Messages Archive

Re: A Luthier's Trick
Response To:
Gluing thin panels *PIC* ()

Hank Knight
I learned a trick from a luthier friend for gluing thin panels. 3M makes a stretchy painters tape for the automotive industry. It's light green in color and it's used for pin striping and other applications where the tape must conform to curved surfaces. When gluing up panels from thin stock (like gluing up guitar backs and sound boards), joint the mating edges well. Put them flat on the workbench with the mating edges together and apply 8" - 10" strips of 3M tape perpendicular to the joint about 4" apart, stretching the tape and you apply it. Then apply one strip of tape the entire length of the joint. Flip the assembly over and fold the pieces back like closing a book to expose the mating edges. Apply glue sparingly to the joint. Open the "book" and lay it flat on the bench, tape side down. Apply tape to the new side in the same manner as you did to the other side, stretching the perpendicular pieces as you apply them. Place a weight on the panel to keep it flat. When the glue cures, remove there tape and scrape off any squeeze out. The stretched tape provides enough "clamping" pressure to keep the joint together. It works like a charm and doesn't deform the panel like clamps are prone to do.

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