This, so the clamp can slide along in the space between the turntable and the rails, i.e., you will still be securing the nut underneath to the rails and not to the newly milled slot in the turntable.
     
  14. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Anyone know if the Switch Action Cam-Lock Clamp Base is shorter than my black clamp?
     
  15. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    Curious. How much did a replacement clamp cost?
     
  16. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    $75 10char
     
  17. Gamma Tech

    Gamma Tech Professional

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    I think that excessive movement may occur because the force/torque applied from the top of the string clamp traveling down to the interface where the bottom surface between the spacer and the top of the turntable will be really high. The small gaps between the clamp base lock nut under the turntable, the top and bottom surfaces of the spacer, the clamp base bottom, etc will all add up and contribute to the top of the string clamp being able to rock. If the spacer is made from a fairly soft material it will begin to deform and compress from the force generated when pulling string, not much, but enough to create unwanted wiggle room. When pulling the mains the force will be parallel to the insert and might not be too high since there is lots of surface area. But when pulling crosses the force will be perpendicular to the slot/spacer. There will be much less surface area to help resist the force and combining that with the small gaps in all the interfaces between mating surfaces things could get interesting. This is where my concern was.
     
  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks John
     
  19. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Another option would be to get some flat aluminum bars at Home Depot / Lowes, cut two lengths, drill two holes in each, and space appropriately for clearance (one bar on each side of the rail.) That way you don't lessen the intregrity of the turntable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  20. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Best solution:

    You should ask the Gamma Tech if the other clamp bases are shorter and if they are, see if you could exchange and pay difference, as that would make life easier, as they are probably a better clamp base anyways.
     
  21. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Yes...

    Gamma Tech, are the super duper pricey ones shorter? Thank you
     
  22. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    they don't have a nut bolt setup like the ones you have. might work. might not.
     
  23. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Yes the 6004 only go down 1/2" from the top of the rail 1/4" below the rail. Depending on the thickness of your rail they may or may not work.
     
  24. eelhc

    eelhc Professional

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    Just curious... Why not just get the exact replacement from Eagnas?

    The other option is to "upgrade" to Stringway floating clamps. Might sound funny but I have 2 stringing machines... I had the Gamma Progression II 602 (Floating Clamp) with a set of Stringways clamps (1 double, 2 triple). I saw an Alpha Pioneer DC Plus (turntable + fixed clamps are similar to the Eagnas combo 6500 if not identical)... Guess what? I use the Stringways on the Alpha (vs the installed fixed clamps). The Stringways are quicker, easier to adjust with very little twisting (the triple hardly moves) and never slip. I'll probably end up selling the Gamma and keeping the Alpha (for the linear gripper) but I doubt I will ever use the fixed clamps. Just my experience/preference...
     
  25. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    First thing I did was email Eagnas for a replacement; no response.

    I could call.

    Thanks for the measurement, Irvin, looks like it would fit. I have 3/4" from the top of the rail down to the turntable trough bottom, and my rail is 1/4" thick.

    I do have stringway floaties btw, a double and a triple.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  26. eelhc

    eelhc Professional

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    Figures...It's a wonder how that company stays in business...
     
  27. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    For a faster response, I would click on his name (Gamma Tech) on this thread, and another window opens where you can send him an e-mail, as this way, you should get a response.
     
  28. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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  29. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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  30. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I've bought, deal and get by with eagnas but they are just weird with respect to providing parts for other's machines. They are responsive to email but I'd recommend providing a pic/invoice of existing machine and base clamp or convincing sell that you're upgrading from conelock swivel clamps.
     
  31. Gamma Tech

    Gamma Tech Professional

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    Sorry I'm just chiming in now...I've been out of commission a bit lately, I blew my Achilles tendon, right off the bone. I keep forgetting I'm not the young guy I used to be. Lol
    The brass piece on the Switch Action Base clamp has a rectangular shape and is about 1" W X 1 5/8" L x 7/16" deep. Looking from the side the shape is like an upside down "T". The gap to accommodate the thickness of the turntable is around .25". This would be the minimum thickness. If your turntable is a little thicker there is some room for adjustment, but not thinner. You will have to measure the thickness of your turntable and compare.
     
