Why do you need a "starting clamp"?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by JackB1, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    As a newbie to stringing, I wasnt to understand what exactly a starting clamp is for and why/if it is needed? No entry level drop weight stringers seem to come with one and everyone says to get one. So whats the deal? thanks
     
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  2. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Not needed but comes in handy. Especially if the last string comes up a little short. More likely to come short on dropweights because they require a little more string to tension arount the drum.

    http://www.eagnas.com/maxgen1/pp600.html
     
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  3. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I still don't understand what its used for exactly???
     
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  4. tennisINmyBLOOD

    tennisINmyBLOOD Rookie

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    Starting clamps can be used to start crosses. Here is a video describing how it is used: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIbR7OzJJ5k

    It can also provide an extension to strings that come up short when doing mains or crosses. To extend the string so that it will reach the tension head, simply attach the string that came up short to a piece of scrap string and use the starting clamp to hold the strings together. Now tension as normal.
     
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  5. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ahh. now I see :) So if u didn't have one and you have a string that comes up short, what do you do? Tie a knot to a scap piece and then tension it?
     
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  6. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Reasons for a starting clamp: Not a necessity, but makes life easier.

    1.I have used it for flattening out the tip end of the string, which made cutting the tip at an angle easier, to help slide the string through a blocked hole.

    2.Also used to bridge a scrap piece of string, to extend the length of string to reach tension head when string was a little short.(This saved my behind a # of times, I could have tied a string, but that is time consuming, and not reliable!)I keep a separate starting clamp with a scrap string on it when this situation happens, I am all set to bridge the string.

    3.Also, there are some racquets where the cross tie off to start is listed to tie on a cross string,one example,Babolat PStorm, the cross tieoff is on the 3rd cross (not on a main). You need a starting clamp so you can weave the first several crosses , then tieoff at the 11 H.as listed. You can enlargen a grommet if you want to as long as you do this before you start, but is not what manuf. stringing pattern lists

    4.I also use a starting clamp to start my crosses, so all knots are the same,and you would not be tying off on a main string and pulling tension against it, and when using thin gut or other 'fragile' multifilament strings, and especially at higher tensions, it is not uncommon to snap that first cross string right at the knot or at the two sharp turns the string makes, With using a starting clamp, you do not pull tension against these turns. The USRSA stated at the stringers symposium that they will be updating their recommended procedure, for using the starting clamp use to start crosses.Starting knots could be a thing of the past.

    5. Some ATW patterns require the use of a starting clamp, (Or use of flying clamp, to use like a starting clamp), to hold the tension of the string on outside of the frame, until you free up a machine clamp

    6. Some stringers like to use it to cinch up a knot as well, personally I just use my fingers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
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  7. topanlego

    topanlego Semi-Pro

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    AFAIK starting clamps aren't included with any stringer but definitely worth the investment.
     
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  8. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    I've just learned (see link below) that without a starting clamp I cannot string the crosses from head to throat on my pure storm tour.
    Babolat said that it is ok to string from throat to head but I think that is safer for the frame on the long term to string head to throat. So I invested few bucks to buy a starting clamp.
    Used it for the first time saturday. I have to say that it's easier to string the crosses without a starting knot.
    my 2c

    this is the referred thread:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=306244
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
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  9. tennisINmyBLOOD

    tennisINmyBLOOD Rookie

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    Tying a knot may not work, as the knot may slip when it is being tensioned. The best way to do this if you do not have a starting clamp is to use a floating clamp. If your machine uses floating clamps and your mains come up short while stringing, tie off one side of the mains (the side that does not come up short) and remove the floating clamp. Proceed to the other side of the mains where the string comes up short. Use a piece of scrap string and connect it to the string that came up short. Use the floating clamp to connect these two pieces of string together. Make sure the strings do not slip. Then, tension as usual, clamp, release the string from the tension head, then remove the floating clamp that is connecting the scrap string and mains string. Tie off as normal and remove the other floating clamp and you've got the mains done.

    Now if both sides of mains come up short, the only thing I can think of is to use a starting clamp. Those come in handy.

    If you come up short on crosses, it is easier to solve. Since you only need one floating clamp to do crosses, the other clamp will always be free in case you need to extend the string.
     
