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Nick Allen

Titebond Hide Glue... Is it okay?

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Greetings!!!1!

 

I am in the process of my first violin. I have the ribs bent, blocks glued in and shaped, linings ready to install. Now all I need to do to complete the rib garland is glue the ribs to the blocks and then the linings. All I have is Titebond Hide glue. Is this glue acceptable? I read that the only thing wrong with it is the fact that it has stabilizers in it, which may affect it in high humidity situations. I live in Pittsburgh, so it doesn't get terribly humid here.

 

I was at the VSA convention, and I noticed that during the collapsible mould seminar, the dude (can't remember his name), mentioned using fish glue, which I've heard is sacrilege in the violin making world.

 

But anyways, is Titebond Hide glue acceptable for such applications?

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No. Not at all. It liquefies with the slightest amount of water.

I bought a bottle to glue in temporary studs and pillars when repairing cracks. All very well unless the weather got a bit damp, or I was a bit too liberal with my cleaning water, when the stuff would change to chewing gum and the studs slide all over the place.

Buy a batch of animal glue. It's cheap, easy to get, and it works.

I know that LMI sell various grades, and they post it out, so you should have it in a day or two. I'm sure that it's good stuff, and I'm sure there are lots of other suppliers too. Even your local arts supply shop will have rabbit skin glue for priming canvasses, although it will be like buying a bag of cocaine.

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He may have been referring to high tack liquid fish glue, the stuff that Lee Valley and Kremer sell. I first tried this glue around 6 or 7 years ago and I've ran quite a few tests on it. The only time I've had it fail is when I deliberately diluted it. It gives a long open time. If you really want a ready bottled glue it's fine. Over the years I've gone through around 6 bottles of the stuff but I was only using it for certain joints. The rest was HHG use, which I still prefer because of it's working properties.

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 Even your local arts supply shop will have rabbit skin glue for priming canvasses, although it will be like buying a bag of cocaine.

  I wish cocaine were the price of rabbit skin glue, the winter get pretty boring around here.  :lol:  :lol:

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There are at least two places where hide glue, not Titebond, is essential. ESSENTIAL.  The center joint on top and back, and the seam holding the top to the ribs. I tested Titebond and it absolutely does creep. Not acceptable.

 

The top needs to be removable. Titebond will not allow that.

 

And I guess foot of the neck heel needs to be absolutely unmovable.

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There are at least two places where hide glue, not Titebond, is essential. ESSENTIAL.  The center joint on top and back, and the seam holding the top to the ribs. I tested Titebond and it absolutely does creep. Not acceptable.

 

The top needs to be removable. Titebond will not allow that.

 

And I guess foot of the neck heel needs to be absolutely unmovable.

Thank you, John. Time to move on.

Mike

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There are different types of animal protein glue.
I use rabbit skin glue granules 90% of the time. 

Bone glue, makes for very strong joints. 
Rabbit skin glue granules, more flexible but strong joints. 
Gelatin sheets, never used them but there ya go.
Hoof glue (?), the Egyptians used it for gluing their mummy boxes together.

 

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Just to clarify, there's no such thing as "Titebond hide glue." The Franklin glue company makes "Titebond" in a variety of grades as their aliphatic resin wood glue. It's generally not considered to be suitable for making violins. They also make "Franklin's Liquid Hide Glue," which is what I think you're asking about, and which is also considered to be unsuitable for making violins. Search Maestronet for that and you'll find all the specific reasons why not.

Since you said that the blocks are shaped and glued, can we assume that you've already used liquid hide glue for that?

Edit: I stand corrected. There is "Titebond liquid hide glue." Apparently the Franklin glue company decided to take advantage of the name recognition of their Titebond trademark, and apply it to their liquid hide glue product. Still, it's unsuitable for violins.

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There is no logical reason not to use regular hide glue, its not expensive or hard to obtain, it just takes a little bit of a learning curve and a decent set up.

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"Just to clarify, there's no such thing as "Titebond hide glue." The Franklin glue company makes "Titebond" in a variety of grades as their aliphatic resin wood glue. It's generally not considered to be suitable for making violins."

 

You're wrong there!! It's hide glue with additives (urea, I think) to keep it from gelling and to preserve it. It has been known to "re-liquify" in high humidity, or at other inconvenient times. In any case, don't use it for violin making. Hot hide glue only for all joints!!

Titebond_Liquid_Hide_Glue.jpg

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Franklin Liquid Gide Glue (and I'm sure that Titebond as well) have high creep factors. When I started I made a violin (a vso really) with it. Not 10 years later I watched it literally fall of the wall in pieces. Has to do with humidity partially. Real hide glue has no creep. Many beginners try liquid hide because most hardware stores have it and the name sounds inviting. Actually, I've been a proponent of Knox Unflavored Gelatin as hide glue. A bit more expensive but about the strongest when you need that.

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It's time fore another "Addie's Anecdotes."

When Franklin hide glue first came out (30+ years ago), I bought some to do some veneer work, but didn't like it, so it went into the cupboard where things go to die. Last year, I discovered that same bottle on my brother's workbench, so of course I said "you know that stuff has a short self life?" His response? "Works fine for me." This anecdote is not about lutherie, but about shelf life. I only use hot hide glue for violin repair.

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"Just to clarify, there's no such thing as "Titebond hide glue." The Franklin glue company makes "Titebond" in a variety of grades as their aliphatic resin wood glue. It's generally not considered to be suitable for making violins."

 

You're wrong there!! It's hide glue with additives (urea, I think) to keep it from gelling and to preserve it. It has been known to "re-liquify" in high humidity, or at other inconvenient times. In any case, don't use it for violin making. Hot hide glue only for all joints!!

Titebond_Liquid_Hide_Glue.jpg

Early on, I was given a bottle of this stuff, and experimented with it.  While it may work for some people, in the high humidity which is the rule where I am, I wonder if it's a relic of the British Empire.  The scum never sets.............   :lol:

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