Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 55

Thread: Need Help With Hide Glue

  1. #1

    Default Need Help With Hide Glue

    I'm hoping some of you can help me. I'm trying to use hide glue, this is my first attempt with this wonderful material. But so far, the results have been a dissaster. I know I need to learn how to use this glue, so maybe you can let me know what I am doing wrong.

    I'll preface this by saying I have read and studied everything I can find on the subject, so I feel like I have the basics covered. The joint in question is gluing a top on a fiddle (I volunteered to assemble a kit for a friend, a good learning experience.) Since I only need a little glue, I measured 3 tablespoons equal parts glue and water. This I let sit for 10 minutes, then heated in a small double boiler until it reached a temp of 145 degrees. At that point, the glue would run off the stirring stick or brush like syrup, just as has been described. after about 3 seconds it freezes in mid air, leaving a stringer on the brush.

    When I put it on the edges of the body to glue the joint, by the time I get the glue on it has set like rubber, and become incompressible. Total time from glue application to putting on the top is less than one minute for sure. What I have is a stringy mess that does not stick to the top but takes a while to remove from the body so i can start over.

    I figure I'm doing something wrong with the mix of glue to water maybe? I have attached a picture of the joint, showing the sringers and the gap. Any help is much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Phil

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Fiddle 12-9-10 003R800.jpg 
Views:	367 
Size:	112.2 KB 
ID:	65776

  2. #2
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    15,491

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Where did you get your glue? Do you know the gram strength?
    If the gram strength is too high, working time is too short.
    Some things to do to increase working time:
    -Add a little water. Thinning the glue a little keeps it from jelling as fast, and is commonly done for violin making anyway, because the box will need to be taken apart eventually.
    -Heat the parts. A hair drier, heat lamp, or other heat source can be used to warm up the parts so the glue stays liquid longer.
    -Heat the room. If you get the room nice and warm (kind of handy this time of year where some of us live) the glue will remain liquid longer.
    -Add some urea. If a little urea is added right before using the glue the working time is lengthened and the strength is not seriously affected. Don't keep and re-use the glue though, because bad things happen to the glue/urea mix if given time. I only add urea for situations where I really need a lot of open time, Normally, heating the parts and the room give me time for most joints.

    There are also techniques for violin assembly where the glue is applied to the surfaces and allowed to dry, then re-hydrated with steam and/or a palette knife dipped in hot water, working around the rim and clamping.

  3. #3
    Hester Mandolins Gail Hester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Poulsbo, WA (Seattle)
    Posts
    2,010

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Phil, I'll just throw out some ideas. First, I never mix HHG as you dexcribe but rather mix water and glue by weight using a gram scale. I heat the workspace before I glue anything and I heat all of the parts to extend the work time. I apply the glue with a brush that's been rinsed in hot water and blotted to make sure the brush is also warm. Even at that, I think about ten to twenty seconds is all I have to work until I need to be clamping.

    Thanks John, we posted at the same time but I guess it's Ok to gang up
    Gail Hester

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Thanks, this is some good info. John, I do not know the strength of this glue, it came with the fiddle kit. Are there bad grades (or sources) of glue that don't work well?

    I did try heating the parts, but have not had much luck finding a way to do that because they cool off so fast. I can het up one part, by the time I've heated the other the first is back to near room temp. I'm doing this in my kitchen on the stove because I don't have a way to heat the glue in my shop. Should I hold the pieces over a hot eye?

    Gail, you mention mixing by weight. Is that equal parts by weight? Usually with instructions I see "mix equal parts water and glue" but no mention of whether this is by weight or volume. Also, you say you have abuot 10-20 seconds of working time. How do you get the glue around the rim of an instrument body that fast?

    How thick should the bead of glue be? I have read that you need an even squeeze out along the entire joint, this leaves me to believe you need enough to squeeze out. But the way I mixed this batch it is incompressible by the time I get it on, leaving stringers as you can see in the picture. In short, it just behaves less like glue, and more like rubber, not even very sticky.

    As for the gram strength being an unkown, it was recommended to me to use unflavored gelatine, as it is esesntially hide glue. Would this be an option worth exploring?

    Thanks for the help,
    Phil

  5. #5
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    15,491

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    If the glue came with a violin kit, it should be of a low enough gram strength to work fine, but we really don't know...
    I just dump some glue and water in the glue pot, heat it up, and if it's too thick I add some water. I don't really measure anything, just try not to get it too thin.
    If the glue drips off of a brush it's probably too thin, but if it runs off before starting to drip it's about right.
    The reason "they" say even squeeze out is so you know that the glue hasn't jelled before you got the joint clamped, and we already know that yours jelled before you got the joint clamped. only practice will tell you how much glue to use, until then just be sure there's plenty and clean up the excess after clamping.

    Gelatin is very high gram strength and very fast. You probably don't want to go that route.

