Clamps wearing down? Debris on clamp bases

Hey gang,

So for some time, I've consistently had this little pixie dust type of debris on my clamp bases and turntable after I string a few rackets. I've attempted to go on the more liberal side with tightening the clamps on the strings, as well as the more conservative side where they just barely grip the string. I'm cleaning them often and wiping down the clamp bases often, but regardless of how tight or loose the clamp is, I'm still getting this debris.

It's almost certainly got to be the diamond dust from the clamps based on location, but some people I've talked to have never experience this. I've attached some pretty good pics of the dust and the current state of my clamps. How my clamps worn the dust off? is it time for new ones? Has anyone experienced this and what do you think could cause this?

Thanks as always!

 
@struggle you don't see the issue?

it's a Gamma X-ST. These are the clamps - https://www.gammasports.com/Die-Cast-Aluminum-Fixed-Clamp?quantity=1&style=68

No one I've talked to has experienced this and my clamps are possibly wearing down. That would be the issue. Further, I may be clamping on my strings too hard and using sheer force to stop the strings from slipping, as opposed to the using the grit. So I now have a choice between toothing up people's strings or having the strings slip.
 

struggle

Legend
You don't even have a picture of the clamp bases where this supposed pixie dust is gathering.

I don't see an issue. Maybe draw on your picture to show the area of concern?
I don't see a problem. What is it?

Clean your clamps as normal and move on?
 
Sorry if it was taken that way, but I took the time to take 6 pics and post a thread, so I’m posting about the issue. If the response is “I wouldn’t be concerned”, then okay. But I presented the issue and I’m trying to figure out if it’s time for new clamps or if I’m just missing something, which is possible.
 

esgee48

Legend
There are threads on re dusting the clamp surfaces. Basically, the posters used super glue and 800-1000 grit diamond dust. Run a finger tip along the surface. You should feel some grittiness. Your image does not have enough detail to show anything but it appears that some parts of the clamp surface are bare metal.

Your image only shows the clamps and clicking on that image shows nothing so I am not sure if your issue is diamond dust loss or not.

edit: click on the right side or left side of the image to scroll. Got it. Mea Culpa.
 
Last edited:

Wes

Professional
Alright guys, let's pump the brakes a bit before getting our panties in a wad.
I feel like I know both @struggle & @Dillon4787 well enough that neither of them would intentially be offensive.

Just to clarify, and in defense of @struggle, there is only 1 picture, not 6, showing up in the thread.
Likewise, in defense of @Dillon4787, if one actually clicks on that 1 picture here in the thread, it then takes you to the imgur website - where one can then scroll/view the other images.
No biggie.

So... let's put the swords away for now. :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: kkm
All good. For the record, there should be a little arrow on the right of the image in the original post that will allow you to scroll through the 6 photos.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
@Gamma Tech if Gamma Tech does not respond I‘d try calling them on Monday. I’ve never seen the dust like that wear off on my Gamma clamp or the machine I have now. I’m assuming you are correct and it is the diamond dusting, I have no clue what else it could be.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
@Dillon4787 are you by any change using a stone to clean your clamps? I’ve only ever used 91% alcohol to clean mine. I’ve always thought the stone Gamma sells would abrade the diamond dusting.

 
Last edited:
@Dillon4787 are you by any change using a stone to clean your clamps? I’ve only ever used 91% alcohol to clean mine. I’ve always thought the stone Gamma sells would abrade the diamond dusting.

nope. Sometimes a shoelace, sometimes a rag, sometimes a toothbrush but always any of those with 91% alcohol.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
I have these exact clamps. I never had any issues.

How many rackets have you strung on these? Your clamp seems good to me.

I looked at the clamp base photo. Those looked like scratches on the base, no?

I don't see how diamond dusted clamp can create such debris.

May be clean everything including the clamp base. Then string few more rackets and post photo of the clamp base.
That way we can compare the two.
 
I have these exact clamps. I never had any issues.

How many rackets have you strung on these? Your clamp seems good to me.

