Ok, I've seen a lot of you all talk about hide glue. I needed some brown
Titebond for some walnut glue ups I was doing. I was on the side of town
Woodcraft isn't, but I had a friend that was going right past it on his way
to give me a hand. I asked him to stop and pick me up a bottle. He comes up
with hide glue, not the brown glue. What's the hide glue good for? It looks
a lot like gorilla glue.
"Cartoons don't have any deep meaning.
They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
Strongly suggest you investigate the properties and characteristics of
the glue before you leap. As stated, it's a good glue, been around for
ages, and is still in use. But it's not interchangeable with other,
more modern glues. Not saying it's better or worse in general, just
different and, potentially not recommended for some applications.
Don't know your particular application, but DAGS "Hide Glue", read
some of the references, and be sure that's what you want to use.
Hide glue is not nearly as durable and long lasting as modern yellow glues.
It is hard and brittle. The initial joint is just fine but over time, under
stress and flexing, it tends to crack and eventually turns to near powder.
Yellow glues are far more resistant to that.
Well now, quote "not as durable and long lasting . . . " and "it tends
to crack and eventually turns to near power"
that must be sometime after the 300 to 400 year point. All the old
antique furniture that I see around that was put together with hide glue
in the early 1600's and later are all holding up just fine. I haven't
seen one of those antiques falling apart yet because the glue turned to
But maybe I am just not looking at the right things. Even furniture
which I bought over 50 years ago that was put together with hide glue is
still just as strong as the day I bought them. After all, If it won't
last another 100 years, what do I care?
I think he's just ignorant. Dovetails and draw bored tenons and the like
are generally used where the joint would otherwise involve a bond to end
grain which even the best modern adhesives don't do very well.
Ok, thanks for all the answers guys. I stopped up in Indy at the WC store
while ago and got a bottle of what I wanted to begin with, as I just like to
use the brown glue on darker wood. I've got a bottle of hide glue in the
cabinet if anybody needs it!!!
Dovetails are used because they're self-supporting without glue, but
this is because hide glue is short-lived, not because it's weak. A
good hide-glued joint (like a rubbed joint) is as strong as many
timbers. Most draw-bored tenons aren't even glued, certainly in
anything bigger than a chair stretcher.
Hide glue's _huge_ advantage is that the joint can last a thousand
years with appropriate repairs every couple of centuries. One dose of
glue might not, but the bond is reversible and it's pretty easy to take
a piece apart to reglue it without damage. Try that with a modern glue!
Just look at the amount of unfastening and refastening work that goes
on with top-end violins and is regarded as almost commonplace
Oh, and modern glues don't last forever either. Look at the problems
with those synthetics that leach out acid, those (PU!) that have
terrible UV stability, and those like PVA that creep under load.
I use almost entirely hide glue, particularly for my good furniture. I
use PVA for biscuits and modern board materials, Titebond II for small
joints in modern style work, and loads of epoxy. For "traditional"
joints though or especially for veneering, there's nothing to beat hot
hide glue. With a thermostatic electric pot, it's even easy to use too.
Hide glue's awkward past reputation was almost entirely because of the
bother of using it, and the failed performance if you do over heat it.
I assume what the OP has is a tube of cold Titebond hide glue. A fine
product and as convenient as anything else. Give it a go and enjoy
PS - color might be similar, but hide glue is nothing like Gorilla:
- Doesn't foam
- Doesn't stain (as bad)
- Hide glue is not a good choice for exterior work
- It can be disassembled - with patience
Here's som info (hide glue is actually best if you buy it in dry form):
Hide glue was state of the art for a long time in woodworking ,though
it was hot hide glue that had to be mixed and heated before use, not
the liquid hide glue your friend got.
Its main advantage is that it softens and redissolves when wet,
allowing the joint to come apart.
Its main disadvantage is that it softens and redissolves when wet,
allowing the joint to come apart.
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
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