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Unread 06-17-2009, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What kind of glue for tolex?

My wife bought me some 3M Spray Adhesive (General Purpose 45) for this re-tolexing project I have. I'm wondering if this stuff is strong enough or if I should take it back and get some 70? Have any of you guys used the 45 for gluing tolex?
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Unread 06-17-2009, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

I only use contact cement either solvent based or water based. The water based takes a little longer to dry but it doesn't react with the tolex as much so it doesn't appear to shrink like it does with the solvent based.
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Unread 06-17-2009, 05:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

I just replaced the tolex on my 34 year old Traynor head and used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive. I think it's the best way to go as it dries almost instantly. Get things lined up then apply the tolex and trim the excess. You can stretch the tolex as you apply it and the adhesive will hold it in place. You can peal it off and start over if you don't have it quite right. I'm no expert at this yet the Traynor now looks new.

Consider some additional detailing. I sprayed the inside of the cab flat black, replaced all the bolts & screws, and put a new handle on.
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Last edited by hipofutura; 06-18-2009 at 07:17 AM.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 07:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

I've seen your work and it looks very professional, Don.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Thanks Torren, that's very kind of you! I've have built a few amps and cabs. It's a lot of fun and very gratifying to see the end result. Unfortunately, I can't help but see all the flaws in each project. I guess we are all our own worst critic.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 08:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Tolex Glue ......................its what the pros use

Tolex glue

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Unread 06-18-2009, 09:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

The 3m stuff works a treat but I found I went through it pretty quickly. A tin of contact adhesive will go much further.
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Unread 06-19-2009, 04:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hipofutura View Post
I just replaced the tolex on my 34 year old Traynor head and used 3M Super 77 spray adhesive. I think it's the best way to go as it dries almost instantly. Get things lined up then apply the tolex and trim the excess. You can stretch the tolex as you apply it and the adhesive will hold it in place. You can peal it off and start over if you don't have it quite right. I'm no expert at this yet the Traynor now looks new.

Consider some additional detailing. I sprayed the inside of the cab flat black, replaced all the bolts & screws, and put a new handle on.
Thanks for that bit of advice there. I'll have to try some of the more powerful stuff next time. I am thinking I want to replace my hardware now, like you were suggesting... been thinking the black stuff is a bit too distracting now that the tolex is a light color.

For what it's worth, the 40 is definitely too weak for this sort of thing. I had stumbled upon a forum posting last night where a guy said he uses that same stuff on tolex... It sucks. It's already come loose in most of the middle areas. I actually ended up using super glue for some of the curved spots that needed to retain a lot of tension. Worked like a champ, though it will probably require the use of solvents if I ever want to redo it.

I finished the head tonight, tomorrow I'm on to the speaker cab. I'm not completely thrilled with the results so far, since I'm a perfectionist... but I think I did okay for my first run. It was just taking me FOREVER so I decided to cut back on the nitpicking. Cheap amp anyway.

Thanks for the tips, guys.
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Unread 06-19-2009, 06:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

One other thought. When I stripped down the Traynor head I discovered most of the glue that held the pieces of wood together had dried out. I was able to pull the thing apart at all the glue joints. The only things that were holding the head together were the bolts. It's a pretty scary thought as the head weights close to sixty pounds. I took the opportunity to re-glue all the joints. I also spent time with a palm sander smoothing everything out. Some of the adhesive was left behind from the old tolex and much of the wood was poorly fitted from the factory. I cleaned up all the joints and smoothed out the corners and contours. This isn't something others will notice, but I do.

Let's see some pictures!
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Unread 06-19-2009, 09:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hipofutura View Post
One other thought. When I stripped down the Traynor head I discovered most of the glue that held the pieces of wood together had dried out. I was able to pull the thing apart at all the glue joints. The only things that were holding the head together were the bolts. It's a pretty scary thought as the head weights close to sixty pounds. I took the opportunity to re-glue all the joints. I also spent time with a palm sander smoothing everything out. Some of the adhesive was left behind from the old tolex and much of the wood was poorly fitted from the factory. I cleaned up all the joints and smoothed out the corners and contours. This isn't something others will notice, but I do.

Let's see some pictures!
Wow, that IS scary.

By the way, the amp/cabinet that I'm working on happens to be a Valve Junior... so you can imagine the oddities that I found while taking the tolex off. Those things are seriously made of scraps of random wood.

Pics will come soon. Won't be able to finish it until late tonight, probably.
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Unread 06-19-2009, 09:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Doc Brown just replaced the tolex on his Epi. Check out the nice job he did. Unique and very cool! Snakeskin Valve Junior
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Unread 06-19-2009, 10:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hipofutura View Post
Doc Brown just replaced the tolex on his Epi. Check out the nice job he did. Unique and very cool! Snakeskin Valve Junior
yep, that's where I got the idea.
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Unread 06-20-2009, 12:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Thanks for that info on "Tolex Glue", CS... that stuff would be awesome if I actually had a shop. I just covered our dining room table in paper and did my VJ there. Just finished it up yesterday: My Valve Junior Makeover
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Unread 06-20-2009, 12:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What kind of glue for tolex?

Shit, I tried using contact style glue once for this job and it was friggin' useless. Difficult to work with and it came unstuck a few months later. Complete abortion.

I use garden variety PVA / wood glue now. It slips as you position the Tolex, meaning you can get it exactly right even if you muck it up first time, and it doesn't come unstuck.

Here's a corner of my last one:
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