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Which glue do you prefer for a scarf joint?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by roberthabraken, Mar 30, 2009.


  1. I couldn't find it using the search and my book doesn't say a lot about this.. but is it okay to use Titebond for the scarf joint? Or is there a stronger glue used for this (although I couldn't think of a stronger glue for wood).
     
  2. Fasoldt Basses

    Fasoldt Basses

    Mar 22, 2005
    Stevens Point, WI
    Karl Thompson, Builder (Formerly Fat Karl)
    Yeah, I'd use Titebond or Hot Hide Glue. Hot Hide Glue is a little more resistant to heat, so there's less chance of your headstock falling off when you leave the guitar in a black case in a hot car in August.
     
  3. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Titebond or Elmer's Carpenter's glue is fine. Hide glue too.

    Although, I don't know but I've been told the opposite of what Karl noted. I've heard that hide glue is more susceptible to heat.

    Of course, I don't have a lot of experience with hide glue myself, so don't make your decision on my word alone.
     
  4. Well, what I hear from your replies is that Titebond will do. I don't know what hide glue is called in Dutch or where to get it. From the experience I've acquired with Titebond, I think it's very good type of glue with short clamping time, a good spread and bond, so I'll will go with that.
     
  5. Make sure it's HOT hide glue, not the stuff in a squeeze-bottle. Joints using liquid hide glue will slip and slide over time.

    :( I know from experience.
     
  6. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    One noob question... Wouldn't usual white glue work? If not, why?
     
  7. Well, it would probably work, but Titebond has some advantages over white glue:
    - it spreads really easy (flows out), so both glueing surfaces are completely covered in glue, which obviously gives a stronger joint
    - it is almost invisible after drying (even more than white glue)
    - it is very easy to sand, just like wood
    - it doesn't effect lacquer or any other paint

    and.. it sets fast / has a short clamping time..
     
  8. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    Now I see. Thanx for explaining this!
     
  9. powerbass

    powerbass Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    western MA
    I would avoid hide glue for the application of a gluing a scarf joint. Hot Hide glue has a time and place, it is also an investment w/a glue pot etc.
    Regular "yellow" wood glue, Titebond, Elmers are excellent choices. The key to good glue joints is flat mating surfaces and consistent, even clamping pressure
     
  10. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    +1

    I should have mentioned in my first post that, while hide glue will probably work fine for a scarf joint, you must learn to work with it properly. Hide glue is not real easy to work with, it has a very short open time, must be heated and mixed properly, etc. Clamping a scarf joint is relatively complicated, so it is tough to get the hide glue spread on the joint and clamped before it gels.

    I've been using Elmer's capenter's glue or Titebond for my scarf joints for awhile now. The first scarf joint I ever made, which was glued with Titebond, was for testing purposes. I basically put enough force on the testpiece to break it...the wood before the joint broke before the glue joint did...in fact, I couldn't get the glue joint to break at all.

    I wouldn't worry too much about those glues not having enough strength.

    Swerver, I'm also fairly certain that white glues are not nearly as strong as yellow glues are...
     
  11. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
  12. Minor update: I just glued the scarf joint with Titebond, using two stop blocks fastened with screws and 6 clamps with two pressure dividing pieces of scrap wood.. fingers crossed.. :smug:
     
  13. LedBelli Bass

    LedBelli Bass Fine, Handmade Custom Bass Guitars

    Dec 25, 2008
    Pasco, WA
    I use a new 3M adhesive that is a composite of epoxy, cyanoacralyte, and a small amount of fibrous lexan. It requires NO clamping annd bonds in around 10 minutes.The adhesive actually capillates into the wood fibers, even on dense woods, drawing the joint together as it sets. It creates a virtually seamless joint that is almost undetectable if care is taken with grain orientation.

    You can find it through online commercial outlets under the trade name 3M Lexanaltyte.

    It is completely sandable and finishable, and I'm using it for all my work now.
     
  14. That sounds awesome :bassist:.. gotta have that the next time :D
     
  15. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    Googled for "3M Lexanaltyte" with no result...
     
  16. LedBelli Bass

    LedBelli Bass Fine, Handmade Custom Bass Guitars

    Dec 25, 2008
    Pasco, WA
    In the USA here we call it "April Fool's Day", a day of practical jokes!

    Sorry!
     
  17. Swever

    Swever

    Nov 13, 2008
    Joensuu, Finland
    Danm! :) Good one, man!

    I should have guessed tho, it requires no clamping! :)
     
  18. Damn.... good one there.. I did totally buy it :bag:
     

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