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Super Glue and Wood

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by jvillarreal, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. jvillarreal


    Oct 7, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    Does Super Glue do irreparable harm to wood?

    I had some bumpers put on my bass and I think that they were attached with the stuff. Does it do something weird like get into the pores of the wood making it impossible to do varnish touch-ups?
  2. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski Supporting Member

    May 13, 2005
    I'm no luthier but every article I've read says that a water bases glue should ALWAYS be used on a bass.
  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Augh that sucks! I think you can get super glue to release with Naptha, but that might kill the varnish! :(
  4. jvillarreal


    Oct 7, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks for the replies!

    hdiddy - The guy already removed the varnish under the bumpers:( because he said they would be less likely to fall off (but, does it make that much difference if you're using Super Glue??). That's what really freaked me out is that the glue is in direct contact with the wood.
  5. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I don't think it's anything to worry about. You don't want to use it anywhere that it might need to be removed later. You would have some trouble if you ever wanted to remove the bumpers, but why would you?
  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    One more thing: I think Superglue eventually gets brittle at some point and will start to break up. It should hold for a long time, but after a while the contact joint might dry out and the bumper might come off with little effort. I've never seen a superglue joint hold forever on anything. If epoxy was used, that's another story.

    Something to think about.


    Aug 26, 2005

    ....gee I hope not cuz I install my bumpers using "Liquid Nails!!" (the clear variety). I started out trying to get them to stay on using just normal luthier's hide glue...they wouldn't stay put no matter how heavy (or thin) I mixed it. Roll the bass down on the carpet or floor one time, and the bumpers came loose. Then I moved up to "Gorilla Glue," but that gets brittle with time and the bumpers fell off again. I finally decided to go industrial strength with "Liquid Nails" since I really hope the bumpers NEVER come off (in my lifetime) and don't care if the finish beneath gets damaged-- you can't see it anyway. And I'm carefull to place the bumpers away from the top and bottom plate so that they would not impede a luthier trying to pry a top or back off. The bumpers have never come off with this stuff and even better, it sets up very fast so that you don't have to stand there and hold the bumper in place waiting for glue to set.
  8. Paul Warburton put some bumpers (I think he used a fanbelt) on his highly prized Bohmann. I know Paul would do nothing to endanger that bass so you might ask him what he uses to keep them on or search "bumpers" and find the old thread.

    Liquid nails is probably better than metal nails. I've never found a good use for super glue inside or outside of a DB and can't remember any time when it held like it is claimed to or didn't make future proper repair more difficult on things other than wood. It cracks up to be something that isn't what is claimed by the the term "super" glue. Silcone based adhesive formulas that are acetic acid activated are probably more likely to work, but kiss the finish goodbye before you put them on.

    Odd that we put something that destroys the finish on an area to prevent the finish from getting destoyed in that area.

    I saw the elegant alternative on Danny Thompson's old French bass at a recent concert. The edge of his bass has 4 inlaid sections of ebony on the bouts right where it comes to rest on the floor if you lay it down on the ribs. I have no idea if this was original or not, the bass is centuries old. The sections did not protrude beyond the outline of the curve but were blended right into the edge ot the plates. They were only about 3 inches long. It looked like the best approach I've seen to bass bumpers.
  9. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I learned using the stupid glue method and even used it in my own business for a while for bumpers. It just seemed like a real bad idea to scrape off varnish. Plus if you use cyano you will inevitably remove some miniscule wood if you try to remove it and this would show up even in the best retouch. I finally came up with a solution that has worked welll for me for the last 3 years. The trick is-what will glue to varnish and can it be removed without damage. OK, there is a commercially available black and dense neoprene which is essentially a real heavy rubber like substance. This glues well with contact cement. Dull the varnish under the footprint with 800 or above paper and glue. This mechanical bond will hold well if done right. It is also easily reversable and if it fails the player can redo it himself without an expensive trip to the luthier. Of course the problem for the do it yourselfer is that this material is not available in Home Despot and would likely have to be ordered from someone like McMaster-Carr. Paul's fanbelt material might work though.
  10. I've always been a fan of the fan belt for a couple reasons. First, it's always best to use hyde glue just in case you get some in a seam. I cut them kinda pyramid-like, then leave them in a vice over night to get the right curve of the rib or outside lining. I also paint 'em matte black so they look like ebony. Then, I just put some hyde glue on the belt wait for it to get tacky, then lay your bass on the floor to figure where you want the belt to line up on the floor (the basses left sides only) Let the bass lay on the bumpers all night and there ya go. The big reason I like the fan belt is that it acts as rubber bumper that bounces off the floor...suspension style. My partner and master luthier Bob Ross makes some really fancy ones with exotic woods inlayed.