Hot Hide Glue Help

shorty85

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Hi folks,

In a day or two, I'm going to be trying my hand at using hot hide glue. I'm going to be doing a typical Mahogany body/Maple cap Les Paul. Body will be a two piece join and the top will be bookmatched curly maple.

The hide glue I have bought is the Pearl Hide Glue from Lee Valley.
Antique Restorer's Veneer Hide Glue - Lee Valley Tools

Most people seems to use a very similar technique, but since there are some slight differences, I thought it would be best to ask here. I have tried searching this forum, but mostly only find "one liner" style comments in the middle of every other build thread. I have been unable to find a full "lesson" style post that I could comefortably use as a guideline.

Here goes:

1. What ratio of water to dry glue do you generally use. I know that there is a lot of trial and error that needs to be done and this will be slightly different from one person/product to the next, but is there a rough guideline? I have mostly heard 2/3 water, 1/3 hide glue, but I beileve that I have seen one or two people use a 50/50 ratio.

2. For a join, such as joing a bookmatched top, how long of a clamp time do you suggest? I am going to be starting with two bodies, and two tops and since I have a limited number of clamps long enough, I was hoping that it would not be a super long time. I figure that since hot hide glue pulls the wood tighter together as it sets, that after an hour or so, the clamps would not be needed. I would still be leaving it overnight to fully dry.

3. I have read that hide glue can only be kept heated for so long before it begins to loose strenght. My questions is, how long can I have it heated to the recommended 145 degrees before I would need to make a new batch.

4. Lastly, what period of time should I wait prior to beginning work, such as planing? Am I correct to assume 24 hours?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

Daniel.
 

shorty85

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Anyone?

Any help or words from personal experiences would be greatly appreciated.
 

gator payne

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Hi folks,

In a day or two, I'm going to be trying my hand at using hot hide glue. I'm going to be doing a typical Mahogany body/Maple cap Les Paul. Body will be a two piece join and the top will be bookmatched curly maple.

The hide glue I have bought is the Pearl Hide Glue from Lee Valley.
Antique Restorer's Veneer Hide Glue - Lee Valley Tools

Most people seems to use a very similar technique, but since there are some slight differences, I thought it would be best to ask here. I have tried searching this forum, but mostly only find "one liner" style comments in the middle of every other build thread. I have been unable to find a full "lesson" style post that I could comefortably use as a guideline.

Here goes:

1. What ratio of water to dry glue do you generally use. I know that there is a lot of trial and error that needs to be done and this will be slightly different from one person/product to the next, but is there a rough guideline? I have mostly heard 2/3 water, 1/3 hide glue, but I beileve that I have seen one or two people use a 50/50 ratio.

2. For a join, such as joing a bookmatched top, how long of a clamp time do you suggest? I am going to be starting with two bodies, and two tops and since I have a limited number of clamps long enough, I was hoping that it would not be a super long time. I figure that since hot hide glue pulls the wood tighter together as it sets, that after an hour or so, the clamps would not be needed. I would still be leaving it overnight to fully dry.

3. I have read that hide glue can only be kept heated for so long before it begins to loose strenght. My questions is, how long can I have it heated to the recommended 145 degrees before I would need to make a new batch.

4. Lastly, what period of time should I wait prior to beginning work, such as planing? Am I correct to assume 24 hours?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

Daniel.

Sorry I got bussy yesterday evning. I was going answer. better late than never.

You mix hide glue by weight not volume get an inexpensive electronic scale if you don't already have one. Use 1 part ground hide glue flakes to 2 parts water (BY WEIGHT) I like to use warm water about 80F.

I use a cheap electric coffe grinder to reduce the flakes to near dust. This is not absolutly required but makes the flakes disolve into the water quicker.

your clamping time on almost any joint should be a min of 3 hours but i always allow joints to remain clamped over night

Actually you can leave the glue at 145F for a couple hours but if you are doinng several joints with in a day bring it up to temp make the first joint take it dow to 80F untill your ready to do the next joint then bring it up to temp. repeat as needed.

Yes giving 24 hours is a good idea.


By the way I make up (6) 4 oz bottes at a time. you can store the unused in the refrig for a couple months or in the freezer for over a year.
 

nuance97

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1. What ratio of water to dry glue do you generally use.

