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I got this in an email from FWW today about the properties and use of hide glues. I found it quite interesting. Hide glue is actually stronger than most synthetic glues with the exception of epoxies. It is also possible to take things apart that were joined with hide glue which isn't easily possible with synthetics. If you notice, there are antiques that are hundreds of years old which are holding together just fine that were joined with hide glue but anything made since 1970 or maybe a bit earlier eventually fall apart. I often use fish glue which is similar to hide glue and there are a number of jobs it excels at.
https://www.finewoodworking.com/2020/03/20/choosing-and-mixing-hot-hide-glue
 

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We used to mix hyde glue with water based paint to decorate sets when I was kid. It was also used to size or shrink muslim theatrical flat coverings drum tight. We had Saturday set decorating sessions at a park. And the smell was more like a stew than offensive. Horse hyde glue in pellets. Almost 60 years ago and I can still muster the aroma. We would also spread in on the triangle gusseds we used to reinforce the corners of the flats. We used them for many years without problems. We did a production of Aladdin which required an underground mine set that gliatened with jewels (crushed auto glass, mixed with the glue and applied to the painted flats. Man, that was fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I remember reading years ago about painting it on glass and it fracturing bits off the surface to make it decorative, That's pretty good holding power if it can grab glass that well.
 
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One of the things that really impressed me about the first video in the series is when he said that that's what all the furniture prior to the mid 20th century was held together with hide glue and I used to go a an antique auction in Portland years and there were nice pieces there made mostly from white oak that dated back to the 1700s. Still in pretty good shape too. Modern glues seem to degenerate over time and let go and when they do repairs are difficult because new glue doesn't want to stick to old glue.

We see a lot of members on here say that they use Titebond 3 exclusively because it's waterproof. Looking at those 2 century old plus antiques it's obvious that being waterproof is irrelevant. If waterproof was important those pieces would have fallen apart by now but they are actually in better shape that pieces 75 years old. So I'm thinking it might be time to start rethinking my glue strategies. I already know that you want to avoid any glue that dries rigid if you are using it on a chair, table, sofa, or any other piece of furniture that is going to see joint stress. You need a glue that stays flexible and the only two I know of that do that for sure is Weldbond and Franklin's Melamine glue.
 
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