Having a hard time regluing headstock

lowedt

Member
Messages
159
Working on a friends epiphone acoustic. break is pretty clean. Ive reglued it once and it separated with string tension. not sure whether to try and screw it or route spaces for rods> I used titebond and clamped it for 3 days. he said looks dont matter just make is functionable.....thoughts?
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,275
Which Titebond? Some creeps some don't. Do your research before a repair job. Chances are you won't be able to clean the joint sufficiently now. If the break is now two separate pieces maybe You can scrub it good with hot water and a brush. Pics will help.
 

mike shaw

Member
Messages
2,214
I don't know about hot water .... seems like it could possibly get into some raw wood and swell it up. I think I'd try naptha (lighter fluid) first. I dries pretty quick so that would reduce the possibility of wood swell.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
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9,584
Nothing will remove that titebond other than by mechanical means (chisel, for example) or I've heard that there is are some chemicals that work. I almost want to say vinegar, but I'm not sure.

How did it fail? Clean break? Is it gummy? Did it slowly come apart? Was it a tight fit? Please post pictures. I'm trying to figure out if you have bad glue, a bad fit, maybe too much end grain, etc. The joint should not just come apart, for any reason really.

Anyhow, assuming the glue has at least hardened, as a practical matter I think roughing up the surface as best you can and using epoxy may be you best bet at this point. This is one reason a lot of guys prefer hot hide glue for these kinds of repairs. If it broke once, it can break twice, and dealing with old hide glue is trivial. Old Titebond is a nightmare. Practically nothing sticks to it other than epoxy, and I think super glue. Epoxy doesn't stick all that well to it either, by the way, but at least you have some time to get it in there and it will fill some gaps. Neither one is particularly high on my list of glues I like using on headstock repairs.
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
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7,082
Titebond 50 (not available in stores) is excellent for headstock breaks and has plenty of building uses as well. There are a number of Titebond formulations made for industrial use; I use two dif ones (not the consumer variety).

The hardware store variety can be stripped with acetone. Be careful not to damage the finish with acetone when doing so.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
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9,584
I was wondering what you'd started using now that LMII disappeared. I had an employee from Franklin recommend Titebond 50 once, but I never bothered to try it.
 

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
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7,082
I was wondering what you'd started using now that LMII disappeared. I had an employee from Franklin recommend Titebond 50 once, but I never bothered to try it.
I didn't know that the LMI was off the market, that is a great glue. But when I checked out the sample Franklin sent me of the 50 I switched.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
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9,584
I didn't know that the LMI was off the market, that is a great glue. But when I checked out the sample Franklin sent me of the 50 I switched.
The manufacturer that made it stopped making it. I think it was some sort of flooring glue, if I remember correctly. They've introduced a new one, but I know less than nothing about it.

Now if we could only solve the mystery of the Gibson binding glue...
 

cap47

Member
Messages
2,275
I just can't picture a proper glue coming apart! I used LMI white which is no longer available. As long as the joint was clamped within proper bonding time frame and sufficient glue was used on both surfaces the joint would be stronger than the wood. Bad glue could cause it. Pictures or it didn't happen!
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
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38,976
Maybe it was left in a hot car?

Didn't know about acetone here, but they sell something called de-glue goo that's like thick vinegar and is supposed to dissolve aliphatic. I tried it on a failed titebond headstock fix with little luck, though I'm not sure I did it right (you're apparently supposed to de-acidity the wood afterwards with something, baking soda maybe.)

Sad to say the old repair was one of mine, which indeed failed when it was left in a hot car; I soon after buckled down and got myself up to speed with using hot hide glue for that job.
 

Eagle1

Senior Member
Messages
8,655
Never seen a failed tightbond fix that was done properly in the first place. Walter was just unlucky.
 

B. Howard

Member
Messages
1,211
Industrial grade paint strippers will also soften AR glues. These are very caustic chemicals though and due care must be used.
 

jimshine

Member
Messages
1,594
Industrial grade paint strippers will also soften AR glues. These are very caustic chemicals though and due care must be used.
That is how I do it. So far it has worked on all glue types. I use a little brush, apply enough to be wet, once to get the bulk of the glue, again to get out what has penetrated into the wood.
 

lowedt

Member
Messages
159
Sorry guys, I forgot to mention it had been reglued previously by someone else. I know thats pretty useful information.... I have had several successful repairs like this in the past but all but 1 were fresh. I have used titebond in the past with good results.
 

lowedt

Member
Messages
159
I have used a heat gun to remove excess wood glue. I was very careful not to heat the wood too much. I then used a file's point to scrape it all out. got it very clean now, Im just trying to figure out the best way to reattempt it.
 

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,584
Sorry guys, I forgot to mention it had been reglued previously by someone else. I know thats pretty useful information.... I have had several successful repairs like this in the past but all but 1 were fresh. I have used titebond in the past with good results.
Well, that certainly explains the 2nd failure. In my opinion, that's the single greatest drawback to Titebond...it's very difficult to get anything to reliably stick to it, especially more Titebond. It's not a big deal on new builds, because most guitar joints are made under really well controlled conditions and there's no reason they shouldn't last the useful life of the guitar. For example, there's just tons and tons and tons and tons of headstock scarf joints out there that NEVER come apart, but they're more or less perfect before we reach for the glue bottle. That's not always the easiest thing to do on a repair :)
 
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walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
38,976
At this point you may want to use slow cure CA.
that's kinda what i'm thinking too; i'm no expert on this, but i don't know what else besides epoxy would really bond to old titebond-impregnated wood (neither hide nor titebond really does), and epoxy goes on thick, so i dunno how easy it would be to really mate the two parts back together fully.

the key with CA as far as i can tell is to treat it like any other wood glue, i.e., fully clamp and let dry at least overnight, and don't use any accelerator on it.

if it's poly-finished guitar, at least the CA will be possible to clean up afterwords with remover or maybe even acetone.
 






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