Starting clamp damaging string...

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by ckhirnigs113, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. ckhirnigs113

    ckhirnigs113 New User

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    Hi,
    I just got a new starting clamp from GSS and used it for the first time last night. I really liked the tool and found it very helpful while starting crosses and tightening knots.

    I read you should put the string deep in the starting clamp for the strongest grip. I found that the string I was using, Yonex Poly Pro Tour 16L, was slightly flattened by the starting clamp using this method.

    Should I grip the string higher up in the jaws of the starting clamp to prevent this, or will that negate a lot of the gripping power?

    Thanks for the help, CK
     
    #1
  2. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I usually use a Gamma starting clamp for starting and I only put the string about half way down in the clamp and it holds. You should test to see what it take to hole / slip and place the clamp on the string where it holds and does the least damage.

    EDIT: BTW the Gamma clamp is the one most people say holds the worst.
     
    #2
  3. ckhirnigs113

    ckhirnigs113 New User

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    Sounds like I should do a little experimenting with my new starting clamp. I won't be putting it all the way down anymore though.
     
    #3
  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Also to start either mains or crosses I never pull directly on any clamp like most people do. When starting I pull around a 180* turn as in the picture below:
    [​IMG]
    When I start mains I don't pull at full tension either. I pull at about half tension or about 30#. I run in the two center crosses and clamp the right side main and pull (half) tension on the right main and clamp the left main with a machine clamp opposite the starting clamp. At this point I'm at the same point you would be with the Yusuki method.
     
    #4
  5. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    Irvin,

    I have decided that you will jump into any thread as long as it gives you a chance to show photos of your 5 - Star!

    Congrats on the fine machine.
     
    #5
  6. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    LOL the Star5 has nothing to do with it. I'll jump into any thread that interest me.
     
    #6
  7. lew750

    lew750 Rookie

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    I never thought about it, but I never pull directly on a clamp either. Huh, I'm accidently doing something right!
     
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  8. ckhirnigs113

    ckhirnigs113 New User

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    If you start the crosses as shown in this picture, isn't it true you wouldn't be pulling full tension on the first or second cross?

    And I'm confused about this talk of pulling at half tension. Do you mean you literally set your machine to 30lbs for example or that you are pulling half tension because you are pulling the first and second mains simultaneously?
     
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  9. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You would be pulling full tension on the second cross but not the first. When you take the starting clamp off you pull full tension on the first.

    Yes I litterally set my tension to half tension. For instance, yesterday I was stringing a racket at 62#. I set the tension initially to 32#, ran in the two center mains, set the starting clamp outside the frame on 1RM and pulled tension on 1LM. Then I used a machine clamp to clamp 1RM opposite the end from the starting clamp inside the frame, and released tension. Now I have 32# of tension on 1RM so I bump the tension up to 62# and tension 1LM.

    If you think about it this is almost the same as the Yusuki method of starting mains except I never pull two strings at a time. There is no chance of overlapping two strings. The only tension I loose on the first (half) tensioned string is that do to drawback, not the starting clamp shifting, and I don't have to remove the strings from the gripper and grip again. I just set tension to normal and go from there with the second pull. I also don't need to put the string too far down in the starting clamp so I don't crush the string.

    The tension used on the first pull is not important because all your trying to do is put some back pressure on the anchor clamp so you will not have slippage. Some machine need tension on the clamp anyway to hold the clamp up (like the some Babolats and the Baiardo.) This also makes sure the string is straight in the clamp and has some tension applied.
     
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  10. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If you're concerned this will cause tension to bleed over from the 1st to 2nd cross try a little test. Pull tension on the 2nd cross and clamp it. Mark the string at the grommet (either 1st or 2nd or both) where the top crosses loop. Continue down the racket to the bottom and go back up and look at your mark(s.) I do agree though at first the top cross is not tensioned because of all the tension lost due to friction. You could tug on the second cross while it is tension in a CP stringer to equalize tension on the top two crosses but there is not way to tell when they are both the same so I would not do this unless you were pinging mains that were of the same length with no crosses touching the strings.

    This tugging action was videoed by David 110 for a workaround for the older Ektelon machines but I don't have the link.

    EDIT: Here is a link to that video of David's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHaUrtUqS_M
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
    #10
  11. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    If I were you, I'd invest in an Alpha starting clamp. I think they are better than most out there
     
    #11
  12. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    FWIW, I pull full tension on either of my starting clamps with no issues (pull only one cross, not two).

    I have a Gamma and an Eagnas clamp.
     
