View Full Version : glue Top or Back on first ?

09-29-2016, 08:47 AM
As I was working away, doing things my usual way (gluing the top on first) it occurred to me that I really did not know why I did it this way. This leads to the question of how do other people do it, and why. So, do you glue the top on first, or the back first, and what reasons do you have for doing things in that order?

09-29-2016, 10:03 AM
The Birth of a Mya Moe videos show that they glue backs first, their reason being that they can clean up squeeze out etc more easily, as the back will be seen through the sound hole. I did mine this way, but still would be interested in other replies.

09-29-2016, 11:04 AM
I do guitars so keep that in mind. I do the top first and do the best I can joining the two as I feel the top is the most important part of the instrument. It also gives me a chance to see what the stiffness of the top is like joined. The back is less important to me and if there is a little squeeze out that I can not clean up (we do have bigger holes but I have no problem sticking implements in the hole) that is par for the course. Good instruments have been made with worse. This microscopic examination of the jointery now days might be a little excessive.

09-29-2016, 11:09 AM
I do the top first as I can fit the neck easier, for me anyways, and I do compliance testing and brace shaping after the top is on. I've done it both ways and this is what works for me.

Pete Howlett
09-29-2016, 12:28 PM
As an industry standard we glue tops and back together. Because of our use of a glue roller to apply just the right amount of glue we have virtually no squeeze out and hence, no clean up. I made a video for this forum on how we do it....

09-30-2016, 06:19 PM
As a small custom builder, I favor gluing the top on first for the same reasons as printer2 and resoman. I like to be able to fine tune the characteristics of the top and bracing before
gluing on the back. I may not have the fine control on glue amount as bigger producers, but a little squeezeout doesn't bother me. Oher artifacts of handwork like some pencil marks,
etc, don't bother me also.

Pete Howlett
10-01-2016, 02:27 PM
A soft-seam roller. Just about as low tech you can get.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
10-01-2016, 03:13 PM
I glue the back on first to deal with glue squeeze out. The only real reason to glue the top on first would be to further carve the braces to fine tune a top to a desired point.