Old MS200tt stringing machine worth buying?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by colowhisper, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    There is a guy in my neighborhood selling one of these that looks like its in good condition. I would like to learn to string, will this unit be okay for a beginner? He says it has not been used for years, what do I need to test to make sure it all works properly? The brand is LaserFibre.
     
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  2. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Well, it's not all THAT old(see the BR-3 or Serrano threads ;) ).
    I'd be all over that machine unless something is wrong with it. I've had virtually zero problems with mine in 8 years or so.

    Of course, the clamps need to function properly, turntable must move freely, all the mounting pieces should be in place, etc. If you could enlist the help of a friend familiar with the LF machines, that would be useful.

    That would be a fantastic 'beginner' machine...and more! I've been stringing for 40 years and it's my choice.
     
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  3. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Coach. I can't enlist any help, but I think I will take a chance on it, looks pretty clean. Recommend any books or websites for a total newbie stringer with a new toy? Might need some "practice racquets" eh?
     
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  4. 10SDad

    10SDad Rookie

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    If it doesn't work out for you let me know. I'm in the market for the exact unit (Laserfibre or Stringway brand).
     
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  5. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Ask the guys you're buying it from to show you how to string a racket with it. Ask questions and take notes.
     
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  6. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I have this exact machine that I bought from a member here and I absolutely love it.

    I string once a week or so, and am able to knock out a string job in 30 minutes that is dead accurate.

    Seriously, get that machine and thank me later. It is incredible, and you will benefit from constant pull big time if you ever string poly.
     
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  7. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    In the pictures I googled it looks like a tank. Do you mind revealing what he's asking for it?
     
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  8. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    P, what part of the world are you in? I might have some literature that would be helpful(when you aren't around the computer).
     
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  9. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Easy buy if the price isn't outrageous. I'd say it's worth it for anything lower than $600 TBH. You can do a lot worse under the $8-900 range, even. If it's in good shape, I'd jump on it if it's cheaper than that [which i'm going to guess it is].

    Clamps are excellent, but with some drawback issues, mounting can be a little bit of a pain (slow), tensioner is awesome. Where is this machine being sold?

    Edit: One of the MOST BEAUTIFUL things about this machine is that it requires SO LITTLE string to tension. There's no diablo, there's no rotating drum, if you can reach the tensioner, you're golden. Gripping is simple, elegant, and gentle. I've never worried about a string slipping. You always have the "backup" of wrapping the string around the tensioner in a U shape (away and then back into the machine).
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  10. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    I paid up and brought her home today. After reading these replies I am a bit embarrassed at what I paid, and he handed a huge bag of strings too. I also feel a bit like the kid whose grandpa gave him a muscle car but I can't drive a stick! I am in Denver Coach, I'd you have anything that would help a newbie I would be most apprciative.

    It looks and feels like a solid thing. Everything glides and slides and feels good. I will post pics if you guys are interested. Can I do that as a rookie forum member?
     
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  11. Andyroo10567

    Andyroo10567 Professional

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    If you could post a video on how the tensioning works that would be great. I always wondered how it worked. . . And yes, you should be able to post pictures. ( Through imageshack )
     
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  12. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    I sold one a year or two ago for $500. They seem to sell for up to $600, used.
     
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  13. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Nice purchase!
    Send your mailing info to my email or PM on the site and I'll fire off some stuff.
    10s Coach Rick at gmail dot com
     
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  14. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    That's what I figure. If the guy is selling to a neighborhood buddy, it's obvious he wasn't ever in a rush to sell it, so I had to wager you got a steal on it ;)

    Tell us the haul, so we can live vicariously through you ;)

    Edit: If you want, I can probably dig up an example video of a frame strung on it by a friend... I might even have it on my hard drive. If I do i'll work on getting it up on youtube.

