Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hot Hide Glue from Wal-Mart

Winter isn't a season, it's an occupation.

Sinclair Lewis

Note:  make sure you use cold water when you mix it, hot just turns it into a snotty mess.

A few weeks back Cat was cooking up something ( she is a good cook...if you have ever seen me you know this is true) and I noticed that she was using this gelatin.  Well, I knew that hide glue is gelatin, so I snuck ( sneaked?) some and cooked up a little batch.  I mixed it about 2 parts glue to 3 parts water and stirred it, and then cooked it until it melted at 130º and slathered some on this scrap piece of ash.

I simply held the pieces together until the glue gelled and then left it for a few days.  I tested it later and as you can see the glue didn't fail at all.  I have never had glue hold like this. 

I did up some more pieces the next day and used 251 from Tools for Working Wood and I would say that they performed about the same.  All the pieces failed well away from the glue line.  The Knox Gelatin is clearer and has virtually no odor.

This is the one that really surprised me.  My bandsaw blade was cutting really rough, but I figured I'd try it.  Now everything you read says you need as smooth a surface as you can get.  But as you can see the rough surface didn't effect the bond at all.

Below you can see the roughness of the finish.

I'm not saying to buy all you glue form Walmart, but of you wanted to get your feet wet with hot hide glue, pick some up.  As for cost, it's about the same as ordering it once you figure in shipping.   One other thing, I found that the less I clamped, actually just holding it together til it gels,  held better than clamping it tightly.  Another departure from regular PVA glue.

In light of the Super Bowl and the hoopla and spectacle, it's easy, too easy to loose sight of what football can mean, and should mean, to thousands of students who play simply for the love of the game.  So watch this video, and think of Charlie when you hear watch the "big game" because for some life is the big game.


  1. Terry,
    That's amazing! I just got some knox gelatine for making some fake skin prosthetics, I plan to mess with my wife one day soon Hee Hee, but never thought about it as glue. Thats very cool. Glad to know if I run out of hide glue and am in a pinch I can get this stuff easily. Thanks for the post.

    1. It really does work. Skin prosthetics? Ketchup and a table saw is about as far as I go, lol.

    2. Yeah I'm going scare the pee out of the wife when my daughter's not around. I'm even going to make fake blood with corn syrup and food coloring. I plan on making the prosthetic look like a piece shot out from the tablesaw and hit me in the neck, leave the saw running when she gets home with me lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Man, I may get divorced over this but I'll get a good laugh.

    3. Holy, are you serious? If I lived closer, you could sleep on my couch when she kicks you out! If I tried that the table saw wound would be the least of my problems!

    4. Ha Ha Yeah but I'm just trying to keep the spark in our relationship!HA Ha!

  2. Interesting story/video on Charlie. I wonder if I could tell blind jokes like he does if I was blind. Makes you think.

  3. How about that! I'm not surprised it bonded, but I'm really surprised it worked that well.

  4. Honestly I am too. I tried it as a lark, but never thought it would hold like that. I just remebered when you mix it 2 glue to three water, make sure the water is cold.

  5. Glad to heat about this.White glue is about the only glue available here in Ecuador and I was going to try and make Hide Glue by boiling up rawhide doggie chew toys, but this sounds much simpler.