Sign in to follow this  
saintjohnbarleycorn

bass bar clamps

Recommended Posts

can someone share some pic of homemade bass bar clamps. I did a search but under bass bar clamps and clamps but did not come up with much on home made bass bar clamps but did not come up with much. Also a search on the internet did not show up much . thanks kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very simple type is shown on page 223 of the Heron Allen book. They are like large clothes pins -- the type cut out of a single piece of wood, not the type consisting of two pieces and a metal spring. I've never used this type, so I don't know how well they work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a set of those giant clothespin clamps, and have actually used them a couple times. Not my favorites.

I use this --

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2602/405686..._bb7d5f0abd.jpg

Though the actual clamps I show on the bassbar here are (1) probably too big, and (2) not enough in number. I'd rather have 5 or 6 smaller clamps. They're what I had handy at the time the camera was ready. But they did work. You have to be careful with the pressure and of the torque of large clamps like those.

Flip side --

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2495/405686..._f40a486db3.jpg

The frame is not my idea -- I found it here on Maestronet. I wanted one of those fancy figure-8 shaped metal ones, which are hard to find and expensive, but actually found the rectangular frame works fine. Try searching 'bassbar frame' and you'll find plenty of references

David Burgess (I believe) had a Strad magazine article a few months back using small homemade spring steel for clamps and soundpost fragments for padding. Seemed pretty nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks, I need this for a repair so they will have a "deep throat" but I see that the frame method would work, but it also needs deep throat clamps. I will try to figure out making some clamps and if not order some. thanks kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A very simple type is shown on page 223 of the Heron Allen book. They are like large clothes pins -- the type cut out of a single piece of wood, not the type consisting of two pieces and a metal spring. I've never used this type, so I don't know how well they work.

Hi Brad,

Stradivari used this type of clamp and there are still several in the Stradivari museum. I have used them and they work just fine.

I think David's article in The Strad shows a simple and fast way to make your own with spring wire (harmonic wire).

Bruce

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I found with the clothespin-style clamps, in repair work, was it's a good idea to have some sort of padding between the leg that is in contact with the varnished surface. It was easy (for me :) ) to damage the outside of a top with badly applied pressure. As with all these ideas, it's good to experiment on your own instruments first.

And I'm sure that if you know what you are doing, you can do just fine. Good judgement often comes from making mistakes!

I think one of the things that is so hard to learn when out on one's own, as so many of us are, is good technique. We might have access to good ideas and tool design, but it is amazing to watch good technique in action -- and very hard to describe. Perhaps the single most interesting aspect of a workshop setting is seeing how someone who knows what they are doing do something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
can someone share some pic of homemade bass bar clamps. I did a search but under bass bar clamps and clamps but did not come up with much on home made bass bar clamps but did not come up with much. Also a search on the internet did not show up much . thanks kevin

Here are mine. They're inspired by Stradivari's clamps but slightly different. The side that's facing the top is lined with cork.

post-24030-1268592179.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Ariane will put the article in the Strad downloads section since it's been a while now.

The crosswise piece of wood on the one end (soundpost stock with a hole drilled, and glued on) is needed to keep them from tipping on their side. The advantage of using wood is that it can be slightly moistened to keep it from slipping, if desired.

I was mostly trying to reduce weight compared to conventional clamps, and have something which was extremely fast to apply. The complete set of clamps weighs about the same as one conventional aluminum clamp. Spring wire diameter ("music wire", available at some hardware stores and hobby shops) is 2.4 mm. Clamping force is 600g when clamping an object 15mm high, but they can be bent to vary the force.

Useful for cleats 'n stuff too.

Here are a few pictures:

barclamp1.jpg

barclamp2.jpg

barclamp3.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By making the crotch round, the tension is distributed over a larger area and there's less risk for cracks to develop.

Good point.

I take it even further and on these type of clamps ( but not shown in my pic above) normally bind the crotch area around with wire or string to prevent splitting at an inconvenient moment

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I generally use now the large clothes peg type, bandsawed out of 12mm ply - but I have leather stuck to one side - and hard white plastic on the face that touches the bar, so it slips along and does not tend to twist the bar with friction. Also make sure the top edge of the rough bar is tapered to a central point of contact - and you have a good few locating blocks stuck to the belly. I don't support the plate all around when gluing the bar.

Once you are used to them, and have modified them to suit they work well and quckly. I generally set them up dry - then number them with bits of tape so they quickly go back where they worked best on the dry run in the same order.

Just the thought of gluing bass bars gets me all tense though. I am learning to 'relax' when gluing things, it makes it all so much easier.

Be quick, but don't rush !

I tried a while back a system like the Pollens one (but just with M6 bolts and captive nuts ! ) but it seemed too much of a fuss and I couldn't decide how best to support the plate from below.

I do like the piano wire David - useful for many things. Very elegant indeed. May try it out sometime.

Geoff - Bristol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good point.

I take it even further and on these type of clamps ( but not shown in my pic above) normally bind the crotch area around with wire or string to prevent splitting at an inconvenient moment

Good point. :)

Although I'd be careful to use too much pressure when gluing, in fear that it might show through the belly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you might find this amusing, or even disturbing, but here's the setup for the bass bar of bass #1. Materials used were a plaster mould under the plate, three scraps of trim moulding and the basement ceiling. It actually worked really well in spite of its crude nature. It was very fast to get the thing clamped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was very fast to get the thing clamped.

That's the thing I love about go bars is the speed, unfortunately there's the support issue. As to disturbing--there is a story floating around of a supposed harpsichord maker who used go bars braced against his garage roof for gluing soundbars on a soundboard, and pushed the roof up off the walls. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you might find this amusing, or even disturbing, but here's the setup for the bass bar of bass #1. Materials used were a plaster mould under the plate, three scraps of trim moulding and the basement ceiling. It actually worked really well in spite of its crude nature. It was very fast to get the thing clamped.

I like this - but now you have me thinking again of my old system and some modifications ( just when I was happy with my clamps ! )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's the thing I love about go bars is the speed, unfortunately there's the support issue. As to disturbing--there is a story floating around of a supposed harpsichord maker who used go bars braced against his garage roof for gluing soundbars on a soundboard, and pushed the roof up off the walls. :)

My wife liked this method too because that area of the floor was squeek free for the day!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.