Starting clamp with natural gut

PrinceYonex

New User
I’m relatively new to stringing. I just strung gut mains for the first time, using a dropweight with flying clamps. I used a starting clamp outside the frame to start the mains, and noticed that the starting clamp crushed the string somewhat. I haven’t noticed this effect when stringing multifilaments. Is this effect inevitable with gut? Do people tend to avoid using a starting clamp with gut?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I’m relatively new to stringing. I just strung gut mains for the first time, using a dropweight with flying clamps. I used a starting clamp outside the frame to start the mains, and noticed that the starting clamp crushed the string somewhat. I haven’t noticed this effect when stringing multifilaments. Is this effect inevitable with gut? Do people tend to avoid using a starting clamp with gut?
I do use a starting clamp with gut strings but anytime I use a starting clamp I try not to clamp a string where it will be making a turn going into a grommet or coming out of one near the head of the racket. There is some ghosting on gut string from the clamp but it should be fine. It is not just gut string I treat all strings that way.

if I’m clamping a string with a starting clamp outside the frame, as I assume you would starting your mains on a DW, I will use a spacer between the frame and the clamp so the section of string I clamp is not going through the grommet. If I’m clamping the string inside I use a leather pad to protect the frame and grommet. If possible I like to clamp the string with a starting clamp in the throat because clamping near the tip could IMO cause shearing.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
Thanks, @Irvin . I've seen your video on using the starting clamp with the spacer when starting the mains, and I found that very useful. I haven't yet managed to make one for myself. But in any case, it seemed like the effect of the starting clamp was more than just ghosting. It seemed to crush the string a bit. Not to the point where it seemed like it was going to snap while stringing, but it was definitely more than just some ghosting marks. The string felt a bit compressed, with a rougher texture.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Thanks, @Irvin . I've seen your video on using the starting clamp with the spacer when starting the mains, and I found that very useful. I haven't yet managed to make one for myself. But in any case, it seemed like the effect of the starting clamp was more than just ghosting. It seemed to crush the string a bit. Not to the point where it seemed like it was going to snap while stringing, but it was definitely more than just some ghosting marks. The string felt a bit compressed, with a rougher texture.
It is possible your clamp is stronger than the one I use ot possibly not as strong. You must get to know your clamp pressure preferably on scrap pieces of string. My I an old VS clamp that is very strong and it will crush the string. I have 2 Gamma clamps. One of my Gamma clamps is stronger than the other. My older Gamma clamp I though was worn out but it was just the springs. I took the springs off a Pro-Pro clamp and put them on the old gamma and it came back to life. I would never use the VS clamp on gut it will flatten it pretty bad. On the newer gamma I put the string through the clamp so it even with the eyes in the clamp. For the one with the Pros Pro spring I can go a little lower. if the clamp is too tight it will crush the string. If it is not tight enough it will mar the string. You must find a happy medium.
 
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Never had a problem and I often string cheap India gut.
Do you do it for yourself or install for others?
I have done many GG. You get what you pay for when it comes to GG.
They have real cow gut. The coating is where they are way behind. May be some process related issues as well.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I use a starting clamp with gut.

Never had a problem and I often string cheap India gut.

