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PhilipKT

How about Bamboo?

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 Yesterday, I posted some photographs of the interior of a violin that had had some cleats and a patch installed(I am assuming that they were made of white pine) and it occurred to me that because it is so light and strong, And probably easier to work as well, bamboo might be an adequate or better choice for cleats, patches, or linings.

Also, my friend with the many instruments also has a Gragnani Violin, which has whalebone purfling. Whalebone. I think that’s pretty cool, and I marvel that a maker found whalebone easier to get than whatever wood was the choice of the day.

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Guitars have been made with Bamboo. For violin family instruments, unless it is used like an Ulbrich-Tatter violin, I don't see it working very well.

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11 minutes ago, duane88 said:

Guitars have been made with Bamboo. For violin family instruments, unless it is used like an Ulbrich-Tatter violin, I don't see it working very well.

Well the question is just about whether it would work for linings or cleats, I have no illusions about it being used for anything more substantial.

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Back in the mid twentieth century, Lawrence Cocker of Derby became renowned for his bamboo bows.  They were beautifully made--one distinguished cellist abandoned his regular bows and played exclusively with those of Cocker.

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1 hour ago, PhilipKT said:

Well the question is just about whether it would work for linings or cleats, I have no illusions about it being used for anything more substantial.

For cleats you, I think, want to use something like what you are cleating-i.e. maple cleats on maple, spruce cleats on spruce. I would be reluctant to use bamboo only because if a repair comes loose, and I did the repair, I have to fix it. 

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

As far as cleats or linings go, does bamboo have a better strength-to-weight ratio than spruce?

I'm practically positive it does not. Hell, even steel doesn't. Spruce is pretty unique stuff.

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20 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I thought that cleats were made of pine? And linings are willow(among other woods but that’s the main one, I think) which isn’t terribly strong stuff is it?

Cleats for the belly are made of the same kind of wood as the belly: spruce. Maple for the back. As for linings, they are there largely to enlarge the gluing surface. They do not need to be "strong". Also, linings are at least as often made of spruce as they are Willow, if not more commonly. Some schools used walnut for the same. 

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Cleats for the belly are made of the same kind of wood as the belly: spruce. Maple for the back. As for linings, they are there largely to enlarge the gluing surface. They do not need to be "strong". Also, linings are at least as often made of spruce as they are Willow, if not more commonly. Some schools used walnut for the same. 

Thank you very much I appreciate that. As long as I’m talking weird, I was just wondering regarding cleats, should the grain of the cleat be 90° to the table/back grain or 45°?

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20 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Thank you very much I appreciate that. As long as I’m talking weird, I was just wondering regarding cleats, should the grain of the cleat be 90° to the table/back grain or 45°?

Absolutely, sir. Not weird at all, by the way. The annual growth rings of the cleat should be oriented perpendicular to the annual growth rings of the plate, as I was taught at least. 

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10 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I thought that cleats were made of pine? And linings are willow(among other woods but that’s the main one, I think) which isn’t terribly strong stuff is it?

Willow is actually very tough due to interlocking grain.  Cricket bats are made of Willow. 

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Willow is pretty tough.

As far a strength to weight is concerned, I don't really know, but lighter isn't always better and heavier isn't always worse.

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http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.675.9152&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Here is some data that shows bamboo is pretty strong and has a fairly low density.  

Bamboo has a reputation of making very fine fly rods.  So, it is very flexible, strong, and resistant to fracture.  Bamboo bows are an interesting idea.

Mike D

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53 minutes ago, duane88 said:

As far a strength to weight is concerned, I don't really know, but lighter isn't always better and heavier isn't always worse.

"Strength" in normal engineering terms means the load it takes to break something... which is different from "stiffness" which is more of a concern for acoustics.

From what I have been able to find, bamboo is about twice as dense as spruce, and about twice the modulus, or stiffness.  That follows the rough rule that modulus is proportional to density.  For soundboards, density (or the inverse of it) becomes a more powerful factor, with lower density usually giving a higher figure of merit (radiation ratio).

20 minutes ago, Mike_Danielson said:

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.675.9152&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Here is some data that shows bamboo is pretty strong and has a fairly low density.  

