PDA

View Full Version : Which Wood Glue?


cadam5150
06-08-2011, 06:08 AM
Dear Members,

I live in Singapore, and occasionally I will restore acoustic guitars. So far Titebond wood glue has been doing fine. I am considering LMI's Instrument Maker's glue as well. However both are not available immediately in my country.

I found these brands in my local art & craft shop.

1. Gorilla Wood Glue: http://gorillaglue.com/glues/woodglue/index.aspx

2. Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Glue: http://www.amazon.com/Elmers-E701-Carpenters-Wood-8-Ounce/dp/B000QH5MUA/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1307531746&sr=8-8

3. ECOGLUE Premium Wood Glue: http://www.thegreenproductscompany.com/adhesive/egwood.htm#A

The many experienced luthiers in this forum, what is your take?

dekutree64
06-08-2011, 06:15 AM
Hide glue is my favorite, but original Titebond is fine as well.

Kyle76
06-08-2011, 07:22 AM
Titebond and Elmer's Carpenter's glue are about the same in my experience, but I'm no luthier.

Laurent Brondel
06-08-2011, 07:43 AM
Gorilla wood glue works very well, be aware that it has a shorter open time than Titebond 1, and also a shorter cure time. However it has much better tack and dries clear, not yellow, too big plusses in my world. I use it for some applications.

arie
06-08-2011, 10:35 AM
Gorilla wood glue works very well, be aware that it has a shorter open time than Titebond 1, and also a shorter cure time. However it has much better tack and dries clear, not yellow, too big plusses in my world. I use it for some applications.

ohhh... dries clear? i must try this. what apps do you use it for? any idea of the shelf life?

Misty44
06-08-2011, 11:09 AM
Hide glue is my favorite, but original Titebond is fine as well.

Regarding hide glue, there is the off-the-shelf, ready-out-of-the-bottle hide glue

http://windsorplywood.com/uploadedImages/Products/Finishes_and_Adhesives/Titebond-Liquid-Hide.png

and the make-it-from-scratch hide glue, referred to as "hot" hide glue, which takes some preparation

http://www.frets.com/fretspages/Luthier/Technique/Glue/UseHideGlue/HideGlueViews/cook.JPG
photo: Frank Ford

Although not convenient, hot hide glue is used by many builders and techs for critical structural applications, but I've yet to hear any positive endorsements or uses for the liquid version.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31AC6DR67AL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

Titebond on the other hand is used frequently.

Does anyone like using the liquid hide glue?

henderson is go
06-08-2011, 03:08 PM
Regarding hide glue, there is the off-the-shelf, ready-out-of-the-bottle hide glue

http://windsorplywood.com/uploadedImages/Products/Finishes_and_Adhesives/Titebond-Liquid-Hide.png

and the make-it-from-scratch hide glue, referred to as "hot" hide glue, which takes some preparation

http://www.frets.com/fretspages/Luthier/Technique/Glue/UseHideGlue/HideGlueViews/cook.JPG
photo: Frank Ford

Although not convenient, hot hide glue is used by many builders and techs for critical structural applications, but I've yet to hear any positive endorsements or uses for the liquid version.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31AC6DR67AL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

Titebond on the other hand is used frequently.

Does anyone like using the liquid hide glue?


After trying the liquid hide glue and having my bracing come loose, the only thing I would use it for is gluing in labels.

JohnM
06-08-2011, 03:20 PM
the liquid hide glue from Franklin is not well thought of in the lutherie world. IF if you get a really fresh batch it's not horrible glue, but it's not nearly up to par with the other PVA's (Titebond orginal, LMI white, ect) or "real" hot hide glue. Fish glue works well too.

dekutree64
06-08-2011, 06:22 PM
Regarding hide glue, there is the off-the-shelf, ready-out-of-the-bottle hide glue

and the make-it-from-scratch hide glue, referred to as "hot" hide glue, which takes some preparation
Ah, thanks for remembering that point. Yes, only hot hide glue.

cadam5150
06-10-2011, 07:46 AM
Gorilla wood glue works very well, be aware that it has a shorter open time than Titebond 1, and also a shorter cure time. However it has much better tack and dries clear, not yellow, too big plusses in my world. I use it for some applications.

