A couple of years ago, I bought a '48 Southern Jumbo at an estate sale. It was unplayable when I bought it and had some bad 'amateurish repairs' done to it. I made a new nut and did some setup work and I really like the guitar.

I now have to come to grips with some loose X-bracing ends on the top. The upper brace ends have become loose and the top is sinking from the bridge to the soundhole.. The treble-side brace has lifted about 2" in length and almost 1/4" from the end at the kerfing.

The bass-side of the X-brace has actually split from the kerfing (tapered) end about an inch and a quarter long.

The question is....would Titebond be ok to use (longer working time) rather than hot hide glue. There is quite a bit of tension when clsmping the brace to the top.

I know that I need to prepare the surface under the brace before gluing.

I will try to get some pictures out.

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Okay, I want to try and load some pics of the X-brace ends. the first pic is of the forward treble brace and the second of the forward bass-side where the actual brace has split .

To be clear, the glue mess inside the guitar was NOT my doing

I just glued an old Gibson with the same issues, smeared glued on an amateurish brace tip repair.  Whichever glue you choose, it would make sense to clean the old glue out; this will be the most time consuming part of the the job.  

Once that's done, the glue/clamp-up is quick.  I like using hide glue because this is the glue the old Gibson has throughout, and I like the way hide glue really 'sticks' and holds these springy braces.

I typically keep my inspection light on inside the body, and also blow some hot air inside with a hair dryer, too, to warm up the wood.  Sometimes I'll even use a heat lamp on the outside to keep the wood warm for a bit more open time.

Then I use a custom-fit caul that fits over the brace tip, and dry clamp several times for practice before I use the hhg.  The good thing on a top brace like this is you don't need a 'stick' like you would on a back brace, or a super long clamp to reach a deep brace, so the clamp/clamps will reach right inside to the brace.

I can usually get the glue in with a small artist spatula, and clamp, within 30 seconds.

In the big picture of brace reglues, these are pretty routine for me.  Tom

Thanks Tom, unfortunately, I am taking the titebond route. I like hot hide glue a lot also. I have used it on headstock fractures and for gluing bridges. I chickened out on this job however because working upside -down with a mirror is not my forte lol!

I am curious as to what causes old hide glue to fail after 50-60 years?

whoa thats heavy duty all that glue from the old repair!  

yes titebond is totally fine for fixing the braces.  hot hide glue is amazing and works great, but sometimes it is not practical.  

I like HHG and use it when the box is open but I can't get glue smeared and clamps in position quick enough to use it when working through the sound hole. Tite Bond has always worked fine for me.  

I don't like split braces but they are, I think, actually a bit easier since they usually don't have old glue that needs to be cleaned out. 

Thanks Alex and Ned! I actually started the repairs with titebond before the replies. I just knew that using hot hide glue was a recipe for disaster for me in this situation. After gluing up the ends shown in the pics, I prodded around and discovered three more loose braces. A top and bottom traverse brace just north of the soundhole came totally loose with little effort......soooo a couple more days of gluing and setting up.

I am glad to finally tackle this project and hope everything holds together when stringing up again.

With this type of repair I will sometimes clamp the neck fingerboard down to the top of my go deck, leaving the body hanging in the air. The go deck on a bench allows me to work at head height from underneath, through the soundhole. With a split brace I try to get a patch glued in beside the crack on one or both sides.


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