There is one glaring error in there that jumped out at me, making me a bit suspicious of the whole paper.  In table 2.2, it shows the modulus of steel is only ~5% higher than bamboo.  That is off by an order of magnitude.  Interestingly, the modulus/density ratio of steel is approximately the same as spruce and bamboo... but since steel is so much denser, the modulus is much higher.  And it makes a crappy soundboard, where bending stiffness/weight is important. (resonators in dobros are designed differently).

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21 hours ago, Ron MacDonald said:

Back in the mid twentieth century, Lawrence Cocker of Derby became renowned for his bamboo bows.  They were beautifully made--one distinguished cellist abandoned his regular bows and played exclusively with those of Cocker.

 

1 hour ago, Mike_Danielson said:

 ( ... )

Bamboo has a reputation of making very fine fly rods.  So, it is very flexible, strong, and resistant to fracture.  Bamboo bows are an interesting idea.

Mike D

The material has been difficult to work with... I have not used a router yet, but the already dull blades that are prepared for cutting and scraping get further chewed up.

In fly rods, there have been interesting cross sections assembled where there is a central "spine" designed into the construction. The snapping back is noticeable compared to uniform composite rods ( bows? ) and behaves very well like impeccable Pernambuco. I have experimented with making a short, pentagonal bamboo rod and it was very fun to tease tiny fish in a near by creek. I could cast with a snap of the wrist which would have been difficult with a composite rod as they have a tendency to continue vibrating even with pairings of dissimilar materials. For it's elasticity, it can not dissipate energy as well and will keep vibrating in a chaotic manner. It would not likely replace current developments in technology from Coda and others as these bows have improved significantly in 10 years. But if it were possible to cleanly and cheaply taper triangular bamboo strips, i would make a bow for myself. 

Bamboo does have protrusions along it's growth so there would likely be sudden density changes along the length of a bow depending on the bamboo chosen.

I would love to try a bamboo fingerboard or tailpiece, laminated with ebony? 

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21 hours ago, duane88 said:

For cleats you, I think, want to use something like what you are cleating-i.e. maple cleats on maple, spruce cleats on spruce. I would be reluctant to use bamboo only because if a repair comes loose, and I did the repair, I have to fix it. 

Agreed. Properly fit spruce cleats for spruce work wonderfully.  I do often use willow for cleats in the back however.  Never had problems with adhesion (re JPOWTC's comment) or resilience.

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23 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Absolutely, sir. Not weird at all, by the way. The annual growth rings of the cleat should be oriented perpendicular to the annual growth rings of the plate, as I was taught at least. 

While that has been traditional, it is becoming challenged these days. Cleat grain at 45 degrees to that of the plate can offer good reinforcement, while reducing the differences between the expansion and contraction ratios  of cross-grain and "vertical" grain.

10 hours ago, duane88 said:

Willow is pretty tough.

As far a strength to weight is concerned, I don't really know, but lighter isn't always better and heavier isn't always worse.

Agreed.

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1 minute ago, David Burgess said:

While that has been traditional, it is becoming challenged these days. Cleat grain at 45 degrees to that of the plate can offer good reinforcement, while reducing the differences between the expansion and contraction ratios  of cross-grain and "vertical" grain.

I appreciate the insight! I will keep that in mind next time I do cleats. 

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I know a bowmaker (non traditional mind you) who told me that bamboo is probably the future of bows, it has a higher Luchi and is entirely renewable. 

The only downside he had with it was the amount of labour required to process it into a suitable bow blank. 

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5 hours ago, J Corry said:

The only downside he had with it was the amount of labour required to process it into a suitable bow blank. 

SO many things are already invented in other areas... if you look into arrow shaft manufarcture methods, there are relatively simple ways how to make lamnated arrow shafts out of split bamboo, similar to fly rods. And you can get lotsa inspiration from pool cue makers for laminating shafts or cool looking ways of splicing heads or handles on. You can adjust balance and local stiffness by adding inner core lamination out of different wood or leaving it empty.

So many new possibilities if you forget what tradiiton dictates and close your eyes...

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