    Edit 2: Found the video, will be up in half an hour or more.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l1C7rLnJwI

    Video of a friend stringing, it's currently processing at 10:26PM PST, not sure when it'll be up.... I uploaded a really long video and chopped it down, not sure how fast YT processing goes...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  15. BlxTennis

    BlxTennis Rookie

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    Please do a video of pulling a few strings showing how the clamps work. By the way, if you want to sell it, I am sure a lot of people are interested and that including me :)
     
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  16. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Dire, a video would be really great right now! I scored it for 300 bucks which seemed like a lot coparwd to other entry level stringers until I read the replies. Still sifting through the strings too to see if there are any gems to try. I will post some pics and video next few days for the curious.
     
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  17. verbouge

    verbouge Rookie

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    Dude, that's just not right!! Congratulations on the first and last machine you'll ever need! If you dive into it and take it seriously, you'll never want to let anyone handle your racquets again. I love my MS200. Love love love.

    By the way, get some high quality spray lube from a bike shop and spray it from the top of the machine (not in the part of the head that grabs the string!) down into all the working parts. It will work much better that way. Personal experience.
     
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  18. BlxTennis

    BlxTennis Rookie

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    I keep reading how people get these Stringway/Laserfibre machine at great deals. I wish I would run into one. Good job.
     
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  19. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    HAH. The LF machines should be compared more to something like a Gamma X-ST, but TBH I still don't think that's a fair comparison. The build quality and sturdiness of the machine is more comparable to something in the $1K price range, IMHO. This is NOTHING like your X-2s or Klippermates. I assume you got a fixed clamp model and the machine wasn't just called a 200TT by mistake. If you got a LF floating clamp WITH a fixed clamp machine, you got a ridiculous steal. The LF Floaters are the best in the biz. It's a wonderful investment, and you won't have to upgrade unless you're looking for some bells and whistles (pre-stretch, digital adjustment, etc).

    I'll second this, my buddy above is a fan of LF machines, as am I (although I don't own one anymore...). I'd expand by saying bike lube generally refers to dry silicone spray, and it will GREATLY increase the smoothness of motion on both clamp base styles. By the way, did you get the single action, or double action clamps?

    Another thing I did was to add some overgrip material to the underside of the black plastic mounting hold-downs. This prevented movement of the frame in a side to side manner.

    Video is still halfway through uploading. unfortunately, one of the extremely important parts of the video (the very beginning) was cut off, as this was filmed on miniDV tapes, and it looks like the encoded version on my PC is of a tape that was over-written. If I find the original I'll post the start, but it's been more or less discussed to death, you'll figure it out ;)

    Edit: Oh! Another thing that some people really like to do with this machine is to etch the tension marks into their bar. This removes the need to have the tension "ruler" on hand at all times... That came to mind when I reviewed footage.

    Edit 2: Video is now viewable! I guess I didn't hit save in the editor before...?

    Edit 3: I noticed that my buddy used the throat hold-downs over the triangle throat area rather than the throat bridge. This is what I'm talking about when I say you can keep the mounts out of the way of your working area. Some models actually differ in the mounts used, so this might not apply to you. Tensioner should be sort-of obvious from the video, and I left a few youtube comments to clarify.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
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  20. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Welcome to machine

    [​IMG]
    Thanks is much for the video, it gave me a little confidence. He is fast!

    I cleaned her up a bit to get pictures taken, see link below for more pics. Looking for a good permanent home in the shop and a stand and light. Thanks for the suggestion on silicone, wow what a difference in the slides! I am ready to take the plunge and try my first string job. Probably a good idea to use junk string and an old racquet?

    https://picasaweb.google.com/104270354275409921421/LaserfibreMS200tt?authkey=Gv1sRgCM21hf3QkpLRKg
     
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  21. BlxTennis

    BlxTennis Rookie

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    Wow. That is a steal! I guess LF is out of business now? A new Stringway of this model is about $1k.
     
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  22. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

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    That's in great condition! BTW is that a router table it's on?
     
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  23. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Just go for it on your regular frame. The machine will deliver a quality job, not much to screw up with, just make sure all your mounting is fixed down properly.
     
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  24. Squidward

    Squidward Rookie

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    Sweet Deal! You won't be sorry!!
     
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  25. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    Watched the video, looks like a nice machine.

    One thing though, the stringer never seems to bring the bar all the way down to horizontal. Almost, but never really level. Is that normal?
     