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  13. ckhirnigs113

    ckhirnigs113 New User

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    Irvin, I like your method because, like you say, it is very similar to the Yusuki method without the double pull.

    The whole half-tension pulling might work well for me because on my crank machine I usually dial back the tension after I'm finished to put less stress on the spring anyway. So at the start of a new string job, my tension is already set around 20 or 30lbs. From now on I'll just pull the first main at this low tension, and then up the tension for the second pull.

    About my GSS starting clamp... I have read that it is regarded as one of the best. I actually opted to to pay a bit more for the GSS clamp versus the Alpha. I also like that the clamp head is more compact on the GSS vs. the Alpha.
     
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  14. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think any starting clamp is all that much better than another. All you really need is a clamp that is good enough. Using this method they really don't have to be. Using less tension and less clamping pressure should also mean you don't have to clean the clamps as often.

    EDIT: BTW ckhirnigs113, after trying this method a few times let me know what you think of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
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  15. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You could also modify this method slightly for use with flying clamps. Pull you half tension against the starting clamp and clamp the two center mains where the loop with clamp1. Then tension the string without the starting clamp and clamp the two mains inside the frame as close to the frame as possible with clamp2. There will be very little string between the flying clamp2 and the starting clamp to stretch so you will have full tension on the fully tensioned main. Now tension one more main on the same side as the fully tensioned main. Now you're good to go using any method you usually do to alternate sides.
     
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  16. ckhirnigs113

    ckhirnigs113 New User

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    I'll give it a try soon. I don't foresee any problems, but then again I already like the Yusuki method. The best tip I think I've picked up here is to never pull directly against a clamp (main or starting). I will report on my experience with this stringing technique once I give it a whirl.
     
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  17. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Alpha SC are pretty aggressively textured with really high clamping force. I'd say for this scenario, you'd probably do worse with an Alpha. The RAB clamp that GSS sells is one of my favorites of all time. Very similar to a Babolat clamp in real world usage. The wide jaws (theoretically) are nice due to surface area, but due to the texturing, my Alpha clamp sees very little usage. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on an 80+ pound pull, though.

    While it's a good tip, I think it's silly to avoid pulling directly on a clamp... it is what the clamp is designed to do. While consistency is #1 objective, pulling twice on a string has its issues, as well. Half tension then full tension is better, but still not ideal.

    I don't use the method that Irvin describes here, but I'm thinking I might give it a shot. Once the string stops slipping and there's some semblance of equilibrium from friction, the second string is at full reference tension. It actually ends up saving a pull.
     
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  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Every time you use a staring clamp to start your string you will pull twice on the string.

    EDIT: And every time you use an anchor clamp you will clamp the same string on both ends of the string. I would rather have one of those clamping actions done at less than full tension. Seems to me it lowers the risk of damaging the string and lowers build up from the string on the clamp.

    Ah the slipping? What slipping are you talking about? Careful what you waiting for here. If you allow the string to stretch too long you will over stretch the second cross compared to the other strings. Since it will be stretched longer it will hold tension longer than all the other strings and end up being tighter.

    Give the method a try and see if you thing the slipping pulling on the second string takes any longer. I don't think it does.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
    #18
  19. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    dd,

    What issues does pulling strings twice present? Aren't these issues offset by the uniformity you get from pulling full tension twice on begining strings, just like you do on all of the other strings? With each tensioning of a string you get the pre-stretch of the next string, except in the case of the first one. Isn't it better to pull the first string twice, with full tension, as well?

    And again, what are the drawbacks?

    Thanks,
    Muppet
     
    #19
  20. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    DD another suggestion, clamp you second main inside the frame with a starting clamp like Drakulie does. Although I would use a (hard rubber / soft plastic) spacer here to protect the grommet Drakulie does not think it is necessary. Pull tension on the first main on the same side as the second main clamped with the starting clamp and clamp it with the machine clamp from the opposite side. Pull tension on at least two mains on the other side and clamp as normal. Pull tension on the second main with the starting clamp and continue as normal.

    This way you will never have your machine clamps bumping up against each other no matter how tight your pattern is.
     
    #20
  21. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Here is the video with Drakulie's method. If you notice he staggered his clamps when he had them at the top I would have just used the short side clamp for the first three pulls.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=H4TpCdIJHeM

    EDIT: Below quote is concerning the Drakulie starting method.
    Like Paul I would also use something to protect the inside of the frame and the grommet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
    #21
  22. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    i see no reason to use a starting clamp against the inside of a grommet.
     
