Benefit of a Drop Weight with ratchet?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Robert F, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    I've been stringing with a Klippermate for years. Overall it is fine for my needs and string jobs are great.
    Past few years I've been having string slip through the tension clamps/grip resulting in the drop weight crashing down (string starts to slip or with polys it gets squished so it slides through). To combat this, I've been cleaning the clamps/grip after almost every other stringing, which helps.

    My frustration is I'm doing that so often.

    Do the Drop Weight machines with Ratchets help with this problem?

    Thanks
     
    #1
  2. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    Probably not. If the strings leave that much residue on the gripping jaws of the KM, they will also leave it on the Gamma/Alpha DW jaws. Are you wrapping the string around the KM tensioning assembly before slipping the string thru the jaws? I believe that is what the KM manual says to do.

    Ratchet minimize the number of times you you have to move the string in between the jaws. You put them in once and if the weight goes below horizontal, you ratchet up. With KM, you have to reposition the string to remove excess slack.
     
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  3. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    find a toothbrush or similar and alcohol and scrub that gripper. As above, The KM is probably getting caked up with residue because you have to keep re-gripping the string. Ratchet might cut down on how often you have to clean it because like esgee said, you put the string in once and keep lifting the handle/ratchet up until you are level.
     
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  4. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Klippermate sells a maintenance kit as well as string jaw replacements.

    I used to think that ratchet drop weights were superior to the Klippermate but now I am not so sure. The guys who are good with the Klippermate seem to be able to nail the tension and get the bar flat on a single drop on pretty much every pull. The ratchets "work the string" with multiple tension/relax cycles per string.
     
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  5. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    +1, that's what i do.
    imo, barring getting the tension right (annoying, especially if you're experimenting with different strings), the only solution to preventing the drop weight crashing down (it's happened alot to me, especially in my younger years), is to get a crank or electric pulling machine...
     
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  6. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    I've been using alcohol and a toothbrush to scrub it and it holds for 2-3 strinings before I get slippage. So it still works, just frustrating to have the slip and then have to clean again in the midst of stringing and with the poly's they get deformed/squished flattened out so then they slip even more once it happens.

    I could clean it after every strining it just seems odd to me. Might be I'm just to sweaty/oily person with my hands on the string?

    I looked at my Klipper Manual and I'm placing the string in the jaws as directed and as the Klippermate youtube video.

    Might be worth just buying a new set of jaws.

    Thanks.
     
    #6
  7. RyanRF

    RyanRF Semi-Pro

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    Strange.

    I use an old klippermate that my neighbor gave me. He found it in is garage... apparently it had been sitting under some boxes for a few decades.

    I've strung probably 50 racquets over the past few years, with poly and synthetics of varying gauges and textures. I haven't ever had an issue with string slipping in the gripper jaws.
     
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  8. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    For years I did not have the problem either. Then maybe it would happen every 8-10 stringings, then ever 5 and now every 2-3. With me cleaning them, I'm wondering if I'm doing something else wrong. Maybe my hands are just to oily hence coating the strings when I feed them through my hands?
     
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  9. MathieuR

    MathieuR Professional

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    Again: what's the problem (cause I don't think there is any).
    If the string is relaxing/stretching under ref.tension this is what happens using a cp, be it eCP or (automatic) dropweight.
    You won't have that "problem" using a lock-out (there you just accept the immediate tension-loss ;) )
     
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  10. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Here we go again...
     
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  11. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    This isn't the normal slippage that happens where you have to adjust the lever arm to parallel. I've had that happen where when I take the string clamps off the tension arms drops down a little but still keeps tension in the system.

    What I'm struggling with is total loss of tension when the arm falls all the way down rapidly/explosively. The jaw clamps looses total grip and the tension arm falls all the way down sometimes popping the string out of the jaws. With poly it often crushes it so it is so thin it can't grab the string, so it all slides through.
     
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  12. MathieuR

    MathieuR Professional

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    It's no big deal that you refuse to elucidate your "fact"; readers with some knowledge of physics know how it really works.

    But that reduces your "fact" to an "opinion". And everybody is allowed to have his ;)
     
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  13. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Not sure if it is bc of the design, it over 6+ years of using my Stringway ML90 dropweight, I have never had the string slip.

    Also, although I probably should, I have never cleaned my flying clamps and they have never slipped Their flying clamps are really good and can hold the strings with little pressure. Much better than my Gamma XST clamps.
     
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  14. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    String slippage is one the thing.

    My klippermate (court and slope branded) back in the 80's had a ratchet.

    I wouldn't have it any other way.
     
    #14
  15. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    can you take the gripper off and soak it overnight? I know these things are hard to get clean on the machine. if you are crushing string to get it to grip its too much pressure and is probably caked up with junk.
     
