Wood Glue as Vinyl Cleaner

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by Mopic5, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. Grainger49

    Grainger49 Old Fart Subscriber


    You are the OP. You could summarize in the first post for those who find it long after it started.

    BTW, what is meant by both flavors of PVA glue. I'm familiar with PVA, posted twice in this thread about it with no comments. But the PVA I know, and used on a paper machine, was PolyVinyl Alcohol.
  2. JonL

    JonL Tubeulosis vinylitis Subscriber

    This didn't work quite as well for me today for some reason. Still an improvement, but I had to gently wipe both sides of the LP with the dryer sheet to remove the static. When I say gently wipe, I really mean gently... I just let gravity (or static cling) hold the sheet to the vinyl as I pull it across. No pressure at all.
  3. Andyman

    Andyman Scroungus Stereophilus Subscriber

    I never popped into this thread until now and hadn't realized that Mario was the OP.
    I've got a couple of scratchy mono 6 eyes that may get this treatment in the near future as it does seem to do the job.

    After spending a couple of days with Mario in the AKFest swap rooms, he's certainly earned my respect in all things turntable and vinyl related :yes:
  4. davesnewTT

    davesnewTT justdavesTT

    Actually, it's PolyVinylAcetate
    Don't know about flavours, can't imagine them tasting very nice...
  5. Grainger49

    Grainger49 Old Fart Subscriber

    Wikipedia mentions Poly Vinyl Alcohol on the page you linked to.

    I guess we will have to say we both are right:


    Above is the "Williamson" kit I bought back in the 80s, Mine came with the brand name Evanol (IIRC).

    This is a picture of a lab container of what Kimberly-Clark bought in 50 pound bags to use on paper machines.

    There seems to be two chemicals out there referred to as PVA.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  6. Mopic5

    Mopic5 Super Member

    Thanks Andy. But I think I’ve learned a lot more from you than visa versa over the past couple of AK Fests. :yes:

    What I’ll do on that first post is refer folks to this page. But I’ll let the history stand, false starts and all.
    And yes, it’s Polyvinyl-Acetate glue. The flavors are the two Franklin Titebond glues used in my just completed tests: Titebond II & Titebond Extend. :thmbsp:

    And it is done. I’m sifting through dozens of “action” shots, 10 .wav files and 20 “grabs” of spectral displays of these sound files. Now to put it all into some kind of presentation order. :scratch2:

    - Mario
  7. Mopic5

    Mopic5 Super Member

    Sure wish I had CactusCowboy’s gift for being short and informative. So please excuse the length in getting this summary out.
    As stated earlier, this is only one way to set up for Polyvinyl Acetate glue peels of vinyl. There are many variations to a successful peel that have been contributed by scores of folks in the past 2 ½ years of this “Sticky”. Many have been reported to work extremely well. But first a few of cautions:

    This method is for vinyl LPs only – NOT for 78 rpm shellacs. Polyvinyl Acetate glues will adhere and tear apart 78s. The jury is still out on 7” 45 rpms. There has not been enough testing on these polymer cousins to make a call.
    For preservation of your stylus, it is very important that orphaned “islands” of dried PVA glue be removed from both the run-in and run-out of a treated LP.
    Don’t glue up your records and forget about them for a few weeks. The chemical nature of many pva glues can change over long term curing and begin to pose a risk of leeching plastic away from the record

    Polyvinyl Acetate Glue
    PVA glues aren’t necessarily wood glues, although all wood glues are PVAs. Wood glues are dyed yellow in North America, while they remain white throughout most of the rest of the world. A number of “hobby” glues like Elmer’s and Aileen’s are also PVA glues. If you have any doubt whether a particular glue is PVA based, download the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) from the manufacturer’s website.
    For a detailed description of the chemistry involved, take a look at Page 2 of this thread where AK member, Outlawmws did some great research.
    Landing on the right pva glue for you, with an eye to the humidity/heat conditions where you treat your vinyl, will need to be settled by the individual user. Some folks dilute their glue (distilled H2O), some don’t. This becomes more of how do you like your scotch. Single malt or blended? Neat, or with a splash of water? How much is too much?

    This method of cleaning/restoration has been around for, at least, 28 years. In an old issue (No. 16) of the long defunct Audio Conversion magazine, contributor Eric Stubbes refers to an article by Reginald Williamson that was published in the Audio Amateur issue No. 4 (1981) and appears to be the first documented description and use of this PVA glue cleaning technique. The early germination of this method in Great Britain tends to reinforce reports that the BBC has used (and continues to use?) pva glue cleaning for archival purposes.
    In this thread, we’ve discovered from AK member, DynacoPhil about Disco-Peel a commercial product that is a similar clean/peeling agent. In spite of Phil’s valiant attempts at recycling the used solution, it now appears that the product has been discontinued and what stores that are left have become very expensive.
    Last November, AK member Relder, discovered that a long set version of Franklin’s Titebond (Titebond Extend), self-peeled as it dried (page 20.) This discovery would be a boon to one of the most “fiddly” parts of the operation. I’ve finally gotten around to testing this out.

