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As of right now, I have built a heat-gun oven that I used for tempering my beveled strips. I haven't actually measured the temp inside the oven for lack of a reliable thermometer that measures high enough, but I would imagine it generates a temp in the neighborhood of 450 degrees, if the technical data on my heat gun is correct. I’m in a dilemma as far as which glue to use on my first rod. I know that URAC 185 and its equivalents don’t require heat treating, but I also understand that it has a shortish working time.

I guess my question is this - Do the epoxy glues like Epon absolutely require heat treating to obtain a satisfactory bond? And if so, how long would be recommended at approximately 450 to 475 degrees F.? I would really rather use something like Epon or Nyatex, due to the longer working time and shelf life. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciate.  (David Spangler)

    I have tried a number of different glues for gluing blanks and i would only use Titebond II at this point.

    the guys who have been using it for a long time say it holds up well.  It is a joy to work with, relatively speaking.  Clean up is a piece of cake.

    URAC, ughhh...what a mess.

    My 02.  (Patrick Mullen)

      Do you mean Titebond II or Titebond II Extend?  (Todd Talsma)

        I use Titebond II (not extend).  I don't know how much slower the drying time is with the extend product but Titebond II allows plenty of time to bind and straighten before it goes off (in my experience).

        Plus, thanks to some info I got from guys on this list, it can be considered fully cured in less than 24 hours.

        That was a huge plus to me this past weekend as I was working on a bit of a deadline.  (Patrick Mullen)

      You're not concerned about the low heat-resistance Titebond has? Personally, I'll use it for gluing wood but to me its just not good enough for a cane rod that will get as much flexure as it does. IMHO, might be good in the short run but having to deal with a messy cleanup is just the price of using a strong glue to me.  (Bill Walters)

        I'm gonna yield to some of the guys who probably have more experience than I do on this question.

        Because until you brought it up, it never crossed my mind.

        What do you call 'low heat resistance'?  (Patrick Mullen)

          To lose structural integrity.  In other words, if you're doing any heat-straightening after gluing you're probably weakening the the glue bond and you might experience a failure down the road. I know a few guys that use this glue but   are   real   careful   not    to    have    to    do    any heat-straightening. If you don't have to heat straighten or are real careful how much heat you apply then you'll be OK. You also need to use a good varnish and if its spar then you need to wax the rod. This glue is only water resistant, not waterproof. My mentor, couple of years ago was using this glue and swore by it because its not a toxic glue but when I watched him I noticed he didn't do any heat straightening, his techniques got the rod straight by the time he was finished. Also, if you're using the Titebond II in the yellow/amber colored bottle, the woodworker's glue, then I'm surprised that you have enough open time. Maybe you just work fast.

          Anyway, the above is the reason I won't use it.  (Bill Walters)

            Actually, I have never heat straightened a rod yet.

            The Titebond II allows me to torque the little bit that I might need to but all in all my rods are pretty straight right out of the binder.

            I was thinking 200 degrees, geez, I'll never go near that temp. Even if I leave it in my car in Phoenix in August.

            So, I guess the answer is, no, I'm not worried at all about it.

            But thanks for the explanation.  I'll keep you posted if things go awry and I say, "I shouldda listened to Bill"..  (Patrick Mullen)

              In light of what you've said and others replies I think I'll reconsider and try at least one section with Titebond for a tip replacement and see how it hangs together. Its good to try new things, just didn't think anyone was using Titebond.  (Bill Walters)

              I recall a few years ago that someone was heat treating a section glued with Titebond II and forgot it was in the oven. The section had turned black but the glue was still holding. I'm sure it's in the archives somewhere.

              I should do a destructive heat test on one of my reject sections. (Darryl Hayashida)

        You are right.  The Titebond does have a lower heat resistance. However, I used "regular" Titebond to glue my first few rods. Here's my experience. I glued only one section at a time. I also made sure to pay close attention to getting my strips as straight as possible immediately after glue up. This allowed me to use less heat straightening processes. Now for a short story:

        I glued my first rod up with Titebond. The rod has been abused on purpose. Soaked it in the river. Flexed dangerously, and many weighted wooly buggers thrown on it! This is all on a 7 4/5 weight! The rod has shown no signs of any problems at all. I even went to the point of stripping it down for all new hardware and cosmetics about a year ago. I had placed the rod in my lathe and was working on it and goofed and severely twisted the rod right at the beginning of the cork handle.  When I looked closely at the rod the glue was still intact and the rod  was twisted two flats in the wrong direction!