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  16. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    Good idea.
    I usually take it off and wipe it down and use the toothbrush. But maybe a soak would really get all the crud off.
    What type of alcohol would you suggest soaking it in?
     
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  17. Wes

    Wes Rookie

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    91% isopropyl alcohol.
     
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  18. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    I've knocked Stringways racquet mounts plenty but have to give credit where due... Their string gripper design on the tensioner is probably the gentlest on the strings of all designs I've seen. Also on their flying and fixed clamps. Really no secret... it's going to require the same amount of force to prevent strings from slipping... the Stringway design spreads this load more evenly across a longer length of string than any other.
     
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  19. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I think the Diablo design is the gentlest. Wrap the string around the Diablo more than once. Each time you go around the Diablo just about halves the tension needed to hold the string.
     
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  20. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    After using other stringsers and then switching to Stringway, I has quite surprised by their clamps. They can hold onto a string with surprisingly little force with every string I have tried -- gut, poly, synthgut, multi.
     
    #20
  21. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    The Kmate works well for me: I have strung with it so much that I know how much to feed into the jaw, and if it's not quite right, it's an easy lift and string-push to make it right.

    I just don't think the ratchet adds much; if anything I wonder if the "diamond dust" head wears out.

    OP: do try cleaning the string jaw; that sounds like the problem.
     
    #21
  22. swizzy

    swizzy Professional

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    from the gamma x2 camp.. only stringer i have owned... 7 years now. strung hundreds of frames without any slipping or maintenance of any kind. i like the ratcheting system..just more of a convenience. friend of mine uses a Klipper and i like that as well.
     
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  23. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    That's good to know. I had my doubts since I saw one tennis wholesaler's catalogue listing the individual racquet heads, and I have a Gamma clamp with "diamond dust" that I can't see!
     
    #23
  24. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    Well I soaked the string jaws in isopropyl alcohol 91% and the next string job I had with poly's had the same slippage and crushing of the string issue.

    I'm trying to figure out if I'm doing something wrong. But all the youtube videos I've watched, including the one from Klipper appear to do what I do. I wonder if I'm just too sweaty/oily?

    For years I had no issues stringing and then it just grew in frequency. Looking back at my records, in 2009 I bought a new set of string Jaws and it helped a little, but came back.

    I'm debating 2 actions to take:
    1.) Order a new set of string jaws from Klipper.
    2.) Get a Gamma Progression or Alpha Pioneer DC

    Overall I'm happy with the Klipper, just frustrated with the slippage.
     
    #24
  25. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    Rescore the string jaws? The alu ridges do tend to flatten out.
    You said you looked at the old KM videos. Do those show a wrap around the assembly before going thru the string jaws?
    Do both pieces move freely when attached to the Alu block or is there binding?
     
    #25
  26. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    Don't think so.
    The way I see it, he brings the string over the top and through the jaws.
    I don't seem him wrapping it all the way around the string jaws and then through the jaws.
    Manual doesn't show it wrapped around any more than just over the top and then down.
     
    #26
  27. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    Try going around, then thru. The string helps to compress the jaws together.

    This tip was actually provided by another poster here a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.
     
    #27
  28. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    I think somewhere else you had mentioned it. I tried it for a pull or two. The lazy part of me says it will add a lot more time to stringing.

    If I'm understanding you correctly, feed the string all the way around the top and past the top opening of the jaws. Come around the side away from the racquet, then around the bottom passing the bottom opening of the jaws. Come up the side near the racquet and now enter from the opening of the top of the jaws. Just before the opening, I'll have some overlap of the strings?

    Then pull tension.
     
    #28
  29. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    Yep. Go completely around the assembly and on the 2nd pass, go thru the gripper from the top. You'll have some overlap. The string around the assembly is now under tension and it keeps the jaws compressed. No more slippage. The Gamma rotational grippers also have this instruction. As with anything, it may slow you down until you get use to how much slack is needed to get the weight level. Then it becomes normal and you won't have to worry about the string slipping out of the jaws.
     
    #29
  30. Chingoo1255

    Chingoo1255 Rookie

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    New stringer here. I don't have issues with the strings slipping and I do wrap it like the video. On poly strings I do see that doing it that way puts a kink in the string. I tried it your way before then I noticed a nick in the string. This has me worried so I still pay for Nat gut strings to be strung by the local big box store.

    I'm thinking that the edges of the pieces is nicking the string. Anyone try filing the edges of the gripper?
     
    #30
  31. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    If you're worried about the edge nicking the string, file it down or round it over. You don't need our permission. :)
     
    #31
  32. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Are you sure the jaw is closing fully? I have a buddy whose machine's jaws had seized from corrosion, so they weren't gripping fully anymore. It had to be dissasembled and lubed, then worked like new again.
     
