View Full Version : Cheaper glue pot?
Dru Lee Parsec
StewMac sells their glue pot for hide glue for $114.96 which seems unreasonably high. Do you folks know of a source for a more reasonably priced glue pot?
Also, I found this site http://guitarjigs.com/ which has hide glue for $5.25 a pound instead of $14 a pound. Don't get me wrong, I like Stewmac. I buy enough stuff from them each year that I'm on their Christmas card list. But every now and then there's an item that just seems to be way too expensive. The glue pot strikes me as being one of those.
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Dru, if you build 1 or 2 mandolins at a time you only need to heat a small amount of glue at a time and donít really need anything fancy/expensive. I use a thermostatically controlled tea water heater that I found at the Goodwill second hand store. It heats the water to wherever you set it, usually around 140 degrees. I put a small amount of glue in a small plastic dunk type cup and suspend it in the water. You can keep your mixed glue sealed in the refrigerator and itís good for awhile but I try to keep from reheating the main batch. I think I paid fifty cents for the water heater and it works great for building mandolins and general string instrument repair work.
I've been using the smallest size crock pot, it's for indiviual servings. I can't remember exactly how much it holds, but it will will hold more glue than you would ever use at once. Get a dial type thermometer with a stem & drill a hole through the lid of the crock pot to fit the stem , you'll be able to keep an eye on the temperature w/o losing any heat. It'll keep it right at 150 degrees, and if you want to keep it for tomorrow, stick it in the fridge. Total cost was less than $20.00.
I took this address off one of the threads here on the Cafe. I think it was Michael Lewis or perhaps Jim Hilburn who mentioned it, I forget. I tried to order one but they don't ship to Canada. Looks good and the price is right.
I use this $12 rival hot pot express with a hole cut in the top for a half pint jar, stuck a $5 digital thermometer in it, adjust the glue temp by how much water is in the pot, how much glue is in the jar, and how deep the jar sets in the pot. works way better than the $114 one I inherited. Also frank ford at frets.com had lots of simple gue info last time I looked, also mimf.com
P Josey--I actually ordered one of those and its great. What a deal! Very well made.
I got a Crockette, the small crock pot at a thrift store for $5 and it seems to keep water at 160 degrees. Theres no heat control on it. But I mix up just a little glue in a jelly jar, and submerge that in the water. When I'm done, I can put the jar in the fridge so it doesn't turn into a science experiment.
Paul has it right: American Science has it for $5, and it was Michael Lewis who pointed it out for me. I use an old mustard jar and a meat thermometer for a splendid cheap combo.
I use a popouri(sp?) crock. It keeps the glue at 145 and is just the right size for 1/4 cup of glue.
I'm trying Fish glue and you don't need to heat the plates or fly with the clamps. I comes in a liquid and is as strong as hide glue. No glue pot is needed. Get it at Lee Valley tools.com.
I used to use one of those Rival Mini Crockettes for hide glue. It started out holding the temperature at about 145 - 150 which was great, but after a couple years it started getting hotter and hotter. It would get over 180F if I didn't watch it, so I pitched it in favor of the cheap electric pot from Am. Sci. Plus which has a temperature control. The holding strength of the glue gets broken down at such temperature.
I have not used fish glue but heard it will soften easily in damp weather. If that is so it should be great for dry climates, but suspect otherwise.
Lots of things are as strong as hide glue, most of them stronger.
But how is the Fish Glue at passing vibrations through, and at being un-glued later if necessary?
Read GAL's # 75 actucal on builder Dake Traphagen he makes a great case for the use of fish glue. It is an animal gelatin glue with the same strengh and hardness.
Dru Lee Parsec
Wow, Great ideas guys. Thank you very much. The American Scientific pot sounds like a much better deal than the $114"Official" glue pot.
Thanks Paul etc for the American Science link.. I have been using a drink warmer with a small dish of water, works fine but I have no control over temp. I may look over the site, may find some other stuff to order!!