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Making Liquid (cold) Hide Glue

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Blog entry by stefang posted 07-21-2014 08:39 AM 1160 reads 4 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While planning my first veneer marquetry experience I was a little worried about using hot hide glue to fasten the marquetry to the box sides of my project. I worried that the glue would cool too quickly before I could get it into the veneer press.

I had read an article here about making your own liquid hide glue that could be used at room temperature and which had a very long open time. Realizing that this would eliminate any risk of the glue setting up too quickly before pressing I decided to make some. Another motivation for me was that liquid hide glue is not sold here in Norway and I’m not willing to pay freight for a product that has so much water in it! here’s a pic of my finished product and a drop of it on the veneer to show you what it looks like poured cold.

The formula is really simple as 1,2,3:

1 part table salt
2 parts glue
3 parts water

I applied this formula based on volume. “Here” is the article on the details.

Step 1 Add water to the glue flakes and let it sit overnight.

Step 2 Cook the ingredients at 145F or around 60C for 2 hours, then put it in the fridge while still hot until the next morning.

Step 3 Cook for another 2 hours at 145F and it’s done and ready for use.

My results were good even though I’m not sure if my proportions were absolutely correct. I did some test glue-ups and checked them the next day and they hadn’t set, so I tested again and let it sit for two days, and that one really worked well with the wood tearing out when I tried to part the glue joint. In the end I didn’t want to wait so long for the glue to set so I wound up using hot hide glue instead and it worked out well luckily.

The beauty of this glue is that it doesn’t get outdated because the salt preserves it so well and also keeps it in liquid form and you don’t have to heat up the bottle in order to pour it out either, but you do have to wait for it to set up properly before taking it out of the press or removing any clamps.

My conclusions
I really don’t want to glue up any large marquetries with hot hide glue because I’m not keen on having to use heated aluminium plates like Paul aka shipwright uses to rewarm the glue after getting the glue-up into the press. I’m worried about fire hazard if I were to use a gas flame in my small shop. I could probably heat them in my kitchen oven, but not too practical, especially with our weather in the winter and keeping the plates hot from the house to the shop. I might change my mind about this after awhile, but in the meantime I will have to let the marquetries stay in the press for at least two days if I use my home brewed liquid hide glue.

I plan to make some more liquid hide glue and to be much more precise in following the quantities this time to see if the drying time will be less. I didn’t have a good measuring vessel the first time so I winged it.

I have also learned since from a reliable source that salt can be added to hot hide glue to extend the open time when gluing large panels, but I don’t know how much to add. I think this would be done more economically when most of the glue will be used for the job at hand.

I also found out that mixture of 7% hot hide glue flakes and 93% water make an excellent sanding sealer. I used it on my Chevalet and it work perfectly. A cheap and easy alternative to shellac.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.



26 comments so far

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

1880 posts in 948 days


#1 posted 07-21-2014 11:06 AM

A very well written and presented article Mike,

I have had lots of banter with Paul regarding versions of Hide Glue, mostly when I was making the curved front Box, and all the dramas I had with veneer so I feel for you to a certain extent in your veneer ventures.

Titebond have a liquid hide glue product,but agin if its not available its meaningless info

-- Regards Robert

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

1880 posts in 948 days


#2 posted 07-21-2014 11:07 AM

A very well written and presented article Mike,

I have had lots of banter with Paul regarding versions of Hide Glue, mostly when I was making the curved front Box, and all the dramas I had with veneer so I feel for you to a certain extent in your veneer ventures.

Titebond have a loquid hid.

-- Regards Robert

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#3 posted 07-21-2014 11:49 AM

Thanks Robert. Paul got me started with HHG and I am grateful for it. Nice stuff to use. With pvc glue I was always finding glue spots on my projects that were invisible until I put on the finish. Very frustrating.I think that the main thing with using HHG is just getting used to getting it into the pot. I have a relatively small electric glue pot from Germany which is mainly used by luthiers. So far it has been a good size so that I use the glue pretty quickly. Each day I take the unused portion left in the small pot and put it in the fridge overnight. This is good for a few days and by then I’ve used it up and I need to make a fresh batch, so it’s a great cycle for me and the small work I do. I have a large pot in a sauce pan heated on an electric hot plate for when I need larger quantities. Its all very easy and you can do a lot of glue-ups without clamps, not veneer of course.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7186 posts in 2047 days


#4 posted 07-21-2014 11:56 AM

very well written, good info here, but i will not be venturing into this mode of woodwork, but i sure enjoy reading of your venture into this..and i love your results, a.k.a the dragon…what is next mike..you always do things on the gran scale….should i expect big things…i hope so

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#5 posted 07-21-2014 12:12 PM

