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I have a question about glue. I usually use PU glue, from a European brand, usually Bisin kit or recta vit. Occasionally slow curing epoxy from Araldite. I have also read on the list about Elmers glue. I suppose this is regular white wood glue? Is this a good glue? Which are the advantages and disadvantages? Anybody using it? I usually make nodeless, so, is it also good for gluing up splines?? The dog recently destroyed my last bottle of PU glue and I am looking for an alternative since getting a new bottle here may take a while.  (Geert Poorteman)

    lmer's is a brand name, not a specific kind of glue.  The first Elmer's Glue I remember (about 1952) was a white glue, and not waterproof. I think most rodmakers who use "Elmer's" today are either using a yellow glue -- aliphatic resin -- or Elmer's PU glue.  They also used to make a resorcinol, though I haven't seen it in a store in several years.  Hope this helps.  I don't know what types of glue are available to you.  (Neil Savage)

      I do have a white 'wood glue' here. Anybody using something like this? Didn't I read somewhere that a classic rod making company used a white 'wood glue'. At the shop they told me it was very good. LOL  I just glued up three handles with it, which it will probably be OK for.  (Geert Poorteman)

        Remember though that the "classic rodmaking companies also used intermediate wraps. . .

        My dad glued a couple of boards together with white glue and left them outside.  They came apart.  Probably it is fine for handles though.  (Neil Savage)

          Well, if you're in the habit of of storing your rods outside, in the elements, with no protective finish, then I guess white glue would be a poor choice.

          Really, I think all the emphasis on completely waterproof glues is silly.  I can't help but think of all those beautiful old rods built prior to WWII  (and even  after in some cases) that were glued up with animal protein glues.  Stuff that's selling for big bucks now, like rods from Leonard, Payne, Thomas, and E.C. Powell, for instance.  Those rods are fishing as well today as the they ever did.  They seem to die from breakage rather than catastrophic delamination.  And intermediate wraps had been dispensed with, by far and larger, by the 30's.  I suspect that's because the makers realized  they were superfluous.  Here's a fact: good hide glue is superior to most of the "waterproof" glues we use in terms of sheer, tensile, peel, and cleavage strength, and has better creep resistance. 

          If you might be interested in giving hide glue a try, look up "Old Brown Glue".  It's a high quality hide glue, made in small batches, modified with a bit of urea to make it liquid at 80 degrees.  Yep, a high quality LIQUID hide glue.  I'm using this on the batch of rods I'm planing out now.   (Bill Benham)

            I basically agree with you, but have avoided hide glue because of the  inconvenience of using the  "real" stuff, and the suspicion that the  available liquid hide glues were inferior. I hope you will share your  experiences. One of the other advantages of hide glue is the ability  to straighten at low temperatures. I have heard that Leonard used it  for a long time for that very reason. Keep us posted.  (Tom Smithwick)

              My Dear Rod Making Friends,

              I want to caution all of you on the dangers of using some brands of adhesives.

              I have used EPON for years and think it's a great glue for fly rods. However it's powerful stuff. Whenever I glue a rod I always seem to get some glue on my hands no  matter what precautions I take, and I know that I must have absorbed some of those chemicals into my system.

              I switched to Titebond about a year ago. I like Titebond and strongly recommend it.

              About the time I changed glues I noticed I wasn't feeling well, so I visited the doctor. The diagnosis was a rare form of cancer.

              I can't say with certainty that it's cause was Epon but I believe it so.

              My rod building days are pretty much finished, but I beg you dear friends to be cautious in your choice of adhesives.  (Mark Dyba)

                Thank you for the strong warning. Sorry to hear about your cancer. To be honest with you that was one of the other concerns I had about glues. The last time I used URAC I had gotten it on my hands and my ears were ringing the next day. I think that was attributed to by the glue being absorbed thru my pores. We cannot be too careful in the rod building trade when it comes to turning exotic woods, bluing  chemicals, glues, etc. etc.  (Mark Heskett)

                  Given the danger (known and unknown) of various chemicals, including glue, it seems to me to be sensible to use some kind of protective   barrier.     I    got    over 2,000,000 (million) hits on "protective hand cream" just now.  Latex gloves are cheap and readily available in the US, though I can't speak for the rest of the world.  Nitrile gloves are only slightly more expensive and are a lot more resistant to solvents.  I find I can use a pair several times if I'm careful.  Hearing protection and protective eye wear are important when using power tools, and the eye protection is also important when using chemicals and finishes.  (I worked in a physics lab for a couple of years and I used to find solder splashes on my glasses regularly.  Not a chemical per se, but it could have been a real problem if I hadn't been wearing them.)  I could go on, and on, and..., but it's all been said before.  (Neil Savage)

                    I wore protective gloves. I don't care how careful you are, you're going to get some of that stuff on you. What I want the guys to understand is that not all glues are dangerous. Stay away from those that are.  (Mark Dyba)

                      I understand your point.  I've said more than once on this list that there are a number of professional boat builders who can't use certain products no matter how much protective gear they wear.

                      My point, and maybe I wasn't completely clear, is that things we consider "safe" may in fact not be.  IBM told us for years that the noise of high-speed printers wasn't dangerous.  I guess that's why I only lost PART of my hearing.  Chemicals like we used for solvents were "safe" too, but they aren’t  now.   Like 1,1,1 Trichloroethane, which we ordered and used by the  gallon.   (Neil Savage)

                Epoxy resins and hardeners can produce sensitivity in many people after long term exposure. Many workers and hobbyists in boatbuilding are now restricted in their use of epoxies due to acquired allergies (see here).  I can no longer use Acraglas due to severe skin sensitivity, after years of using it without any problems.

                The use of protective equipment is very important, avoiding skin contact and especially sanding dust. The resins can migrate through latex and vinyl gloves, Nitrile appears to offer the best protection. There are also some studies that show that the use of solvents to remove uncured resin actually drives the resin deeper into the skin and though the gloves.

                It is very important to reduce exposure to any of the chemicals we use at work or play. If I had been more careful in the past I probably would not have problems now.   (Harry Walters)

                  I agree that Nitrile gloves are the best match for many solvents and adhesives. I was in the space industry for 17 years and supervised techs handling a variety of adhesives and solvents. We used to ignore warnings and just use the stuff. I'm now in chemo for lymphoma. whether they are related I do not know, however I now use protection when handling or breathing around these items. While latex glove are cheap and do offer some protection they are actually very porous to a number of solvents and may even completely dissolve. Nitrile and neoprene have much better solvent resistance.

                  MSDSs are available from all manufactures and even as hobbyists we should try to obtain them and understand what we are using. What you don't know can cause serious health and even death if we are not careful.   (David Boedeker)

                    I don't remember who said it, or where I saw it (maybe on this list?) but the quote as I remember was "If you can smell it, you probably shouldn't breathe it."  (Neil Savage)

    I used "Elmer Exterior Carpenters Glue"  for my first ten rods or so, it was all I could find in my area. Carsten Jorgenson told me that is the type of glue he had been using so I went  with it. None of the rods have come apart. rod # 1 is now going on eight years and has over 3000 fish caught in it. On occasion I have also used Titebond 2. Short working time for both.  (Tony Spezio)

      I've been using Titebond II extended for my rods (Except for a hollow built.) I like the ease of clean up.     However the working time is a problem.  I called the company and was told that Titebond III actually has a longer working time than Titebond II extended -- 7 to 10 minutes.   However this can be extended by adding no more than 5% water to the glue.

      My next rod will use Titebond III.  (Terry Kirkpatrick)


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