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Hide Glue Pucks

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Blog entry by Rich posted 10-16-2019 09:09 PM 440 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Perhaps I should call them high-protein muffins. Anyway, I’m sure the hide glue experts will get a real chuckle out of this one, but I have struggled with keeping my glue at the right depth in the pot. I leave the brush in the pot so it stays soft, and I don’t like to fill it up and have the brush sink down and get glue up the handle. About an inch or so deep is ideal.

Keeping it to the right consistency by adding hot water as the glue thickens due to evaporation is easy. The problem came when it was time to add more glue. If I added more granules, it took time for them to hydrate and become homogeneous with the glue in the pot. Being the impatient sort, that was not acceptable.

What I came up with was taking glue that was ready to use and pouring it into a silicone mini-muffin tray. The cups are about 2 oz, and make a perfect size to add to the pot. One or two is just right to get my glue back to the right level. The benefit is that the glue is ready to go, and it heats up and melts for use much faster than dry granules (or even ones that have been hydrated) do.

Like I said, I’m sure the experts will get a good laugh (are you out there, Paul?) but, well, I’m no expert, so I do whatever tricks I can that work for me.

Here’s the tray with the pucks ready to pop out, toss in a ziploc bag and store in the fridge until needed.



11 comments so far

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8397 posts in 3333 days


#1 posted 10-16-2019 10:47 PM

Well this is a new one on me Rich.
I’ve never paid any attention to the level in my glue pot except to notice that is was about empty. I make about a half to three quarters full pot, use it until it’s almost gone which sometimes takes weeks, and then add a new batch of hydrated granules. I never add dry (but I will admit to adding cold water)
I know that a common way to store glue for people who don’t use it all the time is to pour it in an ice cube tray and freeze it but yours is a new one for me. It will certainly work of course. The fridge is what keeps mine fresh.

Bottom line ….. you’re using the right glue and you’ve found a way that works for you. I’m chuckling just a little but good on ya!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#2 posted 10-17-2019 05:43 AM

I guess those folks using ice cube trays means I’m not too far out in left field. Thanks for commenting, Paul. I’ve learned a lot from you.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

331 posts in 262 days


#3 posted 10-17-2019 01:29 PM

Oh, don’t kid yourself, you’re out in left field.
Fortunately, it takes a whole team, so you are still useful. ;)

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#4 posted 10-17-2019 02:11 PM

Hehe. I’m still in the stadium at least.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4080 posts in 1923 days


#5 posted 10-17-2019 10:41 PM

Good idea. I find that one reason I don’t use HHG more often is that I don’t plan the mixing of batches so that it is ready when I need it. This should allow me to mix the batch in advance and pull out enough for the day.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#6 posted 10-18-2019 01:24 AM

I’m glad it was useful for you, Nathan. I keep glue in a mason jar in the fridge and heat it in a water bath in my Hold-Heet pot. Any time I’m going to be gluing, I just plug it in in the morning and leave it so it’s ready. The little pucks are handy to keep the level where I like it. But then, like LeeRoy said, I’m sometimes pretty far out there.

I’ve written about it on here before, but I use hide glue exclusively when I’m gluing up drawers. It gets strong enough quickly to reduce clamp time and I’ve had to take advantage of the reversibility on a few occasions to fix problems.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4080 posts in 1923 days


#7 posted 10-18-2019 11:30 AM

The other reason that I don’t use HHG more often is instead of one of the nice electric glue pots, I went with an antique double boiler type I got cheap and a even cheaper used hot plate. Since I don’t use it every day, it requires even more planning to set it up. I need to just stop being so cheap and get a good electric one.

Since I’ve got a couple of hide glue users here, I’ve got a question. I am gluing up some wide panels for a cabinet project I just started and instead of mixing a batch of hot glue, I reached for the Titebond bottle of liquid hide glue. I actually read the instructions and it says that is not for structural or load bearing applications. Is this just CYA on their part or do the additives that keep it liquid weaken the bond somehow? Anyone know? I tested a rub joint with hot glue when I first tried it and it was as strong as any joint needs to be. Maybe I need to try a stress test (with clamps of course) with the Titebond and OBG to see how they perform.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#8 posted 10-18-2019 03:32 PM

Here is my purely subjective response to Titebond versus OBG: Considering that Patrick is an expert on protein glues and an accomplished restorer, I trust his judgement. When it says that OBG consists of collagen, urea and water, I assume that’s the right way to do it. Titebond uses other things like ammonium thiocyanate, which I guess is a salt. I don’t know if that’s a substitute for urea, or if it’s to inhibit mold or improve shelf life. I’m not a chemist. I have never used the Titebond glue. I assume it’s a good quality product though, based on their reputation.

Regarding the structural warning, that’s an interesting one. I wouldn’t count on glue alone for something critical like that anyway.

With either product, I’d do a test before using it for anything important. I’ve had LHG go south. You can do the pinch test to see if threads develop, but it takes a lot longer than with hot glue. It’s probably safer to use boards. I do the one where you glue three pieces kind of like a tuning fork and then squeeze the forked part in the vise until it breaks. If it doesn’t break on the glue line, it’s good.

Regarding the glue pot, I was having a problem justifying $140 for one. As an alternative to the Hold-Heet I tried a cheap miniature crock pot. It kind of worked during the colder months because it didn’t get too hot, but I knew when temperatures rose it would be way too hot. Fortunately I knocked it off the bench and it shattered. My next try was using an old sous vide circulator I had laying around. It worked great since it can maintain a water bath at an exact temperature. It was bulky, but it did the job. When one of the 15% eBay coupons came along, I found the Hold-Heet on Stewmac’s eBay store and picked it up. I still use a sous vide circulator when I make LHG since it can maintain a more stable temperature. Plus, I can use it to prepare a perfect steak.

Strangely, when the pot arrived from Stewmac, it popped my GFCI breaker every time I plugged it in. I opened it up and found it was wired incorrectly. Easy fix, but I was really surprised a mainstream product like that would have that sort of problem. It wasn’t Stewmac’s fault, but I alerted them to the situation. They offered to replace it, but I didn’t want to bother doing a return.

So there you go. Lots of rambling, but really not much content.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

4080 posts in 1923 days


#9 posted 10-18-2019 04:08 PM

One thing that is different with the TB compared to OBG is that the TB LHG appears to stays liquid at cooler temperatures. OBG tends to gel at room temperature. I usually have to drop the bottle in a cup of hot tap water to liquify it. Not a big deal but an extra step, though since I usually keep it in my shop fridge, I have to warm it for few minutes anyway when I use it. This is my first bottle of TB LHG so I have not used much of it until now. It is also cheaper than OBG.

I am still puzzled by what the “structural or load bearing” warning is about and since the same warning is not on their PVA glues it made me wonder what could different. The joinery usually provides structural strength. I cannot think of any situations where I would use glue without some sort of dowel, tenon or other joint to provide the strength.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Rich's profile

Rich

5001 posts in 1125 days


#10 posted 10-18-2019 04:39 PM

I have no clue about the warning, Nathan. It seems pretty vague. Not much turned up doing a search other than that it was probably written by a lawyer :)

Like you, I store my LHG in the fridge, so a dip in a container of hot tap water is always a necessary step.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8397 posts in 3333 days


#11 posted 10-18-2019 06:39 PM

The fact that old brown glue is a gel at room temperature and not a liquid gives the advantage of some of the tack and rub joint abilities of hot hide glue.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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