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Glueing Fretboards


andyt
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looks like they came off nice and clean!! - i would stick some sandpaper to something long and perfectly flat and the sand the necks against them till its perfectly flat and no glue residue remains. Shouldnt take too long at all from the look of them

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Excellent, thanks guys. Was quite surprised how they came off, half hour each.

Don't sand the glue off. I repeat - Do not sand the glue off. Glue is harder than wood and you'll end up removing wood around the glue and the surface may end up not flat.

Wherever there is leftover glue, dampen it with a rag. Let it sit so the glue softens, then, scrape it off.

When you have all the glue removed, take a pefectly flat block wrapped in 320 grit sandpaper and sand the surface with even long strokes, making sure the surface remains flat (with a straight edge of course).

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Don't sand the glue off. I repeat - Do not sand the glue off. Glue is harder than wood and you'll end up removing wood around the glue and the surface may end up not flat.

Sorry, but that's bad advice. Have you ever worked with a neck that has had a fingerboard removed? The glue is incredibly weak and almost flakes off on it's own. However, new glue is definitely stronger than wood. Glue that has been heated so that it has become a liquid and then re-hardened is definitely no where near as strong as wood.

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When you have all the glue removed, take a pefectly flat block wrapped in 320 grit sandpaper and sand the surface with even long strokes, making sure the surface remains flat (with a straight edge of course).

jon is right

if you consider that a freatboard needs to be glued to a perfectly flat surface to stand any chances of being level and having a good glueing surface, how is running a sanding block up and down the neck going to make it any flatter than running the neck along a flat surface with sandpaer attached

killemall was right from the start - glue does not glue to glue...so that needs to be removed first... personally i woul start with at least 240grit stuck to a long flat surface and sanding the neck on it... or a long flat sanding block with 240 sanding paper stuck to it - whatever suits what you have

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Don't sand the glue off. I repeat - Do not sand the glue off. Glue is harder than wood and you'll end up removing wood around the glue and the surface may end up not flat.

Sorry, but that's bad advice. Have you ever worked with a neck that has had a fingerboard removed? The glue is incredibly weak and almost flakes off on it's own. However, new glue is definitely stronger than wood. Glue that has been heated so that it has become a liquid and then re-hardened is definitely no where near as strong as wood.

I agree with Jon. Have a clean suface to glue to. some people use epoxy to glue the fret board. I think thats a good idea to. you can fix your mistakes using expoxy.

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Epoxy releases nicely with heat thankfully. This allowed me to fix an inlay sand-through on my fretboard without having to route it out or dig it out. I didn't actually sand-through, but the pearl was so thin, you could slightly see through it. As for the gluing up of the fretboard, I agree with whats been said, a nice fresh flat surface would be best, clean from glue and freshly sanded or scraped. Best of luck. J

Edited by jmrentis
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Don't sand the glue off. I repeat - Do not sand the glue off. Glue is harder than wood and you'll end up removing wood around the glue and the surface may end up not flat.

Sorry, but that's bad advice. Have you ever worked with a neck that has had a fingerboard removed? The glue is incredibly weak and almost flakes off on it's own. However, new glue is definitely stronger than wood. Glue that has been heated so that it has become a liquid and then re-hardened is definitely no where near as strong as wood.

Yes - I've done it on an 1987 Ibanez Jem neck so I speak from experience. If the glue just simply flaked off, we wouldn't having a discussion as to how to remove it, would we?

You know what my recommendation is. Take it or leave it.

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[if you consider that a freatboard needs to be glued to a perfectly flat surface to stand any chances of being level and having a good glueing surface, how is running a sanding block up and down the neck going to make it any flatter than running the neck along a flat surface with sandpaer attached

Yup, that should work fine for getting the neck flat but can be tricky. This could work with very light passes without applying too much pressure on the back of the neck.

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LOL! Oops... a little late I see :o) Glad it all worked out for you!

Let's simplify this a little...

Old glue must come off. A non-sanding / scraping method would be safer.

Glue adhesion is improved with a rough surface.

Sanding the glue surface will change the size of the neck shaft a little.

Take these into consideration when picking your process and glue. Based on past experience here's one suggestion: I would not sand anything until the glue is removed. Prior to attaching the fingerboard I would block sand with 80 grit. Only a very few careful strokes just to prep the surface for gluing.

-Doug

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Just a wee small addition. If using something like titebond or other carpentry based aliphatic resin, it's best to have a perfectly smooth surface, you don't need a rough surface for the glue to adhere to in this instance, the smoother the surface the better the joint. Although I'm sure this is not nessacarily the case with epoxy or something like gorilla glue.

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byronblack, interesting perspective... I'm curious how you have arrived at that conclusion.

-Doug

My understanding is the same with white glue. My source was the wood handbook(USDA Forestry service). They showed microscopic close ups of the surface of a freshly planed surface and its pores (clear and ready to accept glue cleanly) vs a ruffed up surface (ruff sanded) and how much of the dust had accumulated in the pores. They also noted with most woods it is important that you prep the surface reasonably close to the time you glue, as oils and resins tend to rise to the surface over time making it harder to get a good bond. Wiping the surface with a quick flashing solvent pushed much of the junk deeper into the pores (clogging). It is also my understanding that alcohol or other solvents that dry the wood quickly can draw moisture out of the joint too quickly creating a poor cure. Epoxy would be a different situation, and of course is not effected by moisture to cure.

Peace,Rich

P.S. The woodworkers handbook did not say it was absolutely wrong to sand. This is a bit from the section on abrasive planing.

" Abrasive planing with grit sizes from 24-80 causes surface and subsurface crushing of wood cells. Figure 9-2 shows cross sections of bondlines between undamaged, knife planed Douglas Fir lumber compaired with surfaces damaged by abrasive planing. Such damaged surfaces are inherantly weak and result in poor bond strength. Similar damage can be caused by dull planer knives or saws. There is some evidence that sanding with grits higher than 100 may improve an abrasive-planed surface. However, abrasive-planing is not recommended for structural joints that will be subjected to high swelling and shrinkage stresses from water soaking and drying. If abrasive-planing is to be used before bonding, then belts must be kept clean and sharp, and sanding dust must be removed completely from the sanding surface."

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An aliphatic resin glue to which I were referring generally works by penetrating the pores of the wood and hooks into it very much like the lignen (sp?) in the woods cell structure, therefore the smoother the two mating surfaces the better the join, as if you have a rough surface you introduce less surface area as the 'bumps' prevent the pieces from touching perfectly, aliphatics aren't gap filling so a rough surface is not ideal for this situation, an epoxy would be better, but arguably not as strong as a good 'yellow glue' smooth joint. If you google on this subject you'll find more supporting info.

P.s I didn't mean to start an argument, just wanted to give correct information.

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An aliphatic resin glue to which I were referring generally works by penetrating the pores of the wood and hooks into it very much like the lignen (sp?) in the woods cell structure, therefore the smoother the two mating surfaces the better the join, as if you have a rough surface you introduce less surface area as the 'bumps' prevent the pieces from touching perfectly, aliphatics aren't gap filling so a rough surface is not ideal for this situation, an epoxy would be better, but arguably not as strong as a good 'yellow glue' smooth joint. If you google on this subject you'll find more supporting info.

P.s I didn't mean to start an argument, just wanted to give correct information.

I try to scrape as much as possible but when I sand, I go to 320-400 grit and clean out the pores with compressed air.

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An aliphatic resin glue to which I were referring generally works by penetrating the pores of the wood and hooks into it very much like the lignen (sp?) in the woods cell structure, therefore the smoother the two mating surfaces the better the join, as if you have a rough surface you introduce less surface area as the 'bumps' prevent the pieces from touching perfectly, aliphatics aren't gap filling so a rough surface is not ideal for this situation, an epoxy would be better, but arguably not as strong as a good 'yellow glue' smooth joint. If you google on this subject you'll find more supporting info.

P.s I didn't mean to start an argument, just wanted to give correct information.

I try to scrape as much as possible but when I sand, I go to 320-400 grit and clean out the pores with compressed air.

Not a bad approach, even better if you have one would be a nice sharp No.5 plane what this will do is 'slice' the wood fibres exposing open pores whereas sanding crushes wood fibres and gives a slightly 'dull' look. But I usually sand upto around 400 if a plane isn't suitable and so far havn't had any real issues. :-)

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I have started using only Epoxy for my necks. Strength is rarely an issue with most glues as a well made joint exceeds the requirements significantly. The reasoning behind the change is based on a recommendation I had read by Rick Turner. Which follows a line of reducing stresses built into necks, and was based on results from runs of factory necks (fewer warrenty issues and better consistency). I look to these type of sources before I make a change.

I would also point out that Doug has built a lot more necks than me, and I highly value what his thoughts on solid neck construction and methods. My methods may be different because I have sorted them out based on what information and experience I have. His methods work and are tried and tested(can't argue with success).

Peace,Rich

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