Hide Glue

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by wow, Aug 31, 2019.

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  1. wow

    wow Registered User
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    #1 wow, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2019
    What is hide glue? Where do you get it?



    This discussion was taken from another thread. The content is interesting enough to be a thread of it's own, so I moved it from that discussion to this thread.

    Shutterbug
     
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  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Animal glue - Wikipedia

    My dad had a little three legged cast iron pot like a baby witches cauldron for melting it.
     
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  3. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Yes, I buy it as a powder and all you do is add water and heat it. These days you can buy it in liquid form as well.

    HERE is an interesting YouTube video on hide glue.
     
  4. Bruce Alexander

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    #4 Bruce Alexander, Aug 31, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
    I've read somewhere (don't remember the source) that the bottled glue you buy off the shelf is not as strong and has a very limited shelf life. It's fast and convenient but if you need strength, you really need to go the hot hide glue route. It certainly will be fresh with no questions on whether it's too old to use. I imagine there must be an expiration date on the liquid stuff though.

    Hide Glue 101
     
  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    The liquid hide glue bought off the shelf is not very good. Getting dried glue granules then adding water and heating it per directions is a far better adhesive than many other choices. It has been used for several thousand years, some furniture found in Egyptian burial chambers used hide glue and remains solid yet today. It is also somewhat reversible, it is a glue that can be stained when spread outside a joint a bit, it can be carefully washed off if spread in wrong places even after dried, and it has a very quick gripping and setting time(s). It is a bit cumbersome to use what with keeping the pot at the right temperature as well as storing leftover glue. It is best to store excess glue after being mixed in your freezer. I use an electric glue pot and float a small plastic container in the water to heat the glue, as I use very little in most of my work. It will mold and spoil in a few days if left out in the shop.

    Try it, you will like it. It is far better in many respects than some of our modern wonder glues. They all have their purposes but hide glue is the absolute best for some of our clock casework.

    20190831_180005.jpg 20190831_175906.jpg
     
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  6. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    I don't want to hijack Will's thread by talking about which glue should be used where. But just to clarify, while I like hide glue I also know it's limitations. In this instance I wanted a permanent bond on the shattered case corners with zero chance of reversibility.
     
  7. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    The restorers of automatic pianos over at the Mechanical Music Digest use gallons of heated-up hide glue. Their electric glue pots are often electric popcorn poppers or similar home appliances. It's highly regarded stuff, but beyond my skill level. I use carpenter's wood glue, lots of clamps, and hope for divine intervention.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  8. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Thank you, gentlemen. Amazon has a 1/2 lb. bag for $11.00. Bout to order.
     
  9. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    If you use Titebond Genuine Hide Glue here is information from the manufacturer; showing you how to determine the date of manufacture. They claim a two year shelf life:

    "
    Our lot numbering system prior to January 1, 2019 is a 10 digit code. The format is: aymmdd####. The "a" stands for Made in the U.S.A. The "y" is the last digit of the year of manufacture. Digits "mm" represent the month, and "dd" represents the day of the month. The four digits represent the batch number used for quality control purposes. Therefore, a product with the lot number A811290132 was manufactured on November 29, 2018, and A605030024 was manufactured on May 3, 2016.


    Our current lot numbering system is a 10 digit code. The format is: ayymmdd###. The "a" stands for Made in the U.S.A. The "yy" is the year of manufacture. Digits "mm" represent the month, and "dd" represents the day of the month. The three digits represent the batch number used for quality control purposes. Therefore, a product with a lot number A190415123 was manufactured on April 15, 2019. Please contact Technical Service with any additional questions."
     
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  10. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Good information. I think they also provide an expiration date on the bottle. Worth checking in the store. I've seen several that were already expired.

    Uhralt
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Didn't know it had an expiration date. I'll bet it's time to replace my bottle.

    I tried using hot hide glue but I mostly just made a mess so I gave it up and switched to Titebond. Still have a bag of the crystals somewhere.
     
  12. Bruce Alexander

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    "A point to be made here is that these additives all reduce the strength of hide glue. But that is not a critical issue due to the fact that liquid hide glue, although slightly weaker than hot hide glue, is still stronger than the wood itself."
    Source: Hide Glue in Liquid Form | Popular Woodworking Magazine
     
  13. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I just added this to "Hints and How-To's: Make Your Own Liquid Hide Glue.
    It's from the same article that TAT linked above, but specifying a particular portion of the article.

    bangster
    moderator
     
  14. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    When you are well beyond the expiration date you will notice that the hide glue will become less viscous, almost watery. Time to throw the bottle out.

    Uhralt
     
  15. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    I had a bottle from 2016 and could not find an expiration date on it...so went to the source for the answer. The newer bottles do not have an expiration date, just the code showing manufacturing date.
     
