Hide Glue

by larry on January 17, 2012

in Blog

I decided a while back that I would build another guitar. It will have some unusual woods that I have on hand, and one that I know produce’s a good sound. The neck will be made of Catalpa, the sides and back of American Walnut ( from a log harvested in the area that I live) and the top will be made of Tupelo grown in the swamps of Louisiana. but this time instead of PVA ( carpenters glue) I’m using hide glue. Hide glue is a little harder to work with but worth the effort because of the sound quality it produces. I may be wrong but I don’t think you can buy a guitar off the rack made with Hide Glue these days, because of the extra effort that is required. Hide glue is thousands of years old known to have been used in ancient Egypt. It was used to make every musical instrument or furniture and anything organic in nature from then until some time after World War II. It ranges from the strongest (Ox Hide) to the Weakest (Rabbit). There is lots of info on the Internet ( and many others). So why don’t all guitar manufacturers use it? Well because it has to be done with a few rules in mind. The joint must be clean and not oxidized, the glue must be kept hot to be a liquid and clamped before it cools. But if it was good enough for violins made in the 17th century that are still in fine condition today it should be fine for what I’m doing. So if you are into gluing furniture or any thing made of wood nothing is stronger and still reversible than Hide Glue. If a joint made with PVA fails it must be cleaned off completely because it won’t make a good joint if you don’t. Hide glue will reconstitute with heat and moisture and will adhere to its self because of it. Hide Glue breaks down at about 140 degrees and PVA at about 120. Other rules apply but you can look it up on the net………….

A Rose and a Baby Ruth

by admin on December 5, 2011

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Many years ago when I was in high school a song came out that was popular for a while called a Rose and A Baby Ruth. It was the kind of song that a love sick teenager wants to hear and you stow the song in the back of your mind thinking someday you might need those words for someone. It tells a story of how a boy has an argument with his girl friend and he needs to patch things up so they can get back together. I would walk down the halls on my way to class singing the song over and over in my head, till I memorized it. Then me and my buddy Dave would walk along singing this tune and trying to harmonize our voices. Our cafeteria was also our assembly hall and had a stage at one end for performances one day at noon we got behind the curtain and sang this song to the student body on an open mike, then took our bow. Last year I met the guy that sang that hit song so many years ago. His name was George Hamilton the IV.  He was very gracious and we talked briefly and like so many others I told how I used to sing that old song in school. He had been a Grand Old Opry member for fifty years by that time and had a few other hits to his credit among them a song called “Abilene”. I thought at the time he’s just a nice old guy that had a few hit songs and made the best of it. He didn’t have a particularly great voice so he would sing a song, then tell a story; but his story telling was what kept people entertained. I guess you just work with what you’ve got and do the best you can……..

A Record Making Deal

by admin on September 25, 2011

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The deal is …..we finally finished our new record (CD). We went into the studio in September last year to cut some of Garry’s songs along with a few cover songs and for one reason after another we didn’t get it done till last week. But it’s finished so if you would like a copy I will have some at our next show at the BK and Our Show at the Knights of Columbus in Lawrence this Fri. 9/30. One of the songs that lots of people have been asking for is “The One Room School House”. My family lived in the country and we moved a lot so I went to three One Room Schools. So I can vouch for the lyrics in the song, it’s all true and my generation will be the last to have gone to one, I think; although there might be some around still holding classes, in remote areas….let me know if you know of any. He also cut “What’s Happened to Us”,”From Where I Stand”‘ and I “Don’t Think I Could Take Loosing You” all about love going, going gone; but they are all philosophical points of view. Anyway get your copy now for just $10.00 because (like Garry says) when Nashville gets a holed of ’em we’re going to be bigger than DuPont….and then the price will go up.

The Road Dog

by admin on August 21, 2011

in Blog

I met a guy many years ago who said he was a road show guitar player; that is when someone would make a hit song in Nashville, the record label would hire musicians to play live shows behind their artists. But in the studio they had what they called the A team that did all the recordings. He was one of the guys (B team) who went out on the road with other musicians to back this artist on stage to promote their song . This was many years ago when. Back then when you got signed by a record label they furnished a bus and musicians then told you where and what to play. Today I hear, it’s a lot different; you have to have your own bus and musicians but the record label still has a lot of say in what and where you perform. Now keep in mind I’ve never been there and done that, but this is what I was told. But what he said explains why so many of those old timers got into so much trouble. He said you would climb on board a bus (and I’m pretty sure that’s all it was, not one of these rolling hotels they have today) and you would ride to where ever the show was to be (I suppose they were all ready rehearsed) and put on the show that would last an hour or two, then you would ride to the next one and put on the same show. Sometimes you arrived early and you had nothing to do till the show starts and so you went to the local bar and all it offers including lonely girls who were very easily impressed when they found out you were traveling with a celeb. At first you’re very excited to be in this atmosphere but pretty soon the pattern is repeated so many times that you start to get this glazed look on your face and all you want to do is go home and sleep for a week. So to pass the time you start playing pranks on each other or your drinking in a bar or trying to sleep on this lousy bus. Anything to pass the time your are not performing on stage. But then performing the same songs over and over again……. you get the picture? Anyway he said as soon as he could, he got away from all that and just became an old road dog. Still traveling from one show to another but playing just the songs he likes. I guess I’m not sorry I missed all of that……………