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FoxMitchell

Cleats Variety

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Noob question here: Is there a reason for the variety of cleats used on cracks out there?

We have the square ones (long and short)...

violin 8.jpg

 

...the diamond shaped ones...

DB_Hunter_094.JPG

 

...the parallelogram...

dscn2046-version-2.jpg

 

...the... variety pack...

An-organic-touch_xlarge1.jpg

 

...the complete mess...

149ox87.jpg

 

Is there some consensus on what's the right cleat shape for the job, or even if there's a 'best' cleat shape?

Thank you!

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43 minutes ago, FoxMitchell said:

...Is there a reason for the variety of cleats used on cracks out there?...

Yes.  Different people have been taught different ways of doing them or have come up their own different ideas, and different people have different skill levels.

 

43 minutes ago, FoxMitchell said:

...Is there some consensus on what's the right cleat shape for the job, or even if there's a 'best' cleat shape?...

 

The consensus here seems to favor the parallelogram type that you show.  This is because in this type of cleat the strength of the reinforcement it provides tapers off gradually rather than ending abruptly.  The concentrated stress created by the abrupt end of a square-ended cleat could encourage a new crack at the end of the cleat.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Yes.  Different people have been taught different ways of doing them or have come up their own different ideas, and different people have different skill levels.

 

 

The consensus here seems to favor the parallelogram type that you show.  This is because in this type of cleat the strength of the reinforcement it provides tapers off gradually rather than ending abruptly.  The concentrated stress created by the abrupt end of a square-ended cleat could encourage a new crack at the end of the cleat.

 

 

Wouldn't that also favor the diamond then?

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In that respect, yes.  But if you make a drawing of a crack with a diamond cleat across it, then draw the grain lines on the cleat, you will see that the grains at one end are all on one side of the crack and the grains on the other end are all on the other side of the crack.  The grains actually significantly span the crack only around the middle of the cleat.  Therefore, I don't think a diamond cleat provides as much reinforcement as a parallelogram.

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Fox, my aim is to use the least amount of wood. 5 mm x 10mm average size, tapered peramid shape then flatten top to get cleat 1.5 mm made out of left over spruce top. I lay 220 grit sand paper where the cleat goes and sand to fit, then glue with hide glue and put a weight on it to hold while drying.

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I use a few different cleat styles for various purposes... different approaches have different strengths and weaknesses which I attempt to weigh depending on the application. Workmanship, or lack of it, is another thing entirely.

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

I would still recommend staggering these so they don't all end on the same grain line.

And I would like to see them parallel to each other and perpendicular to the center line, but the shape is quite good.

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7 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

2854493B-60B7-485D-A345-4FFD8FB887C4-6858-000014F3C501F1C1.thumb.jpeg.e6bdb11690b5de608bae6b88145bab54.jpeg

FoxMitchell,

Can you please tell me what these are on and from where?

I thought this picture was from https://trianglestrings.com/making-installing-cleats/ but now visiting the page again I can't find it there. But it's the same type/technique they show there.

 

edit:

Ah, here it is https://restorersmind.com/tag/violin-worm-damage/

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On 9/2/2017 at 5:57 PM, FoxMitchell said:

I thought this picture was from https://trianglestrings.com/making-installing-cleats/ but now visiting the page again I can't find it there. But it's the same type/technique they show there.

 

edit:

Ah, here it is https://restorersmind.com/tag/violin-worm-damage/

Wonderful, thank you.  Stacey has chops.

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I generally make studs like these. 

I find it useful to make strips of acetate with slots that fit the stud pillar. I tape the acetate in place and chalk fit the stud, split it off, and glue it, using the slot to keep it exactly positioned. I find it hard to keep studs dead straight without a guide like this, and it used to drive me mad.

I also use an acetate frame when I'm trimming the studs to thickness. I just cut down level to the plastic and automatically get them all to the same thickness. I make another thin plastic frame for the rounding and smoothing, to protect the belly. Then bevel the ends with a really sharp knife tip.

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8 hours ago, FoxMitchell said:

What about glue drops used as cleats?

(old Bohemian one I'm working on)

I think it's important to understand "what" cleats do (how they reinforce) in the various areas and applications you choose to use them.  A drop of glue probably makes a better hinge than a stabilizer. :)

 

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20 hours ago, Conor Russell said:

I generally make studs like these. 

I find it useful to make strips of acetate with slots that fit the stud pillar. I tape the acetate in place and chalk fit the stud, split it off, and glue it, using the slot to keep it exactly positioned. I find it hard to keep studs dead straight without a guide like this, and it used to drive me mad.

I also use an acetate frame when I'm trimming the studs to thickness. I just cut down level to the plastic and automatically get them all to the same thickness. I make another thin plastic frame for the rounding and smoothing, to protect the belly. Then bevel the ends with a really sharp knife tip.