  16. Joseph Bautsch

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    The liquid hide glue in a bottle contains a hardening inhibitor. That's why it stays liquid in the bottle and has a longer curing time. Liquid or melted for use it has a use life of less than 6 months. By the time a retailer gets the liquid stuff on their shelf it's already near the end of its expected life. I don't recommend using it. Hide glue can easily be cleaned up if you get any in places you don't want it. It cleans up easily with hot water and a rag even after it hardens. I've cleaned up spots and runs weeks after it dried. If you are doing any veneering you cant beat it. I use it solely in joints and on parts that may need to come apart at some time in the future for repairs or restoration. I use a Little Dipper Crock Pot, a 16 oz jar and water to near the top to heat the glue. You can find these in a thrift store for about $3. No need for temperature control. The pot heats the glue to liquid and keeps it in the correct temperature range for use. When not in use keep the jar of glue in the icebox (do not freeze) it will extend the use life. Go to the top of this page to the magnifying glass, click on it and enter "hide glue" and you will get a lot of posts regarding use of hide glue.

    IMG_1244.jpg
     
  17. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    See how old my bottle of hide glue was! They must have changed it. I find the expiration date much more useful than a hard to decipher manufacturing date code.

    Uhralt
     
  18. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Joseph, where did you get that 6 month figure? Source?
    Contrary to your claim, I refer you to the article TaT linked above..
     
  19. Joseph Bautsch

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    I've never had mixed hide glue last longer than 6 months what ever a publication may say. The hide glue I use does not have any chemicals in it to keep it liquified or to extend its life. I've never found the additives to keep it liquid or to extend shelf life to be of significant value. They do however affect strength and extended curing time both of which makes it much less desirable to use. In its granular form it will last far longer. In any case I always use the smell test. Fresh liquified hide glue has a very mild oder to it. When it starts to have a rancid oder its time to toss it out and mix a new batch. When it starts to go rancid it loses its holding strength very quickly.
     
  20. wow

    wow Registered User
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    Thanks for moving this to a new thread, Shutt. I am working on a huge Vienna which has a warped/cracked case. I have learned so much from this thread. Ordered a 1/2 pound from Amazon.
     
  21. Bruce Alexander

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    I can easily imagine advantages to having some liquid hide glue on hand for small, quick applications where you don't want to drag out the glue pot and heat up a quantity of glue. The alternative is to simply use some modern wood glue which is not ideal when working with antique clocks. As far as storing excess hot hide glue, I use small plastic ice cube trays. I pour the excess into the trays, freeze the glue and then remove and wrap the cubes with aluminum foil, bag them up in a thick ziplock and keep them frozen. You can re-melt them once or twice but each time, the glue supposedly gets weaker so I only freeze hot glue once. The small cubes melt fast, cut down on waste and they store a long time.

    I did see that 'make your own' segment in the article bangster. I might give that a try or I might just order up some Titebond and try keeping it refrigerated for a longer shelf life. In the meantime, the little glue cubes works nice although I'm not above using wood glue and sawdust to tighten up loose screw holes.

    There have also been some rare occasions where I've resorted to JB Weld's "Clearweld" Clear Epoxy for structural joints that I don't ever want to come loose again. Hopefully they won't for all the reasons we're already well aware of.
     
  22. Joseph Bautsch

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    The basic rule I use in using hide glue or a permanent fix glue is: If it’s broken or cracked an should never happen I use Gorilla Wood glue. If it’s a joint or an assembly of parts then I use hide glue.
     
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  23. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

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    Titebond Literature and Specifications:

    Titebond
     
  24. Bruce Alexander

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    Regardless of the application, wood expands and contracts with environmental conditions. That can stress a glue joint. New hide glue will adhere to old which is one of the properties that makes it so well suited for repairs. That and the fact you can loosen it with water or steam.
     
  25. Troy Livingston

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    I had always heard liquid hide glue was rubbish, glue pot hide glue is difficult to use and not near as strong as “regular” glue and never considered questioning or testing these facts until reading the glue test in Fine Woodworking magazine. (August 2007 Issue 192)

    The results were surprising with hide glue both liquid and glue pot doing quite well compared to the best performing PVA wood glues. That and the poor performance of the Gorilla Polyurethane glue. To their credit they published the results even though Gorilla is a prominent advertiser.

    Most of my repairs are small enough that it isn’t worth mixing up a batch of hide glue in the pot. I started using the Titebond liquid hide glue and the more I used it the more I liked it. True, it has a limited shelf life, but there is an expiration date printed on the bottle. For years I would buy a fresh bottle at the Baltimore Woodcraft during an annual visit, downgrading the previous year’s bottle to nonstructural applications and pitching anything older. Currently I am using OBG (Old Brown Glue) and keep the bottle in the refrigerator to extend its life.

    Recently I have started experimenting with high tack fish glue as it has all the positive characteristics of hide glue with an indefinite shelf life. This is the glue that Columbia Organ Works (A first rate outfit) recommends when recovering bellows and it worked beautifully while recovering cuckoo clock bellows. I have been experimenting with more structural applications.

    The reversibility of these glues is a great feature, a safety net should my repair not go well, and leaves future restorers with better options should more work be required. A miserable experience cleaning up a repair using CA glue has me firmly convinced that reversibility is worthwhile.
     
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  26. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    This is a GREAT THREAD, chock full of opinions and information on an important subject. :emoji_thumbsup::emoji_v:

    Is what I think.
     

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