After reading conflicting opinions on forums (fora?) all over the net, I'm looking for some opinions from you guys here, as I'm sure that the knowledge base and expertise here can be relied upon.
So, to the question: Can (should) I use Titebond for Bridge gluing/regluing? I always have upto now, and have only ever had one come back (and I'm not sure it had anything to do with the Titebond) Some people say that HHG is better, others say that Titebond etc is just as good. In all the books I have, the opinions are devided: some advocate HHG, others (including Cumpiano) maintain that Titebond is superior. As I'm doing more and more work involving gluing-up, and also intend to build my own OM from plans this year, I've started to think about the whole subject more intensely. All opinions welcome :-)


Views: 558

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hot hide glue is superior in several ways. It will survive higher temperature than Titebond before it starts to let go; it dries harder so it transmits energy better; it's easier to work with in the sense that the bridge doesn't have the tendency to slide around as you tighten up the clamps. About the only advantage to Titebond is its longer working time- with hide the clamps have to be tight before it gels or you have a weak bond that will likely fail.
Hi Grahame,
I use Titebond (red label) without any problems and my customers (and I) our more than satisfied with the sound of the instruments. I may give HHG a try some day as Greg's comment on it drying harder and giving a better transmission of sound is interesting. However, I don't think my ears are good enough to detect any differences :)

Thanks for the opinions so far, I'm thinking of trying it out, for repairs on vintage stuff it would certainly be more authentic.
The only thing that's putting me off is not the cost of the HHG (I can buy Behlens Master here in Europe), but the cost of the gluepot. Does anyone here have a cheaper solution? I thought about a baby-bottle warmer (we used to have one somewhere at home, but as my daughters are both over 20 I guess it's possible my wife threw it out :-)), but would the bottle warmer get hot enough? Any other good(and cheap) ideas out there?


For a glue pot simply use a hot plate and a water bath. If you have access to any industrial, military, or educational surplus laboratory type hot plates are easily acquired and I've picked up one here in the states for only $5 about 15 years ago. The older ones depend on the mass of metal that the heater item (I'll refer to is as "pot" from now on) rests on and a simple bimetal type thermostat. As such they take a while to get set to the wanted temperature (a good lab thermometer helps - again available surplus for cheap) but once you've got the temperature knob set either make a mark or jam it so it can't be changed and then always use the same pot of water for the bath - the smaller pot that you melt the glue in isn't that critical as long as it's not more than about 1/4 the mass of the water bath. And I've even had luck doing this with a kitchen type hot plate for other purposes but since I've had the lab plates for a while I've got one simply dedicated to the endeavor and it doesn't take up any more room than a commercial glue pot. I'm not sure where you're at but I suspect that you've got access to surplus outlets as well as "thrift" stores which often carry items that would surprise you (I found an old unworking mass spectrometer at a thrift store in Richmond, VA about 20 years ago for $10 - still wished I'd have bought it but I settled for an IBM 3000 series main frame computer for the same price delivered and I used the frame from it to put my radial arm saw on!).

i bought a rice cooker, $30 NZD at a discount grocery store. works ok.
its hard getting the hang of the hide glue consistency
I used to live in Florida and used Titebond to glue bridges. In the hot summer I had many clients return instruments with bridges that had "slipped forward". You could easily determine that the instrument was exposed to heat. Frank Ford advised me to switch to HHG as it does not creep at all (it would just let go) and does not react until considerably higher temperatures were reached. I switched to HHG per his advice about ten years ago. I have never had another bridge problem. It is a bit more difficult to use but once you get the hang of it it is well worth the extra effort!
Either glue will work, but I prefer the hot hide glue, it dries hard, and doesn't creep when clamping or if it gets hot.
On vintage repairs I always use it.
It's not hard to mix or use. I mix the glue water thin, still works fine for bridges.

So it pretty much sounds like everybody is bifurcated in the solution. It either works or it doesn't, and it seems like the difference is whether or not one minds the temperature and humidity, regardless of the adhesive used.

Would LMI white glue work?

As the owner of too many instruments, I have found that detuning a couple of steps when the git box is in storage is the real answer. Any wooden machine under that type of tension for an elongated period of time in an attic/ basement or wherever is not being cared for properly.
I ran an experiment yesterday afternoon with the LMI glue.

Needing a wider maple board than what I had on hand, I glued a narrow strip to it with the LMI. After clamping for about thirty minutes, I took that board over to my big Jet cabinet saw and proceeded to rip a little off the glued on strip.

It held fast. I was expecting at least a little slippage, or maybe even a 4000 rpm squarish arrow shooting back at me, but it held and I am very impressed. It makes me wonder why it wouldn't be perfect for the Taylor bridge I need to glue on.

I've used LMI white glue ("instrument maker glue) on my last classical built about 2 years ago. No problems what so ever.
I use alaphatic resin (Sp?) aka tightbond for all my bridge gluing/regluing needs. I'm a grad of Roberto-Venn and thats what the instructors out there are recommending for MOST acoustic construction/repair tasks.
Hide glue is great. Another bonus is re-repair of areas without tedious glue clean up.


© 2023   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service