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Blog entry by stefang posted 04-29-2013 04:55 PM 2395 reads 2 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I read Shipwright’s 3 part blog on hot hide glue here for beginners. Here is a paraphrased summary of what he said:

Hide glue is easy to use and not messy

Hide glue bonds are stronger that the wood.

Ok, there was a lot more info than this in Shipwright’s blog, but if you want to, after reading this blog, then go ahead and read it. Based on Shipwright’s advice, I bought dry hide glue granules, 4 kilos to be exact. I reckoned that based on the time it takes me to finish a project these days that this amount would last me the rest of my life, and a fair amount would still be inherited by my grandkids.

I decided to give it a try today just to test out all of those wild claims. I won’t go through the brushing it on and so forth, but here are the glued up pieces:

I did three things with the glue:
1. I edge glued two pieces of pine together
2. I made an ‘L’ shaped joint from two other pieces
3. I hammer veneered one face and one edge onto some MDF (I was too lazy to tooth solid wood).

The photos show the glue-ups with my hand for scale. Yes, I was too cheap to go big with these tests. I have to reluctantly admit that there was no messiness encountered. I did drop a little hot glue on my pants, but after it gelled I just plucked it off and nothing stuck. This of course made me even more suspicious of the strength of this watery thin liquidy stuff. The hammer veneer went great too. I used two thin pieces on top and cut a seam and removed the cut strips to make a tight joint between just to try out that technique too. It turned out very well, but the joint shows a bit, probably due to not being careful to match the grain. It is otherwise flat and tight.

My next step concerned the strength of the joints. I was pretty sure that this flimsy watery looking glue couldn’t possibly be as strong as Shipwright claimed. Only a fool would believe that, right? I did the glue-ups just before lunch and took them with me to show the wife. Not surprisingly she was totally indifferent to the whole thing. After lunch, a cup of tea, and trying to find a torque wrench for my sons obsessional bicycle project and then resting in my Lazy Boy chair a little after all that effort (about two hours after glue-up), I took the glued up pieces back out to the shop for some DESTRUCTIVE TESTING. I was looking forward to this part because I’m pretty good at destroying wood, as you all all know.

First I tried to break the glue bond with my hands. I really tried hard, but couldn’t budge them. Then I put the pieces in my tail vise with the the glue joints above the vise jaws and whacked them with a hammer. Here are the after photos:

Well, this is a little embarrassing! Either my testing was incorrectly done or Shipwright was right on all counts. I will let you decide.

Thanks for reading and I hoped you enjoyed my seriously scientific approach to the subject.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

39 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15353 posts in 2617 days

#1 posted 04-29-2013 04:58 PM

EDIT: This was a double post, and my original entry was tied to that. :-)

Mike – is it strictly hot hide for you from this point?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2006 days

#2 posted 04-29-2013 05:01 PM

Those MythBuster Boys aint got NUTHIN’ on you!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3881 days

#3 posted 04-29-2013 05:02 PM

Dang him!
He always seems to be right.
Thanks for checking though.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3150 days

#4 posted 04-29-2013 05:21 PM

Well the provocative title of this blog pulled me in. Glad to see our friend was right!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3333 days

#5 posted 04-29-2013 05:30 PM

Smitty Yes!!!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jumbojack's profile


1676 posts in 2623 days

#6 posted 04-29-2013 05:32 PM

Thanks for the very informative, all inclusive, exhaustive testing. As if I weren’t convinced already by Shipwrights word alone, I am now a disciple and will spread the word.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3711 days

#7 posted 04-29-2013 07:05 PM


We were ready for you to smear Paul’s impeccable reputation. (He always seemed trustworthy, but who’s to know?) We’re glad you straightened it out for us, but now we’re concerned that this may be a conspiracy and that the two of you may have just made major investments in some hyde glue company and are trying to further your profits?!? Now who’s going to check up on you? LOL


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3333 days

#8 posted 04-29-2013 07:15 PM

LWLL I did have some money to invest earlier today, but we used the money to buy some eggs instead.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2797 days

#9 posted 04-29-2013 07:33 PM

You even got me Mike.
I’m really surprised though that the joints were that strong in two hours.
They would be very much stronger in 24. The in initial tack strength, sufficient to handle and work carefully with the piece comes with the cooling after several minutes but the full strength only comes with complete drying of the joint which I wouldn’t have expected in two hours.

Sooo … what are you going to buy with the money you get for all your clamps? :-)

Thanks for backing up my wild claims. I really don’t like the sound of “shipwrong”.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3333 days

#10 posted 04-29-2013 08:24 PM

Paul This was a great day for me thanks to your prodding. The hot hide glue is amazing stuff just like you said, and I never doubted your word for a minute. The purpose of my blog was to help you get more folks interested in trying it. I figured that if they saw that a much less skilled woodworker than yourself could use it easily and successfully, then they surely could too. I made it provocative to stimulate a little interest. I hope you don’t mind the way I did it. My wife saw it and she said she didn’t like my tone at all. I told her that everyone else but her would understand it and maybe even have a laugh.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3039 days

#11 posted 04-29-2013 08:29 PM

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2797 days

#12 posted 04-29-2013 10:14 PM

Taken exactly as you intended Mike.
I love it.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20487 posts in 3104 days

#13 posted 04-29-2013 10:46 PM

Mike that glue is every bit as strong as Paul says it is. He made me some sample when I was down in Green Valley and I could not break them apart. he made me a believer!!.................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2921 days

#14 posted 04-29-2013 11:13 PM

This is the reason why I can’t find any hide glue in the Philippines… Either the other people around the world eat too much beef or they use too much for gluing (Mike is hoarding a lot… 4 kg). Maybe the name is right…\
HIDE GLUE. The glue is hiding somewhere. Thanks for the test… I want to join but not until I seek and find for the hide glue. Enjoy the hot stuff…

-- Bert

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 3829 days

#15 posted 04-29-2013 11:50 PM

Thanks for helping to spread the word Mike, Paul made a believer out of me too. Now how about a pic of the glue pot arrangement you used?

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

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