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For me, epoxy is nearly obsolete for guitar making use. How about you?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Terry McInturff, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    With the greatest respect to my fellow builders who may utilize it!!! :)

    The only uses Ive had for epoxy in the past 25 years as regards guitar making are:
    1) Encapsulating electronics on occasion
    2) Jigs and fixtures on occasion.

    Between a select group of aliphatics, hot hide glue, various cyanos, and a few other adhesives, my glue needs are complete sans epoxy. I must admit being raised to avoid it, what with my repair/restoration days.

    I have no need to fill in gaps, I have no fear of using water soluble glues in my neck making, and I have favorite ways of dealing with inlays sans epoxy.

    How about you all? Do you keep a fresh supply of epoxy on hand and if so, what do you use it for?
     
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  2. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I've used it to fix hollowbody guitars with a caved in side etc. Push the wood back in place and epoxy it. Layer it up until you can sand flush. Being clear you can finalize it with a final coat of nitro or whatever the guitar has on it and hardly tell at all.
    I suppose the proper way is to replace the wood and binding, but man that's a ton of work!
     
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  3. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    It's a lot of work indeed, to patch-in. But thats why we charge accordingly! But I feel your pain, especially as regards splintered plywood
     
  4. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Supporting Member

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    Zero use in building or repairing guitars....except on occasion as grain filler or to set the Gibson logo on a black headplate. Never to mate wood to wood surfaces.
     
  5. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, same here - some quickie repairs, maybe a little mixed with some wood powder that's a couple of shades lighter color for filling some imperfections on some sub-par past fretwork...just yesterday I had an old Guild pop in here with a real sloppy saddle slot, but a nice old hand-cut comp. saddle so I waxed up said saddle and the surrounding area, filled the slot about a third full with epoxy and voila! - after relieving a bit off the sides of the saddle instant snug fit.

    Save for stuff like that, it's LMI, hide and cyano for virtually everything else.
     
  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    i recently used some for the first time in a few years to fix a shredded, splintered plywood bridgeplate scenario, gluing on a little thin rosewood plate with generous epoxy to fill the gaps around and under the old bridgeplate at the holes, essentially a rosewood "platemate".

    that way the fresh rosewood could handle the pressure of the string ball ends while being supported from behind with the epoxy filling any gaps.

    also (and more of a builder thing which i don't do) isn't good epoxy like the only reliable way to glue cocobolo, which is supposed to be super-oily?
     
  7. Jack Daniels

    Jack Daniels Supporting Member

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    Walter. Ive never had a problem gluing oily woods with wood glue. Specifically cocobolo. But I have heard others using epoxy for that.
     
  8. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    PRS uses is to glue rosewood fretboards to eliminate introducing moisture into the neck.
     
  9. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't even have it in my shop. I DO have some JB Weld though. ;)
     
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  10. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

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    We use it where we would prefer to use CA but need a longer working time. Those occasions happen so rarely that we end up buying fresh stock when we do those jobs.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    gahhh!

    JB weld, WD40, gorilla glue and duct tape are the things i don't want anywhere near the guitars i work on! (electrical tape too for that matter)
     
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  12. Laurent Brondel

    Laurent Brondel Supporting Member

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    Cocobolo is oily, but so are a lot of rosewoods (Brazilian RW, African Blackwood, Honduran RW etc.). The best way to glue those, and any wood really, is to have freshly prepared surfaces with no oxidation on the surface, i.e., planed, scraped or sanded right before gluing.

    That's the purpose of epoxy in some guitar building and repair work, like polyurethane glue, it does not introduce moisture and does not shrink. It can be handy in gluing CF rods as well, although medium or thick CA work just as well.
     
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  13. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, I understand that PRS uses epoxy to glue fretboards, but with great respect Ive never understood the fear regarding using something like Titebond 50 for that job. If the introduction of that (temporary) small amount of H2O causes neck probs, something is amiss with the neck design/build schedule. In addition there's the use of a double-action truss rod, another sign...IMO

    Freshly prepped Cocobolo will glue-up fine with aliphatics, especially if the surface is wiped with a semi-dry acetone rag right beforehand.
     
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  14. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    With an occasional over oiled fretboard I've had to resort to epoxy to hold in the new frets. Doesn't happen often...but some people think more oil is better :confused:.
     
  15. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    Epoxy is handy for bonding dissimilar and/or poorly mated materials so it's not a bad product to have available, but not for guitars. The only place that situation really shows up on a guitar is at the nut, where it would be insane to use it. On the rare occasion I need it, I generally find myself in the same situation Sweetfinger mentioned - having to go buy some fresh because the last batch has been on the shelf for 100 years and is no longer viable/trustworthy.

    Back when I first started installing threaded inserts in neck heels, I thought it would be a good idea to epoxy those in, but got away from it almost immediately. As things worked out, it simply wasn't necessary. Plus, it made the operation effectively irreversible. Not that you'd ever want to reverse such a thing, but it is possible to cross-thread an insert so you'd want to be able to replace it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  16. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    I use it for inlay work
     
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  17. Jonny Hotnuts

    Jonny Hotnuts Member

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    A medium speed epoxy is a fantastic substitute for Fullerplast for a vintage correct paint job on a pre CBS Fender.

    ~JH
     
  18. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    i've forever just automatically used CA in the fret slot, to lock the fret in, provide better tone transfer and seal it from the outside world. seems like trying to smear epoxy in the slot would be more of a mess, unless it's some more thin, flowing type?
    couldn't you still hit the metal insert with a hot soldering iron to release it?
     
  19. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    Yeah, probably. But why make life difficult when you don't have to? I tap the holes the inserts go into, but they're still in there pretty firm. They don't need any help staying in place.
     
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  20. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    epoxy as a finish coat? never heard of that! how do you apply it?
     

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