question on gluing titebond joint back together

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Ron Daves
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question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Ron Daves »

I have a partially failed titebond III glue joint. The easiest way I can think of to re-glue this joint is to spread glue under the failed area, apply pressure and let it dry. Can you re-glue a titebond joint in this manner and have it hold?
Frustrated luthier wanna-be

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Barry Daniels
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Barry Daniels »

Absolutely not. Titebond will NOT stick to itself. Also Titebond III has no place in a back joint. Only use Original Titebond for these critical joints. If possible, take the back apart, re-joint the surfaces back to wood and glue with the right glue.
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Rodger Knox
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Rodger Knox »

In the context of guitars, Barry is right. It may be acceptable in some types of furniture, depending on the joint. If there's no tension on the joint, it might hold. I still would not recommend it.
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon

Alan Carruth
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Alan Carruth »

If this is a back joint there will be tension on it as soon as the humidity drops. A cross grain reinforcement helps, but I would not count on it's never opening up enough to show under finish. The only glues I'm sure will stick to themselves are hide glue and fish glue: anything else needs to be cleaned out. Do it right.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Where does it say it's a back joint?
Generally it is better to clean off the old glue and start fresh. Titebond glues will usually be softened by vinegar and can then be scraped off with a stainless palette knife. After cleaning rinse the vinegar off with water and allow things to dry. Then reglue.

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Barry Daniels
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Barry Daniels »

Clay Schaeffer wrote:Where does it say it's a back joint?
I started that based on my mis-reading of the title. Sorry.
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Todd Stock
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Todd Stock »

Titebond is more a contaminant than a glue when dry. Clean the goop out and reglue with hot hide glue. I don't consider any variety of Titebond to be a satisfactory glue for any wood project expected to last long enough to need the sort of periodic refresh that any musical instrument can expect to see over it's lifespan. Nasty stuff that should have very limited use in luthiery (it is handy for jigs and fixtures destined to be tossed when they fail).

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Barry Daniels
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Barry Daniels »

I've got 40 year old guitars glued with Original Titebond that are holding fine. I would agree with your statements if we are referring to Titebond II or III. But there are a lot of guitars held together with Original Titebond out there. We can agree to disagree on that one.
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Alan Carruth
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Alan Carruth »

I guess it depends on what you consider to be a reasonable time line. If you expect your instrument to give good service for 200 years or more then you should probably eschew things like modern glues and nitrocellulose. The problem is that these days there are not many players who understand the level of care that a guitar built to the old standards requires. Modern glues and finishes can take a level of short term abuse that the old stuff can't. It's a quandary for sure.

Todd Stock
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Todd Stock »

I think the same can be said of those million and a half Martins that have been built since they switched to thermoplastic glues - for the most part, the instruments are holding together... cold creeping and shedding braces here and there, but with the big pieces still more or less attached ;-)

Alan Carruth
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Alan Carruth »

Almost twenty years ago now I saw a museum exhibition of guitars as art objects. It was easy to see when Martin switched from using shellac and varnish to nitro; the later finishes were in much worse shape. One guitar that didn't make the catalog was s Stromberg archtop. Most of the binding and trim were celluloid, and it was finished with a heavy coat of nitro. All the celluloid was cracking and/or badly warped, and the finish checks were starting to pull cracks in the wood. It was sad. There were instruments hundreds of years older in that show that were in better shape, although, of course, you can't know how much they'd been restored. OTOH, 'restoring' that Stromberg using the same materials and methods that were used in making it would simply have prolonged the agony.

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Wear and or weathering on a guitar over many years is very subjective also.
Some players carefully store their instruments in their case with a humidifier, or in humidity controlled rooms.
Others place them against a piece of furniture or in a corner of the room for years.
I've seen guitars resting against the side of a fireplace!

Personally I find guitars that are hung on a wall seem to fare the worst.
There are a lot of factors that go into the lifespan of any instrument.

But getting back to the OP, Titebond II or III will not, as Barry said, stick to itself. The joint must be separated, thoroughly cleaned, and re-glued with fresh glue.
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Alan Carruth
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Re: question on gluing titebond joint back together

Post by Alan Carruth »

From what I've seen T1 is not all that good at sticking to itself either. Nor, for that matter, is any other white glue variant I've run into. It's best to assume that you'll need to clean the joint out if it's not hot hide glue.

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