Best reversible glue for bridge?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Robert England
Luthier
Posts: 1132
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:29 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Robert England » Mon May 16, 2011 3:27 am

I am about to glue the bridge onto a guitar, that I may need to remove and replace with another one. The bridges are made out of EIRW and the top is Spruce with French Polish/shellac finish. Hot hide glue, the obvious answer, isn't a good option, because I've never used it, have none, and have none of the paraphernalia that you need to work with it. Choices I am considering are Titebond, Fish glue, or liquid hide glue. Any advice?
Thx,
Robert

Slavko Fric
Amateur luthier
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:29 am
Location: Europa , Serbia

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Slavko Fric » Mon May 16, 2011 6:12 am

hi Robert.

Fish glue is almost like HHG (even better),

if you don't have Fish than you can use Titebond
and If you don't have Fish and Titebond, buy one don't use liquid hide glue

that's my....

best
fric

strings

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby strings » Mon May 16, 2011 7:36 am

Cyanocrylate is reversible,But I don't know if the realising agent will affect the shellac .Also ,I would need to remove the bridge and re-glue ,ounce the decision had been made to make it permanent. I don't know how you would reverse Titebond and all the hot glues need heat to melt them.You could bolt the bride on .Using the smallest bolts and the biggest metal and rubber washers you can find.The holes can filled when the bridge is finally glued on.

User avatar
James Lister
Moderator & Luthier
Moderator & Luthier
Posts: 5545
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:53 pm
Location: Sheffield, UK

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby James Lister » Mon May 16, 2011 8:21 am

You don't need that much paraphernalia for hot hide glue. I heat mine with a small hotplate - the glue goes in a glass jar in an old pan with water in it. That and the glue itself is all you need (although a thermometer is handy).

If you really don't want to go that route, then bridges glued on with Titebond CAN be removed, but it's difficult to do without causing at least some damage to the soundboard. Just use a combination of water and a heated palette knife, and work carefully and slowly.

Plan C would be to just plane off the old bridge (using a scraper for the last bit). Probably the safest bet, but of course you lose your old bridge.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

Richard Newman

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Richard Newman » Mon May 16, 2011 8:34 am

Robert, As James said, but I use a baby bottle warmer ( mine cost £10 from U.K biggest supermarket),on full power it heats to 140f exactly what you want, and a meat thermometer skewer £3. and a hair dryer.There is an array of info on the web on how to use it. It is something every maker should familiarise themselves with,....far superior to modern glues.

best
Richard

Jeff Highland
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 6:37 am
Location: Caves Beach Australia

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Jeff Highland » Mon May 16, 2011 8:57 am

Titebond original would be my choice here for a reversible joint since it softens readily with heat, more readily than hhg.
But treat it as a permanant joint since it may not come off and you don't want it prematurely releasing and damaging surrounding areas.
For my guitars, where I want the bridge to stay in place, my preferred bridge gluing technique is HHG and vacuum clamping.
Guitar building and repair at Caves Beach, Australia

OldPotter
Posts: 1245
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:31 pm
Location: Channel Islands

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby OldPotter » Mon May 16, 2011 9:47 am

Hello
I have only been using HHG for a couple of years, I don't think its as tricky or difficult to use as you might think. I use the recipe from frets. com. That works out at 10 grams of dry glue to 18 grams or c.c. of water. I mix in an old jam jar. I do have a sort of double boiler which I made from an old kettle, but there are instructions for using a microwave. I do have an accurate thermometer, but when this glue was invented I don't think they had access to such things.
What I am working up to, is that all I have read and observed for myself leaves only one choice. Even then I would expect it to be a time consuming job to remove a well glued bridge. It means not only having to invest in the gluing materials but also the ungluing steamer/hot knife/needle.
I have a stong impression that you already know this.

