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Gluing


Ken_N
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Hi, I'm Ken, and I can't glue. I admit it.  I can carve all day long.  I can make any part,  fitting, or tool I need. I can  sometimes varnish and even put in purfling. But I can't glue.

Oh, I can glue purfling in.  I can chalk fit patches, and glue them in.  I can fix an open seam.  I usually have good luck gluing ribs onto blocks, that doesn't ever seem to pose a problem.  I can't glue a back or a top on.  

I have done it; about 9 times. I made up some clamps one time, and laid them all out. Glued and clamped, and opened and glued and clamped.  I got through it.  Usually I do a little at a time and hold it with my hands until it sets. 

Really.  This is a confessional.

What kind of clamps are easy to use?  I do everything fast, but I can't seem to assemble a carcass fast enough.  I see spool clamps, and I'd want to change the ends so they touch in the channel, not the edge.  I don't mind tweaking; I do that with just about everything.  Out of the box, there isn't much that works just right.

If I had a shop like Tony, I'd say, "Hey,  Omo my boy!  Wanna glue this bad boy up for me? Thanks."

What do you like?

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I made my spool clamps when I was a 14 years old boy, They are not high tech, they don't touch the channel, but they do work, I don't over tight them, what you need is just hold the two parts together. You can make your own clamps, it is very easy to make them. 

Lot-of-Vintage-Wooden-Violin-Clamps-Luth

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I use spool clamps, and put them all on, to line up the overhang with a dry fit.

When it's all lined up right, I take two of three off at a time, and use a ground down table knife to insert the glue into the seam, then replace the spool clamps, and clean up any squeeze out.
Work all the way round, and use some G clamps over the end blocks.

Using this method is more time consuming I guess, but yields a fair chance of success. It can't really slip out of position if you are careful. The other clamps hold it all in place.

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I do something similar to Wood Butcher.  The main difference is that I paint glue on the respective surfaces and let it dry THEN dry clamp everything.  The rest is pretty much how he does it except that I only place clamps in strategic locations at first.  Then as I go around and activate the glue I'll add additional clamps.

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I use regular strength glue and apply glue to rib and plate gluing surface one section at a time and smooth out glue as needed with my finger so that the glue is nice and even all the way around on both gluing surfaces.  Then set aside to dry.  After a couple of hours I dry fit the corners and end blocks.  After everything is lined up I remove one set of corner clamps and reactivate the glue with boiling water and a spatula, fit the clamps and start working my way around until the whole thing is clamped.  No Fuss, muss, or stress.  No need for tape either.  Method credit to Joe Thrift.

Damn, Thomas out typed me!

-Jim

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On my own new instruments, I use standard spool clamps, pre-adjusted so they take very little time to screw into place, put a thick bead of glue all around the rib assembly, and then go like hell. On cellos, there will be two of us going like hell.

Does this mean I can't say my cellos are solely made by me? :lol:

On repairs or restorations, I would prefer to use the clamps which place pressure directly over the rib/lining, because a trivial distortion in a single gluing can accumulate into major distortion with multiple gluings.

Oh, when doing the "go like hell" thing, my glue is carefully adjusted and previously timed to not reach a heavy gel state in less than three minutes.

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26 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

...

Oh, when doing the "go like hell" thing, my glue is carefully adjusted and previously timed to not reach a heavy gel state in less than three minutes.

Geez...I feel my stress level rising just reading that :wacko:

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I do as Burgess does Ken.

Spool clamps, hot room, go like a feind. Of course check to see how long it takes the glue to gel. This works for me, try it. The one winter I didn't go hellish enough, I learned to remove a back..

To make spool clamps, glue cork to a board, pillar drill,  hole saw, carriage bolts, wing nuts, easy peasy.

Thanks,

Pete

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Thanks everyone.  I think there were two things that made this back more of a problem.  The first is that the ribcage itself was very flexible.  I'm not sure why.  I usually use all sycamore linings, and this time I threw in a few poplar ones to try.  I didn't like them, and won't use them again.  American Sycamore works great.  I think I trimmed the linings back more like a v than a u.  Do you know what I mean?  It did make it much easier to get off the form.  Maybe that reduced the stiffness considerably.  Anyway, it is very flexible.  That's a good thing?