Thanks for your advice. I will try the Gorilla for some applications. :)

Greg Nelson
06-12-2011, 04:18 PM
A repair man's point of view.

Hide or fish glue is not all that hard to learn to use. The main benefit is that the joints can be disassembled and remade with no loss of strength. Bridges neck joints and fret boards benefit most from this as they are the areas that most likely will need repair or adjustment in the future. Steam or heat the joints and they come apart. The residue cleans easily and glue back together as strong as before. HHG actually pulls the joint together as it cures. It also washes out of my work clothes easily if I happen to spill :) If excess squeezes out it can be cleaned with warm water even a week later. If you don't get it all off it will not show up when stained or finished.

PVA's are the next best solution. They are easier to use initially than HHG but the joint needs to be cleaned down to fresh wood again before re-bonding if it fails. If not the new joint will be in danger of failing. If you stick with Titebond I or it's equal then it will come out in the wash. Use the modified "water proof" stuff and... You need to be careful about cleaning the squeeze out. These glues appear during finish.

The greatest benefit of polyurethane glues (gorilla) is that it is water proof but something many people miss in the instructions is that Poly needs moisture to work. Dried woods such as we use while building guitars should be moistened before applying the glue. If done properly the glue may foam and expand slightly (even though they say it won't foam). This can decouple the joint if just ever so slightly even when clamped properly. Not a problem when laminating a neck for instance because the dimensional lumber can withstand the force, but it can be a problem for thinner materials like your top/back to side joints or applying linings or purflings. It can also stain your hands and is a bi@#* to clean off once it has started to set up. My experience is that it dries a light tan. It also can appear when staining or finishing.

Poly is not as the advertising used to state "the strongest glue in the world" but it is an absolute PITA to deal with when trying to repair a failed joint. If you plan on your instruments lasting my primary recommendation is for HHG and after that PVA of the non waterproof variety.

Lot's of opinion out there about "best" but I would personally stay away from the poly glues.

Greg N

Laurent Brondel
06-13-2011, 06:24 AM
Greg, the OP was asking about Gorilla wood glue, which is a PVA glue I believe, and not Gorilla polyurethane glue, which is an entirely different beast. People often make the confusion.

arie
06-13-2011, 10:34 AM
Greg, the OP was asking about Gorilla wood glue, which is a PVA glue I believe, and not Gorilla polyrethane glue, which is an entirely different beast. People often make the confusion.

where do you find that the gorilla wood glue works best for you?

Laurent Brondel
06-13-2011, 11:10 AM
Everywhere you would use Titebond 1, except when you need the longer open time of TB1.

arie
06-13-2011, 11:22 AM
thanks laurent.

Greg Nelson
06-14-2011, 09:43 AM
I do connect the Gorilla brand name with the original poly glue they offer. I see the name and it's like "Kleenex" instead of "Facial tissue". I wasn't even aware they had expanded into a standard PVA but my local hardware store is carrying the CA version.

I also like old fashioned Elmer's white glue for some things. Bonds well and dries clear. Just because they give it to pre-school kids because it's non toxic doesn't mean it doesn't bond well.

Greg N

henderson is go
06-14-2011, 01:03 PM
Completely unrelated, but I've only seen you post on the luthier forum Greg. Branching out?

Greg Nelson
06-15-2011, 07:07 AM
I have posted here on rare occasions but I do try and limit how many places I post. I would rather be cutting wood than typing and forum life can really be time consuming.

