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Pearl/hide/scotch/animal glue question?

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Nads

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I am currently making a box with dovetails joints out of ash, and as suggested by people in this forum, I was going to use Titebond original glue. However, my lecturer (ex musical instrument making) on my part-time C&G woodwork course wants me to use some form of animal glue? What’s everyone’s option on this? :? He says it swells up the wood and makes for a tighter joint! Apart from the obvious being able to break and rejoin the joints what would be the advance or disadvantages of using this form of glue?! :?

Thanks guys

Nads
 

jasonB

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One problem will be getting the glue into all the joints & clamping it all together before the glue cools down. If your joints are well cut then there is no need to make the wood swell, I find Titebond II works fine, you could meet him halfway and use this

Jason
 

Nads

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Well that’s another thing altogether, I’m really happy with my joints, I think they are pretty sound, (he hasn’t seen them yet) and I don’t think I really need the wood to swell up to make them fit well :wink: ! But thanks for the comment about assembly, I didn't think of that, not knowing really how the glue works, does it set of quick then?!

Nads
 

Jarviser

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The other advantage of hide glue is that it does not creep with time like PVA glues, and along with fish glue is favoured by instrument makers, pianola restorers etc. It tends to clean off more readily and not leave light patches under a water stain. To be honest, dovetails are such a strong joint, any glue will do really.
You might want to check out the end of my web page for an alternative way to mix and heat your own pearl hide glue. Be prepared to warm up the joint with a hair drier this weather! http://hometown.aol.co.uk/jarviser/workshop.html

If at first your joints don't fit,
Fill them up with glue and sh...awdust.
 

Alf

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Wiley Horne has just posted rather an eye-opening (at least it was to me) post on WC on the subject of hide glue, which partially explains where you're lecturer is coming from, and also partially solves the trouble Jason mentions. Also the fact he's a musical instrument maker explains a lot; stringed instruments have to be repaired and hide glue is the adhesive of choice every time. One day I'll get round to trying it myself. Trouble is every time I mention it my old man wrinkles his nose and wanders down Memory Lane and the smell his old man's glue pot used to give off; kind of puts one off...

Cheers, Alf
 

Jarviser

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Alf":2yoxihbb said:
Trouble is every time I mention it my old man wrinkles his nose and wanders down Memory Lane and the smell his old man's glue pot used to give off; kind of puts one off...

Cheers, Alf
If you either mix it fresh from pearls each time (the night before), or add a little acetic acid and store it airtight in the gel state in stainless or glass, it will not putrify. It just smells a bit meaty, like a fresh dog's bone. Leave it around in a cast iron pot in the open air and yes - it can stink.
 

Chris Knight

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I use hide glue a fair bit and like it very much. Firstly, it is enormously strong yet reversible. Secondly, the quick grab makes some operations clamp free (eg rubbed joints for edge jointing).

I don't think the swelling of a joint is factor. Hide glue contains water, so does PVA which will swell a joint too - just ask anyone who has put together a joint that was tight when dry fitted - and it is the water that is doing the swelling. When the water has evaporated, the glue shrinks - hide glue shrinks quite strongly and it pulls things up very tight - which makes it great for veneering.

Hide glue's principal problem is that it has a short open time although this can be extended with salt or urea. Some glues, like the one Jason mentions are extended so much they can be sold as a liquid but in this case you miss the quick grab quality that can be so useful.
 

Jake

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My parents live nearish what used to be a glue factory and is still known as such. It is now just an incinerator plant, BSE, condemned meat, diseased livestock, etc. After many many years of pressure they've cleaned it up and you can only smell it 1/2 a mile away. Back in my youth, when I believe they still made glue, it would stink us out a couple of days a year when the winds were the opposite of prevailing direction. We were about three or four miles away.

Always astonished me that there was a small terrace of farmworkers cottages and another couple of houses within a few hundred yards of the factory, and occupied too. This was somewhere you had to hold your nose (literally) and breath for a good 400 yards in order not to gag while you drove past.
 
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