Rare VS Babolat Tool Set and Starting Clamp (photos included)

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by drakulie, May 8, 2009.

  1. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    Thanks for chiming in, Yulitle. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Not sure which are better (serrated vs non serrated), but agree the non-serrated cam's are excellent, and like you, I enjoy using these a bit more than the serrated ones.
     
    #51
  2. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    What is the use of the cam action pliers?
     
    #52
  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    Although frowned upon, I use them to tension the last string before tying off. This is how I learned to tension the last remaining bit of string after tensioning the last cross and clamping it:

    1. When you tension the last string and clamp it, you place the remaining string that is now outside the racquet head thru the tie-off grommet.
    2. At this point, you grab the string (before doing your knot) with the cam clamp, and gently use the tool to pull the string.
    3. Once you have gently pulled the string, you **gently** place an awl in the grommet to hold the tension you just placed on the string in place.
    4. You then release the cam clamp and complete your knot.
    5. Last step is to **gently** take the awl out.
    6. Tie your knot.
    Note:

    1. You don't jam the awl all the way thru the grommet. Just enough to where it will hold the tension.
    This tool, being that it has a hard rubber-like/cork-like coating, it will be gentle on the frame, and not damage it. The weird rounded shape is placed up against the frame and will give you leverage to pull the string.

    Also, this tool could also be used in the same way for the actual tightening of the knot, rather than using pliers or a starting clamp.

    Hope I described it in a way you understand what I'm talking about.
     
    #53
  4. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,164
    Location:
    Caught in No Man's Land
    Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

    By the way, Drak, what college did you play for (if you don't mind me asking).
     
    #54
  5. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    ^^MDCC North (when they had a team). The year before I got there, they won the Junior College national championship or something along those lines (Junior College, or Community College, etc) can't remember). We use to have a day relegated where each person on the team had to string the other guys frames (team building). Ahhhh, the good old days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
    #55
  6. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    Drak, I saw you posted an ad for the Blue starting clamp and two awls. I was under the impression you were collecting them from all the cool pics you have in this thread. I wish I could buy the starting clamp, maybe after I sell a couple of stringers I'm fixing up.
     
    #56
  7. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,240
    #57
  8. zidane339

    zidane339 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,720
    There's an ad? I would be interested in the starting clamp, can someone direct me to the ad, I can't seem to find it.Thanks!
     
    #58
  9. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    I have two of those clamps, and the ones I'm selling I have never used. being that I just got this blue tool box set, which comes with two other clamps, I don't have the need for the other one, so better it go to someone else who will use it.

    zidane, email me at drakulie@aol.com if you are interested.
     
    #59
  10. Mdubb23

    Mdubb23 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,695
    Location:
    Completing the point with a shoulder-high punch in
    Drak, amazing tools. They make my Kimony's look like crap.

    BTW, there was a recent ad on the USRSA site for a great condition Star 4 for $2200. His email was TuffTennis@aol.com and his # is 202.904.3838. Just thought I'd give you a heads up.
     
    #60
  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    ^^^hey, thanks for the heads up. I've spoken to the guy selling that machine. He sent me photos. Needs some upgrading and servicing.
     
    #61
  12. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,712
    I strung a frame last night with the red babolat starter, CAM action pliers, and parallel pliers.

    My brief thoughts:

    Parallel pliers: Much, much more sturdy and solid than the other pair I was using (I purchased from TW, or GSS, don't remember). The teeth are slightly more gentle, the open/close action is much, much more smooth than the other pliers I was using, which was one of the biggest reasons I stopped using them. The other reason was that the teeth were way, way too sharp. The Bab PPliers strikes a nice balance, but I feel it's a slight bit TOO hefty/clunky.

    CAM action pliers: LOVE them. The grip is very, very nice, and extremely gentle on the strings. I am so glad that I finally found a good set (thanks drak). They handle very well, haven't used the soft edge to rock up against a frame yet, and I don't think I'll need to. I personally think I will prefer this set over the diamond dusted version, so no complaints here :)

    The starting clamp: O M G, very strong springs. No eyelets, so no bridging, would only be useful for starting the crosses. I think I will (unfortunately) stick to my other clamps. I have the wide head alpha which is comparable in build to the bab, but "chunkier" at the tip, the babolat is finely tapered, which is a nice bonus. I also have the GSS style clamp (old RAB/Alpha), and I have a Gamma clamp (sort of broken).

