I have just recently returned from a mission trip to Pearlington, Mississippi. Its right down in the bayou on the Pearl river . A lot of people still living in little shotgun FEMA houses (the ones without formaldehyde). I met a lady who wants a dreadnought guitar. Very sad story. Lost everything she ever owned. Anyhow I'm probably gonna build her a guitar at the pearlington discount, free. In her present living conditions, she will have little control of heat and humidity. After 3 years, she is in her house but still has no electric. Waiting on bureaucracy.
Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone has a sujestion on what glue to use in such hot and humid areas? I've only used hide glue and titebond original on my guitars and mandolins. David

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Titebond II might work, same convenience as original. Does fine on my laminated patio beams with extreme weather change so far, being exposed to 5 months of snow and dampy summers. Nice from you, really; this situation seems unrealistic to us (more socialist country resident, wich is no perfect either...!) Greetings
To be honest I doubt there is any place in the world that will cause a guitar to fall apart because of the glue. As long as you are not submerging the instrument in water, the conventional glues are fine. I'd use either hot hide glue or titebond, both will be fine.
I would stay away from glue that are suppose to be waterproof, like titebond II, what if you have to make future repairs? and most instruments do need repairs over time.

Jim, I agree with your caution about waterproof glues, but I have seen guitars that disassembled themselves because of hot, damp climate. I repaired a D-15 that went to Costa Rica and lasted about 6 months. Not pretty. Would hide glue have fared better? I don't know.

My advice is find her a nice used Ovation with a good neck angle.

You may be right, but, if an instrument is treated properly it will not come apart under normal usage.
When I say treated properly, is, that if it is kept in a case when not being played, and excessive humidity is regulated the best possible way. Simple approach is desicant packages inside the case. A dehumidifier in your house would be a good idea too.
I realize you had one D-15 that came apart, but there must be lots of other guitars in that country that are probably doing fine, or maybe the repair shops are excessively busy there, or the dump is full of guitars that fell apart.
Probably a good place to take a plastic laminate instrument, if the humidity and heat is that bad. Plus wood guitars don't sound good anyway when they soak up excessive moisture.

Titebond II disassembles the same as Titebond - around 212 degress F - which is coincidentally the temperature of steam, as in steaming out a neck joint. The rest is just heat applied with a caul or blanket. No difference here for luthiers. Feel free to use titebond II, in fact I would recommend it for damp/humid conditions you describe. Rusty.
TB II & III have much more cold creep than I, I wouldn't use it on an instrument, at least not on structural joints like bridge, braces etc.
Re: Laurent Brondel on cold creep:
Maybe you should talk to Titebond, the Company, before making claims that fly in the face of Tech Specs. Glue technology and application is not 'opinion' and is by design and performance. If you are having trouble with a certain technology I humbly suggest you may need to reconsider the design or application method of the system. Need more convincing - go think about what proportion of musical instruments are/have been assembled using a cross linked alipathic or even a simple PVA (Start by thinking how many Gibson guitars have been made since 1950 and how many neck resets and slipped joints you have seen on these instruments).

And, regarding the other query about why we don't use epoxy (as a first resort option) - no reason why not on cheap throw away instruments which don't need repair, but paradoxically, because epoxy is expensive, requires mixing, slumps badly, and is not production line friendly it is not used, as a rule, on cheap instruments. Epoxy is also prone to leave a hard dark line at the joint (especially gap filling epoxy which also introduces a refractive component into the joint). However, if a glue joint is unlikely to need taking apart epoxy is just fine. Note: some hardwoods have extractives or densities which are particularly unfriendly to various types of glue and working with these exotics can be difficult and needs some thought.

Polyeurethane glues or similar seem to be happening more on cheap Asian build instruments due to their superfast cure rates and they are truly awful to separate. Glue made from dead animals or animal products is popular with small volume makers and "arteests" and, like PVAs can be separated to repair valuable instruments. That's all I know, pretty much, Rusty.
Russell, you misread my comment.
Titebond 2 & 3 have much more cold creep than Titebond 1.
This is a cold fact…
Those glues were designed for outdoors application, which hardly qualifies for guitars.
Once in a while somebody tries TB 2 or 3 on an instrument and the result is always the same, slipping joints and failure.
Maybe TB 2 & 3 can be used for non-structural parts, but IMHO that would defeat the purpose… Titebond 1 is time proven for guitar building, so is HHG (and CA and epoxy for some applications).

Without wishing to be trite - the question was what glue to use in extreme humidity - read almost wet ie: water - that is why the recommendation to go to Titebond 2 was offered. I reiterate, the glue specifications is suitable for the particular purpose that was outlined. Failure is more likely poor building technique as even the cheap Asian manufactured units we see so many of can make a dodgy neck or bridge joint hang on. Interestingly, creep is often blamed for lines showing up in joints where the culprit is actually poorly/ inconsistently conditioned wood - see it a bit with cheap ebony fingerboards shrinking in service (manifest by having fret ends sticking out).

For the record, Titebond Original has the highest bond strength of the series (original, II, III series) best wood tear-out percentage and lowest solids. Hence its reputation as the preferred cross linked glue for luthiery applications. Titebond 2 makes some compromise to achieve a weatherproof status - but that's life.

All the other obvious things such as the tooling used to prepare the surfaces to be glued and the preglueing conditioning of ebony and rosewood are important to the success of a glue joint. Other things which will kill a glue joint are the assembly temperatures of the wood and the glue. Similarly if the joint is clamped poorly or unevenly or with too much or too little pressure we are going to see failure.

Now, just to move things along as well - Titebond 3 is an entirely different glue than titebond 2, - we dont use Titebond 3.....maybe this is the glue Laurent was thinking of.

But, hey, If you have a hide glue that can resist high temeprature and humidity and has mould resistance - go for it (and tell me about it - Darwin in our top north - which is v. hot and v. humid - has seen so many guitars come back in pieces that I'm now interested in your choice). Obviously the warning by the hide glue makers not to use the glue in areas of high humidity has been nullified by luthiers magic dust (must get some)

On the subject of leaving guitars in cases in the tropics - last time I looked, the plush which lines cases absorbed water/humidity like a sponge and when heated gave the instrument a condensation bath in the case (spent 4 years in Asia - practical experience) - a dehumidifier process is essential if air con is unavailable- the re-useable gel packs are cheap and readily obtained and can be recycled on an as required basis.

Hope this clarifies my position on Laurents concerns.

I agree with Jim, as maybe you dont really need a type II glue, but in the meantime is a cheap insurance (actually, free!). Repairwise its the same mess as others PVA in my experience (Russell seems to comfirm this) so I wouldn't bother too much, just build soundly to avoid these!! Anybody ever assemble an instrument with epoxy?
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll just use hide glue as usual. Hopefully she'll have her electricity on by the time its finished anyhow and can run a dehumidifier. It will be my first guitar in cajun country. David
If it's "only" till she has electricity it might help to store the guitar in it's case, together with some silica gel packets. If it's really humid climate it may be difficult to overdo with silica gel drying. But anyway, I think putting a low-tech hygrometer (5-10 $) in the guitar case will be a good idea (calibrate those cheapies at least once every year by wrapping it in a really humid towel and adjusting the needle to about 95%). Markus


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