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Water sol. Glue for shell hold-down

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Rôckhewer, Dec 12, 2017.


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  1. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    Want to glue shell blank to sac board for cutting delicate inlay on CNC router.
    Any recommendations for brand/type of water soluble glue that will hold shell whilst cutting..... then dissolve easily in water to release?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  2. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    i use squares of high-tack double back tape from 3M. part off from your scrap board with a coping saw and peel off the leftovers. that tape can be surprisingly tough. sometimes i'll switch to the low tack version for more delicate wood inlay and marquetry.

    i have not ever have a breakaway using a cnc mill so i have not considered a water soluble glue. it would be interesting to see what others recommend though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  3. gyancey

    gyancey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've used tightbond for this purpose, and it works OK if the surface area isn't too small. For some very small (<3/16" sq) parts I found that hide glue worked better.
     
  4. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    For point of reference... This is what I need to cut out of a MOP, and/ or abalone blank.
    I tried to cut one out by hand with a jeweler saw and the outcome was less than satisfactory. Plus the options for filing to refine the shape are very limited.
    20171212_102842.
    Also to cut the piece off of a board if adhered with double tape.... I am none too confident it won't break during that...or peeling off any residue...

    Prior to now I was using "abalam"... cut on a low-power laser... But I do not have access to that machine any more.
    Plus I would rather start using solid shell anyway.
    (There's a fairly significant difference in appearance)

    I saw a YouTube video where this guy from AU was doing exactly what I described as far as soaking delicate pieces and having them lift easily and cleanly off the board. He just didn't say what kind of glue he was using.
    Maybe just Elmer's white glue?.
    It seems like Titebond would even resist a bit.
     
  5. T_Bone_TL

    T_Bone_TL

    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    And on the path of hide glue, perhaps bone glue - aka Knox gelatin - also easier to find in that form and perhaps a bit nicer to be around than some.

    Please note that I have not actually used this to hold shell for machining, just what came to mind. Hot water should take it right off.

    Beware of the dust, make sure the dust extractor is working well, and wear a mask anyway.
     
    tbrannon likes this.
  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    My friend Raul Reulas has his shop right down the hall from me, and he does quite a bit of elaborate CNC inlay work. His technique is to CA glue the MOP blank to a small rectangle of MDF. The MDF block gets clamped into his machine, and he CNC cuts the outline in reverse. That is, mirror image. Then, after CNC cutting the pocket in the fingerboard, he pours some epoxy in the pocket, then sets in the inlay, still attached to the MDF block. Leaving it attached to the MDF keeps it all aligned and level with the fingerboard surface. After it's cured, he sands the MDF away on the belt sander.
     
    Beej, b3e, tbrannon and 2 others like this.
  7. Hout

    Hout

    Jun 17, 2015
    Leiden, Netherlands
    I have successfully used hotmelt "glue" for routing inlays. Since I needed to submerge the parts when routing (the material melted when I tried to route) I had no use for other glue or tape. What I did was heat a piece of aluminium sheet, smeared a layer of hotmelt on it, and pressed the piece into it.
    Then after routing use a heat gun to release it again. The remainder of the glue peels of quite easily afterwards. Not sure if that's also the case with shell, since these were plastic inlays, but you can test that easily. DSC01122a.
     
    Rôckhewer and T_Bone_TL like this.
  8. Rôckhewer

    Rôckhewer Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Owner/Builder- RockHewer Custom Guitars LLC
    Brilliant!
     
    Beej likes this.
  9. gyancey

    gyancey Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    These are the small pieces that I used hide glue to hold down while CNC'ing. Of course they came right off in hot water.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    Nice work, that looks great. :)
     

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