        Regretfully the twist stayed and I doubt I could remove it. But I know now the glue works well enough in terms of strength.  However, I must say that I now use URAC on all my rods. I like the action a bit better and I feel better using a proven glue on customers rods. In short, I think Titebond is okay for your first few personal rods. Just use caution when heat straightening your blanks. As we all should on any blank. Ever lost focus and scorched a blank?  (Randall Gregory)

          Interesting, 'cause I have noticed a bit different 'action' in rods on which I glued with URAC.  How would you describe that difference? Initially, I was going to say more rubbery or elastic feeling with the URAC.  But, I would have to test cast two identical rods (if that is possible) at least two of the same taper, one glued with URAC and one with Titebond.  (Patrick Mullen)

        I have to disagree. Titebond II E. is heat resistant (says it right on the bottle). I heat straighten now the same as when I used URAC and never had a problem. I also edge glued  some 1/2" pine and torched it for an extended period (to a crisp)of time without glue failure. I love the stuff.  (Marty DeSapio)

        I used Titebond II on a few rods 8 years ago, one of them is my own rod I use most of the time. No problems yet. Someone on this list uses regular Elmer's white glue, I haven't heard him say he has had any problems either.  (Darryl Hayashida)

          My first ten or twelve rods were glued up with Elmer's Exterior Carpenters glue. Rod # 1 has been in use for over four years now and no problems. I am sure if the rod was soaked in water for a long period of time, it would delaminate. Mine has been fished in heavy rain several times and also dunked a couple of times. Still no problems. There was more than enough time to bind and straighten before setting up. I do not advocate using the Elmer's for rods that you might make to sell. I have now gone to Epon but don't like using it because it is messy. Why did I go to an Epoxy glue, I got some funny looks when I said I glued it up with Elmer's.

          Several list members cast the rod at Crooked Creek last October on a fishing outing.  (Tony Spezio)

            I cast Tony's rod out there and it was one sweet casting rod.  Didn't know he used Elmer's.  (Bret Reiter)

            The varnish doesn't allow water to come in direct contact with the glue. Also remember that the hide glue used in the past was even less waterproof than Elmer's white glue. I'm sure rods got fished in the rain and dunked back then.  (Darryl Hayashida)

              The reason I said that it would delaminate is a test I did.  It may not of been a real good test as the cutoff just had several coats of Tung Varnish on it and no finish varnish. My first two rods were finished that way. I took the "cut off" and placed it in a container of water for a week. After the week was up I was able to place my fingernail between the sections and split the strips apart. 

              Real technical test. LOL

              To be honest with you, I would still rather use the Elmer's than the Epon because of less mess.  (Tony Spezio)

              In an old Luthier magazine I saw an article on how to make hide glue relatively waterproof -- the same article had the old violin varnish recipes and a recipe for copal varnish.

              The real issue when it comes to glue should not be the degree to which a glue is water proof, but the glue's ability to withstand shear, or sliding or creep.  Hide glue does a good job against creep, and according to those tests in the fancy woodworking magazines, hide glue does a better job against creep and has better shear strength than Titebond II.  By the way, this is the hide glue made in a pot using hide glue crystals or beads -- NOT the hide glue in a bottle which is only marginally better than Elmer’s.  The finish you put on a rod should be good enough to protect hide or most any other glue from moisture.  Storing your rod in the trunk of a car in August is another story, however.  (Chris Lucker)

                All figures for hide glues are at a given temperature and humidity/moisture content level. When well doused the stuff is almost liquid, when dry as a bone its brittle beyond belief. You need to store these rods in very controlled climate conditions indeed or delamination WILL occur!  (Robin Haywood)

                On the other hand, I have my father's Heddon Expert (Made for Sears about 1950), which was never used, still had the plastic on the grip when I got it.  The bag has deteriorated, the rod was kept in its tube in the house where it got at least to 90° for long periods in a closed house with no A/C.  No sign of delamination.  I wouldn't keep it in a hot car in August though.  (Neil Savage)

                It does not sound like you have used hide glue before, or you did not cook it correctly, or you had bad gluing surfaces.

