CBG Daily Quick-Tip: Breaking Superglue Bonds

Elmer's Super Glue

Elmer's Super Glue

A lot of builders use superglue to attach various items on their cigar box guitars, and for good reason. From nuts to decorative hardware to frets, cyanoacrylate (superglue) is a quick, versatile adhesive well-suited to many tasks.

However, as we all know when it comes to building, sometimes we only notice a problem after the glue has set. A nut in the wrong place, a crooked decorative embellishment… the potential list can run pretty long… and the dilemma of how to fix it has furrowed more than one builder’s brow over the years. Fortunately, superglue forms a quite brittle bond, and in the right circumstances a sharp blow can cleanly break it. For example, a nut that has been superglued into place can often be cleanly removed by using a piece of hardwood and a hammer to deliver a sharp tap to it along its broadest surface. This can be a lifesaver if you just need to make a minor adjustment to the location of a key piece.

Of course not everything is as easy to get at as a nut, so this method will not work for every scenario… and of course is it very possible to do more harm than good if you start pounding away on your build trying to break a glue bond. But in general, knowing that superglue forms a brittle bond is a good trick have in your troubleshooting toolbag!

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