Hi Bob, I have no idea where this will take me. I just let my heart lead the way. I’m more in it more for the work pleasure and the self satisfaction than the fame and glory, although I do like to jaw about it with my LJ and WN friends. The one thing that deters me from making large things is that I don’t know what I would do with them afterward. Most of my work winds up as family gifts that can be easily hidden from sight in case the recipients aren’t all that thrilled with them. I wouldn’t mind getting really good at marquetry, but with my ‘creative genius’ that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. My best projects so far have been the fretwork bread baskets I made for everyone. they get a lot of use and everybody loves them. That pleases me to no end. Now I just have to find something useful to make that can be decorated with marquetry. I have also made and gifted a lot of boxes, but I’m a little unhappy that people just put them on display (at least when I’m visiting) but they never use them. Let me know if you have any ideas for me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

12315 posts in 1849 days


#6 posted 07-21-2014 12:20 PM

Good Blog, Mike. It is fun to explore new things like that especially when you have a current need. I will file this one away in my favorites for future use as i don’t do marquetry right now!!

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

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#7 posted 07-21-2014 12:30 PM

Well, you certainly don’t need to do marquetry work to use hot or cold hide glue Jim. I am using it more and more and using PVC glue and Titebond less and less. I love that you can just do rub joints with hot glue. I would like to try it on some segmented turning. I’m a little afraid that the heat from the sanding might heat the glue and loosen it, but it would be worth a try. It makes a strong bond a lot quicker than Titebond and similar products, plus it’s a lot cheaper buying granular glue compared to glue that has a lot of water content. I bought 4 kilos or about 8.8 lbs. of granular hide glue that will probably last me the rest of my life (that might not be such a long time, but you get the idea)! I keep it in a small fridge in the washroom.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5290 posts in 1541 days


#8 posted 07-21-2014 01:54 PM

Good article Mike…..... but you do have to try hot cauls. They are so handy for even small jobs. They just eliminate the need to rush things. I heat mine with the little BBQ’s here at home in my big shop but in Az I use the same hot plate that I use for my sand shading. It’s a little slower but it works just fine.
I tried this recipe once and wasn’t thrilled with the results. Maybe because I expected “24 hour service”. For now I use Old Brown Glue for my LHG needs but if I ever make my own again I will probably try urea.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7186 posts in 2047 days


#9 posted 07-21-2014 04:02 PM

well mike, with so much glue, if you feel yourself falling apart from age and such , just rub some of that hide glue on and it will hold you together…:)...we don’t want you planning on going anywhere mike, nope we don’t….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#10 posted 07-21-2014 04:36 PM

Paul I haven’t ruled out the hot cauls, especially now that I know they can be heated on a hot plate. I do have a good aluminium supplier nearby so i know I can find those and I probably will. I was very afraid of using the BBQs with open flame. I do know the plates don’t have to be too warm to handle with bare hands thanks to your blogs.

Bob We are all actually held together with hide glue already. I’m not planning any fast exits, but who does? I hope you are getting better with your bad back and knees. I hope you get well quick and back into your shop where you belong! I have a similar problem, but obviously not nearly as bad as you do as I can still manage fairly well with increasingly frequent sitting in between.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15058 posts in 2419 days


#11 posted 07-21-2014 05:30 PM

Great info Mike. I am always concerned about open time on everything ;-) How long does it take to set up?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#12 posted 07-21-2014 06:00 PM

Quite a long time, probably 24 hours Bob. The downside is that you have to wait at least a couple of days before being able to work with it again. That said it could be a great advantage at times if you’re not in a big hurry. Personally I wouldn’t mind waiting a couple of days in most situations because there are usually other things that can be done in the meanwhile. It just requires a little patience.

You can always buy Old Brown Glue to get the same open time benefits and a quicker result, but I’m not sure how much quicker, probably a lot. There is likely some info about that on the net. Another alternative is to use Urea as an additive instead of salt as Paul mentioned, but I have been unable to locate a supplier for that. I haven’t tried the farm supply stores yet. I asked my pharmacist DIL about it and she didn’t know where I could get it either, even though she knows a whole lot about chemistry. Welcome to Norway!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

666 posts in 1757 days


#13 posted 07-21-2014 06:13 PM

I just wanted to throw out this idea. Induction Cooktop. Canʻt you use a pot that is compatible with an induction cooktop to heat your glue? Itʻs like a hot plate but works a lot faster and has no open flame or heating coils. Should be safe for shop use. May have to get 2 once your wife sees how neat it is.

Here in the US you can get one at Wal-Mart for about $100. I hear good things about it. Check it out.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7186 posts in 2047 days


#14 posted 07-21-2014 07:21 PM

i just looked at wal mart, they have the induction cooktops for 40 and 50 bucks and more expensive ones if you want, but that is a good idea…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2078 days


#15 posted 07-21-2014 07:34 PM

Thanks for the tip Tyvekboy. We have an induction stove in our kitchen, but you have to use pans with compatible bottoms on them because the regular ones don’t work. I think my electric hot plate in the shop will probably work well enough. I can just stack two platters on it at a time and turn them like pancakes when the bottom one gets warm enough.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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