    Cleaning or Restoration?
    Actually it can be both. The easy rule for me is that if the suspected dirt on a record is unfloatable, then glue it. Grit (silica) in solution is something I’d like to avoid brushing around grooves. But if it’s airborne debris, then “ease of use” dictates that this is a job for a solution based RCM.

    Other than that, this method has proved safe and effective. Plastic glue doesn’t want to mate with a plastic record. It will, however grab a tremendous amount of grunge and grit left behind in the grooves by hi-end RCMs. And that’s the beauty of it.

    Favorite Testimonial
    This is my set-up:


    A rigged a ROK Rondine with a wedge at the motor so that it spins about 7-10 rpms. This is close to RCM speed and allows for easy spreading of the glue across the record surface. For a spreader, I use a laminated “remembrance” card from my father’s funeral. (Before you take me task for desecrating a religious icon, I should mention that I’ve got dozens of these. I’m still using first one. It’s not hidden away in some book, and my vinyl loving Dad would have approved.) It’s big enough to span most playing surfaces.
    Prior to gluing, I still use tape halfway in on the run-in at the four compass points for “lifters” when it’s time to peel. Although I’ve switched from first-aid vinyl tape to Painter’s tape because it leaves almost no residue.

    I work the glue so that all modulated and the run-in grooves - out to the edge are covered. If there are any orphaned islands in the run-out, I run the glue back from the middle to capture them so there’s one contiguous puddle. Just before taking the record off the ROK, I draw fingernail along the outside of the vinyl to break through for an outer limit peel border.
    The Nyquil dosage cup that I used to measure out 30 ml. has been replaced with a shot glass, because I usually use a little more glue these days (33-35 ml).
    Lastly, I found on fan on low cuts drying time in my environment by half.




    The tests to follow…
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  8. Mopic5

    Mopic5 Super Member

    Titebond II versus Titebond Extend

    After a couple of years of glue peeling, it took a bit of searching to come up with two grungy records that had fifth distributed roughly equal on both sides. The two classical LPs that I finally dug up have relatively low signal to noise ratios in their original recordings. To further enhance the “noise” aspect of these tests, I chose my most microphonic cartridge – a Grado MF 3. The turntable used was a Pioneer PL-518 – Servo DD and chosen for its dustcover to eliminate feedback. (My headphones went on the fritz.)
    For this first test, a 1965 RCA-LSC White Dog edition of Ravel/Roussel was used. Side (A) got the Titebond “Extend”, while (B) got the Titebond II.

    The first difference was in drying time. With a fan blowing across both glues (The record on the second test was glued up at roughly the same time.) The Titebond II was dry in 2 ½ hours, while the “Extend took 7 ½. The “Extend” never quite self-peeled, but it did begin to separate itself from the vinyl in many places, so that peeling was a quick pull and took seconds with no glitches. The Titebond II, which peels much easier than the original formula was still no match for “Extends” ease in peeling. What’s more, because of the subtle lifting during drying, there was no static charge generated, but there is plenty with the Titebond II. I was going to take Jon up on his suggestion of using laundry anti-static fabric, but my wife told me that she needs to clean a waxy residue off the dryer screen with each use of these, so I held off. A Zero-Stat gun is definitely in my future.




    In the playing, after peeling, I could find no difference between the two in their effectiveness in removing dirt. The first test record, didn’t come out as pristine sounding as I would have wished. While pretty much all snap, crackles and pops are gone, there seems to be some groove wall noise that I suspect is stylus damage. Still the results are pretty dramatic.

    The Comparative Files
    I used a non-saving demo copy of iZotopes RX for spectral pictures of the captured recordings. All samples are about 30 secs. I did use RX’s zoom resolution feature to take close-ups as well as the full sample run. So in format you’ll find:
    1- Full sample uncleaned:
    2- Full sample cleaned:
    3- Close-up uncleaned:
    4- Close-up cleaned.

    The first group of four is Side (A) using Titebond Extend.





    The sound files should take about 30 seconds or less to download. In format – the first is the raw uncleaned sample, followed by the sample after cleaning with Titebond Extend.

    Ravel (A).wav

    Ravel (A) Ext-Glue.wav

    Using the same format as above, the following four grabs and two sound files are from side (B) using Titebond II.





    Ravel (B).wav

    Ravel (B) Glue-II.wav

    The results for me are a draw, and I’ll probably continue to use both glue pints up before deciding which Titebond flavor to get a gallon of.
    Titebond II – Has a very quick drying time and is relatively easy to peel. It can generate quite a bit of static as a result of the peel, depending on one’s environment.
    Titebond Extend – As the name implies, an extended drying time for this application. Peeling if needed, is a breeze with no detectable static generation.