Another is what Jerry just brought up.  My Behlen glue from Woodcraft was almost gone, and I bought a bag of 251 stuff instead when I was at the store about a year ago. It seems to work fine. It seems to like to be thinner.  I was thinking that maybe it wouldn't get moldy as fast.  It still gets moldy fast. Maybe even faster!  I wasn't even thinking about that yesterday.  I should have mixed up a bit of the canned glue that is still left; I think it is 215 or something.  Maybe reserve that for backs?

I probably could have done it on the deck.  The basement is cool.  I just checked, and my clock, humidity gauge, thermometer thing on the wall says it is 59 degrees, and 58 percent humidity. The house is even comfortable, maybe 70 or so (we don't have air). Outside it is 85 and humid, so that would be better.

I do size both sides first, and I use a long piece of shim stock.  It's probably too thick.  I have the ends, and one side done, except in the lover bout.  It seems pretty close to where I wanted it.  

I guess it's time to make some clamps. I'll have to figure out how long I need the clamps to be, and buy some carriage bolts, wing nuts, cork sheet, and 1" (?) dowel stock .  I'll probably want them like David said, shaped to fit on the channel.  It's like clamps on a mill, they might work with the heel low; but why risk it?

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48 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

I would use knurled brass thumb nuts instead of wind nuts. The knurled ones can be turned quickly  using a single finger; every little extra bit of speed helps.

I use leather on my spool clamps instead of cork. The spools were made from 1" maple dowel.

IMG_0676.thumb.JPG.54e9734f032b2e5e4f75f96559d9a895.JPG

 

Yes Bill, Leather and brass knurled nuts,,and one more thing to make them "tits" are  nipples cut upon them  and a touch of wax for lube to eliminate the friction and they can be held on with one hand and tightened with a roll of the same thumb.

Only took 30 years to figure this out,,,,,,,,,,, but better late than never, to me it is really worth the effort,,, think Rolls Royce,,

Evan,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,slow

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I glue plates on in different ways, depending on the situation.

For models with my collapsible molds, I leave the mold on when I glue the back.  That keeps things pretty well stable, so I can do the glue-it-up-and-work-fast routine... but I'm not super-fast, so I use a heat gun to keep things warm and liquid.  I also do the same when gluing on tops, as the ribs and back are stable.

For the viola I'm making now, I didn't make a collapsible mold... so the garland off the mold is pretty sproingy.  With that, I'll glue both surfaces, let it dry, clamp it up, nudge things around, and then use hot water (and heat gun), loosening small sections at a time to get the water in and do its thing.

I have been using the same set of spool clamps with wingnuts that I got about 40 years ago, thinking all the while that someday I'll figure out something better.

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21 hours ago, uncle duke said:

The press from the Stentor video looks like it would for you.

I hadn't seen that before.  The next time I want to glue up 5 at at time...

 

57 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

I would use knurled brass thumb nuts instead of wind nuts. The knurled ones can be turned quickly  using a single finger; every little extra bit of speed helps.

I use leather on my spool clamps instead of cork. The spools were made from 1" maple dowel.

Leather holds up better?  Cork does seem to come apart at times.

10 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

IMG_0676.thumb.JPG.54e9734f032b2e5e4f75f96559d9a895.JPG

 

Yes Bill, Leather and brass knurled nuts,,and one more thing to make them "tits" are  nipples cut upon them  and a touch of wax for lube to eliminate the friction and they can be held on with one hand and tightened with a roll of the same thumb.

Only took 30 years to figure this out,,,,,,,,,,, but better late than never, to me it is really worth the effort,,, think Rolls Royce,,

Evan,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,slow

The friction causes the dowel to want to shift when tightening?  Cool idea Evan.  

I'll have to see what I can find at Home Depot or a hardware store down the road this weekend.  Or else it's Amazon or Ebay time.

3 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I glue plates on in different ways, depending on the situation.