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  10. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    You can do your Pure Storm without a starting clamp if you have floating clamps. I've done plenty. You weave the first and 2nd crosses, put your clamp opposite of where the starting knot would be. Pull tension on the 2nd cross, clamp. Pull tension on the 3rd cross, clamp. Now, go back and tension the 1st cross, clamp and tie off.
     
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  11. gflyer

    gflyer Professional

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    it sound like you are using the floating clamp as a starting clamp...or did I get it wrong?
    Could you explain a little better? When you say "the opposite" you mean on the outside of the frame?
    Thank you.
    cheers,
    g
     
    #11
  12. davidahenry

    davidahenry Professional

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    I agree with Jim on all of these items. Plus...

    I also use my starting clamp when tightening knots. I don't use my needle nose pliers - as they can slip and cause me to whack myself in the face. My starting clamp never slips. :)

    Take care.

    DH
     
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  13. Virtua Tennis

    Virtua Tennis Semi-Pro

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    A starting clamp is just that it's used to clamp the string so you can start your mains or crosses.

    I always look at people holding their telescopic clamps on the machine when they pull the first main string. I'm like dude if you used a starting clamp you don't need to hold the machines clamps and you don't have to worry about your machines clamps being dirty and scratching the string on the first pull.
     
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  14. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Got one with my machine - Alpha Apex II. It's definitely a handy item to have. Heck, I have two now. Took the tip from Jim e about having one exclusively setup to work as a bridge in case I come up short. I also use mine to tie off knots. Get one - you'll be glad you did. ;)
     
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  15. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    I've been stringing since '06 and I never had the need for a starting clamp, maybe because I've gotten proficient in tying starting knots and I just string midplus frames (98 sq in or smaller) so I never run out of strings.
     
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  16. armsty

    armsty Hall of Fame

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    I was string for 2 years or there abouts and never thought I needed one, and I guess you don't. I got an offer though of one on special for about $35AUS which is cheap for one here. I got it and I won't do a job without it now. I use it to start crosses, to tie knots, flatten string to cut at a sharper angle. It's so useful. I'd recommend them to anyone who strings.
     
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  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Doing the Pure Storm Tour head to throat is much easier to string. Definitely worth it for me to buy a starting clamp and save stringing time. I never thought about using the starting clamp to flatten out the string tip, I'll have to start doing that.
     
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  18. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    As others have noted, it is not really necessary, but definitely comes in handy. Here is a video of one of the methods on starting mains with a starting clamp.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4TpCdIJHeM
     
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  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I agree that a starting clamp is one of the best invesments a stringer can make. I strung without one for 30 years, I bought one from TW about 3 years ago and have never regretted the purchase. They are a life saver for not a lot of money.
     
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  20. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    behind you, but i have to be somewhere else by the
    its a very handy tool, i have three infact

    my two main uses are to back up the main clamp on the first pull, and to hold tension for atw, i also use it to extend strings to reach the grippper if im short
     
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  21. 000KFACTOR90000

    000KFACTOR90000 Professional

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    Best advice I ever got was to buy a starting clamp when I got my machine.

    Very handy and highly reccommended - wouldn't be without one.
     
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  22. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

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    Another use that I didn't see mentioned is to hold both ends of the string during pre-stretching.
     
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  23. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    I've strung racquets without a starting clamp for 20+ yrs, but just recently got one. Now I use it all the time and my job is much easier. I highly recommend getting one for anyone who is stringing.
     
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  24. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I use a starting clamp every time I string a racket to tie the knots. I also use it to hole the top cross string when I am going one piece stringing as I almost always tie off on the top and bottom cross.

    Irvin
     
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  25. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Is this as effective as the Yusaki method that was discussed in an earlier thread?
     
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  26. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

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    many different reason.. best reason is starting mains and crosses and if u come up short on one of the strings.
     
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  27. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    different applications of how to start mains. They are both good methods.
     
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  28. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

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    yeah i am buying a starting clamp when i get a decent stringing machine.
     
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  29. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^I use it several times on every string job.

    1. Start the mains
    2. start crosses on two piece,
    Also, sometimes to pull knots, or to use as bridge when needed.
     
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  30. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks Drak. I am going to try starting the mains your way since I just got my starting clamp.
     
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  31. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Good job Jim...

     
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  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Is this method better than Yulittle's method called "Starting the Mains with Flying clamp and not double pull"?
     