Greg N

cadam5150
06-20-2011, 03:56 AM
Thanks for your advice. I will try the Gorilla for some applications. :)

I have tried the Gorilla Wood glue. When dried, it leave almost no immediate visible trace. Indeed, it sets pretty fast. The next step is strength testing.

arie
06-20-2011, 09:40 AM
I have tried the Gorilla Wood glue. When dried, it leave almost no immediate visible trace. Indeed, it sets pretty fast. The next step is strength testing.

Not a scientific study in any way shape or form, but I bought some Gorilla Wood Glue last friday to try out. I glued two pieces of mahogany together, applied a clamp and didn't wipe off my usual minimal squeeze out. It sets up very fast and when dry is appears clear but leaves a wet look to the areas that aren't wiped up before it dries. Looking under a 10x loupe shows tiny bubbles in the glue maybe a couple of thou. in diameter and evenly distributed. When cleaning up squeeze out about 24 hours later with a chisel, the glue was very tough and somewhat gummy and tore with a uncured epoxy like texture.

On the reverse side of my sample I repeated with Titebond Original Wood Glue. Pretty much the same conditions. About 24 hours later I cleaned up with a chisel and looking under the 10x loupe didn't reveal any bubbles. The Titebond seemed to have more shrink (compared to GWG's nearly none) and the glue seemed harder and chipped away with a crystal like shattering rather then tearing away as with the Gorilla Wood Glue.

Obviously not enough data to come to a conclusive answer (and honestly I don't want glue study to be my life's work) but I suspect that GWG may offer more toughness then hardness. I'll probably experiment with it at a later date some more.

cadam5150
06-20-2011, 10:26 AM
Not a scientific study in any way shape or form, but I bought some Gorilla Wood Glue last friday to try out. I glued two pieces of mahogany together, applied a clamp and didn't wipe off my usual minimal squeeze out. It sets up very fast and when dry is appears clear but leaves a wet look to the areas that aren't wiped up before it dries. Looking under a 10x loupe shows tiny bubbles in the glue maybe a couple of thou. in diameter and evenly distributed. When cleaning up squeeze out about 24 hours later with a chisel, the glue was very tough and somewhat gummy and tore with a uncured epoxy like texture.

On the reverse side of my sample I repeated with Titebond Original Wood Glue. Pretty much the same conditions. About 24 hours later I cleaned up with a chisel and looking under the 10x loupe didn't reveal any bubbles. The Titebond seemed to have more shrink (compared to GWG's nearly none) and the glue seemed harder and chipped away with a crystal like shattering rather then tearing away as with the Gorilla Wood Glue.

Obviously not enough data to come to a conclusive answer (and honestly I don't want glue study to be my life's work) but I suspect that GWG may offer more toughness then hardness. I'll probably experiment with it at a later date some more.

Thanks for sharing your findings. I am thinking of conducting a home-made shear test to see if the Gorilla is really a Gorilla. :) Do share you future findings.

I have a gut feel that these synthetic wood glues are not drastically different from one another because they are meant to stick pieces of wood together. Well, it is widely discussed among experienced luthier regarding the "preferred choice(s)" that comes with all the pros and cons. If there are options available in the market, I guess it is no harm in trying them.

I suspect when synthetic wood glue was initially introduced, the purists may have their conservative views over such man-made stuffs as substitute for the organic stuffs. Over time, certain synthetic wood glues were accepted and some are elevated to cult status and appear to be un-replaceable. In the spirit of curiosity and discovery, I believe there are other synthetic wood glues that can satisfy the stringent requirements of guitar makers too.

The only way to know is ... give it a shot. ;)

theEdwinson
06-20-2011, 06:02 PM
For most applications, I prefer to use the LMI white Instrument Maker's Glue. It's fast setting, extremely strong, dries very hard (and clear) and if you believe the hype, it doesn't "creep" the way Titebond sometimes can, if your guitar is exposed to non-catastrophic heat, like being left on a stand in your living room, in direct sunlight.

For oily/ resinous woods, like Cocobolo and other rosewoods, always wipe down your gluing surfaces with acetone before gluing and clamping.