    #32
  33. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    This is an interesting idea. I don't want the grooves to get lubed otherwise the string will slide like crazy. With the klippermate the string jaws are screwed into the machine and the two pieces are connected by a little metal oblong oval thing with pins. Not sure where it would be best to lube. Maybe I'll try the pins that connect the two parts of the string jaws.

    Let me add, when my string slips, the jaws often crush the string so that it is flattened out. This would make me think the jaws are closing ok.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
    #33
  34. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    American dollar bills really suck up the grease. Clamp it down and slide around.
     
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  35. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Are they flattened out the entire length of the jaw, or just in one small area?
     
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  36. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    From OP description, he has the newer style string grippers. The older style did not have the little oval plate with pins connecting the 2 pieces. That oval plate must be able to pivot to allow the jaws to close properly where the string goes between the 2 pieces. If it binds there in the front, only the back part of the gripper will contact the string firmly and the string will slip. You can see the difference in design if you look at the Accessories Page of the KM site.
     
    #36
  37. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Yeah, I'm guessing OP is getting flat spots on the string from this small area of contact.
     
    #37
  38. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    A small area around 1-2cm. The hard thing then is when it gets flattened, the gripper won't be able to grip around that area and enough is flattened out that I can't get the dropweight to parallel. It just slips through.
     
    #38
  39. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    Not sure. The oval pin mechanism is at the top of the string jaws. I think the flattening occurs more towards the bottom. When it happens it crushes and starts to slide faster and faster until it gives. The first few times it happened, I was thinking the dropweight would eventually stop but it kept going until the string popped out or ran all the way through.

    Now I watch for it, so when it begins to slide, I lift up the dropweight. But usually if it begins to slip, I get the string crushing even if I catch it early on.
     
    #39
  40. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    We are speculating that the top part of the jaws are not closing properly. That leaves the bottom part of the jaws to bear the load and that crushes the string. The entire jaw is suppose to contact the string. Have you tried my proposed fix yet?
     
    #40
  41. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    It does sound like the jaws are not closing properly, which means it would need more than a simple cleaning. Do you not feel mechanically inclined enough to dissasemble, lube, and reassemble? I guess you could also go about it with some WD40 or anti-seize with it all assembled and try to get all the parts moving freely...but if you're going to do it, might as well do it right.
     
    #41
  42. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    I'll be stringing tomorrow morning, so I'll be trying the wrap around technique esgee48 had mentioned.

    I've disassembled the string jaws several times for cleaning with alcohol to get rid of any residue. The original theory was it was loosing grip due to build up. So once I'd clean the jaws, they'd work fine for a while. But this could be because I took the apparatus apart loosening the oval's pins and then after more use they would lock up again. Any special lubricant you recommend? Just WD40? My thoughs would be to lube the pins on the oval and nothing else.

    Thanks guys.
     
    #42
  43. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    If you insist on using an oil, use A DROP of 3-in-1 machine oil or sewing machine oil. These are very light oils whose purpose is to reduce friction and prevent rust. You could use WD40, but it gums up if you use too much. If WD40 is all you have, 1 DROP. FWIW, I think the older KM gripper design was cleaner and the tip to just wrap the string around it serves the same purpose as that oval, which is not working all the time for you.

    edit: Also add a drop to the screws holes attaching the gripper assembly to the dropweight Alu block. While we're here, do not tighten the screws holding the assembly; tighten, then back off 1/8 - 1/4 turn. You could be binding there too in addition to the oval plate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017 at 7:41 AM
    #43
  44. loosegroove

    loosegroove Professional

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    Your theory could hold true. Or it could be the case that the cleaning of the jaws allowed for enough grip from the small area where the jaws were closing, but the gripper stopped holding with the slightest bit of build up since the jaws weren't functioning 100 percent properly. WD40 isn't really a lubricant, but a solvent, which could probably help you to get the jaws unstuck. But then you would probably want to use a proper lubricant. Klippermate has fantastic customer service so you may want to contact them, rather than listening to a doofus like myself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017 at 10:44 PM
    #44
  45. Robert F

    Robert F Rookie

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    So I lubed the pins for the oval pins with some 3 in 1 oil I had lying around. Jaws do seem to move smoother.

    Last time I strung, I had some slippage at the end.
    Today I strung my racquet with Synthetic Gut and I didn't clean the string jaws even though there was slippage last time I strung. So the only thing different was that I lubed the pins. No slippage today. So this might have been the solution. Thanks.

    I also tried some pulls with the full wrap around. That really didn't slow me down. But since I wasn't slipping, I didn't use it for most pulls.

    Hopefully this will prevent future slips or at the very least spread out the time between them.

    Thanks.
     
    #45

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