Hide glue

Proper mix ratio and storage info. September 24, 2002

I have obtained medium to low viscosity granules of hide glue. Can anyone help with the mix ratio for normal gluing practices? What is the best way to store once mixed?

Forum Responses
I could be missing something here but I believe all you need to do is apply heat and allow the granules to melt. Hide glue is not generally mixed with anything. Storage would be in a closed container in a cool dark area.

Jeff Pitcher, forum technical advisor

The best ratio is probably 2 ounces of water to 1 ounce of hide glue (mix by weight). You can mix it a little thinner for non-porous woods and a little thicker for porous woods. Mix together and allow the stuff to swell up, then heat to 145 degrees (no hotter or it will damage the collagen). If you are impatient like me, just mix and heat in a double boiler to prevent scorching.

It is best stored dry, as it will easily mold once it has been mixed with water. It should only be reheated a couple of times as with each reheating it looses some of its strength. A small twig of fresh willow with the outer bark removed will prevent mold growth, as will an aspirin, in the glue. Hide glue is the best adhesive anyone ever came up with, still holding furniture together after 4000 years. Hide glue is easy to clean up and is transparent to stains and finishes.

The advice above is good. In checking around, it seems that the amount of water necessary will vary from batch to batch of hide glue. It's really a matter of eyeballing it to get a viscosity that you're comfortable working with.

Jeff Pitcher, forum technical advisor