1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Is this true?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by robobass, May 8, 2015.

  1. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I came across this when looking into hide glue properties. It describes gluing center seams without clamps. I find the idea rather counter-intuitive, although I've never tried it.

    From Animal glue - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Hide glue also functions as its own clamp. Once the glue begins to gel, it pulls the joint together. Violin makers may glue the center seams of top and back plates together using a rubbed joint rather than using clamps. This technique involves coating half of the joint with hot hide glue, and then rubbing the other half against the joint until the hide glue starts to gel, at which point the glue becomes tacky. At this point the plate is set aside without clamps, and the hide glue pulls the joint together as it hardens.
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    It's commonly used in violinmaking, but I would not use the technique on bass-sized pieces.
  3. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Not to disagree with Arnold, but the same principle can be invoked for bass repair, if one also uses clamps. A friend of mine had a DB he wanted to sell, but an edge seam had opened on the lower bout. I brought my granulated hide glue and clamps and showed him how to prepare and apply the glue, and how to clamp the repair. But I warned him not to tighten the clamps down all the way and to minimize squeeze-out -- that the glue itself would "suck" the glued surfaces together. We gave the glue a couple of days to set and dry, and when it came time to remove the clamps they came off almost without any loosening at all.

    But this is a quite different repair than center seams.
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Hide glue definitely pulls but the joint has to be a really good one - its not going to fill gaps!
    Matthew Tucker likes this.
  5. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I glue up most of the smaller instrument plates "clamp less" with hot hide glue and a rub joint, but a bass is so big that the extra help from clamps is a bonus. Gluing and open seam and gluing a 4' long maple back plate is comparing a mouse to an elephant!
  6. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    As every Double Bassist knows - "Size DOES matter".
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
    james condino likes this.
  7. Bryce Van Parys

    Bryce Van Parys

    May 8, 2015
    Seattle Area
    General Manager Hammond Ashley Violins
    We always clamp hide glue repairs. The only thing I can imagine is that the moisture of the glue swells the wood. However, we know that hide glue does not fill gaps, so the joint must fit 100% to be effective. It will pull apart when dry, which is the good/bad of hide glue. It will shear easily when the wood shrinks due to lower humidity but reconstitutes with water.
  8. BoCoPo


    Jan 22, 2014
    Quebec, Canada
    Just like Arnold wrote, I joined violins plates without clamping. I just didn't imagine to try it for the DB I'm working on.

    For cracks, I use clamps.
  9. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I guess the key is a having a perfect joint. And, one that stays perfect after heat and moisture are introduced. Probably not possible for a bass center seam.
  10. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I've glued up all my bass tops so far without clamps, using the rub joint technique, and gravity. Seems to be working ok. I do spend a lot of time on getting the joint fitting perfectly, then I shave a very slight hollow in one face, making a paper thin gap in the centre of the boards, tapering to nothing at the ends. like the article above says, the drying glue pulls it tight.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.