My purchase did not include a starting clamp. I have read and seen that they are not necessary, but I fear that starting the crosses without one with lead to the knot being pulled deep into the grommet. I just can not believe that any good starting clamp will run you $50! I have a feeling that something like this will be too heavy and too large, but would a locking auto clamp (http://www.amazon.com/Irwin-Hanson-V.../dp/B00004SBCF
) or any similar vice gripping tool work the same/hold the same tension (without damaging the string) as a starting clamp?