I'm not quite that anal about cleats, not that I can't be in some other ways. ;)

Stacey Styles has a really good mind going on. Jerry, Jeffrey and I have spent quite a bit of time around her at Oberlin.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I'm not quite that anal about cleats, not that I can't be in some other ways. ;)

Stacey Styles has a really good mind going on. Jerry, Jeffrey and I have spent quite a bit of time around her at Oberlin.

Me? Anal about cleats?

Probably. I tend to be a fussy repairman and a pretty relaxed maker.

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46 minutes ago, Jacob said:

Why are in cleats in the photos cross-grain?

If I'm reading your post right you always put the grain the opposite way to reduce the chances of it  splitting.

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7 hours ago, Jacob said:

Why are in cleats in the photos cross-grain?

Because if the grain of the cleat were parallel to the crack the cleat would only provide minimal reinforcement to the crack.  If the crack were to want to open again, the cleat would likely split along the crack.

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7 hours ago, Jacob said:

Why are in cleats in the photos cross-grain?

As I mentioned above, I think it's important to understand "what" a cleat does in terms of reinforcement in the various applications one is used.  It's a reversible internal surface reinforcement.  It's not a patch.  While there is some "adhesive" advantage, an important function of the cleat is to stabilize the area to help prevent the repaired crack from failing due to flexing or other movement caused by changes in humidity or pressure applied to the area during normal use.  If that was not the case, the cleat could simply be a very thin veneer of wood set across the crack.  Unfortunately, all that would really do is make a nice hinge when the outer side of the crack failed. :)

The strength (ability to stabilize) of a spruce cleat reinforcement is dependent on the split (quartered face to the glue surface) and the grain direction (perpendicular, or up the 45 degrees from the crack line depending on what style of cleat is being used).  The center portion (where the business is done) will vary in thickness depending on the restorer, but for violin, is usually plus or minus about 1 mm. That, the shape, and the grain orientation, is necessary to provide the resistance to movement/flexing and to prevent the reinforcement from causing further problems by it's presence.  In my opinion, what style might "work best" depends on the application (bass bar crack, flank crack, ff hole crack, cross grain crack, etc.)... but the go-to standard for many restorers is the parallelogram style illustrated here (Stacy's cleats) or on Jerry's Triangle Strings website.

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8 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

As I mentioned above, I think it's important to understand "what" a cleat does in terms of reinforcement in the various applications one is used.  It's a reversible internal surface reinforcement.  It's not a patch.  While there is some "adhesive" advantage, an important function of the cleat is to stabilize the area to help prevent the repaired crack from failing due to flexing or other movement caused by changes in humidity or pressure applied to the area during normal use.  If that was not the case, the cleat could simply be a very thin veneer of wood set across the crack.  Unfortunately, all that would really do is make a nice hinge when the outer side of the crack failed. :)

The strength (ability to stabilize) of a spruce cleat reinforcement is dependent on the split (quartered face to the glue surface) and the grain direction (perpendicular, or up the 45 degrees from the crack line depending on what style of cleat is being used).  The center portion (where the business is done) will vary in thickness depending on the restorer, but for violin, is usually plus or minus about 1 mm. That, the shape, and the grain orientation, is necessary to provide the resistance to movement/flexing and to prevent the reinforcement from causing further problems by it's presence.  In my opinion, what style might "work best" depends on the application (bass bar crack, flank crack, ff hole crack, cross grain crack, etc.)... but the go-to standard for many restorers is the parallelogram style illustrated here (Stacy's cleats) or on Jerry's Triangle Strings website.

Interesting, so, in essence it adds a spot of local "stiffness" where the crack is a weakness that can flex.

So, does that mean that the "ideal" cleat would result in the top being exactly the same flexibility as the plate originally had in that local area?  And so the challenge is to find the shape, thickness, and size that mineralizes the change to the plate vibration while adding strength to the new "joint" (crack)?

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16 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

As I mentioned above, I think it's important to understand "what" a cleat does in terms of reinforcement in the various applications one is used.  It's a reversible internal surface reinforcement.  It's not a patch.  While there is some "adhesive" advantage, an important function of the cleat is to stabilize the area to help prevent the repaired crack from failing due to flexing or other movement caused by changes in humidity or pressure applied to the area during normal use.  If that was not the case, the cleat could simply be a very thin veneer of wood set across the crack.  Unfortunately, all that would really do is make a nice hinge when the outer side of the crack failed. :)

See "parchment" crack reinforcement.

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Given how much very careful work goes into graduating the top of an instrument in the first place (down to the tenth of mm) the idea that an instrument can play very well with quite a few cleats inside it gives one a certain pause for thought.

DLB

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