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  33. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    The method Drakulie shows is with fixed clamps, and a starting clamp, and the one you referenced to YUlitles is with flying clamps only, with no access to fixed clamps or starting clamp. Two different machines and clamping systems.You cannot compare one to the other.
     
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  34. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Every string job. Start mains, start crosses, and tie off.
     
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  35. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I dont think it will work with flying clamps.
     
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  36. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

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    ok ill use draks way wen i get my revo
     
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  37. aznfatmonkey

    aznfatmonkey Rookie

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    I just started stringing, and I don't use a starting clamp. I think it's pretty easy starting the mains with the machine clamp, and I do a one-piece string job, so I don't see a need for one. I just tighten my knots with pliers. A starting clamp seems like it would only be good for starting crosses, so I'm not going to get one since I just do one-piece stringing anyways.
     
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  38. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

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    puts less pressure on the clamps when you first start. That first pull has a lot of pressure. Better to put that pressure on a rather cheap starting clamp than an expensive machine clamp.
     
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  39. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    Hello David: It's not exactly as you put it. On some machines, the 1st pull being the hardest to hold properly with just the one fixed clamp,and chance that clamp to slip, some stringers will also place a starting clamp right behind the machines anchor clamp, so less chance to slip. This is an option, depends on how well your clamps hold, if the clamp is adjusted properly the machines clamp is just fine, but backing it up gives some an extra piece of mind.
     
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  40. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with 'jim e.' I have two starting clamps and do not use either when I start the mains only the machine clamp. I used to put a starting clamp behind the machine clamp and notice no matter how close I tried to put the starting clamp up close to the fixed clamp it was never touching after I pulled tension. And before you ask the clamp was on the limp string farthest from the tension head. Therefore, I can only assume the starting clamp was doing nothing in the way of holding the string.

    Irvin
     
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  41. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Here is the process I used when I put the starting clamp on. Assumption - One piece string mains start at top. I would pull tension on the center two mains and clamp the long side string as near the top of the frame as possible, tighten the base of the clamp, then place the starting clamp as close to the clamp as possible. I would then release tension on the center two mains and pull tension on the short side main. At this point the starting clamp is not touching the machine clamp.

    Anyone have any idea of why that happens? I would think if there is any slipage whatsoever the starting clamp would be pulled up against the machine clamp. But I have no idea of how it could move away.

    Irvin
     
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  42. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

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    So i still don't understand how i should do it. Is there a video showing how to do this properly. I doubt my soon to be Revo's clamps will be good enough to hold the tension and i want that extra starting clamp to help it. Any video showing how to do this? Since i don't exactly know how to incorporate it into my stringing and how to do it properly.
     
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  43. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

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    Hmm this is interesting i actaully sort of understand this. Is this whats reccomended? I guess there is still slippage occuring.. :S What machine do you have?
     
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  44. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    When you place the starting clamp on that string, there was some tension being applied to that string pulling towards the tension head, therefore stretching some of the string thats actually between the two clamps. After the tension is released the string between the two clamps did not totally return to its pre stretched state, therefore a slight gap.
    I also pull the 2 mains to set the anchor, as it tensions the string inside the clamp, and the string I would assume narrows under that initial tension, so the tensioned string is just like the remainder strings, tensioned and slightly narrow as the clamps are adjusted for this, and the clamps are not over tightened for the 1st pull, and are always set the same.
     
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  45. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    David: If you decide to back up your machine clamp on the 1st pull, you just clamp the 1st string with the machines clamp(This is referred to as the anchor clamp), and right directly behind it place the starting clamp. There is a picture of this in the USRSA manual as well, remember I mentioned that the USRSA has a lot of information, and some like yourself said it my not be worth it??It really has a lot of usefull infor. especially for someone like yourself.
     
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  46. David123

    David123 Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. I think i get it now. And yeah i've decided that i will probably go for the USRSA membership. So there are stringing tips and archives here and there. I thought it wasn't that stringing oriented but more about racket technology and all that which i am not interested about.
     
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  47. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Hummm ... Does not make sense to me 'jim e.' When I pulled tension remember I was pulling two string so there was tension being pulled in both directions. Therefore when the tension if removed the gap between the starting and fixed clamps should shorten as tension is removed. Oh well does not matter I do not use the starting clamp for that anymore.

    Irvin
     
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