Shopmade Luthier Tools #31: Brass F-hole cleat clamps

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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 02-09-2018 11:37 PM 2180 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 30: Scraper, well sort of Part 31 of Shopmade Luthier Tools series Part 32: Brass violin crack clamps »

Who doesn’t love clamps? I made these 5 light duty clamps so that I wouldn’t have to buy them. You can get the comercial variety for $16-$20 each plus shipping. Mine came in at about $5 each.

I made them from 5/32” brass rod, 10-24 threaded rod, nuts, a 6mm t coupling for air lines, and some JB Weld to put it all together.

The cleats involved are very very small, designed to simply bridge a crack which has already been glued together in order to add some strength to the mend. The top picture below is mine, showing two of my clamps posing on a repaired violin.

The rest of these photos are not mine. I borrowed them from the internet for educational purposes. They show cleats on the underside of an opened violin and cleats on the end of two clamps.

The cleat is glued to the end of the clamp with a dot of glue. It will easily break off after application to the wood of the violin. Again, these are lightweight clamps, they only need to hold the cleat to the wood while the glue dries, not muscle anything together.

These are sold in throat sets of 1, 2, 3, and 4 inches. I went a step further and made one of 5 inches. Not available in stores!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

3 comments so far

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 3860 days

#1 posted 02-10-2018 01:31 PM

Definitely a specialty clamp, thank you for showing their usage, since most of us would never have been able to
figure it out. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5407 posts in 1357 days

#2 posted 02-10-2018 01:56 PM

So that’s how you fix a cracked violin. Thanks for the explanation.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1942 posts in 2963 days

#3 posted 02-13-2018 01:38 AM

So that s how you fix a cracked violin. Thanks for the explanation.

- Dave Polaschek

More correctly, that’s how a crack is cleated. For extreme cases the top gets removed. Glad I haven’t had one of those yet.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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