Hide glue is available in various strengths, but as the strength of the
glue increases, the amount of time you have to work with it shortens.
Prepare only as much glue as you expect to use in a day or two.
Our granular hide glue is a very strong one (rated 260± Bloom
strength) with a correspondingly short open time; it is good for uncomplicated
assemblies where strength is of paramount importance.
Pearl hide glue, which also comes in dry form and is used the same way
as granular, is not as strong (rated 150g Bloom strength) but takes longer
to gel. With the longer working time, it is better for applications like
veneering where you need time to fit, but where high strength is not required.
Hide Glue Characteristics:
- Heat Resistance: low
- Water Resistance: low
- Solvent Resistance: moderate
- Sandability: good
Hide Glue Applications:
- Pot Life: all day
- Open Assembly Time: 3 to 5 minutes
- Clamp Time: 60 minutes
- Joint Conditioning: 24 hours
- Freeze-Thaw Cycles: stable
- Wet Clean-Up: water
If you have never worked with hide glue, it is best to start with a small
batch. A larger batch of glue may be made using the same proportion of
glue to water. Put 3 tablespoons (45ml) of dry glue in a heat-resistant
glass container, cover with 2 tablespoons (30ml) of cold water
and let soak for several hours until the glue softens and becomes gelatinous.
Place the container with the gelatinous glue in a bath of water in a spiral-wound
electric pot, a waterjacketed pot or a double boiler. Heat to approximately
140°F (60°C) and maintain.
A properly prepared and heated batch of glue forms a steady thread as
it drips from a brush back into the glue pot, much like honey on a honey
dipper. If the glue drips from the brush in droplets, it is too thin.
To thicken the glue, stir the glue while it is being heated until sufficient
water has evaporated from the mixture. If the glue forms thick clumps
on the brush, dilute it with hot water until the desired consistency is
Apply the glue with a stiff brush and join the pieces while the glue
is still hot. As the glue cools, it will gel and lose its adhesive properties.
Note: The consistency of the glue may require modification
if it is kept heated for considerable time or if it is reheated. Overheating
the glue will spoil it, as will reheating it more than four times.
Dry granular hide and pearl glue can be safely stored for extended periods
in airtight containers in a cool and dry place. The mixed glue can be
stored for several days in a covered container in the refrigerator. The
presence of mold or a strong smell indicates that the mixed glue has spoiled.