I'm about 650 instruments into building at this point, about 2/3 ukes and 1/3 guitars, and still puzzle over the visible Titebond glue creep, or swelling, or whatever it is  on the top and or back joints. Although I don't get to see many of my instruments again once they leave my shop, I think that glue creep shows up fairly soon on some of them. It makes a visible , but not tactile noticeable, unevenness of the joint. I've always used Titebond for all joints. I have no problem with how it works on any other joint besides the top and back. Recently I was reading Romanillos's latest book , with whom I studied with 15 years ago and greatly respect. On page 34 of Making the Spanish Guitar he says that he has seen the the same thing and that he finds it" aesthetically unpleasing". Those are my sentiments exactly. I have never witnessed a glue failure on those joints using Titebond, and I trust it, but the look basically sucks! I have hesitated to try other glues, precisely being concerned about glue failure in the high heat and humidity conditions that I live in in Hawaii. My shop is dehumidified day and night, but the instruments can be subjected to a wide range of climates once they leave my shop. Actually very few of them stay here in Hawaii, but still I'm concerned about humidity elsewhere. I don't really see any other glues that I might want to try other than hot hide glue. Because I'm only considering using it on a couple of joints, I can't see having a $100.00+ glue pot sitting on my bench unless I'm pretty sure it is the answer to my problem. On the web I find scientific test results that indicate hot hide glue actually resists heat better than Titebond. That's good. However, probably just because I've used Titebond for over 40 years I'm still resistant to change. I am also wondering why I don't see more of the glue creep problem in factory made instruments. I've got finely planed glue surfaces and tight fits, so that can't be the problem, Anyway, I'm interested in responses that relate to the use of hot hide glue on the top and back joints. Thanks, Bob

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I imagine it is fairly easy to over clamp with some of the gizmos I see people using, but that's just subjective on my part. Overthinking, yes guilty as charged. My first instrument in 1971 was easy. I knew nothing, so nothing to be bothered by. 45 years later, each instrument is more difficult than the last one because I now understand there is so much to know that I still don't. Just good enough work for me for years, but it no longer does. As long as it's fun, then it's not really work, so that's cool! Thanks for the feedback. Enjoy your building.--Bob

Hello guys,

Titebond have put out a recent vid on all sorts of things associated with clamping and clamping pressure.

If you cannot get this up, google Titbond clamping pressure and follow the links. 

One thing that is a variable and we take account of it is that gluing pressure with maple or other tight grained timber is a bit less than you can apply with open grained timber such as mahogany - also we like to keep our glue lines as undetectable as possible.   The emphasis  Titebond place on accurate surface machining and prep is also for good reason.   Clamp positioning and number of clamps is also a factor that needs to be understood.  We use more than we need and often do "one under one over" to get everything flat and unstressed.  The vid also deals with shelf life and other such interesting things.


Nice little set of videos. I like the fact that they were oriented to being informative rather than just pushing the Titebond name.

Thanks, Rusty... those are excellent little vids. I saw a lot of my "continuing errors" showcased there, particularly the shelf life of PVA's.  

I've got a bad habit of marrying-up old bottles of almost-empty containers and, as a result, there's bound to be some glue on my bench that could be years old!  Tsk-tsk.

So, today, I'll be chucking my old standbys and treating myself to a couple of new small bottles of fresh Titebond.  Heck yeah! 

Great info, too on the "hydraulics" properties of liquid glue in captured joints, not to mention the surface prep and accuracy needed on joint faces.  Thanks again. 


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