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jimbo

Tite Bond Glue creep

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This is not the first time that the argument of "modern must be better than traditional" has come up. The archives are full of these debates. The problem is that hide is pretty special stuff. If we employ your chemist we'll have to give him/her a spec to define the product. It will look something like this (without getting too technical):

Strong enough to withstand the stresses on an instrument.

Zero creep even under vibrational loads

Same expansion contraction as wood under heat/humidity cycles

Self-clamping ability

Easy cleaning of squeeze-out glue even after setting

Invisibility under all varnishes

No chemical reaction to varnishes (including glue solvents)

No allergic reaction to humans (including glue solvents)

Reversibility even after hundreds of years

Perfect sound wave transmission

Brittle to prevent damage to wood

Ability to be mixed at different strengths for different uses

Unlimited shelf life

Easily recognizable for future restorers

Guaranteed future availability of glue and solvent

Longevity (500 years and counting)

There is no product other than hide that offers all of the above. And if you tell a chemist that there is already an existing product that satisfies the spec and sells for a few dollars per pound, I'm confident he/she will not take the job.

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Actually there is another glue that meets practically all of the criteria you outline, fish glue. It is completely water soluble, non-toxic, strong, etc. The fish glue I am familiar with is sold by a company called Lee Valley Tools in Canada. I have used it for many tasks (not necessarily violins) with very good results. The only actual reference to its use for violins that I have found was in Horace Petherwick's repair book, where he says that it is too strong for use on violins. That may well be true in general, but I love the glue and use it often in my shop. It is especially easy to use as it is pre-mixed, has high tack, easy flow, and excellent reversibility when adequate water can be introduced (although it is very heat resistant). It is very useful for bow grips, and is well worth experimenting with.

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GMM22,It is good to see a glint of reality ever so often.Between the smell,the tea ceremony and PETA people telling us we abusing animals by making glue out of them;I would try fish glue "just to see what would happen next".And just between you and I ,I wouldn't care of it lasted 500 years or not.

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No. I am constantly amazed that this glue goes under the radar. Really easy to use, with perhaps five years shelf life when refrigerated. It only flows at room temperature so I have two bottles, one shop bottle to refill every 4 months, and one that remains in the fridge. It behaves much like typical PVA's (except thinner). It can be thinned somewhat with water for better flow into tight joints. It is similar to hide glue in color as well. It also has good open working time. Easy wash up a day or a year later. I believe it is essentially a protein based glue comprised of fish skins.

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I must confess to having some affinity for the PETA people, although this contrasts oddly with my choice work, given that many of the materials used in violins/bows involve animals in some form. Unfortunately, many animal based products are superior for a given task than the alternatives. I do opt for natural (rather than synthetic) inanimate materials when possible. I also think that humans are obliged to harvest animals in a manner that is as humane as can be practically achieved. I am certainly very opposed to using animal products merely because of the relative scarcity of certain species.

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It is stronger. 2800 psi or there about if I am not mistaken. It can be watered down but I have never tested to see whether doing so actually reduces bond strength. A google search of Lee Valley Tools will get you their web site. It is called just "fish glue". They ship everywhere. Pretty good company overall. I own many LV tools/products.

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There are several types of such glues with varying levels of hardness, strengths and elasticity. The fish glue you mention is probably "isinglass" made from sturgeons' bladders and is very strong.A Russian maker I know uses this for jobs requiring maximum strength.....the real stuff is quite expensive.

Other glues are , bone, hide, and rabbit skin.

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Here is the fish glue that was mentioned:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...20019&cat=1,110,42965&ap=1

If you look at the bottom of the page where it lists the prices, you'll see 'Tech & Instr' links that list characteristics of other glues for comparison.

I've wondered about using this stuff myself a few times. The thing is it's only reversable with water. Would it be preferable to have to soak a joint to get it apart?

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It's the first time I have ever seen this. Being reversible I guess is a plus, but I still like to know a glue's track record concerning other factors than just how well it holds.

A repeat from my previous reply:"I don't know what titebond will look like after 50, 60 70 years of different cleaners, polishes, body sweat, touch-ups, french-polishing and rosin have come in contact with it.

Is it going to turn black inside the crack like alot of other non hide glues do, and then require difficult cleaning and restoration?"

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Sturgeon,aren't they on everyones "engangered species "list ? They are in my state . How many sturgeon bladders does it take to glue a strad(copy) together ? Maybe Russia doesn't worry as much as we do.

I think I am going to check out for a day or two. Believe it or not they opened a salmon season this year (another sacred cow species in the environmentalists handbook )I will do my best to only use well sharpened hooks to stick through it's tender jaws (barbless,of course),then do my best to haul it in and eat it.

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Fish glue will break if bent, such as bending a thin film of glue that was left to dry on a plastic bag. It is rather unscientific, but the high rigidity of dried fish glue would indicate to me that creep would not occur.

