Removing glue from fretwork

HSteier

Well-known member
I have come upon a vexing problem. I am making fretwork for a Thomas Elfe chest on chest, I have been gluing the pattern for the fretwork onto a mahogany blank and then excavating the fret with gouges and then slicing off the fret with a resaw blade on my bandsaw. All of this is going nicely except removing the glued on pattern. I have been using rubber cement to glue the pattern on. With rubber cement it allegedly is easy to separate the glued paper from the substrate. Not so. I have tried wetting the pattern with acetone without any luck. I can sand the paper pattern off but this leaves traces of paper in the mahogany grain. Would lacquer thinner work to remove the glue. Wouldn't like to use lacquer thinner except as a last resort.
I also have 3M spray on adhesive but would suspect this would be just as bad or worse than rubber cement.
All help appreciated.
 

Kirk Rush

Well-known member
I have come upon a vexing problem. I am making fretwork for a Thomas Elfe chest on chest, I have been gluing the pattern for the fretwork onto a mahogany blank and then excavating the fret with gouges and then slicing off the fret with a resaw blade on my bandsaw. All of this is going nicely except removing the glued on pattern. I have been using rubber cement to glue the pattern on. With rubber cement it allegedly is easy to separate the glued paper from the substrate. Not so. I have tried wetting the pattern with acetone without any luck. I can sand the paper pattern off but this leaves traces of paper in the mahogany grain. Would lacquer thinner work to remove the glue. Wouldn't like to use lacquer thinner except as a last resort.
I also have 3M spray on adhesive but would suspect this would be just as bad or worse than rubber cement.
All help appreciated.
You might try using rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits on a test spot to see if it works. To apply a paper pattern I have always just used a thin film of white glue or hide glue. Both will clean up with water. Keep the paper wet until it has soaked through, then use a scraper.

Kirk
 

HSteier

Well-known member
You might try using rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits on a test spot to see if it works. To apply a paper pattern I have always just used a thin film of white glue or hide glue. Both will clean up with water. Keep the paper wet until it has soaked through, then use a scraper.

Kirk
Thanks. Will give it a try
 

rac50

Well-known member
I have come upon a vexing problem. I am making fretwork for a Thomas Elfe chest on chest, I have been gluing the pattern for the fretwork onto a mahogany blank and then excavating the fret with gouges and then slicing off the fret with a resaw blade on my bandsaw. All of this is going nicely except removing the glued on pattern. I have been using rubber cement to glue the pattern on. With rubber cement it allegedly is easy to separate the glued paper from the substrate. Not so. I have tried wetting the pattern with acetone without any luck. I can sand the paper pattern off but this leaves traces of paper in the mahogany grain. Would lacquer thinner work to remove the glue. Wouldn't like to use lacquer thinner except as a last resort.
I also have 3M spray on adhesive but would suspect this would be just as bad or worse than rubber cement.
All help appreciated.
 

HSteier

Well-known member
I have been able to remove the pattern from the fretwork by first wetting the pattern with denatured alcohol and then using a sharp card scraper. 150 then 220 grit sandpaper on a sanding block finishes the job
 
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