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  26. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    With an automatic drop weight the tension is accurate if the bar is level or not so it does not mattic.
     
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  27. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Irvin, I never knew such a thing existed. Wouldn't mind having one of those myself.

    Searching, I found only one other, a ML100 that went for $500.+ in '08 I think, so they don't come up very often.

    OP, nicely done!
     
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  28. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I got mine for $500. I still need to fix a clamp. The biggest issue I have is that I string too much to send in the clamp to be repaired..lol. It just doesn't lock cleanly. I even have the piece to fix it, but I just can't do it..torture..but it still works.

    Let me know how you go finding a stand. I emailed Mark at alpha, and the stands are $250..a little too rich for my blood honestly. I bought a tool stand but it just doesn't really fit, so I string sitting down, which kind of sucks. I think it is real important to get a small stand that is the proper height.

    For me that could be a small but sturdy set of drawers..who knows. I just need to find something.


    As stated, the bar automaticall hits the tension. That plus, the clamps and the build quality is what makes this the last string machine I will ever need. Once you get good with this machine, you just will nail the desired tension over and over again. It is rather awesome.


    $300 is an insane steal. you can resell this machine from 5-$600 all day long, so you basically made a profit.
     
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  29. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    If you string a lot, buying an extra clamp might not be a bad idea...even a used one that someone swapped out. It would NOT be fun to string with ONE clamp when you've got a dozen rackets lined up. ;)

    For a stand, as I've mentioned before, check the spring garage sales for a microwave/kitchen cart. Darned near the perfect height for me, offers a bit of storage(usually one drawer and one 'cabinet', is mobile and doesn't look like you just hauled it in from the garage :) . Mine is a light oak finish(from World Market); but it certainly could be covered with tennis brand stickers or painted some platinum/titanium color for a techie look ;) .
     
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  30. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Good call. I will look for something like that. I did in the past, but I was out of luck on it.

    I should clarify that it's not really my clamp that is not working but actually the base of the clamp. I need to find out how much that would cost.
     
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  31. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    It doesn't have drawers, but you might want to check out the Adjustable Pedestal Stand at Harbor Freight. Adjusts from 24 to 42.5", and has mounting holes in the base so you could attach it to a home-made fixed or rolling base.
     
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  32. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Very interesting!!!
     
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  33. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Killer stand, from the looks of it. I prefer pedestal stands on stringers, it allows you to get closer to the machine, I always find myself leaning way more if a machine is on a cart setup, maybe it's just a mental thing? :confused:
     
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  34. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    whats a good height for a stand? Is there any guideline for choosing the ideal height you should string at?

    I ask because I strung on a lower deck table once and my back was not pleased.
     
    #34
  35. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    i set mine up so that the stringbed is about equal height to my elbows (arms hanging down) give or take an inch or two.

    That way i can stand fairly straight up while stringing/weaving etc.
     
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  36. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Yes, that is a Bosch collapsible router table, probably 10-12 years old now.
     
    #36
  37. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Agree about the elbows...you don't want to lean over or stand on tippy-toes in order to install the strings. I can pretty much place my forearms flat on top of the racket I'm stringing, elbows bent at 90 degrees(more or less).

    You do NOT want to spend hours a day hunched over like the celebrity chefs we see on TV. I'll bet Michael Simon and Emeril used to be 3 inches taller! :)
     
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  38. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The key for me is to remove the cabinet doors (or drawer if it's there) in front of your knees. That way you can flex your legs a bit and also get closer to the machine(without slamming your kneecaps). Trash bin goes in the low cabinet area, seldom-used tools and ancillaries in the drawer, frequently used tools on top of the cart(machine is lifted, if necessary, by a 'riser' that allows tools to 'hide' underneath but still be easily reached).
     
    #38
  39. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I wonder if my bias is because the carts I've strung on have a lip on the top that puts the stringer in a slightly recessed tray... I haven't strung on a cart with a totally flat surface on the top, I bet the lip forces me to push the stringer further away... I haven't really given it much thought since it's such a rare occurrence for me. What you describe sounds pretty reasonable to me as a convenient setup. There are high end machines with gigantic columns with storage underneath, after all.

