Animal and hide glues
by Professor Gene Wengert
For information about using these old glues, the USDA has an older booklet on gluing. Also, check out some of the used book stores--my favorite is Powell's in Portland, OR--they have a WEB page and a large supply of woodworking materials.
(Editor's note: Powell's Technical Books can be found at: https://www.powells.com/techstore.html)
Professor Gene Wengert is Extension Specialist in Wood Processing at the Department of Forestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Click on Wood Doctor Archives to peruse past answers.
The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).
Comment from contributor A:
Comment from contributor B:
You forgot chairs.
The gluebond in round tenon joints fails eventually 100 percent of the time. If it was originally glued with hot hide glue, it can be reglued successfully with hot hide glue.
Hide glue is the only glue I know of that will dissolve its own hardened residue... and chairs are the only reason it's still around.
To repair one someone has "fixed" with aliphatics, one is forced to remake the joints by plugging and redrilling.
Comment from contributor C:
Chairs are not the only reason hide glue is still around. It is, for example, still used in piano manufacture and repair because of its versatility (you can mix it to the desired thickness and adjust the curing time with urea crystals), its strength, and its reversability. When old parts wear out, it's pretty handy to be able to soften old glue with steam or water to separate the parts.
Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?
Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?