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Kay lutherie data point

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Pete OLeary, Sep 2, 2002.

  1. Kay basses ca. 1965 (ser.53231) were definately not assembled with hide glue. The fingerboard, top, and bassbar were glued using a brown opaque glue that appears to be some kind of aliphatic resin that will not soften with hot water. Ugh!
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    I think it's either Casein glue or Phenolic-type (as in Weldwood's--a brown powder you mix with water, becomes waterpoof when dry). Both were staples of boatmaking. My solution is to get out the blowtorch (literally!) and heat my knife to red-hot. Then plunge and wiggle! Try not to breathe--the fumes are not yummy...it's not a pretty solution, but causes a lot less damage than trying to open seams the normal way. Also, you could try scoring the seam, then applying some grain alcohol, then gently inserting a SUPER SHARP opening knife. Won't work with denatured alcohol...
  3. It was casein, I could tell by the smell it was not well. And not pretty. The hot knife was working, but the innermost lam peeled away too easily.
    I planed the bassbar down to the top rather than try to unglue it. I wish I'd done that with the fingerboard.

    I did the scoring and hit it with steam, didn't think about the alcohol. I wanted to apply grain alcohol, but not to the seam :p

    I wanted to apply grain alcohol, but not to the seam.

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