I've previously made a classical guitar using cocobolo for back and sides and used epoxy throughout for glueing the coco. I'm currently working on another and am at the stage where I'll be glueing the tentellones or peones to join top and ribs. I normally use Titebond 1 for this with other woods, but feel wary about using it with coco, especially here, where the joint has to be very sound. On the other hand, the thought of individually using epoxy for each tentellone doesn't fill me with enthusiasm. Do other makers have any thoughts on this?

Tags: cocobolo, glueing, gluing, peones, tentellones

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I would use Titebond without reservation in this area.  I've never had a problem with Titebond on Cocobolo.  Others say they have, but I haven't.

Thanks - that's encouraging!

I didn't say previously, but the tentellones are cedar and the top western red cedar.


I've used Titebond 1 on cocobolo a few times - no problems.

My issue with cocobolo is a nasty allergy - itchy skin and, more worryingly, cough and breathlessness.  I love the look of the stuff but I can't use it anymore.  I have heard of a few other people who get this (but hopefully not you, Jim) so be careful with the dust. 



Coco is the one and only wood for which I HAVE to use a mask. I find the dust extremely irritating, causing marked throat irritation and sneezing unless I do. As you say, it's a beautiful looking wood, and I think using it is worth the drawbacks. Thanks for your input on the Titebond.



I have found with Cocobolo and woods like padauk  for the best results are to glue right after jointing the edge. If you allow it to sit for a day or two there can be glue failure. I think that letting it sit gives time for oils or resins to creep to the surface. Thats just my guess. With paduak the joint will darken after a couple of days and it won't glue as well. I use regular titebond for these woods..

I always wipe Coco with lacquer thinners before glueing and haven't had a failure, even with bridges. Amazing how much oil comes off on the towel.

As it turned out, I ended up using Smith's All-Wood Epoxy - for the peones, the back linings and for attaching the back. The end result is rock-solid (much stronger than any joint I've made with Titebond), and it wasn't as daunting a task as I'd anticipated. For the bindings and purflings I'll use Titebond. Regarding padauk, I've made two instruments with this wood in the past and used Titebond 1 without any problems.


 Jim, can I ask why you came here and asked for expert opinions on this and then ignored all advice?  It makes absolutely no sense and seems a waste of everyone's time. This is the kind of stuff that happens on Mandolincafe, not here. 

I asked for other people's OPINIONS and THOUGHTS, and collated these with information from several other sources, including personal friends who are professional luthiers. The replies given here were not ignored, but merely considered and put into context. I have a close friend who is a professional luthier, having studied in Granada for two years, and he advises the use of hide glue, which he uses exclusively for all woods. I am not comfortable using this. but he doesn't get stroppy bacause I don't follow his lead. I would add that I am not an inexperienced luthier myself, although I have only made one coco instrument in the past, and usually work with Indian rosewood.

I also have problems with using hide glue too. Apparently , it just takes lots of practice... 

I've never actually had problems, it's just that I've never used it - I'm put off by the short open time and having to keep the temperature up. My friend who trained under Rolf Eichinger in Granada for two years uses nothing else, but he employs techniques which don't appeal to me, such as using a flaming torch soaked in methylated spirits to resoften the glue in clamped joints and preheating surfaces using blocks of hot wood prior to applying the glue and bringing the joint together. He does occasionally use fish glue, as do I for things like scarf joints. but he loathes Titebond.

Jim, Nice work. Spanish heel? Really nice Coco.


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