It’s a new Glue Pot

You’ve all seen my brass one, and I loved it until I ran out of glue in the middle of a project. As you can see, the inner pot is small, and I’d been looking for a cast iron one for quite some time. I could have purchased the large one that would normally be used in a busy shop, but that would have been overkill given that I am not mass producing. So I looked for a medium-sized one. By chance, I came across this one. An antique dealer gave me a Disston D-100 saw from the 1960s to restore. When I saw him the following week, I noticed this gluepot being used as an ash tray under his desk. I carefully examined it for cracks and leaks, and there were none to be found. There was some rust flaking, but there were no leaks, so I was confident it wasn’t a lemon.

I went to the local fruit stand and purchased some lemons. I squeezed the juice out and poured it directly into the inner and outer pots when I got home. I let it sit for about three days. I should have let it sit for a week, but I was curious how well the lemon juice was working. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it cleaned it. I still had to scrub it lightly, but as you can see in the photos, both the inner and outer pots are spotless. That’s pretty much how it would have looked when it first came out of the factory in 1904. You’ve got it now. Another non-destructive method for de-rusting your tools is lemon juice.

9 thoughts on “It’s a new Glue Pot

  1. I have read somewhere that contact between hide glue and iron should be avoided. The inside of the inner pot should be tinned.

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    1. Probably so, I’m not sure about that one but if you read it I would take it on board. As this is an original gluepot made back in the very early 1900s I’m sure it will be fine. I haven’t used it yet but I will soon.

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  2. I finally have found what was really said:
    From a French translation of “Antique furniture repairs” by Charles H. Hayward:
    retranslation: “use a tinned pot or a copper one to avoid the glue coloration due to rust”.
    From “manuel pratique de finition du meuble” by M. Deheurles et F. Débat:
    translation: “never stir the hide glue with an iron object because iron salts that could pollute the glue would react with the wood tan and cause black blotches”.
    So it doesn’t seem to affect the adhesive property of the glue.

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    1. These are very good findings that I only suspected without ever knowing this to be true. I’m glad I took the proper care and time clean out the inner pot so good. I don’t think I will have any issues, but I once I fire up the burner I will see. Thank Sylvain for pointing this out to me.

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  3. Hi Salko, look up what the chefs do with their cast iron cookware. From what I understand a seasoning process is used with heat and oil before first use and the oil is ‘fused’ into the cast iron. Whoa behold anyone whom dares wash the cast iron afterwards with detergent apparently. In my simple mind I would think if any oil were to contaminate the glue if you had a crack at this then it would be sucked up by the wood anyway and aside from that given the amount it would be very small. Now this could all be a load of cobblers theory wise but irregardless that looks like a neat find .

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    1. Thanks Gav. I remember many, many years ago my mum heating oil in a cast iron pan. At the time I never bothered to ask what she was doing. I will have to look into this a bit. Now you all know that I used lemon juice to clean it and then applied vinegar and bicarbonate soda which afterwards I washed it thoroughly. This morning I put some water in it and rubbed the inside of it with my finger to see if any residue would coat my finger and pollute the water. Thankfully there was no residue, so I believe it’s good to go. Oh and afterwards of cooking the glue, one must wash the pot from what I read in historical books, so as not to contaminate fresh glue with the old glue.

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