Glue...So Much Glue.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by TheGuitarKid, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. panther_king

    panther_king Supporting Member

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    I get that you want it be 'perfect', but you realize the hubris in expecting #1 to be the one that perfects the instrument?

    Build that #1. And then build that #10. Try something different by #20 and see if it worked out.

    What not to do? Start with 'I'm sure you're fine, but I'm going to do a google search to find what everyone has been missing for 100 years, because it's obvious none of you know how.', when the dude who says 'Hey, I swear by X product' has made a life building these:

    https://reverb.com/marketplace/electric-guitars?make=terry-mcinturff-1


    Go get some Titebond 50, and built that guitar. Focus on the joint and the design. You're trying to make the best apple pie ever made and obsessing about the type of sugar, having never baked before.
     
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  2. amigo30

    amigo30 Supporting Member

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    :spit
    It's a shame that the best post on TGP this month is going virtually unnoticed.
     
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  3. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

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    The reason luthiers disagree so much is because there are many ways to do the same thing that will result in a solid, well built guitar that sounds good and will last for decades.

    You don't need to optimize something to its ultimate consequence when it will result in no material advantage. i.e. Guitars have survived in good shape for decades under full string tension having used any number of different glues.

    Part of being a professional engineer is recognizing the point of diminishing returns.

    Also, recognize that your first build is not going to be a perfect anything. Actually, expect it to be trash. The value will come from the experience gained. That doesn't go only for guitars, but for every sort of thing you can build/design in your life.
     
  4. EdFarmer

    EdFarmer Member

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    What does this tell you? The traditional ways have worked and we have playable guitars from the 1820's, violins and other strings built in the same style far older. I'm not sure that there's really more than one way to skin a cat. I've never tried. But, I do know that there's more than one way to build a guitar. Ted McCarty at Gibson laughed at Leo Fender's bolt on maple necks with no finger boards but I have one that has been used and abused for 60 years. So, the best way to glue up a neck and fingerboard could be to not glue them up at all.

    Solid bodies guitars? We have one, two, three piece bodies and more. We have bolt on, glued set and neck through bodies. We have maple, rosewood, ebony and other finger boards. Look at the variety in tuners, frets and strings? Scalloped boards? Fan frets? Single coil, humbucker and Filtertron pickups just to start. Maple? Alder? Ash? Pine? Walnut? Acrylic?What else are bodies made of? We saw aluminum in the 70's and fiberglass and carbon fiber today.

    Don't even get me started on acoustics where back, side and top material are mixed in all sorts of configurations and then add in the bracing combinations!

    And, all these combinations are still in use every single day.

    The point is . . . There is no best in all of this. There are many things that work and many that don't. The only way to find out what works for you is to experiment. Stop talking and build something. You're going to fail. Maybe more than you succeed. But, the only way to succeed is to try.

    Lutherie, like all engineering, is a combination of art and science.
     
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  5. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Member

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    As long as the joint is chosen to suit its purpose and cut/executed well, the glue hardly matters. The best glue won't hold a butt joint together under stress.
     
  6. hank57

    hank57 Silver Supporting Member

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    I’m not going into any of the other stuff but just remember ventilation and respirators
     
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  7. Grez

    Grez Silver Supporting Member

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    Everything in Luthiery as in life involves compromise. Compromise does not inherently lead to inferior results in complex systems. As a matter of fact, compromise tends to lead to results, where the search for perfection is simply a journey.
     
  8. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Supporting Member

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    My advice as a Luthier and as a fellow techie (I am also a Professional Software Developer) is to apply some practical experience to your theories. Build a guitar or two and think about it some more. You sound like a very intelligent young person and I'm pretty sure you will only add to your overall enlightenment. Good luck and keep at it GuitarKid!
     
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  9. TheGuitarKid

    TheGuitarKid Member

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    Well I don't necessarily mean like perfect to everyone, I understand that THAT would be a fruitless effort. I'm mostly concerned with getting any specs perfect for my liking, and hoping to eliminate any technical errors that are possible.
     
