LMI Help Center

SPRING IS HERE — and the scent of glue is in the air! – April 2015

LMI is your source for a wide range of quality adhesives essential to instrument making and repair. We also carry a number of ingenious gluing accessories. This month’s blog will give you an overview of the options before you – there are many. Please be sure to refer to the actual product page for more information about each glue.

Wood Glue (white or yellow glue): We introduced our innovative FGX glue in 2014 and it was quickly embraced as the best option available to luthiers for all wood to wood joints. It is similar to the familiar yellow Titebond but has better heat resistance (does not get gummy when machine sanding), has excellent adhesion to problem/oily woods, is slightly harder and it contains a black-light additive that will allow you to catch any invisible glue residue before finishing (when the residue would become painfully evident).

Hide Glue and Fish Glue: Hide glue has been used for centuries by instrument makers and these joints have stood the test of time. Low creep, high tack and hard when dry, it is often cited as an ingredient in making great sounding guitars because its hardness provides a better medium for vibration. However, it is difficult to prepare and work with. Fish Glue is similar but offers an extended work time and no time-consuming preparation, but is expensive.

Cement: We offer two types of glue for adhering plastic bindings to wood. Our old standard FGW Weld-on glue, and the ‘Cadillac’ FCA glue which has lower fumes, greater tack and quicker set time.

Cyanoacrylate, CA or ‘super glues’: We sell a wide range of different CA glues – low fume, low viscosity, high viscosity, black color for inlay plus accelerators and solvents. CA glues can be tricky to work with and are nasty to inhale, but they work well-gluing wood or plastic bindings together and are often reached for a wide variety of repair applications. Just a dot is used to hold a nut in place and some use it for holding frets in place and for filling fret ends. Cyanoacrylate glues hold well-mated surfaces tenaciously and nothing cures more quickly.

Epoxy: Aside from their use as a pore filler (we carry several brands specifically for this purpose), epoxy works in repair situations where gaps must be filled, are sometimes used with inlays and some people like to glue their fingerboards on with it if they are concerned that the water in standard wood glues might introduce problems into critical joints (like the fingerboard on to the neck).

Accessories: Check out our disposable pipettes for dispensing cyanoacrylate glues and our FGS syringe for wood glue. We carry small plastic cups (used with epoxy mixtures or for freezing unused Hide glue), an inexpensive tin glue brush and a fancy brass hide glue warming. Finally, once you discover and use the Glue-bot glue dispensers you’ll wonder how you ever went without them!

We borrowed this Glue Properties Chart from Frank Ford of Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, California to help you navigate the maze of glue options (www.gryphonstrings.com/www.frets.com).