What is the correct glue?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Samie, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Since I dont have a trusted luthier, I would like to know the name or type of glue to use on a double bass. The back has becomed unglued at a small spot at the botton. When I take it in for repair I want to make sure they put the right stuff on.

    I have heard some horror stories of super glue used by some luthiers.

  2. Hide glue is pretty much the glue of choice around here..
  3. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    I have a friend with a violin that has a small crack in it. He says that a luthier told him to put some super glue in it.
    Now I have read here that super glue is not advised. So I am wondering, is violin repair different? Was it bad advice? Or is it ok in cracks? :confused: I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

  4. Violins are smaller, so mostly you just use less (hide) glue. :p Get some flake hide glue (you can order some from several places) and cook up a spoon full. I got some from Luscombe violins. They offer 4 different gram strengths. It seems that a mid 300's gram strength is what most people prefer. Hide glue runs into cracks very easily and is strong after it dries. I'm not fond of CA glues.
  5. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Superglue is a NO NO!! I have seen luthiers use all kinds of glue but thats because many como from the handy-man backround.

    The biggest thing with hide glue is that it is easy to fix in case you get it wrong. With other glues you will run into trouble.

    go with the hide glue
  6. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    Thank you. I will give him the link to this. :)
  7. Many words could be used to describe someone who "fixes" a crack in a violin with crazy glue. Luthier isn't one of them.
    Most of those words would be profane.
  8. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    My friend was happy to find out about the hide glue. :) He has not done anything with it yet.
    thanks agin

  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    All professional Luthiers of string instruments use only fresh hide glue. For a quick fix, you can use Franklins Liquid Hide Glue. All hide glues are liquid soluble so it can be washed away with warm water. If the crack opens up or when you can get to a shop, they can wash away the bottled glue and re-do the repair with fresh hide glue.
  10. jvillarreal


    Oct 7, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    According to the KC Strings promo video on their website, they use glue made from sturgeon bladders. Anyone ever heard of this? I'd really be interested in knowing since I've got a couple seams that need some attention.
  11. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    I don't know what is the matter with me. I have caught sturgeon before, and it just never occured to me to turn the bladder into glue. :eek:
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    You might be referring to Fish Glue. Ask Arnold about Fish Glue. It may work on some things in some places but it can come back to haunt you. I will let Arnold tell you why you should NOT use fish Glues.
  13. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    God, I love the internet. Never heard of fish glue.
  14. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Actually the problems that some of us had with fish glue had to do with the form it was used in and did not speak to fish glue in general. There is a liquid form sold that was used and had an incidence of failure. It is exactly analagous to the Franklyn hide glue. Fish glue in it's pure form is quite strong, some argue stronger than hide glue although I don't know why you would need stronger.
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    Is it not arguable that fish glue and hide glue are mostly the same thing?

    That is, they are both a processed collagen/protein/other organic stuff that tend to be very sticky after having been desolved in water, applied to a surface and allowed to dry.

    Whether it comes from skin, hoofs, bones or bladders is it not true that the same organic compound(s) is the sought after product?
  16. M_A_T_T


    Mar 4, 2004
    Isn't fish glue resistant to heat? This discussion has come up before on here and on a violin making forum. The general idea from the violin forum thread was that granular hide glue was better for instruments.
  17. Jazzman


    Nov 26, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I first tried closing up a seam with the Franklins Liquid Hide Glue...it didn't hold for more than a week or so (and it still felt tacky). I quickly cleaned it out and glued it up with some of Lemur Music's granulated hide glue. That seam is still holding. ;)

    Stay away from bottled hide glue.
  18. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Liquid animal-based glues do not solidify at room temperature because of additives which prevent gelling. I believe they use mostly urea. These glues seem to have a tendency to fail when the joint is exposed to a high-humidity environment. Also, they have a relatively short shelf life, and should be disposed of on expiration. I've had a couple catastrophic failures which have cost a lot of money to re-do. Learn from your mistakes, right? The only time I use liquid fish glue now is for a very temporary bond where I want to have an easy time getting things back apart.
  19. SirFunk


    May 24, 2001
    Lincoln, NE
    Some people might disagree strongly with what I'm about to say but:

    In my opinion, it depends on the grade of the instrument. If it's a cheap ply wood student grade instrument, wood (or maybe even superglue) might be OK for a face crack.... a crack you would NEVER want to open again.

    On any instrument though, student or a museum artifact. There is no reason to not use hide glue on seams. Seams sometimes need to be opened to do work on the inside, top, etc of instruments, and if you wood glue a seam, forget ever getting it open. Hide glue is very strong, but it pops right open when wet.
  20. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    There are cases where superglue is warranted....

    A seam is not one of those cases, nor is a top crack.

    The thing with seams is that they're basically meant to pop. Better to have two pieces of wood separate due to stress than to have one of them crack. At least that's what I've been told.