Update on Liquid Hide Glue Production

In the meantime, I’ve been cooking more glue and have made enough to last me a while. Since I’ve added the canning salt, the date on the bottles should have no relevance. The smaller sized bottle is easier to manage than the larger size. They still need to be heated to 140°F (60°C) before use and don’t forget to clamp your stock and not rely on rubbed joints. This doesn’t work with LH glue.

As experimentation in the making of liquid hide glue is an ongoing process, I haven’t yet figured out which is more effective; to apply the salt prior, during or after the cooking process. So far, I have done all three and haven’t yet experienced any change other than visual. Adding the salt after it has been cooked twice makes the glue appear grainy. However, after a week it’ll turn clear. Either way I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter which way you do it. Also, the glue in its cold state cannot be used without heating it as it turns jelly like. My next batch I will use half a teaspoon and will see if I can lessen the assembly time and shorten the clamp time without affecting the glue’s life span.

All in all, I am very pleased with the results. It has superior holding power like any good glue on the market and I know it’s fresh.

Remember the post on Titebond and how their LH hide failed? Remember the promise that they will call me back? As I predicted, there was no call back.

You may wonder why I choose liquid hide glue over hot hide glue? There’s no doubt that hot hide glue is stronger than liquid hide and that’s only because it lacks the gel suppressant called “Urea” that’s added to the glue to make liquid hide glue. However, since I’ve replaced the urea with salt there either may be no difference in the holding power or may be as strong as hot hide. Just how much weaker LH is I cannot say, but I have noticed no difference other than you cannot do a rubbed joint without attaching clamps to it. It just does not have the strength to pull the two pieces of wood together to create a strong bond.  But who really cares because I don’t know anyone who’s really got the balls to do a rubbed joint without clamps. When it comes to reputation, who wants to take a risk of returns.

To get back to the initial question of why the preference of LH over HH and the answer is simply convenience.

Every morning that I walk into my shop I fire up the burner and pot to 145°F which I found preference to over the regular 140°F. Once it’s heated and settles to that temperature, I put the bottle into the pot and leave it alone until I need to use it. Whether or not I need to use it, I make the habit to turn the burner or mini stove on. That’s it. There’s no waiting for it to gel then cook for two hours before use, all that work was done before and I made several bottles just in case I run out in the middle of a project.

I don’t have to worry about the glue going off because HH only has a shelf life of up to 3 weeks maximum. My LH has an indefinite shelf life unlike the glue made with urea.

I have purchased a few small bottles from the $2 store, funny that it cost me $3 a bottle yet it’s called a two-dollar store and half a kilo of canning salt, a small saucepan and 6 pounds of hide glue and not to forget the glass jars. When I stick them in the fridge straight off the pan to rapidly cool, the jar tends to crack. Thankfully, it hasn’t shattered yet and not all jars cracks.

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