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Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - cputnam - 07-29-2019

We haven't had a good glue thread for a while, so I do not feel too badly about asking this question. Some years ago, Christopher Schwartz kicked up a fuss about hide glue. Lately, I've been wondering a few things:

* Has anyone started using hide glue for the majority of projects?
* Use glue pot or liquid?
* how have the projects held up?
* Any new insights arising in the last few years?
* Anyone switched back to PVA (or other) glue?

Inquiring minds want to know ....

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - barryvabeach - 07-29-2019

I have used it quite a bit over the years.  I use a glass jar in a plastic kettle designed for tea, just cut a hole in the top to fit the jar.  I use it when I am doing  a lot of glue ups during a day, like major woodworking projects.  Many of my projects are schlock lately  ( a lemonade stand for a friends daughter, stand up desks for friends), or projects where I want the joint to be moisture resistant and so i don't use it for those projects .  When I work on bigger projects, like a secretary bookcase,  I cut on the pot on Saturday morning, then cut it off Saturday night, then repeat on Sunday.  If you are only using glue sporadically during the day, it is not all that efficient to keep it on the heater, and adding water.     BTW,  using a rub joint is a great way to do a glue up using hide glue, and i have not really mastered that using Titebond.

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - Hank Knight - 07-30-2019

Like Barry, I still use Titebond for lots of things, but I use hide glue for big, complicated projects. I like it because it's easy to clean up and it doesn't interfere with most finishes. I usually use hot hide glue, but it grabs and sets up pretty fast. If I need a little bit more working time, I use liquid hide glue. Yesterday, for example, I glued the writing surface into a slant top desk I'm building. It is attached to the case sides with long, housed sliding dovetails. Sliding it into place took some doing and a little time. I applied liquid hide glue to the last 8" of the front and back after I'd gotten the panel slid about 2/3 of the way in. The liquid glue gave me enough working time to slide it the rest of the way home. I've used hot hide glue on the rest of the joints in the desk.

IMG_4486 by Hank Knight, on Flickr

IMG_4491 by Hank Knight, on Flickr

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - msweig - 07-30-2019

I usually use the titebond liquid hide glue. Works well. Haven't tried the homemade stuff, as I'm worried about the scent (my shop is in the house and isn't easy to air out).


RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - Rob Young - 07-30-2019

I'm also in the use-both-kinds camp.

Recent examples :
Kitchen cabinet pull-out drawers : use Titebond (happens to be TB-III because I needed a new bottle of PVA and that was both on sale)
Cutting boards : again TB but it was TB-II and that's the reason I needed the new bottle...
Chair repairs : liquid hide glue and some finagling to remove the old dry whatever-it-was glue
Small decorative boxes : liquid hide for joinery, hot-hide to hammer veneer onto thin ply for floating bottoms

Also used 2-part epoxy, I prefer the stuff that is 30 or 60 minute if I have to buy the little syringes as it drys harder, for other household repairs. And cyanoacrolate (i.e. Super Glue) for some temporary bonding and as a finish on small turnings.

I'll try and use whatever glue is the most appropriate for the task at hand.

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - Rob Young - 07-30-2019

(07-30-2019, 09:33 AM)msweig Wrote: I usually use the titebond liquid hide glue. Works well. Haven't tried the homemade stuff, as I'm worried about the scent (my shop is in the house and isn't easy to air out).


Good quality dry hide glue has been refined and they've removed most of the fats so you don't get that rancid smell. Generally, the lighter colored the granules, the more refined. Avoid stuff that is labeled as "pearl glue" as it tends to be a bit more smelly in my experience.

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - RickW - 07-30-2019

I do a lot of antique furniture repair. I usually use hot hide glue and the Lee Valley glue pot and warmer. Since I only use small amounts of glue, it's just the right size for the amount of glue I need for a piece of furniture.
My shop is unheated, so in the winter I have to do my gluing up in the house.My wife is very understanding, as long as I keep things out of the way!

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - rwe2156 - 07-30-2019

I don't use it often other than with veneer.  I use one of the small crock pot cookers.

I've used both Old Brown Glue and Titebond. One of them has an awful smell (I think its TB).

Be aware there is a shelf life on the premixed hide glue.

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - Scoony - 08-01-2019

I have used it from time to time. I make my own adding in urea to the mix to make a liquid hide glue. I still have to heat it up to use, but it has a much longer open time than without the urea. I use the cheap kitchen cook pot and have the temp knob calibrated for 140 deg.

One problem with hide glue is the mess. With regular wood glue, any drips on the floor dry up quickly. With hide glue, if I am not careful, I end up with a bunch of wood shavings stuck to my shoes.

RE: Hide Glue - Working Out for You? - mongo - 08-01-2019

I use it sometimes and would like to use it more often. I have a glue pot and ganuals for homemade and a bottle of Old Brown Glue in the fridge.

Biggest reason I don't use it more is time. If I am in the shop 30min here and there its more difficult to heat up and use than a botte of titebond.

If I have the time it works better with many finishes, cleans up easy and can be rubbed, and creeps less pva. So yeah I like it

In my mind all glues have a place pva, "super glue", epoxy in different flavors and yes hide glue. Polyurethane even has a place as a construction adhesive. Its like having different saws to do different jobs.