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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:01 pm 
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Walnut
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idunno Hello all. I know this subject has been covered numerous times, but I have a few questions about the different types of glue. From the searching I have done the HHG is hot hide glue made from animal hide and must be heated for use. Fish glue is made from certain parts of fish and does not need to be heated. Is this correct? With that said, which is better for most people? Also if you go down to the local hardware store you can find Elmer's and various Titebond glues of which I haven't seen or found HHG or fish glue at the local stores. So I guess what I'm getting at if you guys had your preference of all mentioned what would be the concensous? If you did happen to buy at the local hardware what would be that preference, Elmer's or Titebond? Thanks to all.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:16 pm 
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Local hardware best buy would be TiteBond Original. TiteBond II and III are not really good for guitar building. I doubt the local hardware would have anything else suitable. Hide glue in granular form is not very expensive, but by the time you get something to keep it hot and a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature, you'll spend some bucks. Fish glue is available at Lee Valley via internet. All are viable for most parts of guitar building.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:18 pm 
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If you're building your first guitar, i would recommend a bottle of titebond. Once you have some experience you can mix things up with some fish glue and hhg.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:22 pm 
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If you haven't already seen it, there was an helpful thread on fish glue recently:

viewtopic.php?f=10101&t=16524

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:24 pm 
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My first 20 or so guitars were built using titebond and no other glue with the exception of some CA (superglue) to help hold in the abalone rosette. It is still my favorite glue. When used properly, it has tremendous holding power.

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn is how to properly use ANY glue. When done right, there should be no squeezeout or almost none. A thin, even coat of what ever kind you use is all you need to have a proper bond.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:04 pm 
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Elmer's does make Carpenter's Wood Glue that is the same color as Titebond. Is this the same glue but different makers?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:56 pm 
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There are certain parts of the guitar that you want to have different attributes such as repair-ability, creep resistant, heat resistant, plastic, elastic, rigid.

Of the glues out there, IMO there really are only a small number that are best suited for guitar building.

Hide glue and fish glue have both been proven over time to outlast any single human life cycle. They are undoubtedly the leaders in longevity. The other factors about both glues is that they cure to a rigid, glass hard state which will not creep under normal heat and humidity fluctuations. Both have some amount of water content so using them over large surfaces can induce warping. Generally heat and moisture will soften these glues and cause them to release. Places on the guitar where hide or fish glue are found is brace to plate joint, plate to rim joint, rim to tail or head block, headstock veneer and really any place two pieces of wood come together although it may not be the best glue in some areas. Some folks use these glues for pore filling too. Clean up for Hide glue is easy with a moist rag or waiting 10-15 mins and it will be hard enough to peel away the squeeze out. Clean up for fish glue can be a bit messier but a moist rag after 5 mins will get the sqeeze out taken care of. Set up time is longer and joints can be handled after a couple hours but should not be stressed for 12-24 hours.

Aliphatic Resin glues (AR glue), (titebond, probond, yellow woodworkers glue) do not cure to a glass hard, rigid state (well not when compared to hide or fish glue) they are more elastic and will creep over time when stressed or heated. Heat alone can soften these glues and cause them to release. Many builders will use an AR glue for every glue joint on the guitar although it may not be the best glue in some areas. Clean up is easy with a moist rag after a few minutes. Set up time is relativly short and joints can be handled within an hour or two.

Epoxy (there are way to many types of epoxy to try and isolate them) generally one that cures at typical room temperature over a 12-24 hour period is what is used in guitar making these days. Epoxy does not have any moisture in it which makes it the ideal glue for attaching the fretboard to the neck. No chance of warping when water is not present. Epoxy also can gap fill to a certain extent which is helpful when you need to fill gaps of course. It also won't shrink back over time. Epoxy can be softened with heat alone and it doesn't take as much heat to soften it as it would to soften an AR glue. Generally Epoxy is used for the fretboard to neck joint and in some inlay work. Sometimes it is used with an oily wood like Cocobolo to glue braces down. It's not found on very many glue joints in the guitar. More and more people are using epoxy finishing resins for pore filling. Clean up is not to easy. Best to let the glue cure fully (usually 24 hours) and cut away or sand off the sqeeze out or excess resin.

