Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: Question about glue

  1. #1

    Default Question about glue

    So here’s my question: is there’s any reason I shouldn’t be using hide glue for a modern mandolin I’m building? I’m pretty comfortable using it, and I like the quick tack time.
    It might sound weird, but my other favorite glue is CA glue.
    I will probably use a traditional instrument wood glue for glueing the top and back on, mostly because I think I’ll need quite a bit of open time. I just curious about what glues you use and when.
    Thanks, Levi

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    So Oregon
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: Question about glue

    My choice of instrument glue for over 35 years is fish glue. No heat necessary.

    All the advantages of hide glue and none of the disadvantages.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I’ll research it. Thanks

  4. #4

    Default Re: Question about glue

    To me, traditional instrument wood glue is hot hide glue.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question about glue

    as far as I can see no one has come up with any glue that works better in the last 1,000 years .

  6. #6

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I was considering Lmii glue for the top sound board and back.

  7. #7
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    14,378

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I use hot hide glue for nearly all joints in mandolins and have for many years. It is one of several good glue choices, I think it is the best for me in my one-man shop situation, perhaps other choices are better for others, and for production.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,911

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I have been using HHG for nearly everything for more years than I can remember. I used to use it for only violins, but changed a couple decades ago.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  9. #9
    Registered User jim simpson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    4,873

    Default Re: Question about glue

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    My choice of instrument glue for over 35 years is fish glue. No heat necessary.

    All the advantages of hide glue and none of the disadvantages.
    Do you buy it made up like what StewMac offers?
    https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_an...Fish_Glue.html

    Or do you have to make up your own?

    Is there a problem with cats hanging around your shop,lol?
    Cabin Fever String Band, Bill Gorby and the Musical Mercenaries

  10. The following members say thank you to jim simpson for this post:

    hank 

  11. #10

    Default Re: Question about glue

    At the risk of sounding less than esoteric......I'd say about 98 percent of instrument repair is done with Original Titebond wood glue. It is easy to use, works great, cleans up easy, gives plenty of work time, dries overnight and is available everywhere.......

    Now, granted, I'm not an artist, a builder, or strictly dealing with vintage instruments.........I'm just a repairman. I also use CA for certain non-structural things and sometimes even good ol' Elmers white glue.

    I roll my eyes when I hear "the advantage of Hot Hide Glue is that it is easier when taking things apart....." Well, I don't take things apart. I fix things and (hopefully) they stay fixed. I have no interest in redoing something two or three times......

    The guys at work like LMI wood glue, which basically appears to be a Titebond style of yellow glue, so I'm sure that it is ok, as well....

    Anyway, weird to not see Titebond mentioned first, IMHO.....

    Hot Hide Glue is great, BTW. I'm just not fast enough to work within the time constraints....

    Anyway, my 2 cents.....

  12. The following members say thank you to Jeff Mando for this post:

    Levi S 

  13. #11
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,008

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I have heard too many reports of post-assembly failure of joints glued with fish glue, sometimes months after assembly.

    It is usually recommended that to assemble plates with hide glue, the plate should be glued at the end blocks first. Then the rest of the plate is glued and clamped a few inches at a time, using a palette knife to apply the glue.

    The open time of hide glue can be extended by mixing 5% to 10% urea by dry weight to the glue granules. You can buy a pound of urea for $5 - $10 at an artists' supply store.

    Titebond Original is an acceptable glue for plate assembly. I would not recommend anything except hide glue or Titebond for wood joints in instrument construction.

    If repairs are needed later, hide glue is easier to open. It also sticks quite well to itself, so joints do not necessarily have to be scraped to bare wood when it is time to re-glue.

    All instruments will eventually need repair.

    I see a lot of trends to re-invent the wheel when it comes to instrument construction and repair. Somebody is always coming up with a "new and better" glue. We know that hide glue and Titebond Original work. I don't fool around and experiment with glues for high stress wood joints. The numbers just don't add up if you have to re-do the work again later.

    The only glue experiment I am working on is the use of melamine glue for reattaching loose plastic instrument bindings. It's non-invasive to finishes and made for bonding a porous surface to a non-porous surface, which is why I have been using it. So far, so good. If I do have a failure, it will not impede a subsequent repair.

