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Thread: Glue removal - tips n tricks

  1. #1
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    Glue removal - tips n tricks

    Hi brains trust,

    I searched FAQ to on avail, and I have seen comments in various build diaries, etc on getting rid of glue, to ensure even staining, etc. but It'd take me days to find relevant comments again, so......
    Knowing that glue can be a major issue on flame veneer tops, what are the best methods for ensuring minimal damage to the top, whilst ensuring all excess glue is removed?
    I understand about dampening the top with a damp cloth to find glue remnants, but then....?
    Can I scrape off excess?
    Goof off, or Goo gone, or other remover? pros and cons? Do they harm the top in any way?
    Maybe since the builders can't/won't make the top veneer any thicker, to allow for more than cursory sanding, there needs to be a pinned post about the best way to deal with it?!
    I want to be prepared for my first build, which has what appears to be glue excess/bleed, etc, from what I can make out in pics supplied prior to it being shipped.
    I'm not sure of pic limit on this forum, so I'll just select a few to show what I mean. One pics show what appear to be pitting - hopefully it'll sand out....

    Thanks in advance for any assistance!

    Cheers, Ian.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Goof Off is preferable to Goo Gone. They are different products. Goof Off is basically acetone. That, a clean toothbrush and some elbow grease should sort it without damaging the veneer.

    Some small pock marks etc are not uncommon in the veneer and generally are not apparent once it's stained and finished. Remember of course it is a natural material so will not be perfectly uniform. The veneer is about .6mm thick, sometimes even less, so very light sanding is recommended to remove any imperfections. Your pics look about average and better than many I've seen so it should be fine.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG AG-1
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  3. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Goo Gone is more for sticky label residue and is too gentle for these glue marks. Use Goof Off or pure acetone (nail varnish remover acetone often has moisturiser added you don't want).

    Some people use a soft brass 'toothbrush' as it penetrates the wood fibres a bit better than a nylon-bristled one.

    Just be careful with acetone on binding material as it will first soften and then dissolve it (if you get too much on).

    There's a lot that could/should be improved with this forum, but I can't ever see it happening. Some sections should be read-only IMO - like the FAQ area, where answers to FAQs posted elsewhere are edited and collated. As it is, the good answers get drowned out by the general chatter and general enquires posted there. And like most forums using generic forum software, the search engine is pretty useless, which doesn't help.

    If you have the time, you do learn a lot be reading all the posts each day, not just ones on topics you think might be interesting, because so often they may still hold something relevant to your build or guitar knowledge in general.

  4. Liked by: HarmonIser

  5. #4
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    Thanks guys for quick responses...
    So Goof Off, or acetone is the consensus - has anyone used 100% isopropyl alcohol? The reason I ask, is that I don't have acetone (yet), but I have a big bottle of isopropyl, thanks to covid...
    @sonic mountain- I wonder if a tooth brush is just going to spread the glue around? Shouldn't I "mop" it up somehow? Surely there must still be residue, after acetone application? Thanks for building my confidence re the state of my top in the pics - I shudder to think how some tops look then...(rolls eyes)
    @simon, yes, the forum template leaves a bit to be desired, but I guess it is what it is....
    Sadly, not enough time to dedicate to reading all posts, but I am getting through a lot of them!!

  6. #5
    Overlord of Music Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Sure, you'll want to wipe off all the little balls and stuff of glue that come off. Something lint free is a good idea, I use microfibre cloths for all sorts of guitar jobs. The acetone itself will evaporate off pretty quickly. There is not residue that will interact with dyes, stains or any finishing agents. Acetone and variants/mixes of are widely used in paint prep.

    I think the isopropyl alcohol would probably work fine, as Simon said, I'd try and keep it clear of the binding, or wipe it off quickly if it comes into contact.

    Here's one I did about halfway down the page. Just acetone, a toothbrush and a clean rag.

    https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...t=10834&page=3
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 JMA-1
    Build 2 - The Relliecaster TL-1
    Build 3 - The Black Cherry SG AG-1
    Build 4 - The Sonicaster TL-1ish
    Build 5 - The Steampunker Bass YB-4
    Build 6 - The Howling Gowing ST-1

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  7. Liked by: HarmonIser

  8. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Mountain View Post
    I think the isopropyl alcohol would probably work fine, as Simon said, I'd try and keep it clear of the binding, or wipe it off quickly if it comes into contact.

    IPA I suspect won't be as effective. As a solvent, it's fairly weak, and it shouldn't cause any harm to the binding.

  9. Liked by: HarmonIser

  10. #7
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    I donít think IPA will do any harm, but it is very different chemically and a much weaker solvent. Good for grease and general dirt removal. You can try it, but I donít think it will be very effective. But it may do something, so give it a go.

  11. Liked by: HarmonIser

  12. #8
    A preventative tip from woodworking. Apply finish (& allow to dry) before gluing to the surfaces immediately around the glue joint. Keep the glue surfaces raw as normal for glue adhesion. Wipe excess glue from around joint as normal. Applied finish prevents/reduces absorption of glue to timber fibre around joint, makes removal of dried excess glue easier/unnecessary.

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