Polyurethane glue's (gorilla, titebond, Elmer's) are 100% water proof (don't have to worry about warping here either) and are non-reversible. This is the best glue IMO for making laminated necks. You don't ever want your lamination to warp due to moisture or to creep or to release because of heat. Some folks don't like the clean up but I've taken some good advise from Mario, don't touch it till it's fully cured (usually about 24 hours) and you won't get all sticky. Yes it foams and oozes everywhere but once cured, it cuts off your wood just fine. Lots of clamps and pressure is the key with Polyurethane glues. As mentioned, not many use polyurethane glues in guitar making.

CA glue (super glue, crazy glue) cures fast to a crystalline state (not sure if it's glass hard though). There's not a great amount of history with it as guitar making or wood working is concerned. It does not have a high shear strength which might be why it's not used much in wood working for any type of stressed joints. Generally it is used for smaller tasks like replacing splintered pieces in a hurry or hold two pieces together quickly which can easily be knocked apart. The other thing that they can be used for is for drop filling with a lacquer or shellac finish (I just learned about this a couple weeks ago). The thin CA glues move in a capillary action in that they will find a way into the smallest of gaps and often times get where you don't want it (but will always get where you do want it too), this is often refereed to as "wicking in" the glue. It has also been used for closing cuts in the skin when a needle and thread is not available. Places on the guitar where CA is found is mostly in inlay work and more builders are using it for attaching bindings and purflings to the body (a non-stressed joint). Some people use CA for pore filling as well. Clean up is usually done with a scraper or sandpaper. Cure time is pretty much instant to 1-2 mins depending on CA viscosity.

I don't necessarily agree with Ken when he says there should be no to almost no squeeze out when it comes to glue. I also don't think you need excessive squeeze out either. There is a balance and you want some amount of squeeze out all around to tell you that all the surfaces have been covered. Clamp spacing and pressure is just as important as glue coverage. To few clamps spread out to far and your parts may not come together fully. To few clamps spread out to far with over clamping may cause gaps as well. To many clamps over clamped (pressure) can push to much glue out of the joint and starve the joint, thus causing the joint to fail when stressed.

I do agree with Ken that one needs to learn the proper amount of glue to use, but I also think it's just as important to know how to properly prepare surfaces for gluing and how many clamps to use, where to place them and how much clamping pressure you need. This is usually learned from one of two ways. Trial and error (or success) or under the watchful eye of an elder craftsman. I got to spend a couple years as a joe boy in a custom cabinet shop years ago. I did more clamping than I care to remember (more sanding too) but one thing I learned was to make sure the surfaces were prepared right, how much glue to use, where to put my clamps and how hard to clamp it all down. I made several mistakes that required correcting (they say that's how you get to be a good woodworker, by correcting your mistakes) and for allot of those old guys, that must have been fun to watch cause they gave me the gears every chance they could, but they were also willing to praise you when you did something well (not just right but well). They expected everything to be right.

This is what I know about glue, I'm sure there's more that I've missed.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:23 am 
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Rod True wrote:
Aliphatic Resin glues (AR glue), (titebond, probond, yellow woodworkers glue) do not cure to a glass hard, rigid state (well not when compared to hide or fish glue) they are more elastic and will creep over time when stressed or heated. Heat alone can soften these glues and cause them to release. Many builders will use an AR glue for every glue joint on the guitar although it may not be the best glue in some areas. Clean up is easy with a moist rag after a few minutes. Set up time is relativly short and joints can be handled within an hour or two.

Polyurethane glue's (gorilla, titebond, Elmer's) are 100% water proof (don't have to worry about warping here either) and are non-reversible. This is the best glue IMO for making laminated necks. You don't ever want your lamination to warp due to moisture or to creep or to release because of heat. Some folks don't like the clean up but I've taken some good advise from Mario, don't touch it till it's fully cured (usually about 24 hours) and you won't get all sticky. Yes it foams and oozes everywhere but once cured, it cuts off your wood just fine. Lots of clamps and pressure is the key with Polyurethane glues. As mentioned, not many use polyurethane glues in guitar making.