  14. #12
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,431

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I smell a few myths and few informations that need more clarification in this thread.
    First, traditional glue in woodworking in general is hot hide glue. This glue is extremely strong and creep resistant which makes it first choice for instruments. HHG is definately NOT easier to take apart. Have you ever tried to remove guitar bridge glued on with full strength HHG and Titebond? Tietebond will release easily after modest heating of the bridge, HHG not. This myth is bsed on fact that violin makers nearly always open violins for top repairs and folks tend to believe they can do it because of the HHG. The main ingredient in succesful opening of violin is based on fact that every better maker will use weaker HHG (diluted) for those joints and/or prepare surfaces to hold with less strength (sizing surfaces with shellac). If someon glues top on with full strength HHG you will spend really hard time opening it and the wood will splinter like crazy... There are ways how to weaken HHG like steam, moisture or alcohol but they can be applied in very few limited situations and can cause more damage than one want to see.
    Another vote for HHG is that it holds well on previously HHG-glued surfaces. Titebond or similar glues will leave residue that will weaken adhesion of next coat (especially if clamping is not optimal). HHG can be ordered in well sorted grades making it highly predictable (not counting user error)
    There are ready made hide glues that are known to be risky with their shelf life and unstability at elevated humidity. Tha additives mentioned above (urea) are most likely cause. Same applies for most ready made fish glues that come in liquid form.
    Natural fish glue can be many different things form different fish species with different properties and as such can be unpredictable - you need to do testing of each batch before you use it on instrument. Many folks claim this glue (generally) is more flexible than HHG and more suspectible to humidity, which may be true but good freshly prepared hot fish glue (sturgeon) has been used for extremely strong composite bows (Mongol, Korean etc...) for few millenia with no problem. The joints of bow being glued from as many as 7 separate pieces of wood must withstand extreme forces nad shocks (and is usually well protected from humidity by outer skin of birch bark, paint or snake skin).
    IMO, for serious work HHG is certainly the optimal option, for general factory making Titebond (or equivalent) is accepted.
    And remember that the strongest glue is not always the best glue...
    Adrian

  15. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to HoGo For This Useful Post:


  16. #13
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,008

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I can tell you from personal experience that it's a lot easier to open an old Gibson assembled with hide glue than it is to open a recent Gibson assembled with Titebond. Sometimes a hot knife or a drop or two only of water helps. No instrument is easy to open, though. Violins can be tricky also.

    We don't normally pull guitar bridges unless they are cracked or already loose. I haven't had any major problems pulling hide glued bridges with heat. And I've pulled quite a few of them. Again, sometimes a drop or two of water on the lifting tool helps.

    If you mix urea with hide glue, the unused glue should be discarded after a few months.
    Matter of fact-- most glues should be discarded after 12 to 18 months, except plastic cements.

  17. #14
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    14,378

    Default Re: Question about glue

    Just to add my perspective, some of the most difficult glue joints that I have opened have been in old Gibson mandolins made with hide glue. I don't recall ever struggling as much with a Titebond joint. I have given up trying to separate several hide glue joints when they resisted my best efforts with steam and heat. I even had to resort to sheering an old Martin guitar bridge joint that I was unable to separate with heat.
    (For those who don't know, a standard method of removing guitar bridges used to be: lay a wooden drift against the bridge and give it a sharp whack with a hammer. It worked for me the one time I had to try it, but I hope I don't have to do it again. And please, don't anyone try it with a Titebond joint. Titebond releases much more easily with heat but will not sheer like hide glue.)
    Bottom line, my experience aligns with Hogo's. Titebond separates easily with heat. A full strength, well made hide glue joint can be nearly impossible to separate. Also, Titebond is susceptible to creep, be it cold creep over time of more rapid movement caused by poor treatment of an instrument involving overheating.
    When an instrument is well made with good joints, is well cared for and is lucky enough to avoid accidents, either type of glue (among others) works just fine for holding it together over an extended lifetime. Collectively, we don't really even know what glue was used in those cases.

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sunburst For This Useful Post:


  19. #15

    Default Re: Question about glue

    Thanks for all the great responses.
    It looks like my best option is to learn to work quicker with my HHG

  20. #16
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,431

    Default Re: Question about glue

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    I can tell you from personal experience that it's a lot easier to open an old Gibson assembled with hide glue than it is to open a recent Gibson assembled with Titebond.
    That's mostly true for mandolins that spent many years uncared for in an attic or under bed. Humidity changes and heat cycles will weaken any glue.
    BUT:
    I found a 1/2" thick 20" wide board on our old weekend house that originally was part of large wooden chest but some 70-80 years ago someone used it on side of wood barn. The board was joined from two pieces of spruce (clearly HHG was the most common glue back then) and even after those years in the fierce sun (southern side of shed) and humidity (the lower part was actually burried in ground and slope was going towards the board) the upper part (partially sheltered by roof) is still together with invisible joint while the lower half is partially rotten with slightly open gap.
    Good HHG joint can hold. all depends how well it was prepared anc clamped. We don't know what quality of HHG Gibson used and we know they had no climate or humidity control back in teens or 20's so some joints may be cold clamped and some wood might have been a bit unstable...
    Adrian

  21. #17
    Registered User belbein's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,126
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I guess I always knew this day would come, when I had to say something nice about HHG. I fought it and fought it, and I still don't believe it's necessary for most things. But y'all recommended it when I had a crack in a banjo neck, because it would "draw the pieces together" - - and heck if it didn't work like a charm. So it definitely has its uses. And when you heat the bits to be glued, and maybe use a heat lamp, you get more working time. I found it took a lot of preparation and thinking about application, but it was no worse than two part epoxy.
    belbein

    “Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”

    See my latest blog post: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/en...lay-for-People

  22. #18
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,008

    Default Re: Question about glue

    If tradition was the only reason for using hide glue, I would not use it. Titebond Original is simpler to use, and is more user-friendly.

