I have been gearing up for a particular project. In preparation I have been doing a bit of research on using hide glue. For the purist, it is best to use a glue brush without a metal ferrule. The reasoning behind this is the metal ferrule can potentially cause a black stain. There are brushes available for hide glue but there are rather expensive. For the time being, I am spending shop funds on materials and tools.
The focus of this blog is to show an inexpensive alternative to an expensive glue brush. Perhaps just enough to experiment before making a decision to purchase a brush or continue to make your own.
To make your own hide glue brush, all you need is an inexpensive chip brush, a sail needle, and some waxed sail cord. Start by removing the metal ferrule and drilling 3/16 holes in the indentations left by the ferrule. Next, sand the bristle bundle flat so it will mate up with the end of the brush handle.
The following photos show how to stitch the bristle bundle on to the end of the brush handle. It is pretty easy to do with a sail needle . . . just take your time and keep everything snug.
The next step is a bit more complicated. However, if you have the courage to remove the metal ferrule and sand a bristle bundle flat than you are up for whipping the handle end! Whipping is a type of knot that secures the end of a rope and is perfect for finishing your glue brush. For the sailors and Boy Scouts in the crowd this will be a snap!
Good sources for additional information can be found on luthier websites and library / archiving websites.
Some Interesting Glue Brush Links