Ply Drums Glue?

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Been pondering the use of glue in Ply drums, I'm no expert on lay ups or building techniques so ill leave all that alone. The Experts can chime in on that if they wish.. It seems in the Guitar world at least the use of Animal Hide Glue is Touted as Vintage correct and Acoustically helpful .. Wondering if a quality wood ply lay up used these glues if anyone would think it will make a positive difference? Can of Worms Opened..
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
SONOR states they have a proprietary glue used to make their shells-seems I recollect from a video of their factory. I think Tama also has a proprietary glue as does Pearl. I'm curious of Keller shells but everyone seems tight lipped with the glue??
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
SONOR states they have a proprietary glue used to make their shells-seems I recollect from a video of their factory. I think Tama also has a proprietary glue as does Pearl. I'm curious of Keller shells but everyone seems tight lipped with the glue??

The "proprietary" glue.

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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
no t afraid to ask. I recall solid body guitar construction * ( Gibson ) 50s used Hide Glue and Formaldahyde I think. The Gurus seem to think this was part of the Magic Formula.. So what is the Magic Formula for Drums? Seems the same attributes would apply to drums as an acoustic instrument.. Seems like the Ply tribe like to dismiss the construction methods of solid shell but fail to own up on ply construction.. Wonder what a Solid Shell Brazilian Rosewood Drum would sound like..
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
So I gather older glues were urea or resorcinol /formaldehyde based glues in drums and now polyvinyl acetate can be used? I presume the glue just doesn’t hold wood together but enters pores and bonds wood?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm not going to pretend to know about the glue Pearl uses in their shells, but I do know that once the wood is under pressure in the form they heat it to boil the glue for an even distribution and complete saturation throughout the whole entire shell. This way it isnt just sticking the plys together, rather the glue penetrates the plys completely and adds to the rigidity of the shell. They also scarf joint each ply before it goes into the mold to help with full bonding and evenness throughout the shell.
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I work for a violin maker, and we use hide glue for nearly everything because it is, among other things, completely reversible. You can take apart a 200 yr old violin using heat and moisture, and return it to precisely what it was before. I'm sure that's why guitar makers use it.

But plywood is different. For one thing, you never want to reverse it. We have a proprietary glue, and I definitely can't share the details.
In choosing your adhesive, consider what plywood needs to do. The grain is usually rotated so that no ply is expanding in the same direction as the layer next to it. It makes the instrument very stable, way beyond a solid wood instrument. Fully carved ( meaning solid wood) instruments can move and change shape if you look at them funny, plywoods can withstand school district combat environments where humidification and care are at best afterthoughts. So look for something that flows thin and hardens strong. With hide glue it's either thin or strong, depending on how much water you use. Never both, so not the right adhesive for ply.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I get the notion of flowing thin and hardening strong but either glue could be used with the notion in mind that you would not want to take it apart. The reason I brought this up is some say as hide glue glue hardens and ages the crystalline nature actually enhances resonance and tone.. seems the main reason for glued ply is stability not tone. or if this is all nonsense and the builders of yore would now debunk the animal glues for the modern stuff. Marketing ploy could go something like this. Our drums are built with the Full Gorilla!
 
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rhumbagirl

Senior Member
Every thing you wanted to know about drum construction glue, but were afraid to ask.

I just did a quick one-hour read and came away with Tite Bond 3 as the most recommended (for cracks at least). I have a snare that I bought used with a crack in it and I'm looking at trying to squeeze some glue into and clamping it down with a form-fitting jig I'll have to make. The drum doesn't rattle (yet) so it's not a high priority project for me.

I also have a tom that has plies separating, but again doesn't affect the structural integrity.

