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Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-29-2011, 04:46 PM
So I ordered several bottles of LMI glue last week and as I always do I test every product that's new to me before I use it. Yesterday I did more than a half a dozen glue tests with this glue, clamped and unclamped and various kinds of joints. They all failed pretty badly when compared to Titebond redcap. When I tested some joined tops and backs they failed along the glue line with very little effort. "Failed miserably" is a term not too strong to use. This glue seems to work well for others so I just figured I'm using it wrong. I'm using it and preparing the wood in the exact manner I'd use Titebond. Can anyone share their experiences with me in using this stuff.
BTW, sadly, because of my off-grid situation HHG is really not an option for me as the electric elements used in keeping the glue warm pretty much fry the deep cycle batteries I use over time.
So what's the trick to using LMI Glue?

Steve vanPelt
09-29-2011, 05:07 PM
I found in warm/hot weather, the LMI stuff flashes over really quick. Had some similar issues with some braces popping off. I still use it where there are large surface
areas like linings and headstock veneers, as long as it's not a hot day. HHG or redcap almost everywhere else. I gladly take credit for my poor technique and or ignorance, I just prefer to use products that work for me. I do like how fast it dries in places I can use it.

Flyfish57
09-29-2011, 05:10 PM
Hey Chuck,
I just bought some of the LMI glue last month. I glued back strips and braces with it and had no issues. When I trimed the back strips for the braces, there was good adhesion. In fact, it dries rock hard and is a bi*ch to clean up the squeeze out after it dries. I bought it to try since they say on the website everyone is ordering it!! Did you give them a call?

Maybe I'll do some glue ups with the three glues I use this weekend. Then I'll do some retention test on the Instron tensile bench at the real job next monday...just to see

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-29-2011, 05:19 PM
A guitar builder friend here had the same issues with it that I have. He tried it and went back to Titebond. That's what prompted me to do more than my usual testing on it. Head stock veneers pretty much pop off with a chisel. Temperatures in the build room are close to 80 with 45% RH. Maybe it's a Hawaii thing.......
I like the way it dries crystal hard. But I'm thinking that a glue should pretty much stick to things, yeah? Or am I asking too much?

aaronckeim
09-29-2011, 05:57 PM
hmmm- weird. maybe its the hawaii climate. I seriously doubt a master luthier/wood worker like yourself would be doing something incorrect with it. maybe its a bad batch? between gordon, char and I, we have around 700 instruments with LMII glue. I find the joints to be hard and strong. The only failures seem to be my own, not the glues.

Flyfish57
09-29-2011, 07:10 PM
Our shops are pretty much the same temps and RH. I found I'm using a bit more than I would the red cap. I read on their site that it doesn’t penetrate as deeply as titebond so I’ve been making sure it has a chance to be clamped before it sets up. A little more squeeze out to clean up is my penance.

Arron, have you had any go bad yet? I’ve been wondering if you really can smell a difference.

Thanks,
Steve

maclay
09-29-2011, 07:18 PM
I've been using LMI white glue for 6 years, and the glue failures are extremely rare.
I personally love the stuff. Like Aaron said....Maybe a bad batch.

Kekani
09-29-2011, 07:30 PM
It does go bad, sour, exactly as LMI describes. Which is why I date mine when I get it, and when I open it.

I keep mine in the fridge, in the shop. Chuck, maybe you should try it cold?

I joint tops and backs like Bob, Spanish style. Works better in my process than any other fancy jig. Other than that, I treat it just like Titebond, which I gave up over 3 years ago, after Rick recommended I try it.

Aaron

Timbuck
09-30-2011, 03:29 AM
BTW, sadly, because of my off-grid situation HHG is really not an option for me as the electric elements used in keeping the glue warm pretty much fry the deep cycle batteries I use over time.
So what's the trick to using LMI Glue?

Chuck..there are several "Spirit lamp gluepots" available like this one.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc143/shiregreenbod/gluepot.jpg

Michael N.
09-30-2011, 03:59 AM
I think all PVA glues have a limited shelf life. If the stuff was bought recently it really is of concern. You would expect someone like LMI to have considerable turnover, so I doubt they have the stuff stuck on a shelf collecting dust. I doubt that it's a temperature or humidity thing either - unless it's been kept at the extremes. BTW I'm fairly certain I read that PVA glues should NOT be stored at very low temperatures.
Best ready to use Glue that I've come across is the Fish glue that Lee Valley and kremer pigmente sells. Strong, dries glass hard and long open time. Downside is the long clamping times.

