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HIDE GLUE


Jim Wilson
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Good question with no definitive answer that I can find. According to the Titebond website, their original aliphatic resin wood glue has been in use "for more than 60 years", which implies that it at least dates to 1960.

But the question is "when did Gibson start using it?" I haven't identified anything even remotely definitive on this.

Gibson production took off during the folk boom of the 1960s, according to Fabulous Flat Tops, and there were serious backlogs in orders by the late 1960s. In 1969, ECL (later known as Norlin) bought the company, and the corporate culture changed, with focus shifting to high  productivity. 

With absolute nothing to back this up, a reasonable guess  would be that the shift to aliphatic resin glue happened sometime during the Norlin era, since aliphatic resin glue is more forgiving and less labor-intensive to use than traditional hide glue.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Titebond.  I have used original Titebond for non-marine purposes (since it isn't waterproof) such as household and furniture projects in the past, as well as Titebond Premium (crosslinked PVA). I now use Titebond Ultimate (proprietary polymer) for those same purposes, and sometimes for non-critical marine purposes. Furnituremakers who are not purists using traditional materials very often use one of these Titebond glues.

Titebond also makes a urea-modified liquid hide glue, which they claim is particularly suited for "antique repair and the repair of musical instruments." I have not used this, and the guy who works on my guitars turns up his nose at it.

I hope someone here can actually answer your question. Forgive my diversion from it.

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