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Fitting a Bass Bar over Cleats

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I am looking for advice on fitting the bass bar over crack cleats.

The crack is nearly the length of the bass bar. I'm thinking of around 4 cleats for the crack.

I intend to do the type of cleat that Triangle Strings demonstrates in their write up for cleating cracks.  So with that cleat design in mind:

What is the best way to fit the bar to the cleats?  Chalk the top of the cleat and fit until the bar touches the top again?

Any pitfalls to look out for?

Feedback from your experience would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Dorian

 

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The only times I've had to do this, I repaired the crack first,  then fitted the bar carefully, then cleated the crack. Once the cleats were in place I carefully notched the bar until it seated again. I don't know that this would work in every case though. There are people here who know more, I'm sure.

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As I was taught, and I don't think that any professional repairers will disagree, sanding cleats to "fit" doesn't work out well in the long run. They just don't fit well when you do that. In the above video you can see the top flexing as he sands...

I chalk fit the cleats. Glue them. Trin them, then notch out the already fit bar to accept the cleats. Some will chalk fit the cleats into the recess and make them fit tightly, some are more flexible in that regard and it probably depends upon who taught you how you approach this aspect. 

4 cleats for a bass bar crack that goes end to end is a little skimpy for me, unless perhaps you are placing a cleat at each end of the bar to make 6 end-to-end.

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3 minutes ago, duane88 said:

4 cleats for a bass bar crack that goes end to end is a little skimpy for me, unless perhaps you are placing a cleat at each end of the bar to make 6 end-to-end.

Thanks John.  I was just thinking about that.  I will rethink the number of cleats and spacing.

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21 minutes ago, duane88 said:

As I was taught, and I don't think that any professional repairers will disagree, sanding cleats to "fit" doesn't work out well in the long run. They just don't fit well when you do that. In the above video you can see the top flexing as he sands...

I chalk fit the cleats. Glue them. Trin them, then notch out the already fit bar to accept the cleats. Some will chalk fit the cleats into the recess and make them fit tightly, some are more flexible in that regard and it probably depends upon who taught you how you approach this aspect. 

4 cleats for a bass bar crack that goes end to end is a little skimpy for me, unless perhaps you are placing a cleat at each end of the bar to make 6 end-to-end.

All agreed. And I'll add that the end-grain portions of the bass bar tend to expand more than those directly over the cleat when moistened with glue, so it's good to leave a little more clearance on the sides of the cleat than at the top when dry-fitting.

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I've done several bass bars over cleats. I agree with Stringcheese. Glue the crack first, making sure that you maintain correct arching. After the crack is glued, fit the bass bar as you normally would. Mark the final position for the bass bar, and possibly put in a couple temporary locating pillars/cleats for the bass bar. After the bar is fitted, put in you crack cleats. Make sure that you stagger the ends of the cleats so that you don't create a possible stress line for another crack.

After the cleats are glued and shaped, place the fitted bar over the cleats, and mark their positions. Cut out recesses in the bar to fit the cleats. As has been mentioned the hot glue will swell things. I always cut the recesses slightly large to make sure that the main part of the bar glues down properly. I would rather have a very slight gap over the cleat than a gap under the bass bar.

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I have made the mistake (only once) of trying to fit a bar with the cleats in place from scratch.  Took forever.  As said above, fit the bar before you put the cleats in then refit over the cleats.  I've never left a gap, but David makes a good point and maybe I was just lucky (or THOUGHT I fit it tight...:lol:).

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