    Agreed. If you're stringing for a long time, the elbow height string bed will help you prevent tension in your shoulders from hunching them together for hours on end, similar to the ideal ergonomic computer setup. I always (used to) strung a little higher than my elbows because... well, I'm short, and the machines were shared ;)
     
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  40. A Defenseless Creature

    A Defenseless Creature Semi-Pro

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    I would suggest NOT lubing the glide bar with single action clamps. If it is cleaned with rubbing alcohol or polish remover, the clamp bases will work perfectly. Lubricants can cause the single action to slip. Be careful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
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  41. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    You can get a stand for it also, which makes it a pretty awesome machine. Laserfibre and Stringway are the same, so the Stringway stand from Mark Gonzales at Alpha (in Austin, TX) should fit it.
     
    #41
  42. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    You got a really good deal. I have very similar 6 year old LaSerFibre that I bought new for $600 and they threw in 6-8 sets of string. I consider it the premier drop weight machine on the market. The only thing that I would want is maybe a suspension mounting system in a new machine but I plan on using my LaSerFibre forever so that should tell you that the mounting system is good enough.

    I bought a $50 tool stand from Grizzly.com and it came with a wooden table top. I have never secured the machine to the top but I might buy some u-bolts and attached it by put the bolts thru the wooden top.

    If you need parts or accessories, try Stringway as the old LaSerFibre is now Stringway. If your machine does not have a brake, you can get one from Stringway for $12 in parts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
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  43. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that recessed tray would be a pain. I'd have to fashion a riser(like the old telephone table riser used to store the phone book--?phone book? under the phone) to raise the machine well clear of the lip. Some of the 'work station' carts at the big box stores are flat on top. I used a 'WorkForce' cart for a few years. It was stout enough to hold my Major/Tecnifiber Sp II and was a flat work surface on top.



    "Agreed. If you're stringing for a long time, the elbow height string bed will help you prevent tension in your shoulders from hunching them together for hours on end, similar to the ideal ergonomic computer setup. I always (used to) strung a little higher than my elbows because... well, I'm short, and the machines were shared ;"


    In the old days, I drove the other stringers nuts when I set the Ektelon machine at the highest position...same for the Star 3 years later. If the others were willing to try the higher position, they usually ended up liking it.
     
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  44. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    As a technicality, Laserfibre was always Stringway. They weren't secretive about rebranding/partnering when they were selling the machines :) Stock and prices were always linked to the exchange rate, and you had to call for price quotes :(

    The brake tip is gold! I'll have to forward that info to a friend. The one issue I had with the machine was the complete omission of a brake. Even though the implemented brake is pretty discrete, it'll do.
     
    #44
  45. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Strung my first racquet last night! The machine is a pleasure to use, it took my about 2 hours and I am very happy with the result. I had to watch several yountube videos along the way, like how to tie the knots! It was really fun I can see this becoming a hobby for me. Thanks so much to you all for the encouragement and advice.
     
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  46. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    What does a brake do?
     
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  47. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    It just prevents the turn table from rotating freely. This can be useful for tying knots and weaving, but the primary usage is for frames like the Prince O3 frames. You'll find out when you get one, but the side O ports don't hold the string in place, and with a giant gap, the frame will rotate around until the cross string is diagonal in the O-port. Obviously this is undesirable because the tension isn't accurate, and the string itself isn't lined up.
     
    #47
  48. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    And...if you're near one of the Meijer stores in the US, this cart is very similar to the one I've been using for 6-7 years. I left the doors off, reels of string are stored on the shelf with a trash bin/tote on the bottom shelf.
    http://www.meijer.com/s/home-styles...AWELAID=415254522&PID=4485850&cmpid=commjunct

    Perfect for the MS200tt ;)

    Again, if you're in the US, here's the SlickDeals link that led me to the clearance price. Plenty of reviews there...
    http://slickdeals.net/f/5812210-Hom...hip-To-Store?p=57966838&posted=1#post57966838
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
    #48

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