    #22
  23. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    ^Me either. Afraid of damaging the grommet. I use the Yuzuki method and have not had any issues with it.
     
    #23
  24. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I was referring to the Yusuki method when referring to pulling twice, not starting the crosses, but I should have been more precise.

    Agreed with the string buildup, AND the risk of string damage (although the damage being done [iff the string slips] is negligible), but my point is that I personally don't think the value of a "fancy" starting method. I could be/am open to being convinced otherwise, of course. From a measurable final stringbed perspective, I'd be surprised if any difference was measurable that wasn't caused by a 'pre-stretch' of the center mains (which, if we're arguing minutiae, is reducing consistency).

    I'm referring to the "slipping" of the top cross in relation to the second. I'm not advocating a prolonged pull -- there's going to be time when the first cross tensioning along with the second will come to rest. I'm explaining why your method is legitimate regardless of the tension on the top cross. No need for an experiment on my end, I'm in agreement with you.

    Again, I was referring to the Yusuki (and other) methods. If you're not pulling full tension twice on every main, it's an inconsistency. The Yusuki (and other) mains techniques aren't actually pulling full tension (generally) on the center mains, so this effect is diminished.

    If you're pulling the second main, you've got a clamp right behind it. You've got tension on the second main, with no additional tension being pulled (minus minute drawback differences) on the previous (center) main. Once you release the clamp, no additional tension would be pulled on the center main unless slipping (around the bend) occurs. I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to with "pre-stretch" of the next string... I'm not seeing where all strings are being tensioned twice.

    This is something I'd consider trying, but I'm not convinced I'd choose it over my current method. I'll look up the video if drak has posted one?
     
    #24
  25. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If you're looking for Drakulie's video see post 21.
     
    #25
  26. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Thanks, not sure how I missed that one... This method seems fine, I'll give it a shot this week. I think I'd also prefer a scrap piece of material or a block against the frame to prevent grommet mashing as you mentioned, though. I never really thought of the offset clamps as much of a problem, but if there's a somewhat elegant solution like this one, I guess "why not?"

    I think besides the potential for grommet and/or bare frame contact, this looks like a viable start method that I'd actually use, though.
     
    #26
  27. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You could use almost anything. I have a hard rubber tool used to hold a golf shaft in a vise ti regrip. You could use a small section of that or maybe a hard rubber eraser, drill a hole in a hard vibration dampener, a few U shaped sections of a belt glued together, a wooden block, etc...

    Here is a picture of that golf tool:

    [​IMG]
     
    #27
  28. ckhirnigs113

    ckhirnigs113 New User

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    I still think I like Irvin's method of starting mains the best. It makes the most sense to me with my stringing setup. I was using the Yusuki method, but I like the idea of skipping the double pull.

    This thread has a lot of good info, and as a relatively new stringer, I've learned quite a few things I can take with me. I appreciate it!
     
    #28
  29. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    I am, in fact, attempting to devise a method where LM1 and RM1 slip at the starting loop during tensioning. I'm going so far as to give the loop a very quick shot of silicone spray before tensioning anything. I don't use Yusuki except with strings whose surface cause the clamps to slip. I've called the method I'm using "Pull It Again", but I don't know if anyone else is using it.

    When I say a string is pre-stretched in this context, the stretch is during the previous string's tensioning. Every string gets this pre-stretch except the first string, unless a technique is used. The common technique for the first cross string has become holding tension on the starting clamp for the first stretch. The second stretch is when you come back and tension the first cross again before tying it off. Full tension is used both times. The reason why I think this is important is because all of the other strings get two full pulls and it's important to remain consistant.

    That being said, I don't use two full pulls on the middle mains in the Pull It Again method. But, in my opinion, pulling them again does remove more slack from the middle mains than the Yusuki method. Again, I'm still working on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014
    #29
  30. Double Handed Backhand

    Double Handed Backhand New User

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    Wow someone is jeaulous!!
     
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  31. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Ah, I see your point. You're talking about the length of string from the grommet to the tension head. That indeed is an interesting concept, but very difficult to control between machines. I'm interested to see/read what you come up with.
     
    #31
  32. kkm

    kkm Semi-Pro

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    You don't need to worry about grommet mashing (damage) and bare frame contact, no scrap piece of material needed.
     
    #32
  33. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Care to explain why you think so? I'm not the "I'll take your word for it!" type. :twisted:

    If you pull around a bend and your starting clamp is pulling directly against the grommet, you just have to trust that the grommet is strong enough. If there's potential to damage either the frame or the grommet set, and I'm on the hook to replace either if things happen to go wrong, I'd rather have some cheap insurance rather than risk it because someone said so (without any other explanation).
     
