Hide glue series at FW

SteveHall

Steve
Corporate Member
FineWoodworking just posted a 4-part article and video series on protein (bone, hide) glue, by Patrick Edwards, the creator of Old Brown Glue:

Interesting initial thoughts about the relevance of strength versus the importance of reversability.
 
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mpeele

michael
User
My dad and uncle ran a small upholstered furniture company in the 60's and used hide glue for frames. When the company was sold I acquired a 50 lb bag and 2 qt Hold-heat glue pot. It took me about 20 years to use up the bag but glue pot is still going strong.

I don't heat glue in an open pot like Patrick was doing. I put water in the pot and glue in a plastic bottle in the water. That way I have hot glue and hot water for glue up. When I'm finished I put glue in refrigerator or freezer.

Hide glue is technically reversible and veneer is easy, joints not so easy. If it's really cured/dry joint then moisture has to be reintroduced. For joints with high glue line to joint surface like a dove tail or a panel its not to difficult. But for a M&T that's a different task. For a uncured joint then heat from an iron or heat gun will loosen the joint.

Hide glue is transparent in small amounts(thin layers not blobs). Don't expect a large blob to just disappear. It's been my experience that glue is less visible under natural finishes such a Linseed oil and Shellac but lacquer and Waterlox, not so much. If I see glue, I remove qlue.

If you ever do bent laminations you should try hide glues. I had rather work with hide that catalyzed or epoxys.

You can make it water proof by applying formalin to the joint before or after glue up. But be careful formalin fumes don't mix with granulated glue.

I could go on and on ....

I have been getting glue from Bjorn Industries for years. When I first starting getting it from Eugene you just called him and ordered it. He would ship it with and invoice and you would just send a check after you received it. He now has a web site. selling the best quality hide glue for over 25 years!

Most of the glue(I'm sure Behlem/Mohawk is because I asked them) sold in small quantities is 251 which gells fairly quickly. Woodcraft sells some.

Eugene Bjorn is a wealth of info about glue and likes to talk about it, just give him a call.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
danmart77 is a big proponent of hide glue here at NCWW. He builds Windsor chairs and does a lot of veneer panels using hide glue.

192 gram strength is probably the most useful for us. I've tried it and it's good glue that is strong enough, but the real advantage is its reversibility if it has to be undone, taken apart and reglued.
 
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Richo B

Richo
Senior User
I agree with Mr. Edwards. Reversibility is very important in my museum conservation work. I have horse hide hot glue granules, rabbit glue, liquid fish glue, Old Brown Glue and even the hide glue wafers which I've experimented with once. My go to right now is the Old Brown Glue for which I got a complimentary bottle from my friend, Winston Salem furniture conservator, Martin O'Brien. I've since bought two additional bottles. But there are times for using hot hide glue from the granules and even fish glue depending on the work I'm doing.

I got an interesting question from our Public Relations person - In an age of sensitivity regarding the use of animal products are there materials we can use that do not involve animal and fish parts? I told her that there just isn't anything synthetic, that I knew of, that had the natural protein properties necessary for proper adhesion and reversibility. Old Brown Glue comes close but I don't know how they are harvesting the urea that it contains. I only watched the first few minutes of the attached video so if he mentions an alternative let me know and I'll watch it in full. I just assumed it was the same talk that I give in my Behind the Scenes tours of my lab.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
Old Brown Glue comes close but I don't know how they are harvesting the urea that it contains.

Urea is a synthetic chemical that is added to the hide glue to keep it as a liquid. There is no harvesting from an animal but it is produced naturally in urine from animals and humans.
 
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Richo B

Richo
Senior User
Old Brown Glue comes close but I don't know how they are harvesting the urea that it contains.

Urea is a synthetic chemical that is added to the hide glue to keep it as a liquid. There is no harvesting from an animal but it is produced naturally in urine from animals and humans.
that is what I thought
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Urea is a by product we all (Mammals) produce when breaking down proteins and expel (urine).

I have used hide glue mostly for instrument repair. It allows disassembly, that is important.

I have made it from rabbit skin and cow hide .... rather my mom used to make it when I was kid and I helped her. She used it mimicking old master art, when she taught that to others. I have made hide glue from cow hide dog chews, works fine, Not as brown. But, stuff is probably 80-85% as strong as Titebond. Just got to remember the fit time is usually less than 90 sec, unless you reheat.
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
LOL too early in the morning........ need to read better.

Urea is a by product we all (Mammals) produce when breaking down proteins and expel (urine).



I thought that I said that too, but thanks for confirming my suspicions.
 

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