    The one surprise was that the thin vinyl Columbia LP was temporarily warped by the drying action of the glues – possibly as a result of uneven drying times. Thankfully, unlike heat warpage, the record returned to its flat state once the glues were removed.

    Next up… Tackling tenacious mold, with hand scrubbing, a VPI Typhoon, and finally, PVA glue.:smoke:
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  9. LPMike

    LPMike Vinyllicus Diversicus

    Excellent write-up Mopic!

    A few observations Id add: Regular Titebond will contract hugely and self-destruct when drying (leaving many fragments and a dry crumbly mess!) Titebond II (and Extend I assume) have much greater elasticity and much less contraction on drying. This not only makes then better as wood glue, but much better on Vinyl!

    Ive never needed the tabs but to each his or her own.

    Ive had a few LP's that have been, for all intents, ready for the trash, but after (1) wood glue cleaning had attained listening potential, these special case LP's only stopped improving after (3) wood glue cleanings.

    Most LPs are 100% clean after (1) application, but up to (3) can yield continual improvements on the dirtiest of LPs.

    I discwasher brush all LP's before Glueing, and the bad ones sometimes recieve a water/dishsoap gentle hand wash and dry before glueing. I never "pre-wet" the vinyl or dilute the glue before gluing.

    Ive been glue cleaning for roughly (2) years now.
  10. Mopic5

    Mopic5 Super Member

    Hand Cleaning Versus VPI Typhoon Versus Titebond II

    PVA glues have limitations in getting out certain growths and grunge – dried soda pop and molds, for example. If you apply wood clue across the top of these types of contamination on your vinyl, you stand a good chance of ripping off the tops of Coke droplets or mold while leaving behind residual sugar caramel or tendril’s of mold growth still attached to the grooves. These contaminants need to be put in solution and scrubbed out of the grooves. In this test I used a Columbia LP (Beethoven’s 7th) that was a Petri dish for living mold.



    This LP was so infested, that it refused to track and really was tortuous for my Grado, so I didn’t even bother with making a base recording. The first step in this test was to use a record cleaning solution, a cut-down painter’s brush and a distilled water rinse for hand cleaning. I also used a couple of lint-free cloths in both the washing and rinsing. I used Pfanstiehl’s Pfan-Stat – an extension of the original Discwasher solution that is alcohol free, but contains a strong surfactant, anti-static carbon, as well as an anti-fungal agent.
    The results were ghastly. While the surfaces of the record looked absolutely clean and the stylus was able to track the groove, it was like listening to Beethoven in an infantry firefight.
    Here are a couple of iZotopeRX grabs of the recording (full 30 second sample, followed by a close up of the first 8-10 seconds). Both my E-MU 0404 A/D recording hardware and the Amadeus recorder program showed continual clipping at normal record levels. The clip itself follows the “grabs”.



    Presto (B).wav

    If you ever need a better demonstration of the power of vacuum, here it is. After the failed hand cleaning, I took the LP down to our local high-end Audio Shoppe, slid $2 across the counter and had it cleaned on a VPI Typhoon RCM. The results were exceptionally good in removing the debris field of uprooted mold from the grooves. If you can’t afford a commercial RCM, think long and hard about getting a vacuum hose crevice tool and modify it for record cleaning. Vacuuming is the word. In the same format as above, here are the results after the VPI clean.



    Presto VPI (B).wav

    The results would satisfy most people that this is a clean and restored record. Depending on your system, you might hear a little residual debris throughout, but all systems would pick up the 3 clicks toward the end of the sample.

    To eliminate them – Go Glue!



    Presto II-Glue.wav

    There are many gluing stories in the Naked City, these are just a couple. There are many ways to skin a record, and lot’s of folks here at AK have other stories, that are equally valid. Thanks to all for sharing your ideas and experiences. But this isn’t the end of the story. I have a feeling that novel experiences and improvements are still out there. If you’ve got ‘em, post ‘em.

    All best,
  11. JonL

    JonL Tubeulosis vinylitis Subscriber

    Wonderful posts, Mario. Thanks for the time and effort you've put into this.

    Can you explain a little about the screenshots we're seeing? I understand the blue waveform, but what does the orange represent?
  12. Mopic5

    Mopic5 Super Member

    Hi Jon,
    Thanks for your kind words. These spectral presentations grabbed from my promo copy of iZotope’s RX are pretty full bodied in that they display signal not only in the more familiar waveform, but in the textured orange fabric that you observed. Interpreting what you’re seeing comes with practice, because both noise and signal get registered as events.


    For our purposes, lets zero in on a “crack” – something a little heavier than dust – (a piece of silica? a silverfish nit?)


