What is the difference between flying clamps, and fixed clamps?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by ogruskie, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    I'm shopping around for some Gamma stringing machines, and came across these two: X-6 and X-6FC

    The X-6 has a 6pt mounting system and flying clamps. The X-6FC is the same thing, but with fixed clamps. The difference in price is about $170, which is very steep for merely a set of clamps.

    For a newb, does it make a difference what I'm using? A lot of people claim that fixed clamps are much better, but why? What difference does it make?

    Purely from speculation, I THINK that flying clamps will weight down on the string and decrease its quality/durability. But I could be wrong, of course.
     
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  2. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    You can do a good job with flying clamps, but fixed clamps are easier and maybe a little quicker to use.
     
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  3. Hankenstein

    Hankenstein Professional

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    Nah mate. You got it wrong. There is a reason why flying clamps are sometimes called speed-clamps.

    The flying clamp is fastend in two strings and it held tension by locking itself into a string that already has tension applied.

    The flying clamp moves a fraction more then a fixed clamp so it is possible that a stringjob with a flying clamp ends up in with some uneven tension due to the movement of the flying-clamps.

    If you are a beginner or just playing casually 1 or 2 times a week you will not notice any difference at all and i can say a lot of my mates didnĀ“t notice any difference if i used flying clamps or fixed clamps when I used to string regulary a couple of years ago and they play Tier II and III here in Sweden.

    Flying clamps is very fast and easy to work with.
     
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  4. ogruskie

    ogruskie Professional

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    How uneven is the tension with flying clamps? Is it dramatic, or very slight?
     
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  5. Tobago

    Tobago New User

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    No matter what sort of clamp system you are using, the quality of the clamps will determine the quality of the string job. String slippage, draw-back or twisting are present to various degrees in almost every clamping system. These problems are minimal with top quality products and unacceptable with the bottom end products. All depends on your budget.

    This is particularly true for fixed clamps, but there are several machine manufacturers with good quality fixed clamps, whether they be double action swivel based clamps or single action on rails or glide bars.

    Flying clamps are generally associated with the concept of cheap and/or portable machines. Price become an important consideration in the clamps that are provided with these machines. Unfortunately they are often made of plastic or partly plastic and partly steel (for the outer plates). These clamps are usually quite approximative and the final results obtained barely satisfactory for an otherwise reasonably good machine. This same machine with good flying clamps can provide a very good result.

    The biggest problem with flying clamps is the twist on the last string tensioned before tying off the knot. The other problem is slippage, the higher the tension the more the string will slip in the clamp, with plastic floaters slippage is too important IMO for stringing tennis racquets, for badminton or squash it's OK.

    If the flying clamps are made with the same quality as the similar fixed clamps (SW clamps for example), the result obtained is perfectly comparable, some compensations are required and the method needs to be appropriate but it is possible to string just as well with the floaters and probably a little faster and IMHO it's easier. There again it's a strictly personal opinion that will be shared by few. My basis of reasoning is only valid for Stringway clamps, I cannot vouch for other flying clamps with the same convictions.

    I can well believe that the Klippermate floaters are capable of giving a very good result, all depends on the capacity of the Stringer to use them correctly. I have also seen a Prince Flying Clamp that was supplied with a Neos, it was of very good quality as well, so solutions are there, but they are not necessarily available with the machine you wish to invest in. :neutral:
     
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  6. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Assuming you have the flying clamps adjusted properly, the main issue is going to be drawback. If you are using a consistent stringing technique, such as alternating mains on both sides, you can still get a very consistent string bed from job to job. Clamp off at the same depth on both sides of the frame and the string bed will remain consistent. I think the weight of the clamps themselves is rather insignificant in most cases, so don't worry about that.

    I've only strung on a glide-bar system and with flying clamps. My glide-bar fixed clamps have almost no drawback at all. At least none is visible. Basically, flying clamps cause some tension loss as they drawback. Good fixed clamps have almost no drawback.

    The other issue for a beginning stringer is that most instructions have you double-pull the first main because there isn't another string to clamp to. You can get around this problem by clamping outside the frame, but it is slightly trickier than just working with fixed clamps.
     
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  7. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    You're talking out of you *bleep*. Flying clamps are fine, even on lower end machines. The string should not slip through flying clamps, regardless of the material of their construction (plastic/metal). If your string is slipping, you need to tighten the clamp.

    All of your statements above in bold are simply not accurate.
     
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  8. JamesBond

    JamesBond Rookie

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    You must be talking from experience so your comments are certainly worth considering. I do agree that flying clamps can be fine (but not always).

    I also use SW flying clamps and from what I have seen, the difference between these clamps and other floaters is quite important. I tend to agree with Tobago's explanations, I'm not under the impression that what he says is incorrect. It just depends on where you set your level of efficiency. What is fine for one may well be "unacceptable" for another.

    We should also respect his opinion, perfectionists should also be able to say what they think on this board.:neutral:
     
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  9. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Too many times, people state things based on zero experience with the equipment they are bashing. If he had any experience with a machine like an X-2, he'd know that the plastic clamps don't slip, when adjusted correctly. If they are slipping, they are broken or not adjusted properly.

    The bottom line, which has been stated over and over again on the boards, is that consistency counts most when stringing.
     
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  10. Tobago

    Tobago New User

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    You are speaking of your experiences with an X-2 with plastic floaters, James and I have both have been speaking about our experiences with a SW ML.100 with SW floaters, what is good is that we are all speaking first hand, that's a pleasent change.

    Personally, I can't comment on your set up, I do have 2 other paires of flying clamps, one is like the Gamma floaters, 100% plastic and a bit bulky, they do grip the string quite well, (they look like copies of SW clamps, but the SW's are made from moulded aluminum-alloy). I have another set of floaters, they are plastic in the center, with metal outer plates, I replaced them years ago but never threw them in the bin (stupid!) but just to be sure, I just tried them again, they're terrible.

    IMHO the SW clamps are really much better, but without actually stringing with them, it's hard to believe that there is such a difference.

    As for consistency I couldn't agree more, but it's much better to be consistently good . . . .

    Cheers.
     
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