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For those who don't know yet, this from Titebond:

 

We have had two lot numbering systems for the wood glues. The old one was:

The first digit represents the last digit of the year of manufacture. The second digit is a letter that indicates the month. We use the

letters A through M, excluding the letter I. The third digit is a number. It represents the manufacturing division the product was made

for. The next four numbers represent the internal lot or batch number. That is followed by a decimal point and two numbers which

represent the day of manufacture.

Example:

6L12455.23 – This material was manufactured on November 23rd of 2006.

In March of 2009, we switched to the new lot numbering system. The new one is:

The first digit represents A for America (made in), the second digit is the last digit of the year of manufacture, the third and fourth digits

represent the month, the fifth and sixth digits represent the day of the month and the last four digits represent the lot number.

Example:

A904270023 – This material was manufactured on April 27, 2009

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Thanks Jack. I just bought a new bottle and couldn't make heads nor tales of it. I also like to date the bottle when I buy it. No matter how much is used, I won't keep an opened bottle more than 3 months. I give them to friends for around the house projects. Use hot hide glue mostly.
So, did Titebond issue this as just useful information or was there a problem with certain lots? I had some unexplained joint failures in the past that I had racked up to keeping a bottle around a little too long. I have since changed to using smaller bottles and replacing them more often.

Dave
How long is Titebond useable anyway? According to StewMac " Shelf life is 12-24 months if stored in a cool, dry location. If the glue becomes thick and stringy in the bottle, this signifies that the glue is no longer usable."
What is meant exactly by "useable"? I have a bottle from July '08 that seems good: It's not stringy, and it smells OK. It's always been stored above 12°C (I have to heat my shop 24/7 in the winter here) Can I still use it? And for what? I used it a few weeks ago to glue a bridge on, no problems upto now, but I have a bad feeling after seeing how often people here change it for a new bottle. I ordered a new bottle several weeks ago, but they sent me a mail telling me they can't ship it until the temperature here is above freezing, which could take a while (I'm in north Germany)
There is nowhere locally where I can buy Titebond, I have to order it from Titebond.EU or Dick in Germany. I'm in a quandry, and wondering what I should do if I need Titebond before the new bottle is there.

Grahame
As far as how long Titebond is usable, this from Paul Hostetter (a real pro, lutherie.net) on the Acoustic Guitar Magazine (acousticguitar.com) forum:

The simple test for whether an aliphatic is gone bad is to put a drop between your fingertip and your thumb and pull them apart. If it forms strings, it's kaput. If it just remains on the separated digits without strings, it's still OK. You do this at something like "normal room temperature" of course.
Jack
Thanks for the tip: We must have posted at the same time. If I'd read your reply to my first post, I wouldn't have posted the second one. I'll try the finger test tomorrow in the shop.

Grahame
I know I should've thought of looking there before, but here's what Franklin says on their website:
"Most of our yellow and white glues, including Titebond Original and Titebond II, remain usable beyond two years. Should Titebond Original become thick and stringy, or Titebond II turns into an orange colored gel, these changes signify that the glue is no longer usable.
I'd be interested to know exactly what they mean by "useable": Useable for Lutherie applications, or only general purpose carpenter work? Can you trust it for stuff like glueing necks and bridges etc?
I'd be interested to hear other opinions on this, as I have to jump through hoops and pay exorbitant postal charges when I want to buy it here in Germany. It'd be nice to know whether I can really use it in the shop for as long as Franklin suggests in their FAQ

Grahame
Titebond didn't "issue" anything. I noticed that the date code had changed and emailed their cutomer service dept to decode the new numbers. I don't trust buying any glue without knowing the date code because some suppliers keep it on the shelf fo a long time.

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