Hello gang,

I've got a chip-out on the back of the headstock where the router that cut the head slot broke off a bit of the Spanish cedar. I think I can make it look acceptable if I make a dam of tape and fill the area with thick CA glue. The tape would keep the CA from running down into the head slot. Is there any breed of tape that CA won't stick to?



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dont know for sure but I would try electrical tape, vinyl/plastic and flexible. test it first.

I don't believe that there is any tape that CA won't stick to. CA sticks to the electrical tape adhesive, you may end up with Black goo in the patch job. It does do a good job of not wicking CA under the tape though, unlike masking tape. If you make your dam bigger than the repair, not flush to the wood, you could clean away the crusties. Epoxy could be another choice or you could drop fill your repair with the thick CA and build it up without tape.

Hello Ron and Paul,

Thanks for the suggestions (:->)...I think I might be able to orient the head so that the chip-out is level, to keep the CA from flowing out of the hole. I also have some Teflon pieces that are about .062" thick. I might be able to bend and clamp one of those into the head slot.

Ancillary question: is there a CA accelerator that doesn't turn the hardened glue somewhat milky? IIRC the stuff I have tried in the past didn't leave the hardened glue nice and clear. I have such a bad reaction to CA fumes that I haven't used it much lately.

Thanks again,


I haven't found an accelerator that didn't but I've been interested in trying out a technique I read of on a forum somewhere.  That baking soda sprinkled will kick it like accelerator.  Haven't tried it.  I assume that if dry baking soda works like this, then it probably would work in solution with water. Who knows, couldn't hurt to try on scrap.

Hi Brian,

The thin plastic packing tape (the brown stuff that goes in the roller tape dispensers that removalists use) is the go, tape off and rub to warm the adhesive so you minimise wicking and do a couple of application of medium or thick CA so you get a slow build with less inclination to wick.   Thin CA will find it's way everywhere so avoid it if you can for "build up" work.  Residual adhesive from the tape left on the job can be removed with naptha (Shellite/lighter fluid).  

Regards, Rusty.

Hello Rusty,

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll do a bit of a test to see if CA sticks to the packing tape that I have.

California has banned the sale of naptha in paint stores, but you can buy it by the gallon as Coleman Camp Stove Fuel. In my case that involves walking 50 feet to another aisle in the hardware store!




The lids of plastic food containers - the clearish ones - are pretty good non-stick material.  They make good fret dams when rebuilding fret slot chips, plus they are stiff enough to make a flat surface.


Hi Brian,

 with respect - I think the approach is all wrong. In the time it's taken for this thread you could have picked up a wood chip or made one & glued it in - no toxic chemicals needed.

In my workshop 1 rule -

"Perfect is good enough""

 it's also quite often quicker.


 ps. I use cellotape on my clamping blocks.

Hello Dean,

I'm flattered that you think that my repair skills are up to making something like that look Ok. However, I think I would probably make it look worse by trying to fit in another piece of wood. I got spoiled by living around the corner from Frank for 21 years, and have never developed any repair skills worth mentioning.

As a guitar maker I consider myself a pretty good journeyman. As a repairman I'm the trainee that just got hired.



Not exactly an answer to your question, but one thing that glues don't stick to is plastic wrap. I use it all the time to protect a whole guitar from sticky epoxy (that glue gets everywhere, on your fingers and away we go!) or wrapping cauls with it. Especially good when glueing a big flat surface, the suction between the caul and the surface with some stray hide glue inbetween can be a problem. With a flimsy layer of wrap inbetween nothing ever gets stuck.

Hello Roger,

Thanks very much for the tip! I use that stuff all the time, but I hadn't thought of it as a protective layer. I get it as a packaging wrap that's 5" (approx.13cm) wide, with a handle, and it works well for bundling up stacks of wood, and loose parts to a setup:



Nice dispenser of wrap! Thanks for the tip :-)


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