EDIT: The process seems to be to (all easier said then done):
(a) drill a 1/16th hole into the shell to the depth of the crack, or just shy of the thickness of the shell, then
(b) put your glue into a needle syringe
(c) lay the shell onto worktable, with the crack at the bottom; insert a small block under the shell and
(d) apply pressure at the top of the shell to open the crack, while applying the glue to the drilled hole
(e) release pressure and apply the clamping jig
 
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Morrisman

Platinum Member
I remember a Brady rep once saying that the glue in a Brady kit costs more than some other complete kits. Ludwig’s ‘radio frequency’ treatment is a bit like a microwave oven - heating and melting the glue inside the drum. Some use heat, some use pressure, some use both. Everyone has their special formula and system.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
So I gather older glues were urea or resorcinol /formaldehyde based glues in drums and now polyvinyl acetate can be used? I presume the glue just doesn’t hold wood together but enters pores and bonds wood?
That is exactly what wood glue does. Gluing the ends of boards/wood is an issue because like a handful of straws the glue is absorbed up into the fibers and doesn't cause the required action.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Would Tite Bond III be considered thin?
I don't see the viscosity listed on TiteBonds web site. I use Titebond only for my woodworking and can tell you that once dried and cured wood will break along the face before the joint will break. Titebond lll is listed and certified waterproof, and therefore is expensive compared to other Titebond choices. Titebond ll is water resistant. Quick drying is also available.
 
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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I just did a quick one-hour read and came away with Tite Bond 3 as the most recommended (for cracks at least). I have a snare that I bought used with a crack in it and I'm looking at trying to squeeze some glue into and clamping it down with a form-fitting jig I'll have to make. The drum doesn't rattle (yet) so it's not a high priority project for me.

I also have a tom that has plies separating, but again doesn't affect the structural integrity.

EDIT: The process seems to be to (all easier said then done):
(a) drill a 1/16th hole into the shell to the depth of the crack, or just shy of the thickness of the shell, then
(b) put your glue into a needle syringe
(c) lay the shell onto worktable, with the crack at the bottom; insert a small block under the shell and
(d) apply pressure at the top of the shell to open the crack, while applying the glue to the drilled hole
(e) release pressure and apply the clamping jig

YES ! This is correct. It is exactly what I did with a cracked bass drum.

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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Doesn't Tama have some kind of "sonic" glue-probably they are all commercially available glues-I doubt drum companies make them-maybe they do. I had the impression that glues used in repairs weren't the same or same grade as used in making shell but I wager I'm wrong. Still you have to know what you're doing. One of the big industries in my home town was the timber mill. They had huge stacks to burn the sawdust till Weyerhauser came in with the first particle board plant and they would use the sawdust. Well the community was supportive and excited to try it-sadly it was crap and discussions of what kind of glue dominated the discussion for months. They used "spit or Elmer's glue" no it was "sugar coated" that's why it falls apart when wet, etc. It was crazy. The closed plant is still there LOL.
 

wraub

Well-known member
Besides the violin maker part, I was just about to say this. ;)

I work for a violin maker, and we use hide glue for nearly everything because it is, among other things, completely reversible. You can take apart a 200 yr old violin using heat and moisture, and return it to precisely what it was before. I'm sure that's why guitar makers use it.

But plywood is different. For one thing, you never want to reverse it. We have a proprietary glue, and I definitely can't share the details.
In choosing your adhesive, consider what plywood needs to do. The grain is usually rotated so that no ply is expanding in the same direction as the layer next to it. It makes the instrument very stable, way beyond a solid wood instrument. Fully carved ( meaning solid wood) instruments can move and change shape if you look at them funny, plywoods can withstand school district combat environments where humidification and care are at best afterthoughts. So look for something that flows thin and hardens strong. With hide glue it's either thin or strong, depending on how much water you use. Never both, so not the right adhesive for ply.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Our drums are built with the Full Gorilla!
I can say with 100% certainty that Gorilla Glue penetrates wood and drys stronger than the wood you apply to. Yamaha uses GG, as well as screws, to attach the mounting brackets to the inside of their Club and Installation series cabinets. If the cabinet needed to be disassembled for whatever reason, the brackets could not be removed without breaking the wood. If dried GG was on a bracket it required a hammer and chisel to remove it. It also soaks into your hands and hardens if you dont use gloves. The only thing that gets it out is time. I made that mistake once. I even tried to use a palm sander on my hand to get it off with no luck.

I'm getting ready to build my wife some new kitchen shelves out of some reclaimed tongue and groove pine hardwood flooring that is about 55-60 years old using Titebond II. I'm not worried about it.
 
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