    Cheers,
    DD
     
    #62
  13. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    ^^Dire, thanks for your review. Glad to know you are enjoying the set. That starting clamp is massive. I sometimes use them when starting the mains, rather than the clamps of the machine. Also, the cam pliers are simply awesome. I knew you were going to love them. I'm sure you will get great use out of them, and the rest of the tool set. Keep them safe, and enjoy!!

    ~Drak
     
    #63
  14. chrisplchs

    chrisplchs Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Messages:
    879
    aaaaahhhh. Thanks again Drakulie. Sweet stuff.... now to figure out if I ever really need 5 starting clamps since another Babolat made its way here.
     
    #64
  15. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Great to here you got it. It is a very sweet clamp, as are the awls. Quite frankly, everything Babolat makes is really good, which would explain why they charge so damn much for their tools. Anyway, enjoy!!!
     
    #65
  16. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    5,274
    ^^^ no kidding. unlike other tools babolat tools will last a lifetime. i love their starting clamps
     
    #66
  17. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    You know, I've read many threads/posts where posters are looking to purchase a starting clamp (or other tools), and many times ask about the eagnas clamp. They want to purchase it because it is only about 16 dollars and they want to save a few bucks.

    They are almost always told to spend a little more for a gamma, or gss clamp, which run about 15-20 bucks more, and will last a bit longer.

    I've used the eagnas clamp, and it is not very good. IMO, better to spend the few extra bucks and buy something you won't have to replace for a long time. And, if you spend a bit more, buy something that will last a lifetime, such as the babolat starters.

    That said, I suppose it also depends how much one strings, and how much they use the starter.
     
    #67
  18. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida

    Wanted to update the thread with a few more photos of variations of the babolat starting clamp.

    From left to right:

    Blue version of the early "larger head, no eyelet" starting clamp with the "VS" logo.
    Blue version of the famous red "VS" starting clamp.
    Blue version of the larger head starting clamp with the older "double line logo".

    [​IMG]


    In this photo, is a variation of a very early starting clamp, as evidenced by the earlier Babolat Maillot logo. I would guess this is the earliest variation of the starting clamps pictured in this thread. It is the same size as the famous red "VS" starting clamp, and it holds the string phenomenally well. I was really lucky to be able to purchase this one. If anyone has any info on the history of this clamp, please do share. Thanks!

    [​IMG]

    Enjoy!
     
    #68
  19. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    where did you get it? neat stuff
     
    #69
  20. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    I found it on fleabay.
     
    #70
  21. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,712
    I find it silly that the (likely) oldest clamp has eyelets, and then they made variations without the eyelets :confused::confused:

    The one tool set you sold me has no eyelets (if you recall), and I never use it because of this :p
     
    #71
  22. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Hey, Dire. I thought about that as well. ..... it has the older logo, but still retains the eyelets.

    That logo on there however, leads me to believe it is the earliest of the ones I have pictured. Interestingly, the springs on this one feel as tight as the one I sold you. I hope someone could chime in.

    How is that tool set working out for you?
     
    #72
  23. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    Good find, I never thought to look on fleabay. I've seen a whole Babolat tool kit once, but it was going for retail.
     
    #73
  24. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    man i want a set
     
    #74
  25. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,712
    I bought an entire set from drak just so I could get the CAM pliers... the bab setting off tool is surprisingly nice, and it snuck its way into my standard kit :) I'd be using the starter if it had eyelets, too.
     
    #75
  26. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,679
    Location:
    Land of beer and chocolate
    Great Stuff Drak!
     
    #76
  27. kadishack

    kadishack New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    You beat me in that auction...Dangit it looks so nice :(
     
    #77
  28. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Glad to hear you are getting use out of the set. The cam action in that set is awesome. When I purchased my RDC about 6 months ago, the guy who sold it to me, also let me have for free the very same cam action (unused).

    ericsson, could you give us any insight into the history of this particular clamp?

    wow, sorry about that. Ironically, I was on fleabay one day just searching for nothing in particular and for some reason, put in a search for a babolat clamp. This one popped up with about 5 minutes remaining.
     