    But instead, I use it for its properties, many of which are highly favorable for instrument work. It doesn't creep. It sticks to itself, and the consistency and strength can easily be controlled to suit the needs of the joint.

    The longer I work on instruments, the more of it I use, despite the difficulty of its short open time. In most applications, these difficulties can be negotiated.

    A hair dryer is a nice thing to have around if you use hide glue.

    All repairmen and builders can benefit from studying some of the books on violin making. We have it easy today. 100 years ago, most houses and shops were drafty, did not have central heat, and many did not have electricity to power heaters, hair dryers, glue pots, etc. 200 years ago, workshops were uninsulated and the source of heat was a fireplace or perhaps a simple wood or coal stove. The glue pot would sit on the stove, or on a tripod above an alcohol burner, oil lamp, or even a candle. They made it work. And some of those original 200 year old glue joints are still holding.

  23. #19
    Dave Sheets
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Buffalo NY Area
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Question about glue

    Just another vote in favor of HHG, the ability to re-glue joints made with hide glue is a huge advantage for instrument making. With good instruments that will last a long time, the theory is that you want to think carefully before doing something irreversible to it.
    -Dave
    Flatiron A
    Way too many other instruments

  24. #20
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,653

    Default Re: Question about glue

    HHG isn't that bad to work with, try using a solution 10 times thicker then it should be, that's what I did the first time I used it. I followed the directions but the good folks here mentioned my description of the glue seemed off, to thick. I contacted the manufacturer and they had a batch with miss printed labels. Doh! You have never seen anyone scrambling to get a top and back glued on like I was. I had the room at over 100 degrees to try and help me get a bit more working time! Ah, the joys of firsts!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  25. The following members say thank you to John Bertotti for this post:

    hank 

  26. #21
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,431

    Default Re: Question about glue

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    HHG isn't that bad to work with, try using a solution 10 times thicker then it should be, that's what I did the first time I used it. I followed the directions but the good folks here mentioned my description of the glue seemed off, to thick. I contacted the manufacturer and they had a batch with miss printed labels. Doh! You have never seen anyone scrambling to get a top and back glued on like I was. I had the room at over 100 degrees to try and help me get a bit more working time! Ah, the joys of firsts!
    Reminds me of my first atempt... I was given a bag of old HHG granules by an old carpenter when he heard from my dad I'm attempting some instrument work he just gave it to my father and said "this is what those guys use, just heat it over water bath before gluing". Since I knew nothing about HHG back then other than I heard that in the past HHG was used. So I put some granules in a small pot in water bath and waited... nothing happened so I took it out of bath and put directly on the stove - nothing happened so I left it and went to do something else until the smoke and smell of burned hair suddenly filled whole basement.... Well they forgot to tell me I need to add water first!
    Adrian

  27. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to HoGo For This Useful Post:


  28. #22
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    2,653

    Default Re: Question about glue

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    Reminds me of my first atempt... I was given a bag of old HHG granules by an old carpenter when he heard from my dad I'm attempting some instrument work he just gave it to my father and said "this is what those guys use, just heat it over water bath before gluing". Since I knew nothing about HHG back then other than I heard that in the past HHG was used. So I put some granules in a small pot in water bath and waited... nothing happened so I took it out of bath and put directly on the stove - nothing happened so I left it and went to do something else until the smoke and smell of burned hair suddenly filled whole basement.... Well they forgot to tell me I need to add water first!
    Oh! And what a smell! hahahaa
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  29. #23
    Masamando Steve Hinde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Hartford, IA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I use HHG on everything in the box, dovetail joints and the fingerboard. Just set up to get things clamped quickly. Preheat parts can extend open time. I use titebond or LMII glue for peghead veneers or some other non- critical joints.
    CA for inlay. LMII or Stewmac binding cement for binding. By far more HHG than anything else.

  30. #24

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I can glue an entire upright bass top to the rib assembly in one session using hot hide glue with no additional help and NOT adding eurea or any other weakening agent. If you are having difficulties with tiny little mandolin parts, turn off your computer, spend more time practicing and less time typing. It is not a difficult skill to master and is well worth the effort.

  31. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to grandcanyonminstrel For This Useful Post:


  32. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,911

    Default Re: Question about glue

    I agree with grandcayonminstrel. I also have done several upright bass tops or backs with HHG in a session with no help.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •