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How quick does Titebond dry?

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I glued a Maple cap on a LP body a while back and I'm concerned that I took too long to get the clamps on (I've done this before and there was film of glue between the pieces of wood)  I also did a really bodgy job of the binding and I'm trying to come up with ideas on how to deal with that. The Maple is nothing special so I'm considering just buzzing or cutting it off somehow and going with a Mahogany or Queensland Maple top because I'm not all that fond of Rock Maple

I don't have much time to work on guitars these days and it was March 2015 when I did the gluing. I don't remember exactly how long it took but it might have been about 30 minutes or even more to get the clamps on. It was a hot humid day with a bit of rain and once the clamps went on, they went on tight as I possibly could. Here's a couple of photos of it being clamped and where they were clamped

Any ideas or suggestions greatly appreciated, cheers

Edit: The glue bottle in the photo is Adquadhere but its got Franklins Titebond in it LOL

IMAG0733 LPC3.jpg

IMAG0734 LPC3.jpg

Edited by Crusader
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I think the conditions may have something to do with it. It's normally hat and humid where I'm gluing up, (Houston, TX USA)-and titebond seems to be on its way to setting up in 5 minutes or less. I've taken up to 20 minutes to complete a glue up and worried about how much more of a glue line I was going to get because of the amount of setting up already done. I still got squeeze out, so I think that is a good sign. I can't say if the glue line was any thicker or not. Like you, I just don't know. I do know the joint was fine. Off-cuts were tested and held up like normal.

Since you got squeeze out, I'd say your joint was fine too, but I don't know if the glue line would have been better with a quicker glue up or not.

And like you, I'd like to know.:mellow:


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Believe it or not, when working in hot climates Elmers white glue is a better choice. As it has a much longer setup time than titebond. It (Elmers) can also be thinned with distilled water by 10%-12%  to extend the setup time without any effect on the glueup. Now if your cap were much thinner, 1/4" or less, you could use an iron and thin damp cloth to steam the cap and soften the titebond. You will need to get the temp at the glue joint above 155*F and not over 185*F then you could reclamp and be fine.. Above 185 may begin scorching of the maple.

Another possible way. (TEST FIRST WITH SCRAP) is the microwave oven. I have heard of some doing this on smaller projects..Wrap in damp paper towels.and nuke it. ( BTW I HAVE NOT TRIED THIS METHOD )

Elmers is also great in the fact that you can put it on both parts very thin layer like contact cement let it dry then put the parts together and heat it to make the bond. I have used this method on thin balsa wood. using a small teflon coated iron used in applying covering for RC models and such.

Just my 0.02cents worth of experience with maple and glue. :)


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Thanks for your replies

Yes I wasn't sure how Titebond responds to humid conditions. The time when I had issues before it wasn't Titebond but another type of yellow glue, it was bitterly cold and I didn't have as many clamps. On this occasion the weather was hot, I was using Titebond and tons of glue squeezed out which I saw as a good sign but on the other hand did I lay it on too thick?

Lesson learnt - I didn't do a 'dry  run'

I think Elmers is equivalent to Selley's Adquadhere that we have in Australia which is a your basic water-based PVA glue. I have used that on occasions and had no problems. I think its got a lot to do with good clamping. I don't think I would venture near the Microwave any time soon but thanks for the suggestions!

By the way you may wonder why I used Maple seeing as I don't like it much. At the time I wanted to stick to the usual timbers for a LP but now I don't care so much about that. I've done a lot of sound testing since then and want to steer towards a warmer tone. I paid a lot of money for this piece of Mahogany and won't be able to get any more. So now I have this issue of binding I see it as an opportunity to make the switch before I go any further with the project. I have already done initial shaping of the cap so a lot of time spent already which makes the decision really tough

What I will do is drill a test core with a hole-saw in one of the pickup areas and and check the joint

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So here we go it all looks good

I got the binding off except for some mahogany tearing away right in the worst spot but the "test core" reveals no problems with glue being too thick. Maybe its a testament to those C-clamps, they get a lot of pressure on. I don't really know how long it took to get them all on but it seemed like an eternity at the time

Now I just hope that hole is actually in the right spot!





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Hi guys - new guy here, but not new to wood adhesives.  Titebond and all other PVA's utilize the air in the wood to dry it when its locked inside a large expansive joint.  This is why a joint will really grab very quickly during long tenon insertion, or when you try to shift pcs flush.  I have had to use bar clamps to shift panels into flush when the "grab" bites me in the ***.  

So that is part of the answer there - usually can take clamps off a PVA glueup in a half hour due to this grab issue.  But what about uneven surfaces in which your clamp pressure is holding it together til the glue dries?  I would do a "prewetting" and keep clamps on for over an hour. 

Always remember that adhesives soak into the fibers a bit, and can starve a joint unless you re-apply immediately prior to clamping (called pre-wetting in the epoxy world).  This performs several advantages:

  • Obviously prevents starvation, so do it anyway so you aren't wondering if there is enough later
  • The excess glue functions as a lubricant to prevent all the problems mentioned above with the "grab" issue.
  • Impregnates the wood better with adhesive, thus stronger joint.  WWAAAAYYY important when gluing end grain - which is often present even when flat laminating like your maple cap on the LP mahogony body - if there is figure to the grain.  Didnt see any, but this principle is very true in fiddleback maple.  50% of the surface is actually end grain.  

Personally, I would laminate with epoxy.  Then you don't get glue creep telegraphing the joint line on gloss finishes.   

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That's very informative. I understand the issue of "grab" that you mention, but If the glue uses the air in the timber to dry then would it dry slower or faster once its locked-in? Wouldn't there be less air once inside there?

For the record the idea when gluing guitars is to apply the glue then get the cramps on ASAP, there's no time or need for adding extra glue or anything. The Maple cap is glued together first then put through a thicknesser before gluing to the body. I put glue on both surfaces before cramping and and I left the clamps on this for almost 24 hours

Epoxy would be strong but not best for making musical instruments

When gluing musical instruments any glue joint will hinder transfer of vibrations which is important with accoustic instruments but people do the same with solid body guitars. The traditional glue used is Hide Glue which I think gives the best transfer of vibrations but I'm not sure about the drying time. Franklins Titebond is used to get good transfer of vibrations, has faster drying time and doesn't creep. Ordinary white PVA is okay to use but takes longer to dry and joints can creep

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