Hey guys. I have two questions. I will try to combine them in one thread so I don't take up the front page.

1. How long does hide glue need to set after using it to glue on a bridge? It's 192 gram. And can hide glue take full tension steel strings? It felt like gelatin when applying it, and it's hard to imagine it holding to full tension.

2. I have a cheap Yamaha guitar that I'd like to practice my first neck reset on. The problem is it uses an epoxy that I heard is very hard to work with. Is it possible to do a reset on a guitar like this?

Thank you.

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What do you mean it felt like gelatin? Hide glue has to be clamped up before it starts to gel or it has no strength. I pre-warm the parts either with a lamp or in the microwave to lengthen the working time.

Better practice instruments are older American brands like Harmony; they are built in a more traditional way.

Ah, really? I read it doesn't require clamps and when it cools it acts as it's own clamp by pulling the parts together.I guess I will be redoing this bridge.

What I did is mix the pellets with water for 30 minutes, then heated that mixture to 145 degrees, then applied it to the bridge.

If the glue cooled enough to gel as you were applying it there's little chance the joint will be strong enough.  Hot hide glue MUST be fully clamped before it starts to gel - that is, you should have LIQUID glue squeezing out when clamps are tightened.

Hand-held or rubbed joints can suffice for los stress joinery, and may be strong enough for some nylon string bridges, but the generally accepted clampng pressure requires clamping.  Some industrial texts recommend 100 p.s.i. for hide glue joints.

Gotta be sure of the source when you read stuff on the Internet.

Ah okay.

It was fully liquid when applied. I brought it to 145 degrees as recommended. It just quickly turned to a gelatin consistency on my hands, and when I saw that I thought, "how can this hold on a bridge?"...

I got it all glued down in 2 minutes or so, so I worked fast.

Hide glue, when used well, is about the strongest bond you could get.  Definitely strong enough for a steel string bridge.  But a difficulty in its use is the short open time before it sets.  Like Greg said, it is a good idea to warm everything up to extend the working time - but even then you need to work fast.  I have seen some people in furniture making and general joinery doing a “rubbed joint” with hide glue (which is what you  are describing). Some violin and mandolin builders also do this for jointing plates before carving (no clamping).  But everybody I know doing guitar building would use clamps (or vacuum clamping) when gluing a bridge down.  

For your neck reset, those Yamahas have a reputation of being hard to get apart because of the AMG* used in their construction.  Many people reset them by sawing them off and converting to a bolt-on joint.  But you could have a try with steaming and see how it goes.  I have seen some forum reports of success ( try searching here and OLF for information).  

* asian mystery glue

Thanks, Mark.

I did clamp it for 20 minutes, but then I remembered what I read/watched said a clamp isn't needed. I removed it because I only had one, and I wasn't sure if one clamp in the middle was better or worse than no clamp.

It seems very strong this morning. How long should I let it sit before testing it? It's been about 16 hours now.

I will look into converting it to a bolt on neck. From what I read and heard from luthiers I know, they used some type of epoxy as the mystery glue.

You can string up after it has dried overnight.  It is now as strong as it is ever going to be.  Maybe you got a strong joint.  There is only one way to find out!  If you feel it is OK you could string it up and see (maybe leave it with light tension for a while before going up to concert pitch).

Did you get much squeeze-out?  If not, I doubt you got enough in there.  In that case I would suggest that you warm it up (e.g. clothes iron) and take it off (warm palette knife), and do it again with 2-3 clamps.  

The best resources on the net for luthiery questions often have Mr Ford’s signature.  

For your neck reset check out this page.

Sorry, I just realized that the link I gave was to page 3 of a five page article.  Here is the start:

Awesome, thanks.

There is some squeeze out. I put a generous amount on the bridge and the body itself. I don't see any gaps -- maybe the 20 to 30 minutes of clamping was enough? Hopefully!

I will try it tonight and see.

Good news. It appears to be holding very well.

What is the best way to remove the hide glue squeeze out?


Hot hide glue (as opposed to bottled liquid hide glue) tends to stick to finish rather well, and as it dries to become hard, it chips flakes of finish right off.

For that reason, it's customary to clean off as much squeeze-out while it's in the gel state.  A thin wipe of glue won't chip the finish, but thick puddles, drips and runs surely can.

Warm water will dissolve dried glue, so wiping down with hot wet rags is the standard for cleanup.


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