2. For a join, such as joing a bookmatched top, how long of a clamp time do you suggest?

3. How long can I have it heated to the recommended 145 degrees before I would need to make a new batch?

4. Lastly, what period of time should I wait prior to beginning work, such as planing? Am I correct to assume 24 hours?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice.

Daniel.
1. The most common ratio is 2:1 Water/Granules.
2. I think you'd be fin to to un-clamp after an hour.
3. I am not sure about this one, but I'll bet you'd be okay for at least an hour or so.
4. You should be fine after 24 hrs.

Now hopefully none of the real professionals will tell you that I am way off base, but I am still fairly new to hide gule myself.
 

gator payne

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yes hide glue is set within an hour. but the wood tends to absorb water from the glue deep into the cell structure. I prefer to alow 2 more hours to allow the water to be absorbed.
 

shorty85

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Cool, thanks to both of you for the advice.

Good things to know, and it's nice to know that I wasn't too far off.

This should be an interesting experience for sure.
 

Delphi

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Maybe your infos already mention this but if not...Another thing to add to your method is to work in warm-hot room with your parts saturated at that high temp. I prefer 80-100F...60-70F is a no-go for me. This buys you time before it gels and will not work - you'll see - is a part of the learn curve. You need to be fast, all prepped and ready to work quick and simple to get it clamped/set, so plan ahead. But mistakes are easy to redo- if it bonds poorly carefully applied heat from heat gun etc(just don't cook the wood) will undo it and you can recover-it scrapes/sands off easy, and hide is just wonderful to use once you get the hang of it.

Also be sure never to overheat it-it will loose bonding strength quickly. If you use a double boiler small bubbles in the pan bottom indicate already too hot [email protected] least for my LMI hide glue strength. 1:1.8 ratio here. I use tablesppons measure @ 4x hide and 7x H2O, or multiples thereof.

Personally I think your buying more trouble than its worth doing entire LP body glue-up in hide, but will be good learning exp. Large surfaces + fast tacking adhesive...have fun!...but the hotter your room and parts are the more leeway you have. More exp'd builders than I am using hide regularly like Gator may use it at lower temps for small simple joins where time is no issue, but I like latitude timewise just in case so I go with high temps here. Titebond is the standard for good reason; I use hide only for setting neck/body and F/B's for reasonable repair removal if/when.
 

nuance97

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Pre-heating the mating surfaces with a clothes iron or heat gun is also a must (for me at least). Gives a few extra seconds of open time.
 

gator payne

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Personally I think your buying more trouble than its worth doing entire LP body glue-up in hide, but will be good learning exp. Large surfaces + fast tacking adhesive...have fun! Titebond is the standard for good reason; I use hide only for setting neck/body and F/B's for reasonable repair removal if/when.

+1

I prefer to laminate with a high quaility marine grade 2 part epoxy. but if you are just geetting started LMI PVA or Tightbond will do fine if properly clamped. Hot HG for jointed plates is great but large surface areas are tough to do in time to avoid having the gkue starting to set prior to finish application alighnment and clamping.
 

Barnaby

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Although I used 9:5 first off, I think this 2:1 ratio works well and agree that a heated room/surface is really useful. Also, Gator's point about measuring by weight is very, very important!

If I can ask...how about the hassles of joining chambered bodies with hide glue? It always seemed to me that the extra time needed to spread the glue accurately over the top of the non-chambered parts would negate the advantage of having to apply less...and excess/squeezeout could potentially break off inside and rattle around the chambers. I guess you could somehow mask the chambers, but I've never seen anyone do this.

Is this an issue, or am I a crazy person?
 

Reverend D

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Well yeah your a crazy person, we know that already. :D I thought for the most part Hide (hyde? heh) glue was used for like Neck joints where you would be more concerned if you had to reset a neck due to a breakage for example. I thought like Titebond would be ok to put the body/cap together since creepage (? is that a word i don't think so) isn't really a issue? I've seen hide glue used on the cap before, but always thought that seemed like you'd need to work pretty fast? I'm trying to jot all this sort of thing down so when I finally get the opportunity I don't order things I don't need, or at least do things the most economically in terms of time and money. Thanks for the post, this is good stuff!