Yes, it may crush the gut some, but the integrity doesn't seem to suffer.
I too use a starting clamp on natural gut. I use the GSS clamp which is the hands-down best starting clamp I've ever used. Like @struggle, I've had no issues with using it on gut. I use the starting clamp both on the mains and crosses BTW.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
It is possible your clamp is stronger than the one I use ot possibly not as string. You must get to know your clamp pressure preferably on scrap pieces of string. My I an old VS clamp that is very strong and it will crush the string. I have 2 Gamma clamps. One of my Gamma clamps is stronger than the other. My older Gamma clamp I though was worn out but it was just the springs. I took the springs off a Pro-Pro clamp and put them on the old gamma and it came back to life. I would never use the VS clamp on gut it will flatten it pretty bad. On the newer gamma I put the string through the clamp so it even with the eyes in the clamp. For the one with the Pros Pro spring I can go a little lower. if the clamp is too tight it will crush the string. If it is not tight enough it will mar the string. You must find a happy medium.
This is a good point. I have been using a new Alpha starting clamp. I don't know how its clamping pressure compares to other starting clamps. I have tried not to place the string too low in the clamp, but low enough to ensure that the string doesn't slip.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
I too use a starting clamp on natural gut. I use the GSS clamp which is the hands-down best starting clamp I've ever used. Like @struggle, I've had no issues with using it on gut. I use the starting clamp both on the mains and crosses BTW.
I'm also using the starting clamp to start mains and crosses. I haven't had any issues when it comes to polyester strings, which I've used for crosses. I'm not sure if the flattening/crushing effect that I witnessed with the gut mains will affect performance or longevity. We'll see. I just wanted to see if this was something that others are noticing and how to prevent it in the future. I'm using an Alpha starting clamp.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I'm also using the starting clamp to start mains and crosses. I haven't had any issues when it comes to polyester strings, which I've used for crosses. I'm not sure if the flattening/crushing effect that I witnessed with the gut mains will affect performance or longevity. We'll see. I just wanted to see if this was something that others are noticing and how to prevent it in the future. I'm using an Alpha starting clamp.
I had an Alpha and gave it to a friend. I didn't care for the head size and it was stronger. The clamp I use now, the GSS, is really good at holding without denting. The Gamma clamp, which I also own but down use, it good too. I have a new Babolat clamp which I also use as my 2nd clamp. It doesn't hurt the gut either.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
I had an Alpha and gave it to a friend. I didn't care for the head size and it was stronger. The clamp I use now, the GSS, is really good at holding without denting. The Gamma clamp, which I also own but down use, it good too. I have a new Babolat clamp which I also use as my 2nd clamp. It doesn't hurt the gut either.
It might be worth seeing if I can get ahold of one of those other clamps.
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
No issues here with gut with my GSS, Babolat or my Gamma. I may be an outlier here, but while my GGS is my favorite, I have never had any issues with my Gamma clamp (and it's got to be 8-10 years old).
 

pvw_tf

Rookie
string cheap India gut.
That is a long ago I did work with that. Was in the wooden racket time. Hard to get 2 strings in one hole. 23 kg max. Else it would break. Well that is what the Indian players were stating. Was sort of fun to work with. But had to handle it with a lot of care.


Peter
 

manirban

New User
Not sure where I saw this (may have been the same video) but a while ago made 2 identical wooden spacers from some scrap 2x4 blocks with a piece of leather glued to the end and a hole drilled through. Just about 3/4" square and 2" long, and can double them up if I need to in a row. Just gotten in the habit of stringing 2 piece and if I use the spacer with the leather side on the frame on the outside and then the starting clamp behind the block on the start of the crosses. Even if the string is crushed by the starting clamp, that part will get clipped off when I come back and tie it off. On the mains I'm just careful to make sure if there is any crushing it stays on the inside of bed, and not looped around any holes. Doesn't matter if it's poly or natural gut, it should be good to go. Don't string a lot these days - just me, the kids, and a junior down the street from us, but I can't remember the last time I ever saw a string break at or around the point of the ghosting / crushing.
 

jim e

Legend
Did you by chance ever clean your starting clamp?
The starting clamp does get dirty over time, and what you may be seeing is marks on string as string maybe slipping a little marring string. Very important to clean starting clamp when you clean machine clamps. I string a decent amount of nat gut, and I have 3 different starting clamps and never had your issue, a gss, a gamma, and an alpha. All 3 work for me.
I did have string slip through one when I did not clean clamp. It was a lesson learned.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
Not sure where I saw this (may have been the same video) but a while ago made 2 identical wooden spacers from some scrap 2x4 blocks with a piece of leather glued to the end and a hole drilled through. Just about 3/4" square and 2" long, and can double them up if I need to in a row. Just gotten in the habit of stringing 2 piece and if I use the spacer with the leather side on the frame on the outside and then the starting clamp behind the block on the start of the crosses. Even if the string is crushed by the starting clamp, that part will get clipped off when I come back and tie it off. On the mains I'm just careful to make sure if there is any crushing it stays on the inside of bed, and not looped around any holes. Doesn't matter if it's poly or natural gut, it should be good to go. Don't string a lot these days - just me, the kids, and a junior down the street from us, but I can't remember the last time I ever saw a string break at or around the point of the ghosting / crushing.
This is great, thanks. I wasn't sure if ghosting/crushing would actually make the string more vulnerable to snapping, and if that's not the case, then there's really no issue.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
Did you by chance ever clean your starting clamp?
The starting clamp does get dirty over time, and what you may be seeing is marks on string as string maybe slipping a little marring string. Very important to clean starting clamp when you clean machine clamps. I string a decent amount of nat gut, and I have 3 different starting clamps and never had your issue, a gss, a gamma, and an alpha. All 3 work for me.
I did have string slip through one when I did not clean clamp. It was a lesson learned.
This is a good point. I have, actually, tried to clean the starting clamp. It wasn't very easy, given that it's very tight and not easy to keep open wide enough to maneuver in a toothbrush or whatever.
For what it's worth, the starting clamp is fairly new, so it's probably not especially dirty yet.
 

