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"Wood" (pun intended ) it be handy to have brief "glue facts" all in one place? After almost 20 years of reading opinions about glue use with regards to violin making, it seems that confusion and misinformation hasn't really abated. ***This is very rough info. I'll edit/reorganize as I have time.*** Feel free to post info, experiences and opinions! For more detailed information on any of the following please consult Wikipedia. 1. Wood glue: catch-all term used for a myriad of glues used to hold wood together. Pros: Glues wood. Cons: Catch-all term. Can be confusing as to chemical make-up. 2. Hide glue: Made from animal collagen found in animal hides. Comes in different strengths; examples: 251 g (8.9 oz) is normally used for instrument building, 192 g (6.8 oz) is most commonly used for woodworking and the lower strength 135 g (4.8 oz) can also be used for general woodworking. Pros: Non-toxic if ingested (similar to gelatin). Does not creep. Can be "unglued" relatively easily. Cystals, if kept dry, have an indefinite shelf life. Cons: Crystals need to be mixed with water and heated - requires constant supervision. May smell bad. There are also different formulations available and not all are equal. Example: Liquid hide glue contains urea. 3. White glue or polyvinyl acetate (PVA)[hobby/craft glue]: Originally made from milk proteins AKA casein. Example: Elmer's Glue All. Also safe (if clean) and was used in classrooms. If yellow: called Carpenter's glue. Pros: Easy to use. Non-acidic. Used in bookbinding and as a wallpaper adhesive. Cons: Subject to degradation by various microorganisms. Will creep. Does not stick well to itself (when regluing). 4. Fish glue: A hide glue made from fish collagen, keratin or elastin. Different types of glue are formulated from different fish species/fish parts. Mostly used in various art endeavours. Pros: Safe. Cons: Weaker than regular hide glue. 5. Rice glue: A plant glue made from rice. Pros: Safe. Transparent when dry. Non-acidic. Reversible. Cons: A weak glue. 5. Muscilage: Made from plants. Edible. Historically used on envelopes, the back of stamps and for classroom use. Largely discontinued in favour of newer formulations. Pros: Safe and edible. Cons: Weak adhesive prone to drying out. Best for temporary use. 6. Cyanoacrylate (CA): A synthetic, or "plastic" product. Different formulations exist, such as thin and watery, a thicker gel or foam. Pros: Very strong. Easy to use. Cons: Not reversible. Can glue living skin. 7. Epoxy: A group of basic components, or cured end products, of epoxy resins. Epoxy resins (AKA polyepoxides) are a class of reactive prepolymers and polymers which contain epoxide groups. Pros: Very strong, comparatively chemically inert when cured, won't melt or dissolve in heat and humidity. Cons: Toxic when uncured, two-element, requires preparation, irreversible. 8. Polyurethane glue: Similar to cyanoacrylate. Multipurpose. Waterproof. Will bond different materials together such as metal to wood. Pros: While uncommon in violin making, may be used when installing certain geared pegs. Cons: May bond poorly. Short shelf life (~1 year). Toxic: contains carcinogens.
I am feeling a little guilty after glueing up some centre joints with TItebond. Like other people, I have well drilled into my brain that protein glue is the only way to go because of its reversibility, however, I really cannot find a criteria that stops me from using it on centre joints, and as a matter of fact, a lot of other processes in new making. Restoration is another game and I won't go there. This is purely for new making. I was wondering what other people's criteria is for choosing a type of glue or the other, perhaps Titebond is more widely used that I had thought... Working in a shop, one of the guys had the "pleasure" of having to unglue a rib off of the corner block in a Gagliano violin. That thing was definitely NOT glued with hide glue. It took him most of the day to ease that thing. Animal glue would have come apart way easier. Perhaps the old dudes had a different idea of how permanently things should be glued on?