Build a Bridge with a Starting ClampMatt Steverson
My last post dealt with measuring string to save money. This one takes that to the next level, and may allow you to use a length of string you might otherwise throw a way.
A Necessary Tool
If you don’t have a starting clamp, you should invest in one. Not only will it allow you to do what I articulate here, it has other uses: securing knots, clamping starting knots (hence the name), pre-stretching string, etc. Some are quite expensive (Yonex/Kimony), while many are not too pricey.
Many string and/or machine companies offer them, some come in tool kits, and you might even get one when you buy a machine if you negotiate well!
I purposely cut this length of string too short to make it to the tensioner, but it is long enough to get through the grommet and tie off. So, I’m going to use a starting clamp and a length of scrap string to finish the job.
Looping the scrap string around the holes in the sides of the clamp gives me the ability to use it as a “bridge” to the machine and tension this last main (I don’t concern myself with what kind of string it is, as I feel I will get my tension. If you like, you can keep scraps of poly/gut/synthetic on hand to “match up” with what you’re using).
Clamp your string in the starting clamp, put the scrap in the tensioner, secure the grommet with your finger and apply tension. Viola! You have just saved yourself a half set of string and increased your profits.
I like to see no more than a 6” gap from the string to the tensioner to ensure I have enough to tie off, but this can vary a little depending on where you tie off (although you can “manufacture” a closer tie-off hole with an awl and some wax).
Matt, done the same thing for a longtime. Great article for newer stringers, especially with the increasing cost of high-end string. We record the lengths of mains & crosses in our data base of each racket we do for future reference. Less wasted string, better profits, and better for the environment! Appreciate your efforts and articles. Thanks.