Advice on Taking Apart Hide Glue Joints
#6
  
I've got a old white oak china cabinet that was put together with doweled joints and hide glue. Most all the joints are loose and I am taking everything apart and re-glueing with hot hide glue. I will use alcohol on the difficult joints to further loosen them. My question is: how will the alcohol affect the re-glueing if at all. I don't plan to remove any more of the old glue than is necessary; just the loose crumbly stuff. I'm hopeful that the use of alcohol won't cause me to have to remove all old glue down to bare wood.
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#7
  Re: Advice on Taking Apart Hide Glue Joints by Willyou (I've got a old white...)
A heat gun has always worked good for me to help the glue fail completely.  Just a little clean up, and use new hide glue to reassemble.

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#8
  Re: Advice on Taking Apart Hide Glue Joints by Willyou (I've got a old white...)
Steam will pop the joints loose like popcorn popping.
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#9
  Re: RE: Advice on Taking Apart Hide Glue Joints by Herb G (Steam will pop the j...)
(08-29-2017, 02:13 PM)Herb G Wrote: Steam will pop the joints loose like popcorn popping.

Heat + moisture (i.e. steam!) does the best job.  Heat by itself with a little careful pry/pull is my second choice.  Just wrapping a wet rag around joints is the least effective.

The alcohol (vinegar will do it too) will make the bond more brittle as you have found.  Once the alcohol has flashed off, it won't have any further effect on the re-glue.  The vinegar would be a bit harder to eliminate.

And even though the hide glue can be re-activated, you will probably get a better result by scraping away the crusty old stuff and starting clean.

Keep in mind that hide glue is not structurally gap filling so if the joint is lose, you must do other work to guarantee good surface-to-surface contact so the hide glue will work best.
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. -- G. Carlin
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#10
  Re: Advice on Taking Apart Hide Glue Joints by Willyou (I've got a old white...)
Thanks for the thumbs up on alcohol. It seems to be a very effective method.
I plan to clean the joints as completely as I can. I want to be careful to not make dowel holes, grooves, or dados any bigger than original.
I'm not real fond of dowel joints anyway, but this dowel job was particularly poor. I may add some additional ones during re-assembly.
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