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 Post subject: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:17 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:50 pm
Posts: 178
Location: Goodrich, MI
First name: Ken
Last Name: Nagy
City: Goodrich
State: MI
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I couldn't find anything about doing this. The main thing that I'm wondering is about the truss rod. It is the SM hot rod. The directions say to use a little caulk at the nuts. Is that all it needs?
For the board itself, is hhg fine? Or something else?

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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:41 pm 
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I don't glue the rod in.

For the board itself I use Smith's epoxy. I'd steer clear of HHG, Titebond, or anything else that's waterbased. All that water will cause movement in the last place you want to introduce it.


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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:43 pm 
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Koa
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I also don’t glue the rod in. I use fish glue for the fb and about everything else:)
If it’s your first time... concoct a way to keep that fretboard from sliding once you start clamping it


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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:31 pm
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First name: Kevin
Last Name: Looker
City: Worthington
State: OH
Zip/Postal Code: 43085
Country: USA
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Status: Amateur
Dan uses HHG but I thought this was an interesting approach to avoid back bow which I have experienced when using water based (Titebond).

I now use epoxy but haven't had to pull one yet either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aoF0XP3eJc&t=79s

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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:24 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:02 am
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
Epoxied fretboards pull off easier than any other glue. Come off without any splintering too.


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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:34 pm 
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First name: Kevin
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Barry Daniels wrote:
Epoxied fretboards pull off easier than any other glue. Come off without any splintering too.


Barry, I've heard they do, once the temp is reached. Do you know what that temp is?

I've been sold on epoxy after experiencing back bow after Titebond but haven't had to pull one yet.

Kevin Looker

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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:54 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:02 am
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I don't know the exact temperature. You can use a household iron and it takes about 5 minutes for the heat to soak through to the glue line. Stick a putty knife in at one end and work your way slowly down the board.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: klooker (Thu Jul 18, 2019 8:50 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:40 pm 
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First name: Dennis
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I've always used hide glue, and level/radius the board after it's had a couple days to thoroughly dry. I put water on the outer surface to counteract the cupping from the glue. I have worried a bit about that resulting in the board being swollen up when the glue sets, and then causing soundboard splits along the fingerboard extension when it dries out. But thus far the fear seems unfounded, even with persimmon on redwood (very high fingerboard movement, very low soundboard movement). I expose my guitars to extreme dry in the winter, so if something was going to happen, it would have on that one. So I guess as long as the board is acclimated to low humidity before gluing it, the water expansion during glue-up isn't enough to cause problems.

That said, I may try epoxy on my next one. I happen to have a nice big jug of Ecopoxy for another project, and its low viscosity ought to be very nice for this task, and judging by the comments here and Kevin's test, it should be even more repair-friendly than hide glue, since the combination of heat and water during hide glue removal causes the board to warp and bend, so then it's a challenge to ever get it back on. I suspect hide glued fingerboard bindings would hold on during epoxy removal, so that's another bonus.

Hide glue is also difficult to use on such large surfaces to begin with. Have to get the water content just right or it won't squeeze out fully, and no amount of pre-warming seems to be enough to prevent it gelling before I can get all the clamps on, so then I have to hold the heavy mess of clamps over a fire on the stove for a few minutes until the glue reactivates.


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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:03 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:21 pm
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Location: Alexandria MN
I used epoxy for a while after Rick Turner was pushing it here years ago. All well until I had to remove one for a broken truss rod. It came off OK but what a sticky mess.

I went back to Tightbond Extend and leave it clamped up a couple of days. There can still be a slight back bow sometimes but pretty minor and easy to level.

I used to put caulk or toilet sealing ring wax in the slot but now just glue in a shim over the rod and it keeps it stable and prevents rattling. Got the idea from Mark Blanchard.

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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:52 am 
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First name: Don
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If you try to get your fingerboard into final shape and fretted before you glue it to the neck, I can see the attraction of epoxy. But if you prefer to make fretting the last thing you do on the guitar, after gluing the fingerboard onto the neck and after the neck has been attached to the body, then the use of glue with water in it is not that big of a deal. I prefer the latter approach. I use hot hide glue for literally everything on a guitar, including this job, and it works great.


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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:57 am 
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I use HHG (did earlier guitars with Titebond) and just leave it clamped for a few days so the water can migrate out. I also fret after the neck is on the guitar although I have fretted the board before attaching. I have not had any problems. Maybe I was just lucky. I have also tried epoxy on one or two but it seemed more trouble than it was worth.

Edit: After reading some of the other posts I thought I should point out a few things. First, I use a caul when I glue on the fretboard to make sure everything stays straight until the neck is dry; that's why I leave it clamped for a few days. Second, my shop is humidity controlled between 40%-45% and that helps make sure the water based glues dry out fairly quickly. Third, I have learned to not use too much glue - I spread it on each surface then clamp which results in just a little squeeze out, there's just not that much water in the joint.

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Last edited by SteveSmith on Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:36 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:50 pm
Posts: 178
Location: Goodrich, MI
First name: Ken
Last Name: Nagy
City: Goodrich
State: MI
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Well, it's hot and humid today, so it's one of those rare days around here where hot hide glue should be easy. Usually, working in the basement it is too cold. I'll go out on the deck. I don't have any epoxy, and the bare neck is begging to be covered. I have curve on the fretboard, and the slots in. I'll make sure it's still straight, and then put the frets in.

The slot for the truss rod is just the right depth and width, so it will be fine, it isn't loose.

I don't have any epoxy yet, or maybe I'd use it. The biggest problem I've had with hide glue is gelling if I don't work fast enough, and clamping too tight. I have those bar clamps now, and that should help. Spring clamps can be too strong. I had a problem recently with fingerboards falling off! I also had hide glue that I used a week ago turning to water in the jar it was in. Tan colored water. Really. Twice. I still don't know what caused that. For the last batch I used distilled water. It is still glue a week later. Yeah the creek behind my house flows into the Flint river. Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidences. Maybe I shouldn't drink it?

When using HHG, I usually take the clamps off after a half hour or so now too. If it isn't set by then, it isn't going to be.

Lots of good suggestions.

I'd ask about epoxy, but I bet everyone has their favorite for one reason or another. West System seems to be all purpose, but Brian Howard said in the other post about epoxy and fretboards that he like to use single purpose epoxy. Has anyone notice any real difference in epoxy?

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 Post subject: Re: Gluing the fretboard
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:23 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:02 am
Posts: 2210
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
I use West Systems and even though it has multiple uses, it still is more than sufficient. Never had a glue failure with it. I often mix in some chopped polyester fiber additive to the glue when I need some extra strength.


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