    Working in my shop, with the temperature about 85 degrees F, the parts heated, and a small dose of urea in the mix, I can apply glue all the way around a guitar rim, place and clamp the top or back before the glue jells. Practicing the procedure a couple of times (dry clamping) is always a good idea before applying the glue. That way, you know every move, where every clamp is, and you can move quickly without wasting time. If something goes wrong and you're too late, no big deal, clean off the glue and try again.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Duvall, Washington
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Hi Phil,

    From the picture it looks to me like your glue is too thick. I usually mix 1/3 glue to 2/3 water. It is better to have thinner glue to glue on a top anyway, because someone will have to take it off later.

    Because of hide glue's short working time, you need to break your job down into manageable chunks. When I glue on a violin top I have the top all clamped up to the ribs. Then I remove a few clamps and put glue into the joint with a thin palate knife and clamp up that section. Then take a brush with hot water and a paper towel and clean up any glue squeeze out in that area. Then I move on to the next section. I usually glue sections around 4'' or so at a time. This allows you to control the edge margin very well around the top, which is very important when doing repair on older instruments.

    As to the squeeze out- really you want a minimal amount of glue in there. If it comes open later just put in a little more glue and clamp it for a little while. The joint between the ribs and the plates of a violin acts as a pressure release valve, as the top shrinks with lack of humidity the joint lets go rather than causing a crack in the top. It is not uncommon for me to see a few customers when it gets dry to close open seams between the top or back and the ribs, especially of larger instruments like cellos.

    Another reason is that excess glue can bead up on the inside and come loose later and buzz.

    Violin closing clamps would make your job much easier as well, but they are not strictly necessary.

    Good luck!

    Michael Doran

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Phil, I had the exact same experience and asked a lot of questions here. Part of my problem was too strong a glue mixed too thick. The other part is that my only workspace is in the basement which is cool. I set up a heatlamp (the kind you use for brooding chickens) real close to the parts but not so close as to bubble the varnish (I was doing a repair). I think from now on, I'll be using a much thinner glue mixture.

    I think we must have read the same stuff on the internet because I too followed the directions I read perfectly and wound up with essentually a few seconds working time. I feel validated reading your post.
    Last edited by dwhite; Dec-11-2010 at 6:48am. Reason: left out stuff

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK / Co Mayo, IRL
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    For one thing I would never put the front on a violin like this anyway. The accepted method and the method I was taught is to size the plate edge and the top of the ribs and linings with glue and let it dry slightly. then place the top and clamp it lightly all around then working with a warm palette or butter knife (Warmed in the water bath the glue is sitting in) then dipped into the glue to pick up a small amount, loosen the clamp on a small area and insert the knife into the join, the heat and moisture will soften the glue and allow it to flow again. then clamp up that section and move to the next.

    For the back use medium thickness glue but for the front use thin glue the consistency of milk so that the front can be removed for repair.

    This way will be much cleaner and easier to accomplish.

    I also think you need far more clamps. We surround the entire rim with clamps, I use home made spool clamps made from 5mm roofing bolts and slices of broom handle, my colleague has a very nice set of Herdim clamps but they are seriously expensive! 40 roof bolts and wing nuts and a broom handle work for me!

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,757

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    I use one part glue, two parts water, mix and let stand while occasionally mixing the contents (swirling the jar) for a couple of hours to let the glue soak up the water, (distilled water) heat let cool then reheat to use. was taught to always heat and let cool first before actually using hide glue.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Quote Originally Posted by dwhite View Post
    I think we must have read the same stuff on the internet because I too followed the directions I read perfectly and wound up with essentually a few seconds working time. I feel validated reading your post.
    Thanks, now I don't feel like the only one!

    Phil

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Quote Originally Posted by NAS View Post
    The accepted method and the method I was taught is to size the plate edge and the top of the ribs and linings with glue and let it dry slightly. then place the top and clamp it lightly all around then working with a warm palette or butter knife (Warmed in the water bath the glue is sitting in) then dipped into the glue to pick up a small amount, loosen the clamp on a small area and insert the knife into the join, the heat and moisture will soften the glue and allow it to flow again. then clamp up that section and move to the next.


    Thanks, this is some good info. One question I have is what do you mean by "Sizing?" And how do you apply this? With a brush, rag, etc?

    And as for the thicker glue on the back, do you use the same method? I also plan to use this glue when installing the neck as well as future projects with mandolins, so any more advice is welcome!

    Phil

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Thanks to everyone for all the help on this, it is certainly more involved than I thought. I think for my next attempt I'll pick up a Rival Hot Pot and a palette knife and move everything back into the shop. With my kerosene heater I can get everything plenty warm, and it will be more convenient than hauling everything into the kitchen anyway. I also think I'll go ahead and make some of those spool clamps, been needing some for a while and they will come in quite handy.

    Phil

  13. #13

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    I'm not going anywhere near my basement today. Its 15 degrees outside with a 40mph wind (wind chill -2 degrees). Fixin to go outside and do my chores, feed and water 5 horses, goats, chickens, 7 dogs and stoke up the fire. Most unpleasent at the moment! You could chill a side of beef in my basement.