Hi Rod,

You got Titebond listed as both AR glue and Polyurethane. Could you help me understand why it's on both category?

thanks, David


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:37 am 
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Titebond is a brand name like Elmers. They make several glues including AR and poly.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:39 am 
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Thanks Kent [:Y:]

Titebond also makes a liquid hide glue. Doesn't compare to granular type hide glue that you heat and mix yourself. It's considerably inferior to the point that it's not used much that I've heard. It must be used by some people though because Franklin (titebond parent company) still makes it.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:46 am 
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Gots to have some squeezeout.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:13 am 
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Rod...Very good glue summary! [clap] [clap] [clap]

I agree...Squeezeout is our friend. I would be worried if there were no squeezeout!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:25 am 
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Thanks guys for the info. Rod that was exactly what I needed. You explained that in kindergarten terms which is what I need sometimes. That was a very summary I thought. Thanks for the wonderful info from all. bliss bliss bliss

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:38 am 
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For a first guitar, without doubt, just get a fresh bottle of Titebond original. And that fro someone who only uses HHG or Fish, get the Titebond.

Colin

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:58 am 
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I've used LMI's white instrument glue for the last three builds and find it works great. Dries very hard and clear and cleans up easily with water.
I am one of those weirdo's who demands the inside of my builds are void of any glue residue (squeeze out) or tool marks. ;)

Ray

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:13 am 
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RaymundH wrote:
I've used LMI's white instrument glue for the last three builds and find it works great. Dries very hard and clear and cleans up easily with water.
I am one of those weirdo's who demands the inside of my builds are void of any glue residue (squeeze out) or tool marks. ;)

Ray


duh Call a lot of the builders here weird too...squeezeout is supposed to be cleaned up! It's obvious that you got the wrong impression of the importance of squeezeout duh

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:47 am 
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It's obvious that you got the wrong impression of the importance of squeezeout duh

Huh?? Don't recall saying squeezeout was not important?? Actually, I look to have minor squeezeout on all my joints.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:48 am 
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Rod buddy that was the best description of the glues that we use and where that I have ever read. [:Y:]

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:41 am 
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just for clarification, "some" squeezeout is beneficial. Gobs of it are not. It should be easy to clean up. If you are experiencing so much squeezeout that it becomes a problem to clean up, then you are using too much glue. (what ever kind of glue you are using).

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:58 am 
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In as far a squeeze out is concerned I was taught by my grandfather that if you get a small B-B every 1/16” of an inch or so at clamp up you got it just right. But a tad more is better than none at all.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Hodges_Guitars wrote:
just for clarification, "some" squeezeout is beneficial. Gobs of it are not. It should be easy to clean up. If you are experiencing so much squeezeout that it becomes a problem to clean up, then you are using too much glue. (what ever kind of glue you are using).


Yes Ken you're right here but you first said this,

Hodges_Guitars wrote:
When done right, there should be no squeezeout or almost none


And this is a bit missleading.

If you don't have any squeeze out or almost none what tell tale sign is there that one has put enough glue down? There isn't one. And yes gobs of squeeze out is not beneficial because you waste glue and it's a pain to clean up, BUT it does tell you that you've used enough glue.

I sure like Michael's Grandfather's ideal for sqeeze out, that sure explains it well.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:43 pm 
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Hi everyone. I believe with all great information shared on this topic about the different types of glue and how to apply should be saved on the tutorial due to the ever so popular question about glues. Wonderful info for the newbie as myself. Thanks again guys.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:06 am 
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Great explaination Rod ! thanks ... I just wanted to comment , David Hurd, inhis book " left brain lutherie " says he contacted tightbond ,spoke with the glue " experts" and was told " starved" glue joints , are ( paraphrasing here ) due to the moisture being wicked from the glue too quickly ,while it is drying , not from over tightening clamps .so we dont want our wood too dry . Jody


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:16 am 
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Hello All,

Great information on this thread, so I though you might all be interested in reading this article:

http://www.cncguitar.org:7171/glue-article.pdf

It talks about glue strength, which was tested in a rather "scientific" method...the results are very good, and there is a lot of great information on the article. I found it very informative, and a good reference!

I will also have to agree with a couple of posts here about titebond: Recently I glued a very nice top to a slab of Sapele for a '59 les paul, and two days later there was almost a 1/4 inch bow on the whole piece! The water in the glue did it to me! (Epoxy from now on....).

Anyway, though you might all find this interesting....


:D

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:09 pm 
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cyborgcnc wrote:


That was actually real interesting..


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