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 Post subject: Re: What are the best method of joining wood cases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:08 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:25 pm
Posts: 707
Location: North Central Iowa
One thing that will help when you are glueing pieces of wood back together (like bun feet for instance) when they used no dowels, et. to help keep the boards aligned is to drive some small brads into the surface of one of the boards where they will be glued. And then clip them off short with some wire cutters so when you clamp them back together they won't slide and get back out of alignment. The sharp end of the brad will give enough grip for that. It's a really simple trick an old carpenter showed me years ago and it works fine on motorboards, et. where the pieces just need to be glued back after falling apart. Hopefully, they are still true.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the best method of joining wood cases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:20 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:46 pm
Posts: 269
Location: Baltimore, MD
There are two methods depending on the type of joinery in question.

For true wood joints, as in two pieces of wood that were originally joined together by design, I always use hide glue. The reason (besides authenticity) is because the joint can be taken apart again down the road should the need arise.

For breaks that are not at an intended wood joint, I use regular wood glue. In both instances, I clean the pieces to be joined, glue them, clamp them, wipe off any excess that seeps out, and let it sit overnight.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the best method of joining wood cases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:39 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:01 pm
Posts: 807
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
I've tried all kinds of glues over the last 60 years, for both joining two or more pieces of wood and for bonding veneers, including Gorilla glues, hide glues, contact cements (the worst), and Carpenter's Glue. The last works the best for me in terms of convenience, easy clean-up and reasonable drying time. I always seem to come back to it.

Elmer's Carpenter's Glue can be reversed, although in all those years I've only had to reverse a glue job twice through several hundred repairs. All you have to do is soak the joint in water, or diluted alcohol, overnight. That softens Carpenter's Glue to the point where it is easy to break the bond.

I use the same glue to perform veneer repairs and even to attach entire panels of veneer (using the iron on method).


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 Post subject: Re: What are the best method of joining wood cases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:43 pm 
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Victor IV
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Buyer of broken things
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 1330
Location: North Shields, UK
I've seen Gorilla glue mentioned a couple of times here, I'd just like to mention my experiences of some different glues.

I build and repair guitars, so I deal with wood a lot and different adhesives, gorilla glue will hold, BUT, if the joint were to fail or the piece needs to be taken apart you cannot do this with gorilla glue by any means other than mechanical, that being getting in there with a knife or a saw which often causes more damage to the wood than it's worth, heat and steam wont touch it, it doesn't create a very good bond with itself either when repairing previously repaired areas.

Hide Glue is the best when it comes to instruments and antiques, not just for authenticity but it's ability to be re-amalgamated and re-worked with the addition of steam for repairs, but it can be tricky to work with so does require some skill, keeping it hot enough to work with, there's also a very short open work time to get the piece together (I'm talking about real hide glue, not the bottled titebond stuff, this may work with a phonograph cabinet but I wouldn't trust it with anything structural, I've heard of guitars made with Titebond liquid hide glue flying apart in pretty un-abnormal scenarios)

getting on to the original subject, I would highly recommend Titebond original wood glue, it's all I use now for woodworking, I've repaired a couple phonograph cabinets with it too, it's got a good work time, a very good hold, it dries hard, but it can also be taken apart with heat, moisture and steam, it may take a bit more to take apart than with hide glue but it will come apart and is unlikely to come apart un-intentionally.

Another very good option and easier hide glue alternative IF you can find it is fish glue, this is a natural animal glue like hide glue, however it comes bottled, has a good work time and can be repaired but is more reliable than the titebond liquid hide glue, though it can be pricey, and over here it's tricky to find, I think in the UK there's only one retailer in the whole country offering it, it may be more plentiful in the US.

for ease of use, titebond original is my recommendation, but I would never use Gorilla glue for anything, and I would never use superglue on wood except under some exacting circumstances


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 Post subject: Re: What are the best method of joining wood cases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:17 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 pm
Posts: 879
Could you clarify what you mean by "flying apart in pretty un-abnormal scenarios". That is something you heard, not something you experienced. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not second guessing you. I've used liquid hide glue for years, primarily because of the set-up time, but I'm willing to re-invest in a glue pot if there's a good reason. My brother was a luthier; he only used hot hide glue.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the best method of joining wood cases?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:50 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 1330
Location: North Shields, UK
jboger wrote:
Could you clarify what you mean by "flying apart in pretty un-abnormal scenarios". That is something you heard, not something you experienced. Don't misunderstand me. I'm not second guessing you. I've used liquid hide glue for years, primarily because of the set-up time, but I'm willing to re-invest in a glue pot if there's a good reason. My brother was a luthier; he only used hot hide glue.


I've seen aftermath examples of, for example guitar bridges coming off quite dramatically on hot days or some parts coming loose by being near a radiator or in a window on a warm day, for normal things, I'm sure it's great, for carpentry I can see it's uses, but for structural or load bearing pieces I couldn't fully trust it, I always though it seemed a bit too easy to loosen the glue join, hot hide glue takes quite a bit more to break loose I found, I'm sure others feel differently, I might have just built a negative picture up of it, but in the guitar world, I've seen a lot of people shying away from it.

Saying that, I only experimented with it a little bit, I'm sure for the phonograph cabinets it would work, especially as a lot of the edison cabinets have finger joints too, it's just not for me I feel


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 Post subject: Re: What are the best method of joining wood cases?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:01 pm
Posts: 807
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
kirtley2012, thank you for reminding me of a similar experience I had with my Gibson Hummingbird. The bridge had lifted some and I was fearful it would rip out entirely. I took it to a place in the San Fernando Valley, CA for advice on how to repair it. He strongly recommended I not try to repair it myself with wood glue, but rather let his man perform the repair by old school methods. He assured me the hide glue method was the only way to go.
So, I left it with him for a month and when I got it back, I was please that the wonderful sound of that old instrument was still there, and that it stayed fairly well in tune. Over the next few years that guitar was played regularly and then went in storage in California.
A couple of years down the road, I settled in Oregon, that was about 2005. I retrieved the guitar and upon tuning it up, was dismayed that the bridge broke loose again, just like before.
I took it to a local shop and they repaired it again, not using hide glue, but "aliphatic resin" and two new wood pins. It has stayed together since.


I note that there are two lines of thinking on the hide glue vs carpenter's glue. I suspect there are good applications for both, and in many cases it is just a matter of what the user gets used to, or what they prefer.


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