conditioning oil(s) effect on glue in soundbox

Discussion in 'Glues, Fillers & Painting' started by Jeffrey, May 6, 2016.

  1. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey New Member

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    As a non-technical party, thank you for allowing me to ask the following question of your serious-minded community:
    I recently found a parlor-style, 70’s, Mitchell; although low-end, its unique Ovation-style back makes it perfect in contour, in regard to spinal issue.
    Could a light oil or perhaps Murphy Oil Soap be used inside the sound box without causing glue deterioration or wood damage? Sound alteration is secondary to preventing splitting. (Managing humidity, via introducing a humidity releasing process, is not practical for me.)
    Overall, the instrument is in very good condition, but a superficial crack on face concerns me about the internal condition that might show effect in years to come.
    I am most grateful of community comment of any damaging effect of oils or Murphy Soap on glue or wood—Jeff.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  2. Michael_P

    Michael_P Member

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    skip any damaging possibility...the ONLY thing one should consider on the backside of a soundboard MIGHT be a light spit coat of shellac...the argument being said sealing would slow down absorption of moisture...read that carefully...SLOW DOWN...NO finish prevents the effects of humidity...they only slow it down..and of the flip side, they slow down the release of moisture...I've found EVERY acoustic I've played that had shellac (maybe lacquer I guess) on the inside to sound rather tinny...

    I think Murphy's Wood Soap would probably detrimentally affect the unsealed wood...soak right in and cause problems in a jiffy...that product is definitely intended for wood with a finish on it

    as far as the crack...no too uncommon on an older acoustic...fixable if it's worth the cost/effort on your behalf
     
  3. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey New Member

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    Points well taken.

    If shellac is applied, would a light sponge application be a practical means? Any potential damage to glue?

    As an alternative, would a light yearly application of some type of oil offer protection from long-term drying out, or would that potentiate warp problems with such a thin inner face board?

    Thanks for your further sharing of knowledge, Jeff.
     
  4. Michael_P

    Michael_P Member

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    damage to glue is not an issue in this scenario...unless by some very small chance Titebond III is used (in the case of the guitar you describe there is 0% possibility, unless somebody has later done something and used TIII...TIII clearly states on its specs that it is NOT resistant to all solvents, and I've seen this as a fact...in general it's a cr@ppy glue that doesn't fully cure, harden, until it's subjected to about 200*F)...

    the issue is you really shouldn't be applying anything to the back of a soundboard to 'condition' it...simply keep the guitar in a humidity controlled environment and pay attention...when things get dry use some sort of humidifier to keep the moisture up...and that is usually the biggest issue...a wet guitar can be controlled by using silica packs in the case and the guitar, blow drying the case periodically, or using Planet Waves Humidipaks that are said to keep an acoustic at the good level by being able to both absorb moisture or give it off with the goal of sustaining a 48% humidity level...unless you have really good control of the humidity of your house, keep the guitar in its case when not being used...simple...
     
  5. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey New Member

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    Michael,

    Thank you. It seems wisest, gathering from your info, not to apply anything to the instrument, in presuming to condition the back of soundboard.

    I appreciate, also, the humidity tips.

    Thanks, again, Jeff.
     
  6. dewittm

    dewittm New Member

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    I strongly second Michael's comments on the inside, simply leave it alone. As for the crack: I have fixed small cracks by applying cyanoacrylate glue (i.e. Super Glue).

    Approach: Tape the top around the crack, apply small amounts of glue at a time letting it bleed into the crack, wait to dry and apply more until the glue sits slightly proud of the top. Then scrape the excess away with a single sided razor blade. The same approach will work for very shallow cracks using clear shellac. Just remember to be especially careful not to scrap the tops finish as you remove the excess glue or shellac or you will have a bigger problem than the original crack.
     

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