For models with my collapsible molds, I leave the mold on when I glue the back.  That keeps things pretty well stable, so I can do the glue-it-up-and-work-fast routine... but I'm not super-fast, so I use a heat gun to keep things warm and liquid.  I also do the same when gluing on tops, as the ribs and back are stable.

For the viola I'm making now, I didn't make a collapsible mold... so the garland off the mold is pretty sproingy.  With that, I'll glue both surfaces, let it dry, clamp it up, nudge things around, and then use hot water (and heat gun), loosening small sections at a time to get the water in and do its thing.

I have been using the same set of spool clamps with wingnuts that I got about 40 years ago, thinking all the while that someday I'll figure out something better.

I'm making a collapsible Guadagnini mold, so if that works good, maybe others should follow.  My heat gun died a year or so ago.  I was using it to heat a bending iron.  Now I have an electric one.  Not a great shape, but easy. 

I cut my little finger at the first knuckle at work last week.  It is all healed up, but is basically numb from there up on the outside.  While typing, it wants to hit the caps lock and not the a.  It is more trouble than stiff fingers.

 

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Attended a bass workshop years ago given by a well known maker, an iconoclast with very individual, experimental  techniques on almost everything.

He glued the ribs and top separately, let them dry and clamped at leisure. Then plugged in his Scunci Steamer and dissapeared in a hissing spitting cloud as he walked around the bass activating the glue seam.

Definitely a steam punk, mad scientist experience, but it worked.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ken_N said:

I hadn't seen that before.  The next time I want to glue up 5 at at time..

I was just being a wiseguy and I was thinking how could Ken make the amount of fiddles he's made without spool clamps.

  Here's a cheap way I used.  Using a 1" holesaw that has the 1/4" drill bit running down the middle of it and using that 18-19mm thick plywood, drill out 12-13 holes.  Then cut them in half, sand smooth and pair them up with  a 3" section of 1/4" threaded rod and 2 wingnuts.  Make 25 or so amount of clamps.  That 3" rod length should work for violas too, not sure.

  I don't used cork on them or use any covering over the exposed rod threads but I'll learn one day after I put threaded groove marks into soft edge varnish.

What may work better is a 1 1/8"  holesaw instead of the 1" I used but maybe not either.  I used a 6408K Makita electric hand drill.

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10 hours ago, Don Noon said:

 I leave the mold on when I glue the back.  That keeps things pretty well stabler.

This is a safe way to get started Ken though I realize you probably still glue the belly first instead of the back.  I use a piece of 3/16" paneling shaped like a plate for clamp protection for the ribs on the other side.  1/8" thick would be better - note. 

  After the back is dry on the ribs with linings remove mold and do the rest of the work.  Then size the blocks, let dry.  When you're ready, do what Woodbutcher does and dry assemble the remaining plate using the spool clamps to align everything as good as you can.  Then. like he says, remove the three or four clamps and insert the thin blade inwards 2-3 mm with glue and replace the clamps.  Long story short, it's less stressful.

   I picked up this gluing technique from the old 1800's Petherick repair book.  He supposedly learned from another repair person along the lines of "why hurry an important part of violin making/repair."  I was a skeptic until I tried it.  No stress.  

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13 hours ago, Ken_N said:

Leather holds up better?  Cork does seem to come apart at times.

The friction causes the dowel to want to shift when tightening?  Cool idea Evan.  

I'll have to see what I can find at Home Depot or a hardware store down the road this weekend.  Or else it's Amazon or Ebay time.

 

 

I got the thumb nuts from Spaenaur, page C53

Spaenaur Catalog

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Never tried "go like hell" way, but I would guess that replacing few clamps at the time while reactivating pre glued joint is more relaxed method. I do not size ribs and plates, I dry fitt the rib cage with spool clamps, leather lined with wingnuts that I made, or use my Herdim clamps. I than remove 3-4 clamps, apply thin hide glue with a table knive and reclamp. I do corners first, than blocks  and bouts the last. Some cleaning  of the ribs and edges is required doing it that way. I need to try "reactivating" method.  

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