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Making repair cleats


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Hi, I’m brand new to repair/restoration and I hope you all don’t mind helping me with a newbie question. I’m trying to make my first cleats to shore up a crack repair, and I am literally giving myself a headache trying to figure out how to cut them out of this spruce I got. 
The first question is - I need to cut my stock as in photo 2, am I correct, and NOT as in photo 1?

And then, I mitre off (what is now) the end grain to a 45 degree angle, and then split off each cleat from what is now my long skinny stock using a chisel, and what is now the end grain becomes the TOP/bottom face of my cleats that I then have to chalk fit to the repair surface? 
 I apologize if this is out there already, I’ve looked for videos and posts to no avail...



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I hate to ask, but is that a chunk of 2x8? The grain is pretty uneven. I typically use something a bit more even. I have some cut off ends from bass bar blanks that make nice cleats. I have also used spruce guitar bracing that has nice straight even grain. The Triangle Strings tutorial makes nice diamond shaped cleats. I have a tendency to make rectangular ones. Either are OK.

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I decided to take a quick photo to illustrate using a bass bar cut off. The grain runs vertical in the bass bar, and I've marked off what I would cut out as a cleat blank for a rectangular cleat. The grain in the cleat is quarter sawn, just like in the instrument top (The cleat is, of course, placed cross to the top grain). To answer your question, The end grain of the cleat is the end grain of the wood, not the glue surface.


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Doug, thank you so much. This helps a lot. This is a piece of spruce I got from Woodcraft that they said was usually purchased for guitar repairs, and it was all they had. I got it to just make cleats out of and small bits of wood to replace a corner missing on the “Conservatory” masterpiece I’m learning to restore on. Actually I was hoping having such widely varying grain widths would help me find bits to match the grain on various tops. As I’m a beginner and amateur, sadly I don’t have scrap bass bars to rob, so I hope this wood works! Jeffrey, thanks, I have been reading the Triangle Strings article but was having a hard time wrapping my head around exactly how to extract the cleat stock even after reading. Knowing where the end grain goes helps a lot. 

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I am having trouble seeing the grain alignment of the wood in these pictures but that may just be my computer. Hopefully the OP understands that the cleats are oriented so the tension which could separate the crack would have to overcome the long fibers of the cleat. One tip I would add is the cleat can be fitted while still part of a longer stick and then split off after fitting. Much easier to work on and insures that the top of the cleat is parallel to the surface of the plate which makes it a lot easier to shape after gluing. As in Jerrys video a line drawn on the north side of the cleat stock orients the cleat after splitting it off the stick.

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