Reply by dfdye

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Posted on What type of Glue for Ebony to Hickory

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372 posts in 3060 days

#1 posted 12-31-2010 08:42 AM

If it is an inlay, why not use CA? It won’t have to do anything but hold the ebony in place, right? That seems like it would work just fine. I do know that instruments often use hide glue between ebony finger boards and other species, so a I would bet that a liquid hide glue would work fine for this application, but this is just speculation. The joint doesn’t need to be that strong for an inlay, so I doubt that there will be too much of a problem with whatever glue you do use.

For a structural applications, polyurethane glues (Gorilla Glue) will work for just gluing just about anything to anything else, but the cleanup and difficulty clamping would probably make me avoid it for inlay work. Never have tried, quite honestly.

Sitting here thinking about it, though, there shouldn’t be a problem for the Titebond III. Think about it like this, even if the ebony is “non-porous,” it isn’t so non-porous that it can’t absorb moisture! If you don’t believe me, wet the surface and see if it raises the grain. Even though the pores are small and not really that noticeable (which is why we love ebony), the “micro-porosity” is plenty for the Titebond to “grip” and form a solid bond. The “non-porous” problematic materials that you want to avoid with wood glues are things like plastics, metals and glass that are not porous on the microscopic scale. Ebony definitely has porosity at this scale, or else the tree would not be able to pass nutrients and water through the wood. Honestly, the only issue I would ever think about Titebond having would be with really oily woods, but after thinking about it, I have never heard any instrument makers complain of ebony causing problems after glue-up. I would just use the Titebond and be done with it. I think somebody somewhere is over analyzing things.

PS I just read back through the comments and realized I didn’t actually add anything. Oh well! :)

-- David from Indiana --

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