Flexner on Fixing: Animal Hide Glue

Reversibility and quick tack make this traditional method worth the trouble – sometimes.
By Bob Flexner
Pages: 82-85

From the August 2007 issue #163
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In my last story (April 2007, issue #161) I discussed regluing doweled chairs. The chair I used for illustration was made in the 1920s or early 30s. As with virtually all furniture made before white glue was introduced in the 1950s, this chair had been glued originally with hot animal hide glue.

Because hot hide glue is more difficult to use than modern adhesives, it’s not likely you use it for your projects. I’m not advocating you switch to hide glue, at least for new woodworking. The glue takes getting used to, which means using it regularly for a while. Hot hide glue is very useful in restoration, however.

Even if you don’t use hide glue, you may still be interested in it, just as you are probably interested in old methods of woodworking. Following is an introduction to hide glue.

From the August 2007 issue #163
Buy this issue now