Author Topic: How to Make Hide Glue  (Read 7361 times)

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Offline Wood Trekker

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How to Make Hide Glue
« on: June 07, 2012, 01:59:10 PM »
One of the traditional methods of making glue has been to use raw hide. The process is time consuming, but not difficult. The product is a fairly high quality glue, although it is water soluble.

Start by taking some raw hide. If you do not have access to raw hide, the easiest place to get it is at the pet supplies section of your store. Most dog bones are made of rolled up raw hide, just check the label. Here I am using beef hide dog bones.

The hide will probably be very hard, so you can put it in boiling water to soften it up.



When it is soft, take it out and cut it into small pieces. Technically, the smaller the better, but I find that if they are too small, it becomes too big of a pain to remove them after the glue is ready.



Put the small pieces back in the water and continue boiling it. Make sure the hide is always covered with water. The boiling will take hours, so you will have to periodically add more water. Here I boiled it for three hours. The substance that you see on the side of the pot is overflowed liquid. When it dries, it becomes the glue.



Then strain out the hide pieces, or remove them with a spoon. Continue to boil the remaining water to reduce it down. I boiled it for another twenty minutes. Make sure to stir the liquid so it does not burn. By this point it should be getting fairly thick.



There is no specific required thickness. The more water it has, the longer it will take to dry once applied, but if it gets the job done, it is thick enough.



To preserve the glue, pour it onto a flat surface. I used a plate.

After about an hour, you should get a product which feels like rubber.



Cut it into smaller pieces and put it into a container. They should last quite a while, but since they are an animal product, eventually it will go bad. If you want to preserve it longer, spread out the liquid even thinner (less than 1/16th of an inch) and let it dry completely. That way it should preserve longer.



To use the dried glue, just heat it up. You may want to add some water when heating it so it doesn?t burn.

That?s all there is to it. The glue will hold very securely when dry. Its most prominent historical use has been in the making of composite bows.

Offline BigHat

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 02:18:17 PM »
nice write up Ross, added to tutorials list.


THANK YOU!!!!!
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Offline madmax

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 02:20:24 PM »
Great job incorporating common materials.  I use the dog chews for sheaths as well.
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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 02:21:24 PM »
Thanks guys.

Offline Barbarossa Bushman

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 02:32:36 PM »
Great tutorial and pics. Works better than most people think.
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Offline hushnel

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 02:52:29 PM »
Thanks, I'm familiar with the process but have never seen it done. I use hide glue quite often, the traditional use of hide and fish glue was making musical instruments. The advantage is the ease in which the instrument could be taken apart with out water or solvents just a hot thin knife does the job.

The creator provides us with every thing we need. Some of these natural substances far exceed the contrived chemical stuff, which are usually based on what exists in nature. "o) I do use a lot of epoxy resin and super glues though.

Offline Gurthy

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2012, 06:04:30 PM »
Thanks for the tutorial Ross!

Note to self: do not use the wife's good pots for this project!

Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 05:36:12 AM »
Thanks for the tutorial Ross!

Note to self: do not use the wife's good pots for this project!

Smart man!

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2012, 06:47:42 AM »
Thanks!

Great piece of info to have: filed away for future reference! :) 
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Offline Red

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 06:29:16 PM »
awesome post Ross! thanks for writing that up :D
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Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 06:40:01 PM »
Wow.. this was an interesting tuturial!     I have bags of 3x3 squares of dog chewies to try this on I think. :)

At the bottom you said historically it was used for composite bows... forgive me..but what is that?   

And if a person soaked cordage in this glue and wrapped it around something.. would it dry and hold do you think?    And is it made water proof by smearing pine tar or something over it once it dried?

Sorry so many questions.. but I want to learn.  :)

WW.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 01:30:16 PM »
Great post!  Thanks for the info!
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Offline Dano

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2012, 02:16:49 PM »
Awesome tutorial Ross, thanks for sharing!

It wouldn't take up hardly any space to take a small piece along to have on hand if needed.

Offline Thaddius Bickerton

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2012, 09:26:08 PM »
I don't know if it adds to this, but when I wanted to glue rawhide bones (mean dog bones that I soaked and unrolled to get the rawhide backing lol) to the back of a bow I built I bought unflavored knox gelatin at the grocery store and used that as my glue.

some bow maker or other told me it worked, which it did.

Just in case someone wanted to give that a try.

Of course making it yourself is much cooler and more fun.

The other is just a time saver, and perhaps not the same thing or as good.

Just wanted to throw it out for consideration.

Thad

Offline wolfy

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2012, 09:54:11 PM »
Good idea, Thad!   

JFYI, I live in close proximity to Sioux City, IA where Knox Gelatin was located.   Since Sioux City had a huge stockyards complex and a packing industry that was among the largest in the world at one time, there were many animal-related satellite companies that were associated with it.  Knox made gelatin from some of the thousands of hog hides that were a byproduct of the hog slaughtering operations.  They were dehaired, cooked at high temps, dried, and granulated for the boxed gelatin products that they sold worldwide.  Obviously, the granulated product would have had us all knee-deep in lime Jello if there were not other uses for it such as the glue that you mentioned 8)

Sorry for the small hijack......just thought you might find it interesting :coffee:
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 09:56:11 PM by wolfy »
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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2012, 06:04:47 AM »
Wow.. this was an interesting tuturial!     I have bags of 3x3 squares of dog chewies to try this on I think. :)

At the bottom you said historically it was used for composite bows... forgive me..but what is that?   

And if a person soaked cordage in this glue and wrapped it around something.. would it dry and hold do you think?    And is it made water proof by smearing pine tar or something over it once it dried?

Sorry so many questions.. but I want to learn.  :)

WW.

A composite bow is one that uses several different materials adhered together. Usually the materials used were wood, horn and sinew. They were glued together with either this type of glue or fish glue, made in a similar manner. The glue was not waterproof, which diminished the performance of the bows in wet conditions. Adding a coating of waterproof, flexible material will protect it, although I don't know of any place where that was done historically.

Offline WoodsWoman

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Re: How to Make Hide Glue
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2012, 07:57:30 AM »
Thank you Wood Trekker for the explanation.

I have a story to tell you.    After you posted this instruction I had given my dogs each a square of rawhide to have. 

The next morning Hershey, one of the male dogs had a piece stuck to his rear end.   I'm thinking it was from another dog chewing on it and leaving it in the sleep basket.  Anyway.. there was NO way of just grabbing that rawhide and pulling it off.  It was STUCK to his hiney.   

Remembering that you used hot water to soften it,  I hauled Hershey into the tub and sprayed at the rawhide with warm water until it let loose.     It came off.

Now I just cant leave things alone when I want to learn, so I took that rawhide and its mooshy softeness to the carving room to find some pieces of wood.   I used a butter knife to scrape on this rawhide to get white stuff off it.. smeared it between two peices of wood and forgot about it.     Until about 20 mins ago when I read your reply.

Those two pieces of wood are really STUCK together...I smacked it on a brick and still no break-apart.  I tried twisting the woods apart.. still stuck solid.    I'm impressed.  And this wasnt nearly as refined of a glue that you explained.    Or maybe it was the dog spit in the rawhide...?  Mmmm...    :)   

Thanks for the tuturial,  I've learned something new and useful.  :)

WW.
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