  10. TheGuitarKid

    TheGuitarKid Member

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    I would say that many of the luthiers who debate about this topic do more than just argue that their method is better, some completely look down on the methods of others. Hide glue snobs exist, wood snobs exist.

    I do know that there comes a point where it is absolutely pointless to keep looking for better and better, which is why I work from more of a "Get it as good as I can afford to, or maybe a bit better". I'm not going to be using graphene(or stanene) windings in the pickups I build, I'm not going to have custom magnets made(well I do need to for that electric car design, but different level of importance). Being a teen with relatively limited resources forces me to look at materials that are at least somewhat practical, the same way any engineer needs to account for cost in any industrial setting, but there's always a best way to do something at any given level of complexity/cost.
     
  11. TheGuitarKid

    TheGuitarKid Member

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    Hence why I have such an issue with the luthiery community in general. Guitar makers/players are quite possibly the most stubborn group of people around, especially when compared to the relatively progressive bass community. Why is it that bassists are so open to change and guitarists are still chasing the sound of guitars from 60 years ago? With violinists it's even worse, chasing sounds of violins hundreds of years old. My design came about because I was not satisfied with what already existed, whether it was mechanically or even aesthetically. I think the perfect instrument is something you want to play more than everything else. I am not interested in an instrument that looks like garbage and sounds like heaven, I will make compromises to the sound if it means I can actually enjoy looking at the guitar(which is why I would never make a one-piece neck, a separate fretboard looks good to me, the former doesn't. However, for every OTHER part of the instrument, glues, truss rods and reinforcements, fret material, hardware material and such, I have no excuse to make compromises for aesthetic purposes.
     
  12. TheGuitarKid

    TheGuitarKid Member

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    I do know that compromise is a necessary part of all things, I just don't want to compromise on something I don't need to.
     
  13. TheGuitarKid

    TheGuitarKid Member

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    I guess most of my paranoia stems from the fact that this might not have a 2nd attempt. Guitar parts are expensive, if I can work out the kinks on the first try then that's what I'm trying to aim for. Thank you for your words of encouragement :D
     
  14. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

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    I'll just leave this here.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Dave Weir

    Dave Weir Gold Supporting Member

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    I just make one piece bodies and one piece necks. No glue-no problem.
     
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  16. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    And clamps!
     
  17. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    Cause if I add a set of wings man I know she could fly!
     
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  18. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    There's so many things like this that make you wonder how things came to be! Like maple syrup…I read a guy wanted a temporary ‘hook’ for his water bucket so he embedded his axe, handle angled up, into a maple tree. Supposedly, the bucket filled with sap and the rest is history. But if you've ever tasted raw maple sap, you know there's more to it; like a 40:1 reduction!
     
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  19. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    @TheGuitarKid first, let me state it does my heart good to read your posts as you are very well mannered and educated, especially for a high schooler. I meet ‘kids’ every day that can't speak a sentence without swearing or write one without errors. If you live and breathe engineering, I'm sure you've heard the term, ‘empirical results’. Life examples that have stood the test of time. I'm a retired building components designer. When I worked with steel, every beam, header, component, had to be ran through a loading program, or calculated by hand. With wood, not so much; there are span tables established that list a dimension of lumber sufficient for various size openings. A carpenter framing a house knows to use 2X12’s for headers in bearing walls because that's the way it's been done for years. My point being, manufacturers and end users of various glues have developed knowledge of what works where. Titebond has served the test of time and proven itself over and over again when used in the proper context. All this said, I think you'll make a great engineer. You don't assume anything, and if you were American, I'd guess you were from Missouri, the ‘Show Me’ state. And, I'd hope you would ‘Boiler Up’ @ Purdue!
     
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  20. sahhas

    sahhas Supporting Member

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    When I was 17 I was not thinking about glue!!! Good luck!!!
     

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