                Here is a constructive suggestion to anyone who is interested in using REAL hide glue made up in a pot.  Call Luthier's Mercantile at 707-433-1823 (they have a toll free ORDER number which is 800-477-4437).  They sell hide glue and the glue pots as well as modern glues.  They will tell you from an expert standpoint why antique guitars now strung with steel strings under hundreds of pounds of pressure and not in controlled environments don't fall apart.  They can tell you the good and bad of hide glue and why it is used today in some very expensive instruments whose makers need to protect their reputations, and why some do not use it.

                By the way, my rods don't fall apart.  Also, I don't care if I persuade anyone to use hide glue or not.  But I would like folks to get good information from good sources.  Call Luthier's Mercantile -- they sell different kinds of glue, so they have no bias.

                Robin, you can call a local luthier.  (Chris Lucker)

                  I started tinkering with rods in 1960, most built cane rods were assembled with hide glue, as urea-formaldehyde was very much a new fangled wartime invention for sticking aircraft together. Yi, but such aircraft! This was generally hide glue without the considerable improving properties of a shot of casein; or milk, in some barbaric corners of this land.  Consequently it behaved like all animal glues, it disliked moisture, that’s wrong, i think it was rather hygroscopic, since it absorbed it rather readily. If dry and cold it became brittle and cracked away from the substrate. I've still got some here that will do it on demand. Modern hide glues probably contain an additive pack to curb these antisocial tendencies, it would not be hard to formulate: but if they do not they cannot help displaying the unattractive (for rod making) properties I have mentioned. These hide   glues   were   stewed    in    a bain-marie, and applied with a brush, fine for interior woodwork as cheap and good at penetrating the work piece without staining. They were never great gap fillers, and as I have now over labored, far too sensitive to moisture and temperature if used direct from the animal, so to speak.  (Robin Haywood)

                  I would like to see a description of your gluing procedure with hide glue. Is it pretty much the same as with other glues, except for preparing the stuff?  (Steve Weiss)

                  I don't use hide glue to fill gaps in my fly rods -- nor did my Grandfather in his rods.  I don't know about my Mom -- she only made a few trolling rods but even her rods  never fell apart in the rainy wet days in British Columbia waters.

                  If you are concerned about gap filling properties, I really don't think debating glues is your answer.  I would look at improving your mill, or if you are a hand planer, doing whatever hand planers do to get better.  (Chris Lucker)

                    I didn’t say that I was concerned about gap filling, I merely pointed out that animal glues generally were not particularly good at it, since some people would rather have a glue line than a void.  Within reason, so would I.

                    I also pointed out the other far more serious deficiencies of animal glues, upon which subjects you appear to have suddenly become silent.  (Robin Haywood)

                      I referred folks to Luthier's Mercantile -- their guitar building staff are third party experts on the benefits and deficiencies of hide glues.  I thought that resource would be more productive to the Forum than you and I arguing back and forth about glue.  The Forum doesn't know who we are, the depth of our experience, or our motivation for posting.

                      Luthier's Mercantile can answer hide glue questions.  They sell hide glue and alternatives. 
                      (707) 433-1823.  (Chris Lucker)

                        All very true, but it is very necessary to add the old engineering caveat that there are no bad materials, just bad applications. I mention this because the two applications in  discussion, fishing rods and musical instruments, are likely to be very different indeed in their demands on  an adhesive.  (Robin Haywood)

                          The comparison is valid.

                          I think shear is the greatest concern in a fly rod as the strips are compressed and stretched every time the rod is bent and there are forces trying to make the strips slide on their glue joints.  In a steel string guitar, shear is the biggest force as well.  The bridge of a steel string guitar is subjected to about 200 pounds of tension -- a force that is trying to rip the little 1 inch by 4 inch ebony piece right off the top of the guitar.  Look at the top of a 90 year old Martin that was made for gut strings but has been long strung with steel.  More often than not, the top will resemble as ocean swell as the top is being pulled up and toward the neck -- but the bridge joint stays intact.  (Chris Lucker)

                      There are now no deficiencies (serious or otherwise) in hide glues, provided one uses the best commercially available luthier's products.  There are additives to promote (or to retard) tack-time, additives to make it waterproof, and additives to defeat bacteria growth.

                      Unfortunately, the downside to hide glue for rodmakers is its user unfriendliness.  It must be dissolved, forming a thick gel, and stored in a refrigerator.  Smaller portions can then be measured out and dissolved again to a proper consistency and the additives mixed in (weights and measures are critical).  The whole formula then must be brought to a certain temperature in a special glue pot and held there while being used, and the rod sections themselves must also be kept warm.  Tack-time is more rapid than other glues, so straightening also becomes problematic.