    #33
  34. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Especially when the grommet sticks out 1/2". What happens if you bump the clamp while it is up against the paint or catch it with a string? I'd rather be safe than sorry.
     
    #34
  35. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Yep. I realize that it'll be fine for the vast majority of cases, but if you look at newly removed bumper guards and grommet strips, there are a LOT of kinks when strips are installed. These kinks are weak points that are extremely likely to bend/compress. In general, this isn't that big of a deal because the starting clamp would then rest against the frame. provided you don't move the clamp after it comes to rest against the frame, it shouldn't really do any paint damage, but there's always that chance.

    Besides that, the grommet is unlikely to spring back out after tension is applied to the string (thus holding it to the side of the drilled hole).

    If kkm has a legitimate reason to not worry about it, I'd really like to hear it, though.
     
    #35
  36. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If there a good reson you don't need something I'd like to hear it too. But I think it is going to be something like I do it all the time.
     
    #36
  37. Muppet

    Muppet Hall of Fame

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    After I get enough results to report back on, I'll open a new thread comparing and contrasting the feel and performance of the Pull It Again method with the Yusuki method. From the outset however, I must admit that the amount of elongation placed on the center mains between the two methods would be difficult to measure empirically. I probably won't have any findings ready until August of this year at the earliest.

    As for the tension double pulling consistency, throughout the racquet, I just accept that as logical and will continue to do it without experimentation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
    #37
  38. camohommed

    camohommed New User

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    I use a gamma starting clamp for my crosses as well. I also pull on the first and second crosses (like Irvin showed) but only because I am using floating clamps and can't clamp only the first cross. Didn't think about it before this thread but definitely a very interesting discussion.

    As someone who is fairly new to stringing I really appreciate the insights.

    For the record I start my mains using the Klippermate starting pin method.
     
    #38
  39. KoaUka

    KoaUka Rookie

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    Irvin, this method looks interesting, I will try it on my next racquet. Currently I pull directly on the starting clamp. But just to make sure I'm understanding this correctly, you pull tension around the 180 degree bend and the 2nd cross will be at reference tension, but the 1st cross will be at something less right?

    Then, when finished, tension 1st cross again and tie off?

    In your opinion, pulling around the 180 bend is better than pulling directly against the starting clamp?
     
    #39
  40. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    What if you were to secure your fixed clamp on the second cross at the opposite side of where the top cross will be tied, after weaving the top 2 crosses. Then, tension the top cross and tie off. This would even eliminate the need for a starting clamp or for the starting knot.

    Then continue by tensioning the second cross and proceeding. May not be great to be pulling tension on the cross already secured by a fixed clamp at the opposite end.
     
    #40
  41. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You might say that, I mean it is not incorrect but what I do is tension the second through last crosses only then come back and tension the first. Look at it this way. If I use a starting clamp to hold the top cross and tension the first cross I have to tension it again to take the clamp off.

    The way I do it I tension the first cross only once and that is always the last cross. This way all my knots are the same with no starting knot.
     
    #41
  42. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    You could do that but it will put more stress on the string pulling directly against a single clamp and you have that one cross clamped on both ends. Now when you tension the third cross what will you hold it with a starting clamp? Then you tension the top cross and free up the clamp using to hold tension on the second cross to hold the top cross. Then you tension the third again and remove the starting clamp and move the fixed clamp down to the third cross. Sound like a lot of trouble to me.

    I like tying off the top cross last because with all the crosses ran in the stringbed is stiffer and there is less drawback.
     
    #42
  43. gkamieneski

    gkamieneski Semi-Pro

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    The recent troubles I had with the tie-off pigtail snapping is more than enough reason not to continue to do the entire stringbed before tieing off the top cross. Both times, at least I have had enough string leftover to start again at the top and finish my crosses.

    On the subject of the problems I have had with the starting clamp, I am even more convinced that this is caused by the tie-off string coming out of a hole already being passed below by a main and in my case, because I use Tourna Big Hitter Silver roughs for mains and regular BHS for the crosses, I believe there is a sawing action. That means your comments about not tensioning the top cross twice have even more impact, as there is the chance that I am sawing that cross string forward and back in the grommet hole.

    I may try lubricating the cross tie-off string, or at least pay more careful attention as to how it is passing over this "rough" main that is going by on the way to its tie-off hole. I also think I will pull that top cross only once.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    #43

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