any tips on multi-laminate gluing preparation ??

done this many times with my favourite TITEBOND ORIGINAL but you know how it goes.... a big panic to line the woods up so that when you clamp, you hope the separate pieces don't scoot off in odd directions as titebond sets so darn fast !

I thought about making up a kind of jig so I can drop each laminate in to a kind of pre-shaped frame keeping all pieces square, but hey, I'm guessing you folks have an opinion on this subject ??. for a thru-neck assembly I'm likely to glue 9 pieces together, some of them only 1mm thick [ veneer ].

one final question.. should I be putting HUGE clamping pressure on so I only end up with a light film of glue between each piece or a "lesser" pressure so I get some "squeeze out" but end up with more glue in there ? I'm a bit unsure which method makes for a sharper looking pinstripe on laminates too..

your expert advice is gratefully received... thanks,  nick

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Nick - send a photo/image so we can get some basic orientation - that'll help.   Tell us what wood type, and the order of the wood veneers/laminates you are using - that'll help with determining just how hard you should squeeze.  Not enough info yet Nick


thanks rusty... wood for this project is on it's way but not in my hands at present. possibly arrive next week. order consisted of centre splice 6mm wide rosewood, 2mm wide black dyed maple each side of it, then a maple 25mm wide splice to be glued to each side of that lot. may add a few more thin splices to this build as well.

my problems usually arise when I try and glue the whole lot together in one hit !.  I usually try to set up a retaining pin system to locate everything.

 Nick, pictures are needed for me to understand what you are asking about... Thanks!

this is the kind of thing... [  this is a borrowed image... not my work ]

What I have done in the past when laminating neck blanks is I'll clamp up everything dry first. Then, I trace my template out on the blank, and drill two holes through the laminations in an area that'll be cut off later. Then, I remove the clamps, apply glue to all surfaces, stack everything together, and I dowel those holes before clamping to keep things from slipping.


  I don't think anything says you have to glue it all up in one go. You should be able to glue two or three strips together to form planks and then glue the planks together to get the blank. It takes longer because you have to wait for drying times but the issue of slippage and holding things flat is much less using this method.

Perhaps Rusty, Kerry and others might know of another way to do this so you should certainly wait for their comments. I just know that this method makes building solid table tops much easier.  

wonder if I would benefit from using titebond 3 as it has a slower grab time. titebond original seems to give just a few seconds before it refuses to budge.

another sysyem a friend recommends is the "west system 2 part epoxy+ hardener".  anyone tried it ?

Titebond III has a higher creep factor than TB original - it is not suitable for general luthiery.

West System is an industry standard and a candidate and we can talk about that later today when I get time to address this post fully.

Ned is thinking what I'm thinking to enhance control for your situation - do it in steps.


Hi Nick,

Ok, I'll assume resources limited to a bunch of speed clamps or similar.   Titebond Original is fine for this build but if you find it grabbing as you work it, it's doing what it does well.  If you want Titebond to grip just slide the two surfaces backwards and forward together and it will literally suck itself tight. 

So if you wish to prolong the working time, don't slide the two surfaces - press them initially to position them and then slide them to steady/tighten the joint for clamping.

And to prolong your open time, put your glue on with a roller as brushing it on "works" the glue and stiffens it up quicker.

I suggest that you glue this build in steps as it makes it easier to handle the process and allows you to align everything  relatively flat which makes final finishing and dimensioning easier.

Now, to keep the sections flat during gluing you may wish to fashion 6  flat cauls, wrapped in shiny brown packing tape that are as wide as the sections you wish to glue in each glue up.  Once the sections are in contact and lightly secured add the cauls in pairs at each end of the long sections and then secure them with a clamp to force all the ends into line to stop them sliding up and down. ie keeping the glued sections flat across the boards while the main clamps glue them together.  

Use the last two cauls across the middle of the long section to secure the middle "flatness" and then lean on the cross wize clamps and alternately tighten the cross wize clamps.

This will look like the image you provided with an addititional set of three clamps holding flat cauls across the section at each end and in the middle.

This allows minimum "working of the glue until all is ready to get squeezed.

Clamp pressure is easy with the speed clamps in the image:  start at the far end clamps, do them up a bit,  do the middle clamp and then do the intermediate clamps and go back to the end clamps middle clamps and all the intermediate clamps so the load comes onto the glue joint equally and does not start getting away from you. All the time snugging the cross clamps on the cauls which keep the whole lot flat.

The low torque round handles on the speed clamps means you can use your full effort to tighten the clamps without risk of a starved joint on the maple.  Large lever G clamps need a little care as they can  put some heavy pressure on the joint.  If you have a toothing tool you can rough up the maple surfaces to be glued which helps retain a little glue in the joint under extreme pressure but it shouldn't be necessary.

Clean the rosewood surfaces that are to be glued with acetone before glueing them which will remove some of the extractives present and give you a better joint.   All surfaces should be recently skimmed or surfaced before gluing and all dust blown out of the pores etc. 

I don't like heaps of veneer stringers but I understand the "look".

That's a start - it's a bit hard to do a narrative on this but if you want a pictorial you may have to wait a bit.  Talk back at this if it's hard to grasp and I'll shoot some representative images.


I don't use Titebond III because that is waterproof which would be problematic. But I do use Titebond Extend which is advertised as having all the same properties but longer open time. I use it for the fiddly jobs such as kerfing, etc and it seems to work fine.

thanks folks. everyone very helpful as always. lots of tricks for me to try.

just for the record I think part of my troubles lie in me covering BOTH surfaces with glue instead of just ONE. I guess when two glued pieces come together slipping is guaranteed !


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