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Best glue for plastic / wood combination

Total Topics: 8
Total Posts: 10 that the end graft is cut (thanks everyone), here's the next question:

The end graft is wood, bordered on the long sides by plastic that matches the binding, so I have the usual wood-to-plastic gluing situation. I'm also using a combination of plastic binding and wood purfling on hte spruce top. What would be the best glue to use where these materials need to be glued to each other?

Stew Mac recommends Weld On, and I've seen comments about using CA, but frankly I don't like the idea of the solvent-based glues softening the plastic - just doesn't sound like a good idea to me ( but what do I know....that's why I'm asking here ).

Can I get a general consensus (read: opinions) as to what glue would be the best, in terms of adhesion, for plastic-to-wood situations such as bindings/purflings and end grafts and also whatever precautions are necessary with that particular type glue?


Apr 05, 07 | 4:36 am
Dennis Weatherly

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 651
I just finished my first binding job, which was all plastic binding. But it's still plastic-to-wood joints. I was also gluing multiple plastic strips together, so I needed a good bond for both plastic-to-plastic and plastic-to-wood. I ended up using Weld-On and it worked very well. It did soften the various plastic pieces, but not to the point that it was a problem. I also used a trick from the Taylor video library - after applying the Weld-On and pulling the binding into place, I wiped the binding firmly with a paper towel to a) push it tightly into place and b) quickly remove the extra glue.

Taylor's binding video shows that they use a 3M adhesive (they don't mention the specific product) for most binding work, but they also use CyA for very tight bends (like cutaways). It is a nice demo of basic binding techniques.

Apr 05, 07 | 7:42 am

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
I personally like using CA glue with plastic bindings. I tried Weldon on a plastic heal graft and didn't like it at all. It melted the plastic enough to make the surface deform. I had to do a ton of sanding and leveling to get it flat. After that, I didn't dare try it on bindings. I tape the binding in place with 1" gaps between tape pieces. Then flood the open spaces with CA. Once it is cured, I move the tape over to the glued places and then flood the open spaces with CA. One thing though, make sure you seal the end grain of the soundboard with shelac before doing anything. The CA will wick in and stain the wood.

I found this method in a couple of other forums and everyone who tries it once, swears by it. I know I will only do plastic bindings this way in the future.

My Blog

Apr 05, 07 | 10:46 am
Dennis Weatherly

Total Topics: 73
Total Posts: 651
I also sealed the binding ledges with shellac before gluing on the bindings. I think that's a good idea no matter what glue you use. I see no problem with the CA approach and it would definitely be faster and less messy.

But I've used CA for literally decades on RC model airplanes and have developed a sensitivity to it. I just can't handle more than a little exposure to the stuff anymore. I also have a nasty reaction to CA accelerators, and have had that from the very first time I tried them. So now I stay away from CA if at all possible.

Apr 05, 07 | 11:25 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
If you are useing adironack or red spruce stay away for CA ,it will turn yellow over time with that for some reason. I found good ole DUCO cement to work well with the wood-plastic combo.
On another forum I read about tite bond and a method to glue up with that , and I will say that while at first it seemed to do a great job , 2 years later I had to rebind all the guitars I did as the binding came off after the glue separated off the plastic. Tite bond just don't work with plastic for the long haul.

John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars

Apr 05, 07 | 5:05 pm

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
I read about the titebond method too. It said to wipe the binding with acetone to cause it to start to melt and glue with titebond. I did a test piece and it was easy to pop off the wood. Needless to say, I scrapped that idea. It's good to hear about the Adi spruce and CA. I am building an OOO right now with Adi spruce and was thinking about using CA for the rosette. I guess I will be using the LMI glue instead.

My Blog

Apr 05, 07 | 5:39 pm
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
I am not a fan of sealing any edges when gluing. For glue to have the best bond you want a clean wood to wood or wood to plastic surface. ANy sealer will not allow that chemical bond to happen.
I have been helping people build for a number of years and heard of the practice and din't condone it. I have seen joints fail over time and it often is because of these techniques that often cause the problem. Acetone based glues will react to schellac and this lets a residue. Though you seem to have a good bond in the interm , over time the bond fails.
Duco will have you , if you read the lable do a seal using itself. I did that in the early years and generated to a glue and wipe with duco as CF Martin does in thier building with sound results and no failures .
Find a technique that has been proved and one that works for you.
john hall

Apr 08, 07 | 3:03 pm

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Total Posts: 19
If you are going to use CA glue with spruce, I HIGHLY recommend sealing, as the glue will soak into the end grain causing something similar to the 'yellowing' that BCG was talking about. Both CA glue and the various solvent glues have acetone in it and bonds quite well to shellac, so it shouldn't be a problem as far as sealing with a thin cut to fill the end grain. Obviously don't goop the joint with shellac, the trick is a 1/2lb or so cut, just to SEAL the wood pores, not coat the channel. You can even scuff sand the channel a bit afterwards if you like. This isn't really necessary on maple or other hardwoods, in my experience.

If you use the other glues, it's not really an issue, but I do like CA, especially on mandolins around the scroll. Tightbond with plastic bindings just isn't a good alternative, over the long haul. You need something that can 'bite' into the plastic, which is why most use an acetone based product (alot of people make 'binding goo' out of acetone and scrap binding material -- especially for miters)

With wood bindings, tightbond is obviously fine.

Apr 13, 07 | 6:54 am

Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 2
Check out the product called ROO-GLUE

Apr 16, 07 | 5:37 pm

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