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It's available from Dick in Germany. They mention fishing quotas have been greatly reduced and this glue is difficult to get.

That explains the price I guess.

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Some Titebond specifics:

Titebond Liquid Hide provides superior CREEP-RESISTANCE, offers excellent sandability and is unaffected by finishes. Its sensitivity to moisture allows for easy disassembly of parts, a critical benefit in antique restoration or the repair of musical instruments.

Titebond Liquid Hide Glue is the first hide glue to be offered in a liquid, ready-to-use form. It requires no mixing, heating or stirring. Professional woodworkers use Titebond Liquid Hide for its long assembly time, exceptional strength and unique crackling effect on wood.

Titebond III:

Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is the first one-part, water cleanup wood glue ever offered that is proven waterproof. The waterproof formula passes the ANSI/HPVA Type I water-resistance specification and offers superior bond strength, longer open assembly time and lower application temperature.

Titebond III is non-toxic, solvent free and cleans up with water - safer to use than traditional waterproof wood glues. It provides strong initial tack, sands easily without softening and is FDA approved for indirect food contact (cutting boards). The ultimate in wood glues - ideal for both interior and exterior applications.

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As I understand it the fish glue (and bone, rabbit and hide) are all basically animal protein, while this discussion started of as hide glue versus synthetics.

The fish glue sounds interesting. I found a discussion in the MIMF archives with mixed responses. Here are some extracts:

Quote:

Paul Hostetter - 01:36am Sep 26, 1997

Lance says: "One last thing in regards to hide glue, I think it is wonderful stuff and very reversible, but does not take heat and humidity changes well."

I very much disagree. There are too many different hide glues to make this blanket statement mean much. Bottled hide glue is good for little more than gluing in paper labels, and fits Lance’s description. Likewise the fabled
"fish glue"
one finds in piano repair supplies - it is useless stuff. The flake and granular stuff you mix with water and heat up, however, comes in quite a range of strengths, and in general, all hold up to moisture and so on at least as well as the simple aliphatics like Titebond.

He goes on: "It has no sheer strength like that of super glue and in my personal opinion it should be left for the use of violin and cello construction or serious restoration of vintage instruments because it takes time to know how to use it properly for the optimum results."

The right term is shear, not sheer. And again, depending on the right stuff, it has shear strength to spare. My supply for the last 25 years or so comes from a drum of granulated hide glue bought at a glass supply place. Heat up a batch, paint it on clean plate glass, and as it dries and contracts, it rips the entire surface off the glass, leaving a fabulous, uniform crystalline pattern of conchoidal fractures all over the glass surface. Now THAT is major shear strength! It also holds guitar bridges down real well. I’ve never had one pull up in all these years.

A friend did a major research project at the Smithsonian into various glues for wood. Granular hide exceeded all bottled synthetic glues. It's perhaps the only one that gets a fully molecular grip on wood (properly applied, of course, which ties into Lance's remark that "it takes time to know how to use it properly for the optimum results." But learning to use it is not rocket science.

People should understand the difference between glues and adhesives (there is a major one). Superglue (cyanoacrylate) is an adhesive, not a glue. Comparing glues and adhesives is like apples and oranges.

At this point, there is NO glue or adhesive I fear anymore. All have an Achilles heel for reversal in repair situations, all have at least one appropriate application.

I hope this discussion continues to explore some of these things.


And then:

Quote:

Hide and bone glues make up the two major types of animal glue. Hide glue is by far the superior of the two. Animal glues are soluble only in water, and are insoluble in oils, waxes, organic solvents, and absolute alcohol. One of the more interesting properties of animal glue solutions is their ability to pass from a liquid to a jelled state upon cooling, and then revert to the liquid state upon re-heating. The gel stage involves a very complex chemical interchange between the glue and the organic surfaces it joins. Because they shrink as they cool and set, true glues also excel at mechanically gripping non-oily organic surfaces like paper, wood and so forth.

Mucilage, by the way, is an aqueous adhesive consisting of gum arabic or
fish glue
, plasticized with glycerin, glycol, or sorbitol, with a small amount of a preservative and odorant added. In a more general sense, mucilage is a liquid adhesive having a low order of bonding strength. The terms mucilage and mucilaginous are also commonly used as generic terms describing gummy or gluey water-miscible substances.


On the positive side:

Quote:

The article is Prepare to Meet the Maker: Dake Traphagen by Jonathan Peterson. American Lutherie, Number 75 / Fall 2003.

On page 53 Dake Traphagen says:

"I am using either hide glue or
fish glue
for almost everything. Garrett Wade is he only source I know of for fish glue. It's great stuff. It is very similar to hide glue as far as how brittle it gets when it dries, and how strong it is. It might even be stronger than hide glue. But it comes as a liquid, so you don't have to use glue pots, or rush to beat gel time. Working with hide glue is not a really big deal if you preheat your parts. I used to put bricks on top of my woodstove and warm my braces on them, and I would heat other parts with a hair dryer. But with fish glue all of that is unnecessary."