  14. #14
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    3,573

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Dwhite that s the same weather I have here. I had some behlens hide glue i was using found out later the mixing instructions were printed wrong.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK / Co Mayo, IRL
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Quote Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
    Thanks, this is some good info. One question I have is what do you mean by "Sizing?" And how do you apply this? With a brush, rag, etc?

    And as for the thicker glue on the back, do you use the same method? I also plan to use this glue when installing the neck as well as future projects with mandolins, so any more advice is welcome!

    Phil
    Hi Phil, by "sizing" i mean brushing some thin glue on to allow it to soak into the grain. Don't try to lay it on thick pretty much brush it on and then take it off again.

    Yes I use the same way for the back just with medium thickness glue. by the way you should glue the back first, i.e. the opposite wat to which I would do a mandolin.

    One thing to note is that each batch of hide glue can be different, so you have to work out how much water to add, The stuff I have at present needs 90% by weight of water added to be perfect for plate jointing etc. I then add some hot water from the bath to thin it for assembly.

    One thing than does not seem to be common knowledge is that a wax warmer as used by the beauty industry makes a great temperature controlled bath for heating glue....and they are available for a fraction of the price of a glue pot! I piced the one I use up new for less than 40 (UK)

  16. The following members say thank you to NAS for this post:


  17. #16

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    NAS, I just looked at a wax warmer on ebay. It looks like a little pot that sits in a bigger pot. Do they use water baths?

  18. #17
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SD
    Posts
    3,573

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    That's good idea I have been using a 6$ mini crock pot but it doesn't have a temp control so you really have to watch it or it gets way to hot. I suppose i could add a rheostat for temp control but I haven't. I tend to mix just enough at one time so I'm with it the whole time. I just raise my little glue pot, mason jar, out of the water some to control temp.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

    Creativity is just doing something wierd and finding out others like it.

  19. #18

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    I've been using a hot pot which has primitive temperature control but I lose moisture in the glue because it doesn't have a top. The wax warmer I looked at has an inner container with a lid but I'm not certain the outer container is made for a water bath. I wouln't heat the glue directly as that would surely cook it.

  20. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK / Co Mayo, IRL
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Quote Originally Posted by dwhite View Post
    NAS, I just looked at a wax warmer on ebay. It looks like a little pot that sits in a bigger pot. Do they use water baths?
    OK so here is how I do it.....

    The wax warmer has a removeable metalpot that would normally take the wax. I make up my glue in a small jam or pesto jar (one that will fit in the metal pot). I put as much water as I can into the removeable metal pot before the jar starts to float Now you have all you need some nice hot water to dilute the glue or clean up the job, hot glue and when not in use you can put the lid on the jar to stop it loosing water.

    I know that some folks at the School use babies botle warmers.....but I'm not too sure what temp you can set them to. The wax Warmer I have has a thermostat that goes to 80 deg Celcius, and I have it set to hold the glue at 60.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    Thanks NAS! That might work fine. I've been using cat food cans (tins), cleaned of course (by my Border Collie).

  22. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK / Co Mayo, IRL
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    The other good thing about using a screw top jar is that it can live in the refrigerator, the glue will keep for weeks. Great to have a bit of glue around for joibs like corner blocks and linings although I would always make frsh for joining wedges etc.

  23. #22
    Masamando Steve Hinde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Hartford, IA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    I found the little ketchup bottles I get from the room service cheeseburger and fries works really good. Just the right amount for a day's work and the lids seal really well. Have been reusing them over and over and the lids don't fail.
    I do have a question if anyone can answer. I've been using Mario's idea with the squeeze bottle and bolts or washers inside to keep the glue warm longer. I find it hard to get a hole small enough in the end to prevent the glue from pouring out too fast, and the end plugs up when the glue gels after I put the bottle back in the pot. the glue in the bottom is ok, but it builds up in the tip and plugs the hole. Cap it and put it in the water upside down?
    What bottle do you prefer?

  24. #23
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    15,491

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    You're glue is probably too thin for the squeeze bottle if it is coming out too fast and uncontrollably. I usually "purge" the tips of my glue bottles by squeezing some air in and out a time or two after use. Sometimes a squeeze bottle works faster and easier, sometimes I like a brush because it applies and spreads the glue in the same operation (I usually just use a jelly jar and a brush). The poly squeeze bottles from hobby stores are my favorite.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bottle.jpg 
Views:	191 
Size:	4.0 KB 
ID:	65911

  25. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    6,757

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    I use a travel pot for warming soup. It has a temperature control, then i suspend a piece of aluminum above the heating element about an inch. The aluminum has holes drilled in to let the water move freely. I also have a candy thermometer for setting the temperature and use small jelly jars for the glue. Since they suspend in the water sitting on the aluminum it doesn't get too hot and with the thermometer i can make sure the temp stays where i want it and i know when the glue is ready to use. This setup is so much cheaper than a glue pot and i am on my second one in 20 years so they last a while.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  26. #25

    Default Re: Need Help With Hide Glue

    I've read about putting steel objects in HHG to keep the heat level up. I would think glass, like marbles, would work much better since glass has much more thermal inertia than any metal.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •