Antique Furniture Restoration - Hide Glue

1.  Hide glue shelf life is indefinite, as long as the crystals are kept dry.

2.  All hot pots are not all the same, even from the same manufacturer.  You will need to experiment with the temperature settings to find the closest setting to 145 degrees.  Also, the settings are usually not stable.  Leave the cooking thermometer in the solution to monitor and adjust for the temperature fluctuations.

3.  Hide glue can be kept heated for the entire day.  It can be stored overnight in a refrigerator and heated again the next day for further use.  Several days of heating and cooling can eventually weaken the glue holding properties.  Stored glue for future use can be kept for several weeks in the refrigerator.

4.  Hide glue does not become brittle or deteriorate with age.  Furniture made for the last several thousand years was put together with hide glues.  Evidence of this can be found in many of today’s museums.

5.  Hide glue is not waterproof.  It is water soluble.  Warm water or a simple mixture of water and vinegar will break down the glue hold.  This makes future repairs easy.

6.  Old hide glue does not need to be remove before regluing.  The new hide glue will bond or reglue with the old hide glue to make a very strong bond. 

Antique Wood Furniture Repair: Remember - Safety First

Safety glasses and shields should be worn while working with all equipment, tools and chemical solutions.  Beware and be careful of moving or revolving parts.  Do not attempt to touch or handle work that is in motion on a piece of machinery.  To prevent injury, do not wear long or hanging jewelry, neck ties, long hair, chains, or ribbons while working any type of machinery. 

Our DVDs show real woodworking, restoration, repair, and conservation activities performed by a skill and experienced craftsman.  The techniques can be dangerous.  If you practice them, proceed carefully and at your own risk. 

With regards to chemicals and other finishing or restoration materials, you should be aware of 3 common dangers.  The dangers are explosion, fire and biological hazards.  Read the label of every product you used to become aware of the dangers and safety precautions.  Every chemical manufacturer publishes a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for their products.  These are available on request from all manufacturers.  They can also be found on many of the manufacture’s company web sites.  The MSDS for any product provides detailed information about the hazards, uses, safety and safety practices.  Use appropriate gloves when handling any chemical solutions.  Heed the manufacture’s warnings, safety precautions and guidelines.  Finally, it is up to you to determine what is safe.  Proceed at your own risk.

Work in well ventilated areas when working with wood, chemicals and cleaning solutions. Your work area should have good cross ventilation to provide a constant flow of fresh air.  If you are unsure, wear a NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) approved, organic vapor respirator mask, gloves and protective glasses.