Which glue is the best for building....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rdhbass, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    I am preparing to make a scarf joint headstock on a bolt-on neck I am building. Which glue does everybody like the best? Titebond? titebondII? Polyurethane glue? What does everybody here like? thanks.
  2. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
  3. I use ProBond - the Elmers version of Titebond for most of my glueing tasks.

    I have used the polyurethanes. A different animal altogether but after you get used to it's nature, it's a great glue.
  4. has anyone used titebond II or III? I have the original, but was curious about the others' advantages and what have you.
  5. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I use the yellow titebond
  6. Skorzen


    Mar 15, 2002
    Springfield MA
    I use regular titebond. I do remember there being some talk about titebond II over at mimf, and the conclusion there was that it was not recomended. I guess it does not harden totally, it is more rubery than titebond I.
  7. Skips


    Feb 19, 2003
    Yup, and that makes it kill the vibrations in the wood, and kill the tone. Apparently, the liquid hide glue stuff does the same--either mix your own, or use a different kind of glue. If you go to the mini FAQ on MIMF, they have a whole section with a chart discussing the different kinds of glues.
  8. Skips


    Feb 19, 2003
    As for what I use, I use polyurethane when I can clamp really hard, epoxy when I can't clamp as hard, titebond I when I want there to be very little seem and need no gap-filling, and superglue when I accidently knock little bits off by dropping the bass.
  9. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    I think superglue has saved alot of people's a*s on projects. I've heard of people doing everything from fixing paint dings to using it with bone powder to fix a faulty nut. I will probably buy good ole titebond, thanks for the info dudes.
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Use whatever, just a little warning:
    white PVAc glues don't sand well. You may end up with a rather ugly film in the most annoying places.

    (I use Araldite 2-component for necks and other critical joints, PVAc for other)
  11. schuyler


    Aug 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    i use lots of titebond II at work (about one 55 gal. drum a month), but i don't like it for instruments for the reasons others have stated above. the main advantage of II over the regular is water resistance, which is a disadvantage if you'd ever like to steam off a fingerboard.

    we're testing the titebond III at the moment... initial observation is that the only advantages are a wider range of application temps and a longer open time.

    i also use gorilla glue (polyurethane) a good bit, and i like it very much, though i thoroughly dislike the stains it leaves on my fingers. (seems like it always gets under the gloves...) it is not recommended for use on maple, though their packaging fails to mention this. i've had a number of maple jobs come apart at gorilla glue seams while PVA seams on the same job held fine. one of those jobs is my own kitchen counter. in the other woods, the key to getting a good joint is having enough moisture in the join, as it is a moisture-curing glue. if your wood is very dry (under 8%), i would suggest a PVA, which works well with very dry woods.

    on my basses, i've used gorilla glue for the neck and body laminations, and titebond for attaching the fingerboard. and CA for all the "unexpected" laminations that come up!
  12. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    We use Titebond II for all of our wood-to-wood gluing operations.
    One time on a Friday about 12 years ago one of my helpers removed an old radior from the Spray Room to paint it and left the Valve open. On the following Monday all the Basses in the Spray Room were 'dripping' with 'sweat'.
    All we had to do was wipe them down and re-sand them a bit from the raised grain. All the joints were solid. Between the Type II Glue and the Oiled based coating we use before spraying, all Basses were easily saved.
    Players travel all over the world with our multi-laminated Basses. I feel even more confident now with this unexpected moisture test that we are doing things the right way.
    I stand behind the Titebond II and it dries hard as a rock.
  13. Now we're really in a pickle! Ken, you're statement here is in direct opposition to several posts preceding it in regards to Titebond II. It's also contrary to nearly every experience with TB II that the builders on the MIMF have had. As a collective, they all recommend against using it. However, since you are who you are, your credentials are above reproach and there's no question that you are doing things right.

    A juxtaposition like this is confusing at best and makes it very difficult for less experienced folks to make a clear choice. :confused:

    It also illustrates the myriad of approaches that one can take towards the details of building an instrument.

    Ken, could we get a little more detail as to what brought you to use the TB II over other adhesives and the experiences you've had with some of the other glues out there? It might help with making our own decisions.
  14. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    The TBII is better for use as the instruments travel thru different climates and seasons. Glue doesn't make Basses, people do. I disagree with alot of the amatuer and professionl views out here but who cares? I don't.....
    We have used regluar yellow gules by at least 3 different companies but the TBII seems to be just a bit better and worth the difference in $ by far. A glue joint is not a simple thing as most may think. It is for LIFE !! It is to be done right and done the first time.
    We hand level many of our joints depending on the operation to make sure it's as good as we can make it. Going the extra mile may save you a hundred' !!
  15. Thanx for the reply.

    Talking about hand leveling...Do you find that these glue joints require more attention than those made with other glues. My latest build has a single seam that I can't seem to get right. I've leveled (and made DAMN sure it was) only to have it bulge later and then retreat. It's quite frustrating and the worst part is that it's a black painted body.
  16. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    personally i am starting to like the mud and straw mixture used in adobe huts...