    You’ll notice that the loud audible crack disturbs not only the waveform, but travels through the full frequency spectral range (represented in orange) to drown out the signal (music) in that instant. The second picture reduces down to around 1/50th of a second resolution. Sometimes the cracks and pops got right into clip – or off the spectral chart.

    In the third grab you’ll see the section of the groove before recorded music. The light blue would represent stylus noise or hiss while the orange band at the bottom would represent inaudible (sub-sonic) rumble coming from the turntable.


    This is high-end software and it can take things down to a “cellular” level. Such great strides have been made in declick/denoisers in the past few years, that 78rpms are being archived with no hint of their noisy shellac origins. If you can come up with documentation that links one to the world of education (student/staff or teacher) you can get the base level of this RX program for $175. The pro version will set you back $1200. (I’m not shilling for anybody, here.)

    If you’re interested in flash videos of how the program modules work follow this link and select from the top group. The declicker goes up against a broken record that has been glued together. Obviously not PVA glue.


    All best,
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  13. Sticklyman

    Sticklyman Well-Known Member

    Just thought I'd add myself to the ranks of success. One piece lift off on my first try with Titebond II. Marvelously strange little technique here.
  14. Alexey Lukin

    Alexey Lukin New Member

    What an impressive example of a vinyl restoration without any restoration software! It makes the job of restoration software much easier: just cut the rumble with a filter and Declick. Here's what RX gives: Presto_II_Glue_Declick.wav.
  15. pmsummer

    pmsummer simul justus et peccator

    A better success story:

    So far, I haven't been too impressed. It was good, but not great enough for all the trouble. But...

    I've got a copy of Dave Mason's "Alone Together" that I got to PLAY as opposed to show off (my original copy from 1970 has seen too many parties, and my pristine marbled copy has never sounded great).

    But I found a beautiful looking early black-vinyl copy last year. However, it never sounded any good at all, in spite of its VG++ looks. I figured either the stamping was bad (it sounded worse than the marbled copy), or the original owner had played it on a school record player with a ceramic cart tracking at 10g, and just plowed it to death on one pass.

    But I glued it, and much to my surprise, it now sounds very, very good (not great, but we're talking about a pop record from 1969), better than my old original hippie copy, and better than my record collector marble.

    The variable is that I usually steam clean my used LPs, and the ones I've glued before had usually already been steamed. But not this one, because it looked so clean.

    Bottom line? It works very well, especially with hard to solve disc problems (deep contamination).

  16. LPMike

    LPMike Vinyllicus Diversicus

    Glue brand update: Elmers regular Carpenter's Woodglue.

    decided to save $1.50 and got a 16 oz bottle of Elmers Carpenters Wood Glue, (regular formula) instead of the Titebond II which I normally buy.

    To make a long story short the elmers is a tiny bit thicker, dries slower, and is extremely brittle when dry. Not as bad as the regular Titebond, but nowhere near the performance of Titebond II.

    First LP with elmers I applied the same amount and technique i normally use. When dry the glue is much thinner, and more difficult to get a lift started. Once started the glue will always leave an edge strip at the outer disc edge, in addition to breaking across the disc requiring multiple "re-starts" on the mask lift and careful avoidance of fragmenting glue flakes.


    Disc 2; used 3 times as much Elmers Carpenters Wood Glue to try to minimize the aforementioned problems. Result, 3 times the dry time (over 24 hours) and still had edge shreds at disc edge... no shattering of mask though, but the mask was rigid and very inflexible.

    Conclusion. I do not want to glue records anymore until I go out and buy some more Titebond II. The Elmers will be used for other tasks. And thats a HUGE statement.

    NOTE: I did not buy the Elmers' EXTERIOR Wood Glue as it was more expensive than the Titebond II. I assume it is much closer to Titebond II, but my whole point was tro save some $$ and retain performance!
  17. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

    You can get Titebond II in 1 gallon containers at most good hardware stores. Saves a few bucks in the long run.
  18. SteveHuff

    SteveHuff Member

    I have to say I was skeptical. I had a willie nelson "stardust" LP from the thrift shop that was so bad I could not even play it. SNap, crackle, pop. I coated it with elmers glue and let it dry 8 hours. Peeled it off and man, the one side i did not only looked BRAND NEW it sounded brand new as well. Just used Elmers school glue and worked perfect. Peeled off in one piece. Amazing!
  19. JonL

    JonL Tubeulosis vinylitis Subscriber

    I've used Elmer's wood glue on lots of records, it's been fine for me and I haven't noticed any difference with the one bottle of Titebond II I used. Aleene's Tacky Glue is quite different however. I wonder if Elmer's has changed the formula recently, or if there are regional differences in formula.
  20. LPMike

    LPMike Vinyllicus Diversicus

    Did you use the regular Elmers Wood Glue or the Exterior formula?

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