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Tom Black

New Black Log

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Tom Black

    I just posted a new Black Log.  In the log I mention modifying a gripper.  Since most of the log was written early in the week I did not have the results of the modification in the Log.  Here is what I did:

   I took a #2 gripper that measured 112-pounds touching on the ends, using my digital bathroom scale to test it.  This would make this gripper 112*2.375=266 pounds-inch at the center of the handle (PDA’s measuring technique).  I then took a file and filed 1/16” off the bottom of the gripper, basically taking off the bevel.  I then tested it on the scale again and found it to be 118-pounds, or 280 using PDA’s pound-inch numbers.  These readings are very approximate, and not as accurate as PDA’s numbers, but the gripper is definitely stronger.  On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I compared the modified #2 with the Master (which measures 302 pounds-inch.  I found that I could close and clearly grind an unmodified number 2, barely close the modified #2 and get the handles to less than 1/16” with the Master.

    Why does this work?  Well, it’s all about leverage.  Putting the handles of a Master and #2 on a flat surface and comparing the height reveals that the #2 is about 1/8” higher.  By cutting off 1/16” the #2 becomes closer to the Master, but not half-way because cutting off 1/16” does not reduce the total height of the gripper due to the angle of the handles.   The spring of the Master is deeper in the handles, but it’s the overall length of the gripper that changes the required torque to close, thus the handles can be modified from the end.  To make the end look nice I used some sandpaper on it, the ends polished up nicely.

    Using this idea:  Once you have a gripper that you can fully close very consistently then I believe you can shave off 1/32”-1/16” and then work with the gripper again until you can close it the same as before you did the modification.  Every few weeks you can then shave a little more off to micro-progress.  It might be possible to sandpaper the gripper handles every week for a tiny progression.  I believe that if one were to start with a #2 measuring 266 pounds-inch they could modify it to 300 pounds-inch, and possibly 325 pounds-inch (There might be a problem after that because the spring might compress too much).  If so, then the Master could be modified into a #3.  I would still like people to wait before modifying grippers until I do a few more weeks tests.

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Guest Aptdwler

Very interesting. I have read some other posts about this modification. I'm looking forward to your progress reports. Maybe, I'll modify the Master.

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Wannagrip

I have thought about this...

If one doesn't duplicate their hand position exactly on each rep, this modification could be a wash so to speak.  One can have variation of half a pinky width or more in gripper placement.  This mod is 1/16, 1/32 of an inch.  It will be hit or miss unless one can have exactly the same hand placement each rep(s).

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Tom Black

Wannagrip,

  My intent is to keep going after 1/16" of an inch, probably cutting off at least 1/4" from the gripper handles, there is plenty of room on the handles for this.  I guess there's an assumption here that the same technique is always used.  If the pinky is held at the exact same spot on the end, then the modified gripper will be harder.  I actually thought of this modification by watching people who didn’t know how to hold a gripper put their full pinky on the handle and fail to close the gripper.  By adjusting their technique they closed the gripper.  It’s as if they first attempted a shorter gripper.  Grip up ¼” on a gripper and you will see that it is much harder.  By shaving off part of the gripper you take the guesswork out of exactly where your hand is each week.  Note:  This is not the same modification as some have done by filing off the point were the ends touch, effectively lengthening the close of the gripper.  The full end of the handle is cut off with my modification.

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Wannagrip

I am just skeptical that most people can get exact positioning each time within 1/16" where it will be consistent.  You shave 1/16" and they have one postition and fail to close it.  They move their hand position 1/8" down the next week (is this really perceptible?) and now they get it and it's easy.  I understand about the leverage part, it's just the real world application with that small of change where one would know "when" to do another shave.  I suppose you could just keep shaving it for weeks regardless (each week do it no matter what) and that would probably take care of the variation over the weeks (avg. out the errors)???

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Tom Black

    I was thinking that when I could click it closed 5 times in one workout I would shave off another 1/32".  As far as individual hand positioning, I hope that people with good technique don't vary by more than 1/8", I could be wrong, but I don't think I vary more than 1/16"

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Guest InchDisciple

If removing a small ammount of material from the handle is = to holding the handle a little higher why not just hold the handle higher to make things more difficult ? I think that the reason many people cant close the gripper at first is that they hold it too high up on the handle.

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Tom Black

    I did that for a while, but the problem is one of consistency.  If you say, “today I’m going to do the gripper 1/8” up the handle” it’s hard to put your pinky in the right spot every time.  Also, I believe that I can “micro-adjust” the gripper, sanding off very small amounts, and continuing to close it each week.  I don’t think you could position your hand that accurately.  Also, the same argument could be made about the Master compared to the #2, why buy a Master when you could approximate it by “choking up” a little over 1/8” on the #2?  I think it will not have the same feel or consistency of close.  The shaving of the gripper will make it harder, if your hand is a little off when choking up on the gripper you will not really know that you did the same closing force each week in your workout.

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Guest Luke Reimer

Tom, are you saying the handles are solid? Somehow I thought they would be hollow. Anyway, I love your idea. I have been trying a grip closer to the springs myself, but as you say, without the end of the grippers as a palpable reference point, consistent finger placement is more troublesome. One practice there is the appearance of improvement and the next that of regression. I'm think I will try your modification! By the way, since shortening the springs will each time work the springs beyond their previous range of motion, I wonder if this means they require more seasoning? Keep us updated.

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Guest Luke Reimer

Oops. When I said "... shortening the springs ..." I meant "shortening the handles," in case anyone caught that.

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