DeVineGuitars
09-30-2011, 08:23 AM
I've also been using it for about 5 years (here in Hawaii) and love the stuff!!! never had any issues with it at all. I love the way it flashes and spreds and it dries clear.
Chuck, are you gluing outside or in a controlled environment?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-30-2011, 08:43 AM
I've also been using it for about 5 years (here in Hawaii) and love the stuff!!! never had any issues with it at all. I love the way it flashes and spreds and it dries clear.
Chuck, are you gluing outside or in a controlled environment?

Everything is done inside a climate controlled environment. As I mentioned, probably 78 degrees and 45% RH. The glue is new, smells fresh, and stored in the fridge. It's disturbing that another builder here with over 25 years of experience building guitars and ukes has had the same problem; different batch, different time. I'm starting to think it's more voodoo.
Ken, I like that spirit heater, hadn't thought of those. Thanks

Allen
09-30-2011, 11:01 AM
I'm thinking bad batch or was frozen on the trip over. I only get a bottle in now and then when I have an LMI order (otherwise it's way to expensive when you add the shipping on its own), but have not had any issue with the times I've used it. Still much prefer HHG though. And Ken's idea for a heater is a cracker.

Pete Howlett
09-30-2011, 11:15 AM
With your experience and chops Chuck I casn only conclude there is something wrong with the glue.

Timbuck
09-30-2011, 11:26 AM
I now glue fretboard and neck joint with HHG..and up to now I like it ..all the rest is "Titebond" ..but i'm moving in a bit at a time....the last thing I'll try it on will be the "bridge" :)

Pete Howlett
09-30-2011, 11:47 AM
I googled spirit lamps Ken but couldn't find any. A chocolate pot heater looks a good idea :) Chocolate one side, glue the other eh?

Timbuck
09-30-2011, 12:18 PM
I googled spirit lamps Ken but couldn't find any. A chocolate pot heater looks a good idea :) Chocolate one side, glue the other eh?
Here's one http://www.fletcher-newman.co.uk/catalogue/glues_polishes/549.html
And here's another two http://willyfogg.com/search/herdim-spirit-lamp-glue-pot/?autoredirect=1 ...... http://www.paytons.com.au/product.php?id_product=26530 Herdim seems to be the main manufacturer...They supply them here as well http://www.howardcore.com/Catalog/tools/index.html

aaronckeim
09-30-2011, 06:49 PM
Yes, we make sure to date the bottle, but I have never had a bottle go sour. I use them up long before then! My shop in Colorado is 30% humidity and 65 degrees on average. (its in my basement) I have noticed that when I work at the shop in Washington, the hotter lights and brighter sunlight at the setup bench change the "feel" of the glue. Still a mystery, Chuck!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-01-2011, 07:57 AM
Thanks to all who've replied. I've done more testing under different conditions and compared the results to Titebond. I tested a different bottle from another builder (who had the same experience that I did). When I tried to break the joints, the Titebond never broke along the glue line, the LMI glue always did, and with much less effort.
I'm sure the glue is fine, it just doesn't work for me. As far as the possibility of getting a bad batch I sure hope they don't expect me to test every batch I glue I get in. Until I learn how to use it I'll stick with Titebond. Next I'll be trying HHG.

Michael Smith
10-01-2011, 04:30 PM
I had the same experience. After break testing a few times I decided it was not a product I wanted to use and now only use it for gluing pearl slabs to thin wood strips before cutting on the bandsaw. I don't trust it. I live close to LMI and drive over to pick up supplies so it has nothing to do with heat or cold during shipping.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-01-2011, 04:36 PM
...... use it for gluing pearl slabs to thin wood strips before cutting on the bandsaw.

Honestly, that's an excellent idea. There are times during the inlay process where you only want a temporary bond. I'll dig my bottles of glue out of the trash now!

BlackBearUkes
10-01-2011, 05:17 PM
Interesting read. While I personally do not have anything against LMI white glue, I do think it is always a good idea to test run the glues we use and come to our own conclusions. Thanks for posting this information Chuck.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-02-2011, 07:46 AM
You proponents of this glue, are you using it simply based on somebody's recommendation or have you tested it's limits? It would be interesting if you tested it and shared your results.

maclay
10-02-2011, 08:13 AM
You proponents of this glue, are you using it simply based on somebody's recommendation or have you tested it's limits? It would be interesting if you tested it and shared your results.