                      Nevertheless, all said, there is no wood glue on earth that yields greater strength than a properly prepared hide glue, an issue that is beyond the matter of mere opinion.  It was so hundreds of years ago, and despite the high-tech advances with various other modern adhesives, it remains so today. Now, whether or not one cares to mess with the stuff is another issue altogether. (Bill Harms)

                        Bill, you forgot to mention the smell.

                        Actually the tack helps in rod making as it is easier to keep the rod strips nested when binding.  (Chris Lucker)

                        Aah! As I suspected, the appliance of science has house trained the stuff, except that the preparation and use hassles remain, although not that serious, in reality. Naturally its easier if one is using it most days, the one rod a quarter man will no doubt be offput! I don’t have relevant figures for shear strengths, but I have so far not come across any glue that is NOT strong enough, unless subjected to conditions it was not designed to withstand, obviously.  (Robin Haywood)

                      This is both perfectly true and to the point.  Before Borden's came out with their "Carpenter's Glue,"  I used the regular white stuff (nearly 30 years ago) to make a couple rods.  I don't care for their tapers any longer, but I still use them from time to time, and the glue remains perfectly adequate.

                      While hide glue may be the strongest of all the wood glues, it doesn't follow that therefore we must use it.  For our purposes, any of the glues recommended on this list are fine (notwithstanding, apparently, the special needs in scarfing a nodeless rod).  (Bill Harms)

                        The reason I use hide glue is that I laminate 0.070 - 0.075 of bamboo with VG Port Orford Cedar and I use resorcinol or URAC for the lamination.  To assemble my strips, I use hide glue.  When I heat the rod section to straighten my crooked work, I soften the blank glue lines before the lamination glue lines loosen.  (Chris Lucker)

        I have been using Titebond II Extend since 2000 and I have had NO problems except one time when I used too much heat in trying to straighten a tip.  The glue expanded slightly and I got some glue lines.  Since then I have been more careful when I straighten.  The rods seem to be plenty strong and I like the way that they cast.  It is possible that other glues have absolutely no drawbacks, but I don't know of any.   (Hal Manas)

    Go with the Nyatex; even though it’s a two part glue its real easy to use, gives a very comfortable working time and even though you apparently don't need to heat treat it both Cattanach and Howell recommend doing so at a reduced temp for about 3 hours: I have had good success with this method for the several rods I have made to date.  (David Haidak)

    I have been a user of Titebond II extend on all my rods, I have used heat to straighten and have not had problems. Ralph Moon advised me as to how to do this and the bottom line is, you want it warm not hot to the touch. To get the feel of how to do this I tested it on cutoffs of various sizes. Then went to my blank. I am going to try other glues on the same rod tapers to see how the action is affected as part of my learning process.  (Bill Bixler)


Is there any benefit to heating a blank for a few hours at low temperature after gluing with Titebond II Extend?

After reading up on the Glues section on this web site, I chose Titebond II Extend for my first rod. My local Woodcraft store even has it in stock. I found it very nice to work with. The working time of about 30 minutes allowed me to spread, wrap, and straighten without rushing. I wore rubber gloves while wrapping, but took them off for straightening. By the time I got to straightening, I didn't need the gloves anymore because the glue had dried to a light tack.

I hung it up for several days to dry, although it was probably completely set within 24-48 hours. The binding string came off easily and it sanded down without any trouble.

Now that I've finished sanding to final dimensions, do I need to heat treat again at a low temperature? I know some of the other glues require you to heat at about 100-150 for several hours to heat-cure, but I didn't think this was necessary with Titebond II Extend. Are there any benefits to heat treating at this point? If so, how long, what temperature and why?  (Mike Ealy)

    I use Titebond and the rumor is that hear will loosen the glue. I can't think of a good reason to reheat, the glue doesn't need it. I have applied heat to straighten after 24 hours but in specific spots - not in the oven.  (Rich McGaughey)

    I have used Titebond II on about 10 rods. I would not subject them to any heat above 150 degrees or so. They will cure in a warm cabinet just fine on their own. My cabinet is 90-100 degrees and they come out fine.  (Bob Maulucci)

    The nice thing about Titebond II is that there is no need to wear gloves at any point during gluing. Titebond II is fully cured in 24 hours without additional heat. Most important, make sure the glue and all materials are at or above 60 degrees F before gluing.  (Marty DeSapio)


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