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mustache reglue

It's a rookie's question, I know, but how do you experienced builders/repairmen reglue a mustache to the top - what kind of adhesive do you use? One fell off my Favino years ago, and I finally want to put it back on. It appears to have been reglued several times. I think I have heard every crazy suggestion from double-stick tape to nail polish(!). I actually like the double-stick tape idea but most of what I can find is pretty thick, and I am not sure that the tiny piece I could use would be reliable. What's the consensus here?


  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    I've only had to do it once, and knew a repair guy who recommended (and had) really thin double-sided tape. It worked beautifully, was not visible to the eye, and, I was told, could be removed again without damaging the top. I agree that really thick tape would look awful, but whatever the guy used, it was not visible.

    I think it was Pete Brown at South Jersey Guitar Repair in Collingswood, NJ. He has a website, so you should be able to call him and ask.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,379
    I used white carpenter's glue to reattach a fallen moustache 3 years ago...It's still on. I put on masking tape and maybe a little weight to hold it in place and left it overnight
  • Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
    edited December 2010 Posts: 795
    I use Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue, Krazy Glue). I've used the regular thin viscosity type a number of times with good results, but they make a gel formula now that should work even better. Just got some and I'm using it everywhere. You don't need a lot, just a line of the thin stuff down the center of the long axis or 2-3 dots of the gel. Don't over do it so as to not have it squeeze out from underneath which means a mess and likely finish damage.

    There are thin double sided tapes and I use them for a variety of things, but my experience so far is they don't bond well to wood surfaces like the under side of a mustache. Might help if the underside of the mustache were finished to a grain filled, gloss surface. I believe the tape I use is 3M or Scotch product, I get it at Michael's, an arts and craft store that has franchises in the mid Atlantic region, at least.

    But why bother. Cyanoacrylate works fine, quick, done. Play it in 5 min. Removal is not too hard as long as you don't use too much, just a quick smack with a small piece of soft wood and a hammer has always popped it off without damage for me. I'm told that application of cold is the way to crack Cyanoacrylate, but I have never had to resort to that.

    BBH's suggestion of white glue like Elmer's sounds fine, albeit slow. Adhesion to finished wood is okay, but because there is no absorption of the moisture on the finished guitar top, it takes longer for the glue to set up and bond (24 hours I'd guess as opposed to the usual 30 minutes when gluing unfinished wood. Easy clean up with damp cloth. Removal later can be facilitated with heat. About 200 degrees and a thin spatula will do it if the wood/hammer tap doesn't.

  • Ken BloomKen Bloom Pilot Mountain, North CarolinaNew
    Posts: 164
    Hi Scott,

    I used Super glue in the same way that Craig suggested. Not very much and I made sure that the moustache piece was well fitted to the top. They haven't budged and I can say the guitar has not had the gentlest of use.

    Ken Bloom
    Ken Bloom
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 616
    Thanks everyone for all the good advice. :D
  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 508
    Adding an opinion to the mix: When I accidentally removed one mustache from my AJL guitar, I e-mailed the luthier (Mr. AJL himself), and he told me to use superglue.

  • ShawnShawn Boise, Idaho✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 296
    Just from my own experiences I'd say go with White Elmers glue. Yes, it does take longer to dry and doesn't bond as well as superglue, but it still bonds quite well regardless. It's the best option in my opinion as its doesn't take the time to make like hide glue, and doesn't have the "ever stick to it-ness" of superglue. The only reason I wouldn't choose superglue is that it could possibly remove the finish or even part of the soundboard itself, and I say that coming from the perspective of having refinished a few guitars, and experimenting with what does and doesn't work. I'd rather sacrifice drying time and bonding strength for what the glue could do to the top when it needs to be removed.

    I guess I also figure that if violin and mandolin makers don't use the product then it's probably for a reason, and the same should go for guitars.

    Just my 2 cents,
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