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Yard Cleats


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I have produced a number of yards now for my Ballahoo and Snake builds. Whilst I have managed to create cleats for the yards, I have never been happy with the materials and technique I used as it always felt like more of a bodge than a proper method.


So far I had used basswood or walnut but these both often split or crumbled. I tended to drill and carve out a hole in the yard to anchor the cleat into and glue with cyano.


I would interested to know what materials other modellers use and how they attach the cleats to their yards.

Current builds:

HMS Snake
HMS Hood
Mechanical Solar System

Completed builds:

HMS Ballahoo

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I just used walnut and glued them to a lightly sanded surface of the yard with PVA and let it dry.  After it's well dried, I then sand the cleats to their final shape and size while they are on the mast so that I can match the pairs by eye.  Since the cleats and the yards are both wood (in my case boxwood for the yard/mast), I think PVA is the best wood to use.  Gives me time to get the positioning right before the glue sets, and if it does come out wrong, easy enough to just pull it off, do some light sanding and re-do it.

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I made my cleats from pieces of the thinner plywood leftovers from the kit. Painted the centres of the yards black so you couldn't see they were made from ply anyway ;)  I do the same as you,cut a shallow slot to glue the cleat in. For Yardarm cleats I cut a narrow slot all the way through,glue a suitable piece of wood in then cut it down to form the cleat. Much easier than trying to glue tiny wedges of wood on  :D 


Dave :dancetl6:

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Walnut and basswood would not be my choice when it comes to carving small items like cleats. The grain is too large for walnut and basswood tends to create fuzz and soft spots. The shape of cleats includes a small base to anchor it to the yard (or where ever) and it is this part that splits off easily with large grain wood. Drilling holes makes this problem even worse.


I would really suggest you get some boxwood, holly or pear wood. They are marvelous when it comes to machining or carving.

I have used pear for tiny parts, stained them and coated them with wipe-on poly, and they came out very nice and even looking. 



Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10120-cross-section-forward-area-of-the-uss-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/103-uss-constitution-by-modeler12/


'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .

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