He went on to say he uses white luthiers glue for fretboards and rosettes and fish glue for almost everything else. He doesn't say where he prefers hide glue.


Some info from the supplier:

Quote:

I emailed Norland with some questions. Here are the answers from Richard Norland.

Q. Is your High Tack Fish Glue he same as sold by Lee Valley?

A. Our High Tack Fish Glue is the same as supplied to Lee Valley Tools.

Q. does it contain urea?

A. There is no urea in the Fish Glue.

Q. how long is it's shelf life with the bottle unopened?

A. We guarantee it for 1 year from the date if shipment. The actual shelf life is longer depending upon the storage temperature. A cold storage temperature will lengthen the shelf life. A warm storage temperature will decrease the viscosity of the liquid and shorten the shelf life. If the viscosity becomes too thin, it will become brittle and have poor adhesion.

Q. with the bottle opened?

A. The shelf life of Fish Glue in a open container is the same as above. Another factor is water evaporation. If the container is left open for long periods of time or not sealed correctly, water will evaporate and make the Fish Glue thick and difficult to spread. Cold temperatures will also make the Fish Glue thicker but this is reversible if the Fish Glue is warmed to room temp. The best method is to pour some into a separate container and reseal the original container.

There are preservatives in the Fish Glue to prevent bacterial attack. If you dilute the Fish Glue with water, you dilute the preservatives and bacteria will grow. You know this has occurred when you smell an off odor in the liquid in a few days. Once the Fish Glue is applied for bonding and dried, bacteria can't multiply because they need water to survive. If you dilute the Fish Glue with water, do it in a separate container and don't put it back in the original container.

Q. does the bottle have a date of manufacture code?

A. The bottle does not have a date code. I suggest you write the receiving date on the container.

Q. can it be frozen?

A. The Fish Glue can be frozen and thawed without a problem.


And then to summarize the main stream view of why not to use synthetics:

Quote:

Michael Darnton - 10:02pm Mar 14, 2001

The reason to use hide glue is because that's what the guy who has to fix it at some point in the future is going to assume you used in the first place......unless you want to get the reputation of "the maker whose center seams can't be repaired once they're broken".


Apologies for the lengthy post - I hope it contributes.

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Hide glue is a fantastic thing.

It virtually disappears when it dries, producing almost insible joints, and it's not the case with other glues, they create a film betwen the parts.

As it slowly dries, it atracts both parts together, it's another exclusive feature of this glue.

It adheres to itself, etc. etc.

The only problem is that we have to make it (and it's far from being difficult, it's quite easy), it takes sometimes to dry, and (for vegetarians) it's made from animals... (But I imagine that there was no Vegetarian in Cremona in Strad's time...).

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Again Mr Hostetter to the rescue:

Quote:

Tom Bailey - 08:09am Sep 26, 1997

I happen to agree on the hide glue, but Paul, can you put into words your definitions of "glue" and "adhesive"?

Paul Hostetter - 05:36pm Sep 26, 1997

I'll sure try.

In a nutshell, though the terms are commonly used loosely and interchangeably, ADHESIVES include both glues and non-glues, but GLUES are strictly protein-based adhesives. The simplest way to define and distinguish them is by their origin. The most common accepted thing to do is make a firm distinction between glues (in the strict sense) and adhesives (as everything else but glue)

Again, ADHESIVE is a general term for any substance capable of bonding materials to each other by chemical or mechanical action, or both, and which may be activated by water, non-aqueous solvents, pressure, heat, cold, or other means.

Adhesives (in the general sense) may be classified by temperature, by type of solvent, by type of application, or by origin (animal, vegetable, or synthetic). They may be further classified as NATURAL or SYNTHETIC. The NATURAL ADHESIVES are primarily of animal or vegetable origin - save for sodium silicate (water glass), being virtually the only inorganic natural product important as an adhesive - and include animal glue, casein, and vegetable adhesives. The SYNTHETIC RESIN ADHESIVES include the thermoplastic resins, the thermosetting resins, and the elastomeric adhesives.

For simplicity and clarity, adhesives are all the synthetic things that stick things together - but that aren’t glue. This means polyvinyl acetates (Titebond family), cyanoacrylates (Hot Stuff, Krazy Glue, et al), rubber-based "glues" (rubber and contact cement, Barge, et al), the epoxies, and acetone-based cements like Duco are all adhesives, even though some are commonly (if erroneously) referred to as glues. The true GLUES accomplish their bond in a particular way, and a very complex way at that, while all the distinct non-glue adhesives accomplish theirs in a variety of ways, all quite unlike glue bonds.

GLUE is an adhesive consisting of organic colloids of a complex protein structure obtained from animal materials such as bones and hides. Glue contains two groups of proteins: chondrin, which accounts for its adhesive strength, and glutin, which contributes jelling strength.


Now it's all clear, or is it ...?

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