Regards Tim
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

User avatar
Waddy Thomson
Luthier
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:58 am
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Waddy Thomson » Mon May 16, 2011 2:06 pm

If you don't have any hide glue, you can go to the grocery store and buy a package of Knox(or another brand) Gelatin. Mix it with water, jut like hide glue, put it in a bottle, heat it on the stove or in the microwave, put it in a bath of hot water at 140 - 145* and use it like HHG. It has a higher gram strength, so the open time may be shorter, but it's very strong. It's one of Frank Fords tips at Frets.com. It will have all of the reversible properties of HHG. As a matter of fact, it is exactly what HHG is, but at a higher purity level for human consumption. Lots of folks feed their old HHG to dogs as treats. They love it.
Waddy

Link to Build Albums - See Profile

Robert Webster
Luthier
Posts: 1341
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 2:11 am
Location: Gig Harbor, WA

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Robert Webster » Mon May 16, 2011 3:03 pm

My vote would be for the fish glue. It can be used at room temp, so no special equipment. It doesn't require heat to loosen the joint. Just water, warm if you like. If I remember correctly, the opinion on this forum is that the cured strength is just as good as HHG. The only down side is that the cure times are around 24hrs. If you want to reuse the bridge without refinishing it, this is the stuff.

Bob

simonm
Amateur luthier
Posts: 3550
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Kronberg near Frankfurt.

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby simonm » Mon May 16, 2011 7:14 pm

Frank Ford has already been mentioned twice. Go over to Frets and read about it. I can't really say whether hhg is the best choice here (I would lump hhg, Waddy's gelatine idea and fish glue all in the same category for this) but the hot "natural" glues are a really the nicest things to use once you give it a shot.
I don't think I have ever heard a good word written about liquid hide glue on any forum so I personally wouldn't bother even trying it.

User avatar
Waddy Thomson
Luthier
Posts: 2112
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:58 am
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Waddy Thomson » Mon May 16, 2011 10:14 pm

While I believe Fish Glue is just as strong as HHG, it is more hygroscopic than HHG. I have seen evidence of Fish Glue releasing under extreme conditions of heat and humidity. I know your guitars will never be subjected to such extremes, but why take the chance at the bridge level. There was a recent thread on ANZLF regarding the use of Fish Glue in tropical climates, and most were not recommending it.
Waddy

Link to Build Albums - See Profile

User avatar
David_Norton
Posts: 2528
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:12 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby David_Norton » Tue May 17, 2011 1:38 am

I believe this guitar Robert is speaking of will be living in the Utah desert. Ambient RH out here on a good day is 25%, and single-digits in either winter or summer. Don't know if that makes any difference.
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

Nick Payne
Amateur luthier
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:21 am
Location: Canberra

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Nick Payne » Tue May 17, 2011 4:37 am

Waddy Thomson wrote:I have seen evidence of Fish Glue releasing under extreme conditions of heat and humidity. I know your guitars will never be subjected to such extremes, but why take the chance at the bridge level. There was a recent thread on ANZLF regarding the use of Fish Glue in tropical climates, and most were not recommending it.


The relevant thread is here: http://www.anzlf.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3240. About six posts down the thread.

User avatar
Alexandru Marian
Luthier
Posts: 2949
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 5:02 am
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Alexandru Marian » Tue May 17, 2011 5:03 am

I actually believe fish makes for a tougher joint than hide, but it surely is moisture sensitive. For my latest I switched entirely to hide for the binding and purfling, reasoning that since these might get a severe sweat beating once the shellac is worn off a few years down the road...not all players take care of their guitars and take them to refinish often. I'll still use fish for the bridge, or at least until I send a guitar to SE Asia...

User avatar
Steve Ganz
Luthier
Posts: 396
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:19 pm
Location: Blaine WA

Re: Best reversible glue for bridge?

Postby Steve Ganz » Tue May 17, 2011 5:13 am

Which fish glue?
Do you already have some?
Whatever glue you use, try it first on some test pieces until you are comfortable with it. Standard procedure.
Steve


Return to “Luthiers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bacsidoan, bc90212, CommonCrawl [Bot], hans, Jacek A. Rochacki, Jeff Highland, Marcus Dominelli, markw, QuangVu, rhobarros, Robert England, Scot Tremblay and 23 guests