I looked at the clamp base photo. Those looked like scratches on the base, no?

I don't see how diamond dusted clamp can create such debris.

May be clean everything including the clamp base. Then string few more rackets and post photo of the clamp base.
That way we can compare the two.
Yeah, I’ve done that process several times. It is debris, not scratches. Possibly not the best photos of the debris, but it’s consistently recurring and I clean it about once a week. I’ve done maybe 75 rackets on these clamps, but I bought the unit used, so it’s possible the dust was already started to go (which could expedite the wear)
 

alfd

New User
Have you disassembled the clamps? Seems to me it could be surface treatment debris, maybe from wear inside the clamps?
I have the same machine. Let's hope Gamma will offer you new ones for free:)
 
Have you disassembled the clamps? Seems to me it could be surface treatment debris, maybe from wear inside the clamps?
I have the same machine. Let's hope Gamma will offer you new ones for free:)
I never fully disassembled them, but what do you mean by “surface treatment debris”?

I certainly am not holding my breath on any free gamma replacements. Even buying replacements now, those seem out of stock.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I’m wondering what could have caused it.
I think Gamma Tech or Tennis Machines would have a more educated guess than we wood. I doubt it but it could be the clamps are tearing the coating off your string and it is not diamond duct be small particles of the coating used on the string(s.)
 
I think Gamma Tech or Tennis Machines would have a more educated guess than we wood. I doubt it but it could be the clamps are tearing the coating off your string and it is not diamond duct be small particles of the coating used on the string(s.)
The debris is very clearly always a metallic-looking debris. It’s not debris from strings, I know that for sure.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
The debris is very clearly always a metallic-looking debris. It’s not debris from strings, I know that for sure.
Good point but it would be best to make sure. Have to taken the clamp apart to see if there are any badly worn surfaces and all moving parts move freely? It is not difficult and if it is metal parts from the clamps you should to feel a rough surface somewhere,.
 

jim e

Legend
From your pictures, it looks like the diamond coating is coming off. You can see that the diamond plates inside clamps are smoothing off.Best bet is to get a new set of well made decent clamps. Good clamps is a very important part of any machine, as you don't want to crush string, but you need it to hold. You can damage string if it slips and loose tension.Without the diamond coating, the clamps are compromised. Best option is new good quality clamps.
 

alfd

New User
I never fully disassembled them, but what do you mean by “surface treatment debris”?

I certainly am not holding my breath on any free gamma replacements. Even buying replacements now, those seem out of stock.
Sorry, speaking in engineering terms...

I mean debris from the surface of the mechanism parts themselves. I would check for wearing inside the clamps, e.g. from the back of the adjustment wheel or on other moving parts.

It looked to me from the pictures that there are quite a lot of debris at the wrong place for being diamond coating.
 
So to share, I have taken some (very) up close pics of my disassembled clamps. I would say they look the most like image #4 / #6 to the naked eye, but maybe some of these images will show more detail. I did another thorough cleaning, but there wasn't a whole lot of gunk or must debris of any sort in there to really notice.

 

elkwood

Hall of Fame
Are u having issues with them slipping or gouging the string ? If not i wouldn't be worried about it.
Like been mentioned u can always re dust them if needed.
 
Are u having issues with them slipping or gouging the string ? If not i wouldn't be worried about it.
Like been mentioned u can always re dust them if needed.
I’ve had them slip a few times yes. It doesn’t seem easy to find that happy medium where they don’t slip or don’t mark up the string.
 
I’ve had them slip a few times yes. It doesn’t seem easy to find that happy medium where they don’t slip or don’t mark up the string.
Do you mind posting a photo of the exterior of the clamp?
Those debris may be white aluminum debris. May be result of grinding/pressure at some contact point.
Try using some lube in the contact points after cleaning.

If you are having slippage after cleaning, time to get a new pair.
OR 1) You can dust them with Diamond powder 2) Buy the diamond dusted strips ($30 a piece - $120 for 4 + tax), basically you will replace the strips only.
 
Last edited:
Top