    #78
  29. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    It was meant to be...How much did you get it for?
     
    #79
  30. Tamiya

    Tamiya Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    AU, SG, MY
    [​IMG]

    spring looks like it came from some RC monster truck

    check your local hobby store if needs be, they're sold in pairs
    in many different rates. Gas/fuel RCs & larger scales would
    use heavier springs than electric & smaller RCs.
     
    #80
  31. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,712
    A worthy throw-in for a machine of that calibre :)

    Out of curiosity, are you comfortable revealing the price you paid for the RDC? You may be getting an e-mail from me with some questions about it... :)
     
    #81
  32. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    DD, no problem. I paid $1,300 for the RDC and $45 for the starting clamp I purchased on fleabay.

    $45. Sweet deal for such a nice clamp. It is extremely well built, has incredible holding power, doesn't slip, and most importantly,,,, doesn't damage the string.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
    #82
  33. kadishack

    kadishack New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    No worries, I'm glad it went to a good home. But let me know if you ever want to get rid of it ;) or any other babolat clamps/tools.
     
    #83
  34. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,712
    Psst, pro tip, rat him out to his wife, maybe she'll force him to clean house...
     
    #84
  35. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,679
    Location:
    Land of beer and chocolate
    Hi Drak, i can't tell you if that was the first one but it is a very old one that's for sure, according to the old Babolat Maillot Witt logo it should be around 1978-82...
     
    #85
  36. kadishack

    kadishack New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Is that how you got him to sell you stuff? ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
    #86
  37. kadishack

    kadishack New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Man my grammar has been suspect lately...
     
    #87
  38. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,712
    Nah, I just threatened to ban him. :twisted:

    (this is just a joke)
     
    #88
  39. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    will definitely give you a heads up.

    LOL. She is actually very understanding. But lets keep things between us. :)

    Yes, it is a super solid starter. Thanks for the input. If you find out any other info, please share.

    OUCH! :shock:
     
    #89
  40. kadishack

    kadishack New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Thanks I appreciate it, but by that time I may already have my own kit ;). I am looking at getting the entire kit from babolat. The cam action pliers look sweet and very useful. Just curious but do you use them when you tie every knot you make (both mains and crosses)?

    Hahaha well I don't have that kind of leverage...
     
    #90
  41. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    6,712
    I ain't drak, but the cam action pliers are extremely gentle on the string, and they grip very well with little force. I really like them for tying knots, but I'll sometimes use the starting clamp as well, just depending on which I spot first at a glance. I actually rarely use pliers in my workflow. I could easily live without them, as I prefer using purpose specific tools to a reasonable extent. Only time pliers are really useful is for coaxing strings through blocked holes. You can also use cutters for this... (literally) in a "pinch."

    Edit: I've probably already mentioned this in the thread, but the CAMs are great because you can grip close to the knot and "rock" against the frame with the curved lump.
     
    #91
  42. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    kadi, the cam action is probably my favorite tool, and the only one I use to tie knots, unless it is gut, which I sometimes tie by hand-force only.

    I also use it quite a bit on racquetball frames.

    Dire gave a great description, which I completely agree with. However, unlike him, I don't use the starter for anything but starting mains or crosses.
     
    #92
  43. kadishack

    kadishack New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Thanks for the great description Dire!
    I can definitely see myself using the cam action quite a bit. It looks like I may have to order my babolat toolkit very soon haha. Thanks for your input Drak!
     
    #93
  44. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    i got my babolat starting clamp yesterday! wooooooooo
     
    #94
  45. Lakers4Life

    Lakers4Life Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    3,638
    Location:
    Laker Land
    Congrats! How much did it cost you with shipping?
     
    #95
  46. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    Post pictures!!!!! Congrats!
     
    #96
  47. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    $60. i can live with it. will post pics tomorrow? thanks guys:)
     
    #97
  48. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    per your request drak

    [​IMG]
     
    #98
  49. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,465
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    ^^^^ sweet!!! I am sure you will get many years of use out of it.

    Does it have the newest Babolat logo???
     
    #99
  50. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    thank you sir. i was inspired by you guys actually. i was gonna just buy the gamma kind but reading this thread i decided to spend the extra moola.

    haha i didnt even bother to look at the logo when i got it. let me see
     

Share This Page