Join Our CommunityAlbert Murata
IART Executive Director, Tim Strawn, says it all: “IART is dedicated to its members and we strive to support and lift up our members in their endeavor to be the very best they can be. Community involvement is key, and we encourage all members to get involved.”
Recently in the Q & A, the IART community got involved and helped resolve an issue.
Question . . .
Gary, “I have an Alpha APEX SPEED stringing machine and I cannot get the clamps to hold on the first pull on the mains. I have cleaned and adjusted them so tight that I CRUSH the string. The machine is a little over 2 yrs. old. What am I not doing or doing wrong? I’m using a WISE 2086 tension head. I should add that last summer I had heart surgery and a stroke so maybe I forgot something?”
Answers . . .
- Matt, “You might try backing up the machine clamp with a starting clamp if you have one.”
- Tim, “Gary when was the Wise 2086 last calibrated?”
- Mark, “As Matt S stated in his response, you might try using a starting clamp positioned behind the machine clamp when pulling the first main string. For practical purposes let’s say we are stringing a 16 X 19 racquet that has 6 grommets at the throat (6 O’Clock). So, place your strings through the first two main grommets (12 and 6 O’Clock). Next, place your machine clamp close to the frame at 6 O’Clock on the left side and clamp off. Then take your starting clamp and place it behind the machine clamp on the left side. Go to 12 O’Clock and tension the first right side string and clamp off. Install and tension main strings #2 and #3 on the right side. Return to your #1 left side string and tension at 12 O’Clock. Once under tension, carefully remove the starting clamp and then move the left side machine clamp into position at 12 O’Clock and clamp off. Continue alternating 3 strings at a time right, then left. This should cure any woes that you are experiencing.If you are unable to procure a starting clamp, you could take a business card and slide it into the left side clamp at 6 O’Clock and this should also do the trick. It is not conceivable the the machine clamps would have been worn down so terribly after only two years of use. In other words, that the diamond dust coating on the inside face of the clamps has completely disappeared.”
Reply . . .
Gary, “it was last calibrated approximately 1 yr. ago . I have strung a very limited amount since getting it back. The clamps were not diamond. I switch to my backup an Ektelon H and they held great.”
Answer . . .
- Tim, “I think it would be a good idea to check the calibration before pursuing other options.”
Resolved . . .
Gary, “I thank everyone for their help and advice!! It’s nice to know that I have people who care enough to help. at this time. An ALPHA tech called to tell me they are sending me a new set of clamps!”
Comments . . .
- Matt, “That’s how we roll at IART! Glad your problem is being solved.”
- Tim, “It’s nice to see Alpha step up in such a way to help solve your issue, Gary. Please keep us posted and let us know how things work out with the new clamps.”
- Gary, “To all that took time to answer my question about the ALPHA clamps slipping THANK YOU ! ALPHA took care of the problem by sending me new clamps. Everything is now going smoothly.”
Follow-up . . .
- Tim, “Thanks for the follow-up, Gary. Nice to know Alpha took care of the problem. They’ve been known for many years to have great customer service, largely in part due to Mark Gonzalez. Looks like that customer service is still intact and that’s helpful for all who might be considering an Alpha stringing machine.”
- Steve, “I have an Alpha Apex machine with a Wise head. Mine is one of the earliest editions of the machine. 1st, I don’t think you were doing anything wrong. Mine did the same thing when I first got it. I went round and round with Mark Gonzales (salesman at the time) about the clamps not holding, the rivet sliding out, clamps twisting, etc. Mark was great. He sent me some older clamps that I liked better. The older design didn’t have the dial for adjusting. I had to use an Allen wrench, but they were heavier, and definitely held better. Several thousand rackets later, the machine is still sturdy, the older style clamps are still good. But, I do think that the clamps are the one thing that Alpha still needs to improve upon. Let us know how your new ones feel, and how they work. I’m not sure when I’ll be in the market for clamps again. If the new ones don’t work, I’ve heard that Tourna clamps fit the Alpha machine (12mm post). Good luck.”
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