Regards,

Don
 

Delphi

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Using hide glue for the entire build must be doable since it was all they had before modern chemistry came on scene, along w/ fish. From what I've read around many high end classical builders and luthiers building orchestral inst's still use it religiously. Restorers also. So it must/is a go. Just another skill set that need attention and exp to gain the insights how-to. The warm to hot room and parts definitely is a must...read that tip somewhere and in my beginnings realized it to be so :(...guess how.

As you dig into the details of the different strengths as I recall they set up at dif rates...stronger kicks faster I think it is, so that too is a useful bit. For a classical back/top to sides glue up a lower strength buys some added time, and it helps to be in the Dezzert :p...like all those classic Classical makers in Spain. But for us in frostier climes a small work space and big wood stove gets it done good.
 

gator payne

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nobody said it was not doable and many Acoustic are built with all HHG. Alo solid body electics did not exist prior to modern chemistry.

Well since the carrier is water the higher the hide part of the ration yes the faster it kicks. Da! But also the higher the viscosity is so greater the chance of creep.

IMO if laminatinig one piece to another there are better choices. jointing edge joint ther is no better exspecially if it is a joint that may need reversed at some time.

it is really just that simple
 

zedfret

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I believe you've got the wrong hide glue for your application. Lee Valley sells both Pearl and Granular types. The pearl hide glue you've got is the weaker of the two. If you insist on using hide glue to glue a LP cap to the mahogany slab, I would strongly suggest getting an infra-red lamp to keep the wood as warm as possible while you spread the glue. This will keep the glue from gelling and setting-up too fast. The granular stuff is used for instruments. An alternative may be to use an epoxy that dries very hard and is resistant to heat such as MVS epoxy. NEVER use the West System glues though; they soften at only 130'F.
 

Delphi

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I believe you've got the wrong hide glue for your application. Lee Valley sells both Pearl and Granular types. The pearl hide glue you've got is the weaker of the two. If you insist on using hide glue to glue a LP cap to the mahogany slab, I would strongly suggest getting an infra-red lamp to keep the wood as warm as possible while you spread the glue. This will keep the glue from gelling and setting-up too fast. The granular stuff is used for instruments. An alternative may be to use an epoxy that dries very hard and is resistant to heat such as MVS epoxy. NEVER use the West System glues though; they soften at only 130'F.


:hmm: Interesting advice about West Sys, which will apply ='y to Sys3, Smith's, Aeropoxy, etc. Can you elaborate on the demerits of West relative to other common to luthery adhesives - Hide, the terrific LMI white 'secret-sauce', Titebond, Probond, Elmers white, Fish etc since they creep(soften)too.

You jest maybe:thumb:.... I've mixed a fair amount West and find it 'durable' :laugh2:. I imagine all those composite aircraft built with WestSys taxiing for T/O in AZ summer heat - vulnerable to sudden catastrophic failure upon reaching 130F?

Uhhh....no. Because the creep issue needs to be held in context to temp/loading scaling. In that regard it is same issue as to why you don't store your '30's Martin with full string tension in the trunk of your auto in August crossing Texas. Hide, LMI, Titebond, Amine Epoxy sys's will all release at similar points in that condition, which is 'The' condition applicable to your 'NEVER' use admonishment. If you go to Aerodux 500 or such you can buy better heat/creep/fail margins, but for guitars really not an issue. So why is West a "NEVER" use product? Curious to read why.
 

zedfret

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I did not compare WestSystem epoxy to the other glues you mentioned. It's okay for boat building but we aren't discussing boats.

Yes, WestSystem is used in aircraft as a general adhesive but not in their laminations; MVS epoxy for example is. See Composites Canada for more info.

Given the vast array of choices in aerospace epoxy and the fact that WS softens at between 118'F and 127'F, why use it at all in musical instruments? If you're going to, need to or simply want to use epoxy, why not use one which is appropriate for the job? There are simply better performing epoxies for that application. I buy my epoxy from a supplier that carries several brands and types of epoxy, including WestSystem.

I should add that a digital scale ~$35 is a must for using epoxy. WS pump bearings are unreliable as they age causing inaccurate metering of resin/hardener ratios. Also, you can use WS powdered fillers with other epoxies which is convenient.

The market is full of products that are less than stellar; some call them "durable".

I'd rather discuss hide glue.
 

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