Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Fingerstyle Guitar - Fun With Hide Glue

This has been my first attempt at using hot hide glue, and although there were some tense moments - including one abortive attempt at attaching the bridge plate - major disasters were averted.

Because hide glue begins to gel quite rapidly once it cools, it's important to apply it and have the piece being glued clamped in position before that happens. Before I glued each brace, I found it useful to have several practice runs without glue to establish the sequence of steps I'd follow and to make sure I knew in advance where and in what order I would position the "go-bar" clamps. Despite the benefit of those dry-runs, I wasn't able to remain cool, calm and collected at all times and I still managed to make a gooey mess on a couple of occasions.  Thankfully, of all the glues I've used, hide glue is by far the easiest to clean up. As I found out on my first attempt at gluing the bridge plate, the worst that can happen is that the soundboard, brace or bridge plate need to be cleaned of glue with a little warm water, ready for a second attempt when things have dried out. The advice I've read repeatedly - and with some relief - is that using hot hide glue gets easier with practice!