  32. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If the gap were thinner you could use a spacer on top of the brass piece to effectively make it work. But then that spacer would be added to the overall depth of the bottom of the clamp. It is not the turntable he needs to measure but the thickness of the rail.

    EDIT: The thickness of the rail on the 6003 is also 3/8" thick.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  33. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    fwiw, the rail thickness on my 6004 is almost exactly 5/16".
     
  34. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Thanks for all the measurements guys.

    I took more careful measurements

    rail: 3/8" thick
    top of rail to trough: 1/2"
    space below rail: 3/8" - 1/2" = 1/8"

    According to Irwin his goes down 1/4" below the rail.

    My trough looks to be 1/8" too shallow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  35. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    why not try some spacers or washers and raise the rails enough to accept the clamps?

    I see no real reason that wouldn't work as the rails are only bolted at 4 points. perhaps that
    gap could allow for some flex of the rail, not sure about that though.

    i'm primarily talking about for using the switch action clamps without the 'nut" on the bottom
    (although there are two flush allen bolts in the bottom of the T gripper on the switch action).

    I think spacing the rails enough for the gamma clamps you have is abit much.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  36. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    tbuggle see Gamma Tech's response to my post suggesting the same thing.
     
  37. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    yes, i think the clamps will work on the rails.

    just gotta get the clearance under the rails right.
     
  38. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think it will.
     
  39. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Even if I have a machinist sawzall the trough out?

    I was thinking it is nice not to have that dug out to have less points to snag string on. Leaning towards the machinist route and permanently altering my turntable. Or at least getting a quote and seeing if they can make it look not-ghetto.
     
  40. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    That should work but not sure if it will weaken the turntable or not. Probably not but that would be my only concern.
     
  41. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    my approach would be this, if i was DEAD SET on using those gamma switch action clamps ( i can vouch that they are nice)...

    I'd buy the bases and go from there.

    Try a spacer and see if it seems acceptable.

    If not, i'd have a machinist do his thing, maybe even just
    deepening that trough a small amount or cut it out altogether.
    Metalurgist might have some idea as to whether that's a good/bad idea.

    same machinist could make you a couple metal plates that act as much better spacers if you determine that works by using washers, etc.
     
  42. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    $6 and 30 minutes later, done!

    [​IMG]

    So first I sawed down the thread with a $5 hacksaw from crafty beaver:

    [​IMG]

    I also bought a nut that was a little shorter than the stock nut. (No picture.)

    Lastly I still had a problem hitting the trough so I had to raise the rail ~1/8":

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It works quite well, though the clamp nut came loose at the very end of my test string job and I had to tighten. Some loc-tite will be in order once I get a better feel for the clamp base and how far I wish to rotate to lock.

    Thanks for the suggestions, all!

    The gamma clamp itself is very nice. Feels very solid. The movement to lock the base can be very long or short, depending on how tight I make the nut. Flicking open the clamp to unlock subsequently can be in exercise in getting my hand out of the way, or a short quick easy flick.

    One last drawback is that the hole in my trough is not large enough to accomodate a socket over the nut (as I previously mentioned) so I have to either use my finger to tighten or remove the rail, attach the clamp and nut, then reattach the rail.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  43. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    If you use loc-tite, be sure it is the thread lock type and not the super glue one in case you need to re snug, or replace in future.
     
  44. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Great I guess; you can easily go back to as built. Might not make much of a difference but the engineer in me could never live with the added flex of the raised plate and impact to only one side of main tension. And losing the nyloc(?) nut retention.

    Is the gamma clamp that preferable to the eagnas??
     
  45. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Regarding the flex, this rail aka raised plate is heavy. It must be 5 lbs. The flex can't be measured by any equipment I have but I have no worries in that respect.

    Regarding the nut, when you tighten the base it is very clear whether it's tight enough.

    I would definitely have tried an eagnas clamp first if one was readily available. It is very nice though how snug the eagnas clamp fits in the base, snugger than in the original eagnas base as a previous posting remarked.

    Overall, my test (of admittedly dubious merit) was passed and my fears allayed. I strung up all the mains and compared L1, R1, L2, R2, et al and was completely satisfied. (At least the left and right strings are tensioning up the same relative to each other.)
     

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