Undoing a liquid hide glue joint...don't use hot water

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Forum topic by ppg677 posted 05-02-2016 03:25 AM 929 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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149 posts in 764 days

05-02-2016 03:25 AM

I started using Titebond Liquid Hide Glue because of my frequent mistakes.

Decided to undo a joint I wasn’t happy with. Googled…saw suggestion to use hot water. I poured about a half cup on the dovetail joint. Yeah, it came undone but the 7” wood now flares out 1/8” from wood expansion! That is, then 2” of wood near wear I poured is now 7 1/8” wide instead of 7”. Of course the dovetail no longer fits.

I tried oven at 200 degrees for a few hours. And it’s been 2 days. Still flared out. Makes me wonder if I permanently messed up the piece.

Heat gun next time??

3 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18197 posts in 3583 days

#1 posted 05-02-2016 06:44 AM

Probably. If he doesn’t see this thread and advise, contact Paul

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

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1808 posts in 1877 days

#2 posted 05-02-2016 10:31 AM

I think maybe you should have heated the glue with a heat gun and made it viscous again. And then it should pull apart. Water is normally for cleaning around the joint.

Paul would be the one to know definitely

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View shipwright's profile


7895 posts in 2706 days

#3 posted 05-02-2016 02:37 PM

To reverse hide glue requires both heat and moisture. Heat alone won’t do it once the joint has dried completely.
However, moisture means that the glue must be moistened, not that the whole area should be soaked.
Particularly if you are using a soft wood that has serious expansion issues it pays to start with a little water (hot wet rag), give it a little time, try it, repeat. You can add a little heat from a heat gun or an iron but take your time and try not to soak the whole area.
Hide glue is very strong and will not always give up easily. If the joint is deep it will require some time and patience to get the moisture into all of the glue.
In my experience expanded wood has always come back to original size eventually. My guess is that you have soaked deeper than you have dried.

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

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