Wes

Professional
This is a good point. I have, actually, tried to clean the starting clamp. It wasn't very easy, given that it's very tight and not easy to keep open wide enough to maneuver in a toothbrush or whatever.
For what it's worth, the starting clamp is fairly new, so it's probably not especially dirty yet.
First, since you find it difficult to hold the clamp open (in order to clean the interior surfaces), then that supports the notion (already mentioned by others) that your Alpha clamp is one of those starting clamps that tends to be stronger/applies more force.

Second, to make cleaning an easier affair, simply remove the volute springs (one at a time).
With no springs between the handles, you'll be able to clean with ease.

BTW, use 91% alcohol and some pipe cleaners, rather than a toothbrush.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
This is a good point. I have, actually, tried to clean the starting clamp. It wasn't very easy, given that it's very tight and not easy to keep open wide enough to maneuver in a toothbrush or whatever.
For what it's worth, the starting clamp is fairly new, so it's probably not especially dirty yet.
Take the springs out when you clean your clamp.
 

struggle

Legend
Do you do it for yourself or install for others?
I have done many GG. You get what you pay for when it comes to GG.
They have real cow gut. The coating is where they are way behind. May be some process related issues as well.
mostly for myself, it's not reliable enough to sell although i have a few times to a good friend who understands the pitfalls.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Do you do it for yourself or install for others?
I have done many GG. You get what you pay for when it comes to GG.
They have real cow gut. The coating is where they are way behind. May be some process related issues as well.
I had a client that asked for the low grade gut and I didn't have any so he had VS Touch / ALU Rough installed. He went home and played with it 1 time and cut out the low grade gut he had in another racket brought it, and 2 more to be strung with VS Touch / ALU Rough. On his next visit said the VS lasted 4 times as long and played better than the low grade did so it was actually cheaper in the long run.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
First, since you find it difficult to hold the clamp open (in order to clean the interior surfaces), then that supports the notion (already mentioned by others) that your Alpha clamp is one of those starting clamps that tends to be stronger/applies more force.

Second, to make cleaning an easier affair, simply remove the volute springs (one at a time).
With no springs between the handles, you'll be able to clean with ease.

BTW, use 91% alcohol and some pipe cleaners, rather than a toothbrush.
Ok, basic question -- how does one actually remove the springs?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Ok, basic question -- how does one actually remove the springs?
They are just compression springs. It is easy to pull them away from the handle. Then you can put them back in the reverse. There are small nubs on the handle that keeps the springs in place. On some starting clamps you can easily remove the pin holding the clamp together. If you can do that you have better acces to check and clean the surfaces.
 

PrinceYonex

New User
They are just compression springs. It is easy to pull them away from the handle. Then you can put them back in the reverse. There are small nubs on the handle that keeps the springs in place. On some starting clamps you can easily remove the pin holding the clamp together. If you can do that you have better acces to check and clean the surfaces.
Ah, very simple indeed, just figured it out. Thanks.
 
I had a client that asked for the low grade gut and I didn't have any so he had VS Touch / ALU Rough installed. He went home and played with it 1 time and cut out the low grade gut he had in another racket brought it, and 2 more to be strung with VS Touch / ALU Rough. On his next visit said the VS lasted 4 times as long and played better than the low grade did so it was actually cheaper in the long run.
I purchased directly from the guy who makes GG. But I am done.
These guts are really crap guts. They die\snap prematurely.
But if they last, become rocket launcher once tension is lost.

GG is way too sensitive to weather. I had couple of incidents and hard lessons.

In the end you are paying double the money. Not worth it.
 
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