Need help starting mains.

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Bobo96, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    I am new to stringing. I own a new Alpha pioneer DC plus drop weight stringer. My friends dad taught me how to string on his electric stringer.

    He taught me to start the mains by pulling the first two mains together, but only clamping one, and then pulling the one that I didn't clamp again and then clamping it. It was easy on the electric, but on mine it seems nearly impossible to pull both without one slipping. I used to have to try at least 10+ times (except for the few times I got lucky).

    Lately I've been getting so dang frustrated by it that I looked online for a different way to do it. I found one guy that did it by putting a clamp on one of the strings without even tensioning it. Then he just pulled the other string (the one that wasn't clamped) and continued to string one string to the left and then one to the right, without ever tensioning that one string that he originally clamped.


    I tried this and it worked just fine, and was much less frustrating. I later asked a friend about it and he said that starting the mains like that could damage the frame.

    Any help or video resources would be appreciated.

    Btw I am currently only stringing one piece. I am going to try to learn two piece in the near future, however, as I am possibly switching to a head racquet.
     
    #1
  2. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    #2
  3. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the video, but how yulittle starts is the sameway my friends dad showed me.

    My stringer has a sliding gripper.
     
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  4. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    You stack the strings in the gripper to get two in at the same time to set the Anchor clamp. You don't have to do it that way, but it's easier.

    The other way is to clamp the untensioned string like in the video, (let say the left side) and pull the right side main. You may want to hold the clamp up to the level of the string bed while tensioning. Or else it will drop below. Once you have tension. Clamp off the right side and both clamps should have tension. Then continue like in the video.

    The reason you don't want to pull directly on a clamped string without going through a grommet loop is it may slip and damage the string. Some people use a starting clamp behind the anchor clamp to keep the string from slipping.
     
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  5. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    okay, thanks alot. So just to be clear doing it the second way like I saw in the video I was talking about won't damage the racquet, right?

    Also, what exactly is an anchor clamp?
     
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  6. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    The anchor clamp is the first clamp you set. In the video the left side at the top of the racket. The second clamp you set is the tensioned string on the right side.
     
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  7. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Do you have a starting clamp?
     
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  8. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    To be totally honest, I have no idea. I'm pretty sure I just have two fixed clamps that came with the machine. I'm not sure what a starting clamp is, so I can't really tell you.
     
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  9. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    Gamma Starting Clamp:
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks! No I don't have one.
     
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  11. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Why/what would I need a starting clamp for?
     
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  12. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    you don't NEED one, but they are nice to start crosses, as opposed to using a starting KNOT. the clamp holds the string until you come back and pull that last (first) cross and finish it like any other tie off.

    they are also nice for pulling knots tight (it's best not to tension knots with the tensioner, the DW in your case, but it is considered acceptable by many).

    again, you don't need one but they sure are nice. many folks have two.

    edit: Irvin will soon chime in with 20-some odd MORE reasons to have one, or two starting clamps. ;)
     
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  13. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    You really have to ask? There are numerous uses for a starting clamp. It's mainly used to start Crosses, but has several other uses as well. Some people use it to pull knots. I highly recommend it to any stringer that does not have one. All I can say is once you start using one, you'll reget not getting one sooner.

    This link should give you an idea on how it works. http://www.eagnas.com/maxgen1/pp600.html
     
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  14. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    The DC Plus can pull two strings at one without slipping at the tensioning head. Just make sure both strings are in there. Once that's done, clamp one off and pull tension again. If for some reason, the string slips at the clamp, then you're not clamping down hard enough on the string. Tighten the clamps a bit more and try again. Do it just a bit at a time until you find the best hold while not damaging the string. It takes a little testing around, but eventually you'll find that strings are more durable than you think.

    BTW, strings tend to slip when you go crazy on the weight. If you're stringing 60# worth of weight, then that's probably your problem. Either string lower or just tighten your clamps. I find that a lot of people string a lot higher than they actually need to and don't even know it.
     
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  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If you had a starting clamp you could start you mains only pulling one string.
     
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  16. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    Bobo96, I have the same stringer as you and here's how I do it.
    First, beware of the "tower creep" problem - that's where the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock mounts will creep inwards. I solved the problem by putting a piece of leather between the tower and the base to increase friction.

    Second, buy a starting clamp. Makes life much easier. First, put the starting clamp on one mains, then (fix) clamp that same main. So - you have both a clamp and the starting clamp holding it. Just make sure the fixed clamp doesn't sag down - might have someone hold it in place. Next, pull tension on the other mains, and keep going until you string 3 mains. Now go back to the main with the starting clamp, pull tension on it and string 5 mains, etc....
    I've done >50 frames this way and no problems at all.
     
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  17. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    #17
  18. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks. I have no problem with the string slipping from the clamp, it's just one string slips from the tensioner a lot.
     
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  19. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks a lot! What is the cheapest I could buy a "quality" starting clamp?
     
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  20. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    That's because you are pulling two strings. The YULitle method was designed to eliminate double pulling the two center mains when you have floating clamps.
     
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  21. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Okay. So is it essential that I have a starting clamp to start the mains? Or is there another way I can do it without a starting clamp, and with out having to pull two strings at once?
     
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  22. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Sure there is you have fixed clamps so run in the two center mains and clamp one near the end where your mains start. Now comes the problem, you do not want to pull tension on the other main because the straing MAY slip through the clamp marring your clamped main but if you can put some back pressure on the clamped main it will help a lot. So pull with your hand on the clamped main while tensioning the other. If that is not practice pull tension with you hand on the clamped main and clamp it with the other fixed clamp. Now you have both clamps on the same string. Pull tension on the I clamped main and move you clamp.
     
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  23. Bobo96

    Bobo96 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks so much!!! I think I understand for the most part. Are there any videos demonstrating it by any chance?
     
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  24. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Not without a starting clamp. I would do something to keep a little back pressure on the clamped staring to make sure it doesn't slip when you tension the other. Chances are it will not but isn't worth the chance. Better safe than sorry.
     
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  25. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    TW sells a starting clamp for $39.99. It's well worth it because I also use it to start my crosses w/o tying a starting knot. And, I use it as a bridge to pull the last cross or last main when the string is too short to reach the gripper.
     
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  26. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

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    No way that could happen if it's the linear head on the DC Plus. When you put both strings in the tensioner, make sure they are stacked one on top of the other so that the abrasive sids on the head grab both side of both strings. I've never had this happen.... maybe your tensioner just needs some cleaning.
     
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