Be careful not to "starve" your glue joint by applying too much clamping pressure.
I find that it's a good idea to increase your clamping pressure gradually, to get full contact between gluing surfaces, and allow the glue to sink into the wood.

Personally, I will not use the Gorilla Wood Glue for anything but light duty. I bought a bottle a few months ago, and tested it with the LMI white glue and Titebond Original formula. Not a scientifically controlled test, but yielded good information--I glued two pieces of maple together crosswise for each glue, like a "plus" sign, with light clamping pressure. When they were well set, I clamped the pieces into my bench vise and bashed them with a hammer. The Gorilla wood glue broke in the glue joint with very little force. The Titebond one took a good strong whack, and left a lot of wood fibers behind on the opposite side glue joint. The LMI glue held so well, the wood broke, leaving the glue joint intact.

zabdart
06-22-2011, 05:08 PM
My thanks to Greg for a very informative post. :)

Bruce Sexauer
06-22-2011, 07:28 PM
Sounds like the polyurethane glue, Edwinson, which breaks exactly like you describe. I'd be surprised to hear you are talking about the glue Laurent uses. Not that I've used it, but I pretty much trust Laurent to use the right stuff.

Laurent Brondel
06-23-2011, 05:51 AM
Thank you Bruce.

IME Gorilla wood glue is as strong as TB1 in shear tests, and has better heat resistance: it lets go at higher temps, which for me means less possible creep when exposed to heat. Not that it matters, because for all joints that could creep I personally use HHG.
Gorilla wood glue sets much faster than TB1 though, I think I mentioned it.
The strength of a glue can not be measured by the hardness of the exposed cured or half cured glue, this is a myth: what matters is the solidity of the chemical bond with the wood. In any case when totally dry Gorilla wood glue squeeze out is pretty hard.
Edwinson, IME a joint is never starved because of excessive pressure, but because of not enough glue in the joint, especially if there is end grain and it hasn't been sized. Again, it is a chemical bond.
The only glue I know of that has integral strength (and because of that, excellent gap filling properties) is good epoxy.

cadam5150
06-23-2011, 11:22 AM
For most applications, I prefer to use the LMI white Instrument Maker's Glue. It's fast setting, extremely strong, dries very hard (and clear) and if you believe the hype, it doesn't "creep" the way Titebond sometimes can, if your guitar is exposed to non-catastrophic heat, like being left on a stand in your living room, in direct sunlight.

For oily/ resinous woods, like Cocobolo and other rosewoods, always wipe down your gluing surfaces with acetone before gluing and clamping.

Be careful not to "starve" your glue joint by applying too much clamping pressure.
I find that it's a good idea to increase your clamping pressure gradually, to get full contact between gluing surfaces, and allow the glue to sink into the wood.

Personally, I will not use the Gorilla Wood Glue for anything but light duty. I bought a bottle a few months ago, and tested it with the LMI white glue and Titebond Original formula. Not a scientifically controlled test, but yielded good information--I glued two pieces of maple together crosswise for each glue, like a "plus" sign, with light clamping pressure. When they were well set, I clamped the pieces into my bench vise and bashed them with a hammer. The Gorilla wood glue broke in the glue joint with very little force. The Titebond one took a good strong whack, and left a lot of wood fibers behind on the opposite side glue joint. The LMI glue held so well, the wood broke, leaving the glue joint intact.

Appreciate your sharing. I have noted that the failure mechanics in this test is of shock load's nature. In most normal settings, the joints on any given guitar is subject to creeping stress which is very different in nature. With the application of shock loads, the wood on a given guitar may very well give way. Even if the glue joints hold, the guitar is still damaged. In this case, the strength of the glue is irrelevant.

Currently, I have re-glued the bridge of an old 12th-string guitar using the Gorilla wood glue. I will be able to monitor the duration of the bridge and share the findings when appropriate.