Cantilever Grafting

A DIY option of how to effect a repair of a sheared cantilever using a cactus thorn as a splint.
I picked this method up from a member of a vinyl forum, tried it and it certainly can work.

A cactus thorn is pretty much the ideal splint - small, light, strong and easily formed.

Here's the donor

Form into a spike at both ends and ensure a perfect fit into both sides of the broken cantilever.
I used nail clippers to trim and fine sandpaper to finish, holding the thorn with tweezers.

You will need to ensure a round profile to both ends of the snapped cantilever.
This can be done by carefully inserting and rotating either a cactus thorn, or if stubborn, a metal pin.

The below pic was a work in progress, not yet glued in place, just checking the stylus side fitment.
The cactus end was then subsequently cut and formed to fit into the hollow shank of the snapped cantilever.

When the thorn is finished and a perfect fit confirmed, glue into the stylus end of the cantilever (I used UHU for this).
Set up the cart in some form of holder such as a small vice, it must be secure.

Apply a dab of glue to the exposed thorn and insert.
Use a pocket scope (or naked eye if you're up to it) to set it square then leave to dry.

In this case I ended up using Super Glue as I only had a very small amount of cantilever stub to play with,
I had to move quickly to get Azimuth correct before the glue set.


You do need a fairly steady hand, but generally you don't have much to lose in these circumstances so always worth a shot.


There's a little bit more to this particular grafting application - in this case the diamond/cantilever is applied to a different carrier.

Bit of a long story but the stylus used here is a nice nude 8MR, but I was not happy with the suspension.
The treble had started to deteriorate following some potting exploits - Part of the beauty of keeping recordings of all of my carts.

My mate Bammer sent me a busted G2 stylus body, snapped off towards the base, so I had a go at mating the pair to fit to one of my HO Grado bodies.
So it ended up as a truly Frankengrado combo (Z+/G2/8MR).

How it sounded? - First reaction was Wow!- Really dynamic and alive, retaining the bottom end punch and extension that I was used to.
But, it became clear that the top end had become accentuated and a little too hot for my tastes (sort of AT territory).

I believe the driver for this is a slight mismatch in delivered overall cantilever length.
The stub of the donor carrier is a little longer than the 8MR and also, there's a slight gap between the two.
Upshot is that the cantilever in this case is approx 1/16" too long - I think it is this that is driving the hotter top end.

But - Once again resistive loading came to my aid. Dropping down tamed it nicely.
Perfectly acceptable and for me more than a match for a Grado Gold.

I'm pretty convinced that if you mated the same two halves back together then you won't have lost too much.
The key lesson I learned here though was, for future applications, to make sure the original cantilever length is maintained (pretty obvious really).

Iíve uploaded some sound clips HERE

1: Z+ motor with good 8MR stylus at 47k Ohms
2: Z+ motor with grafted 8MR/G2 stylus at 47k Ohms
3: Z+ motor with grafted 8MR/G2 stylus at 10k Ohms
4: Gold motor with Gold Stylus at 47k Ohms

I popped in the Gold as a bit of a comparator.

So there you go Ė donít just throw away that snapped cantilever - there is a DIY repair option.

Created by Mail To: November 2011