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Please read the
glue data sheet

My Method for
Using Hide Glue
© Frank Ford, 3/19/98; Photos by FF, 3/19/98

Hide glue is reasonably easy to work with, but it takes practice to get comfortable with it. It's nowhere as convenient to handle as bottled glues, but it doesn't take all that much effort, if you develop a routine.

Here's mine:

I always weigh the glue and water so I get a consistent viscosity. It takes almost no time at all because I always make the same amounts:

I'm weighing out 40 grams of glue for these photos. Usually, I weigh out 100 grams of dry glue; I use a ratio of 100 grams of glue to 180 grams of water. Every batch of hide glue has a different ideal mixing ratio and that's why I bought a fifty pound bag of the stuff so I'd never have to figure it out again!

I can't use volume measure because the granulated glue will change density as I get to the bottom of my jar.

Stirring the water and glue together, I see the granules begin to swell:

A few hours later, the glue has absorbed all the water. Because of the size of the granules, the glue has taken on the exact consistency of the flying fish roe I get on my sushi:

OK, if you don't eat bait, then just think of it as little jelly granules.

Now I'll "cook" the glue:

I'm just heating the glue in a pot of water. I have a thermometer stuck in the water so I can keep the temperature to no more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I just stir the glue until it all melts.