Pop issues


I have started making my own 5-ply boards, using maple all the way through. I properly cross the grain and crank the mold in my vise really tight, but I can’t seem to get much pop from my boards. I use gorilla glue and cross 2 out of the 5 plies, alternating every other ply. Any ideas as to what’s happening?


How long are you letting your boards cure and how thick is your veneer? Sounds like the glue hasn’t cured completely which will result in soggy boards. Also, try getting your hands on veneer around 0.5-0.6 mm and if you can, grab some 0.2 mm veneer for 7 ply decks.


I let the boards cure for at least 24 hours. the veneer is 1/42 inch thick.


Hmm, that’s very odd. Part of a board’s pop comes from the lacquer itself. Try using a enamel based one like Rustoleum for a glossy finish and a rock hard bottom.


What makes it even more odd is that the problem is with the board itself, not the lacquer. Even with a light amount of pressure the board flexes.


A board made with gorilla glue, should not flex a lot. I’ve pressed a ton of boards with gorilla glue and they all cured rock solid. Maybe your specific bottle went bad. Does your glue have trouble running? I know gorilla takes a while to get out but if it takes way too long and it’s very thick, the glue has gone bad.


That could be it, it does take a bit of effort to get it out of the bottle. How can I prevent it from going bad? Thanks for the help by the way, I would never have figured this out. It’s nice that this forum exists. :grin::grin:


No problem!

Anyways, the best way to keep gorilla glue form going bad is to store it in a cool, dry place, ideally inside your house where the temperature will remain consistent. While Gorilla recommends you squeeze the bottle until all the excess air is out after gluing and then cap it, it’s not that big of a deal unless you’re using a jumbo bottle or something. Also, don’t be like me and leave a bottle of gorilla glue outside in the winter, it’s a good way to toss a good $5-$20 down the drain.


Gorilla Glue expands when it cures so that may be it I would recommend a two part epoxy or something you can get it from Home Depot or any place like that


What type of mold are you using? A lot of the popular plastic molds seem pretty pliable.


Update - I have tried making decks with fresh gorilla glue, and there is definitely a difference between the old and new glue (same type) but I don’t notice a difference in the board stiffness. I use an aluminum mold. I am planning to try drying the plies out and using a mini hydraulic press if I can get a small cheap one. Hoping to finish the deck part up so I can start on the graphics.


Is it possible to show your problem on film? Seems strange to me.
How big is your vice?


Second this.

Also you say you clamp your mold really hard. By that do you mean you clamp as hard as the vice will go by hand? If so that isn’t enough. You need to use a hammer and bang the handle even tighter than what you can achieve by hand. A better solution is to get a really, really, long metal tube, slip it onto the handle, and crank the vise super tight.


Yeah, I whack the handle as much as it will go without breaking the vise - it’s only a 4 inch vise.


I use a 2 inch vice, a 3d printed mold, and gorilla glue not to mention 2/83 inch thick veneer and my decks come out pretty solid. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it might be your veneer itself. It might have gone slightly bad or have some moisture that it picked up from the weather. See if you can get some brand new maple veneer, from the same supplier or a different one. Before that leave some veneer in the sun and bake out the excess moisture. If that doesn’t fix the issue, it’s definitely the veneer.


How can the veneer go bad? I’ll try drying it out - it has been pretty humid lately where I am.


That’s probably why. Humidity is bad for wood as it can lead to mold and the moisture weakens the wood itself.


That’s not completely necessary. I never hammer the handle of my vice and I’ve never had issues with pop or pliable decks. In my experience, hammering a vice can cause uneven pressure on parts of the mold and then you’re looking at an uneven deck. I suppose “controlled” chaos in tightening the vice is fine. But I’m more focused on the best combination of pressure/even-nesss than just straight up pressure. Then again, I have a pretty shitty vice and have to use C clamps to perfect the even-ness.

I really think the issue here might be with the mold. To the OP: splurge on an NFB mold. They’re expensive but worth every penny IMO if you’re serious enough about making decks.


True, however if you use something as a clamping call like a thin sheet of wood or metal, I find that it evens out the pressure applied to the mold not to mention, it protects the mold from unnecessary wear and tear.

However, OP said he has a metal mold and there are only two companies that specialize in metal fingerboard molds, one of them is NFB and the other is FB Mold (not the 3d printed one).


I do use wood too, but like I said, my vice sucks haha. One day I’ll invest in something a little easier on myself, but for now, this works. I just spend a lot of time pressing a single deck and messing with the pressure until I’m satisfied.

I totally missed the part where he said he used a metal mold. If that’s the case, I agree with you it has to either be the veneer or glue. I’m at a loss otherwise.