I haven't directly tested it against Titebond but after using it for 6 years in small shop production, and on my personal instruments.....yeah, I would say that I have tested its limits.
Chuck Im sure you know how to use glue........please tell me that you are secretly a rep for Titebond :)

Timbuck
10-02-2011, 08:28 AM
Here is a pdf file worth a look on glue testing http://www.titebond.com/Download/pdf/HowStrongisYourGlue_FWW.pdf

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-02-2011, 08:34 AM
The thing is that I could've gone on using LMI glue for years and never doing side by side tests with Titebond and not knowing that for me at least it was less strong. Testing a joint to it's limits is something we may never encounter in day to day use. I'm just curious is someone else has done comparative testing.
Don't get me wrong, I really want to like the LMI glue and I'm sure it does some things better than than the Titebond. Beyond drying crystal hard, I'm not sure what that is.

Rick Turner
10-02-2011, 10:05 AM
We've probably put together a couple of thousand instruments using LMI white glue somewhere in the construction, and can't say that we've ever had a problem with a failed glue joint that could be attributed to the glue. Bear in mind that we also use hot hide glue, epoxy, and polyurethane glue in various places, too.

What I've learned is that there is no one glue that's right for every joint. If I did have to narrow it down to one glue for wood, though, it would probably be the LMI stuff.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-02-2011, 10:19 AM
I've put together a fair number of instruments using Titebond as well as other glues. Just because they haven't failed doesn't necessarily attest to the strength of the glue. When you are bench testing adhesives or finishes or wood or anything else you are really trying to test it's limits, exposing it to conditions it would never be otherwise. Just because a joint hasn't failed under normal usage isn't good enough for me. I realize that in an instrument you don't always want the strongest bond available but there are instances such as gluing up top and back panels where I do.
So I guess the answer to my question is no. No one else here but me has done side by side tests comparing the strength of Titebond with LMI? Hard to believe. Mind you, I am NOT comparing any of the other characteristics of the glue (hardness, creep, working time, reversibility, failure temperature etc.), just it's strength. And I'm only comparing TWO adhesives. Next tests will be strength tests with HHG.

Timbuck
10-02-2011, 10:39 AM
So I guess the answer is no. No one else but me has done side by side tests comparing the strength of Titebond with LMI.......
Chuck..You did the right thing....You should be a QA engineer :)...in offshore engineering projects we never used any metals or welding rods etc: that had not been to the test house/lab first and witnessed under test by at least 3 independant inspectors.

Allen
10-02-2011, 10:56 AM
I've done ones with HHG. In fact each new bag of glue gets tested as they can and do vary. Not against PVA's mind you. Just testing on typical tonewoods to get a feel for the batch.

Pete Howlett
10-02-2011, 11:01 AM
I don't think this is a question of who is right and who is wrong or the proof being I have built xK instruments. Fine Woodworking did an exhaustive glue test under very scientific conditions with over 160 samples a few years back and blew out of the water the myths surrounding hide glue and the new polyurethanes. Guess which came out top? Titebond Original... I've tried LMII glue and found it no better or worse than Titebond for working with - I have not tested it and won't use it because it's not available here in the UK. So I'll stick with Titebond. It's served me well so far and I don't see a need to change.

Rick Turner
10-02-2011, 11:38 AM
All I'm saying is that in what are probably thousands and thousands of LMI glue joints, I do not have any unusual glue line failures. I do understand that it, like original Titebond, does not tolerate freezing, and if you have the stuff flown over to Hawaii, it's entirely possible that it got frozen in transit.

The LMI glue has proven...in tests here...to be absolutely the best glue we've tried for peghead scarf joints in maple. We do apply glue to both surfaces; we close the glue joint but don't apply clamp pressure for a couple of minutes; we avoid over clamping so as not to starve the glue joint, and we get remarkably strong glue joints across a 13 degree angle with lots of end grain. We also get a good tight glue line.

There are many reasons to choose one glue over another; strength being but one of the reasons. I don't choose glue strictly on glue joint breakage reports or tests.

Michael N.
10-02-2011, 11:51 AM
There is a method to using HHG for it's optimal performance, apart from the usual temperature and gram strength. It's something I learned when someone brought in a Guitar that had a Top crack. It was a solid Top but a cheap instrument and they didn't want to pay for the full job of cleating etc. All I could really do was to run glue in and clamp the best I could, quick 5 minutes. It failed, split within a couple of days. I tried again with exactly the same results. The third time was my last attempt. I know it was still holding a couple of years later.
When I glue my bridges I don't use clamps, just light finger pressure for a couple of minutes. I coat the underside of the bridge and lightly press into position. I then remove and recoat. Same with Back or Top centre joints. I always test any new batch of Hide, with various side to side grain, side to end grain etc. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that sizing with Hide results in a stronger bond. You might not always need that strength but for the more critical parts it's useful to know. For any end grain, sizing is a must.