• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Good quality hide glue

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Noho12C

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Messages
299
Reaction score
35
Location
Stafford
Im trying to use more hide glue in my projects but struggling to find good quality one in UK. Bjorn and Tools for working wood sell good hide glue, but import from US is quite expensive. I can find easily Liberon pearl glue, but it is mostly bone glue, much more smelly.

Anyone has a good provider of good quality hide glue ?
 

profchris

Established Member
Joined
14 Jun 2015
Messages
848
Reaction score
90
Location
Suffolk
Luthier supplies are your answer, something like this:


(I've not bought from them, but you could email queries about the smelliness)

I use ordinary pearl glue for my instrument making and put up with the smell. I can get invisible glue lines joining tops and backs with that, so I've never bothered lashing out on the more refined stuff.
 

Just4Fun

Established Member
Joined
21 Sep 2017
Messages
700
Reaction score
142
Location
Finland
When does it smell? At what point in the process?

I used hide glue for the first time in the past week. Mine didn't smell, or at least not a great deal. Any glue smells a bit but the hide glue smell was not really noticable. Was I just lucky? Or have I lost my sense of smell? (Isn't that a symptom of covid? Perhaps I should be worried!)
 

stuckinthemud

Established Member
Joined
17 Jun 2019
Messages
217
Reaction score
83
Location
Caerphilly
I make my own from gelatine powder, the stuff for making jams and jelly. Mix with a little water. Makes very high grade glue. The glue should NOT smell.
 

profchris

Established Member
Joined
14 Jun 2015
Messages
848
Reaction score
90
Location
Suffolk
If you heat it, glue and then turn the heat off there's not much smell. If the glue pot is warm all day ...

Food gelatin works, but is really high gram strength so it gels almost immediately. You have to get the joint really warm to use it successfully.

Lower gram strength HHG gives you a minute or two to assemble the joint, more if you warm it.
 

Noho12C

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Messages
299
Reaction score
35
Location
Stafford
Thanks, for the luthier hide glue, I've seen it, but worry that the 444 is a tad too strong.

I bought some urea to make liquid hide glue. HHG Is nice but sets too quickly for me. Doesnt give much time to fiddle with your joints. Though used HHG for rub joints and has been great.
 

Noho12C

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Messages
299
Reaction score
35
Location
Stafford
When does it smell? At what point in the process?

I used hide glue for the first time in the past week. Mine didn't smell, or at least not a great deal. Any glue smells a bit but the hide glue smell was not really noticable. Was I just lucky? Or have I lost my sense of smell? (Isn't that a symptom of covid? Perhaps I should be worried!)
Good quality hide glue doesn't smell at all. And it is made from hides and sinuses.
Pearl glue is mostly made from bones (sometimes called bone glue) and stinks.
It depends what you're using.

I used Luberon pearl glue in the past with good results, but 1/ stinks and 2/ didn't manage to make good liquid hide glue.

Seems that hide glue is hard to find in the UK :(
 

Noho12C

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Messages
299
Reaction score
35
Location
Stafford
I used it also, and worked well. Just received some old brown glue, havent used it yet.
But feel like experimenting a bit 😃
 

Argus

Established Member
Joined
21 Oct 2002
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
97
Location
-
Wood-work classes in school - late 1950's - was always accompanied by the pervading ronk of glue boiling away in the background.
I suppose that it must have been the cheap old bone-stuff they used.

Then there was the big glass cabinet behind the teacher's desk with the shiny new plough-planes and other stuff that never got used.

Still, a few years later PVA came along and that's what most of us now use, along with all the other glues. No pongs at all. Having said that, on the rare occasions that I need something remotely 'organic,' I get a bottle of Titebond.

The shiny planes are now on Ebay, it seems.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
4,113
Reaction score
1,163
Location
Edinburgh
If you have hide glue of any type (Cow, Sheep, Fish, Rabbit etc) and it smells once heated; then the glue is blown. It has been attacked by the yeasts and bacteria around it and is really no longer usable. Once a hide glue starts to smell it will quickly lose its ability to act as a strong glue. An old trick to try and extend the life of the glue was to add in a quart of vinegar to the smelly mix and simmer it away and this would hopefully kill the bacteria. But as i said, if it smells once soaked and heated then ditch the glue you have and get new. If it is a new purchase then you have been sent old stock that has been on the shelf for a while or stored in a dampish environment.

hth
 

Exluthier

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
3 Aug 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
3
Location
Bedford
The reason that brown Titebond doesn't set in the bottle once opened is that it contains a chemical additive designed to prevent setting. It may be more reliable now, but then (some 20 years ago) I had the embarrassment of a violin fingerboard which I'd glued down with brown Titebond simply detaching itself from the instrument.
 

JohnPW

Established Member
Joined
5 Jun 2013
Messages
884
Reaction score
41
Location
London
I found this from a search:
It claims:
"La Colle is a superior glue of higher quality than commonly sold hide glue, pearl glue or bone glue. This high-grade protein glue is a mix of various grades of hide glues and bone glues that have been carefully selected for their excellent quality, strength and flexibility. It is free from additives. This unique glue is the fruit of years of research and testing by craftsmen, restorers, conservators and scientists. La Colle is a marriage of traditional materials and techniques refined using the latest hydrolysis technology together with Yannick Chastang’s understanding of what makes perfect glue."

I don't know if it smells.

But all the hide glue I've used for instruments at college and at 2 work places did smell, no it wasn't mouldy. I'm not sure where the glue came from, possibly Liberon Pearl glue. One glue when mixed was colourless not light brown, that could be rabbit skin glue but that's just a guess

I'm used to it and don't really notice the smell anymore. Dried hide glue has an indefinite shelf life, obviously if kept dry.

Another one:
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
4,113
Reaction score
1,163
Location
Edinburgh
Yannick is a master eboniste and is known for spending a lot of time investigating hide glue and its formulation for many years.. He did a bench talk about it not that long ago on benchtalk101
 

Noho12C

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Messages
299
Reaction score
35
Location
Stafford
I've seen this glue already, but it says you have to mix the whole batch at once. Though I guess the extra can be frozen for later.
 

JohnPW

Established Member
Joined
5 Jun 2013
Messages
884
Reaction score
41
Location
London
Or you could prepare it then dry it. Or grind it into a fine powder making it more evenly mixed.

Not UK but direct from the maufacturer:


Available in "Big bags 1000 kgs with PE Liner, or 25 kg paper bags on pallets shrink-wrapped", is low odour.

They can do custom orders:
"There is a wide range of technical applications for this glue made from bones, for specific questions please inform to get our technical background information. We also know everything about hot hide glue and liquid hide glue for various production processes.

We produce the product tailor made. Jelly strength in steps of 20 Bloomgrams, Viscosity in steps of 10 mps, Fineness in 4 grist sizes. Other parameters on request.".

I suspect this could be the main source of the Yannick Chastang glue.
 

Noho12C

Established Member
UKW Supporter
Joined
18 Jul 2016
Messages
299
Reaction score
35
Location
Stafford
Thanks John. I've been considering doing it myself from scratch (i guess im having too much free time 😅)

I order some hide glue, skin glue and bone glue, all in dried form. i will play a bit with those and see what the result is.
My understanding is that a good mix is bone glue (30%) and skin glue (70%).

That link is interesting, though I guess their minimum order is pretty big. Might end up opening a hide glue business !
 
Top