Monday, May 6, 2013

Joining the Elite Hot Hide Glue Club

Today I joined the ranks of the uber-snobbish club that uses hot hide glue.

This stuff is so hard to use, and requires such expensive specialty equipment, none but the very elite class of woodworkers can use it.

I got a glue pot at a local specialty store.  This thing is high tech, and is specifically made to be used with a special glue container.  I rescued one of these containers from the trash.  I don't know why anyone would throw such a treasure away.

Hi-Tech Hot Glue Setup.
I got a package of hide glue at Dictum.  It was less than five Euros, but don't tell anyone.

Hide Glue from Dictum.
It should stay good forever, as long as it stays dry.
I tested the fancy glue-pot to see where I had to set the thermostat for the proper temperature for glue.  Luckily, if I turn it all the way up, the pot warms the liquid inside of the glue container to just shy of the recommended temperature.  This works fine, and this also means that there is no danger of the glue getting too hot by accident.

Thermostat.  If I turn it up all of the way, the temperature is just right.
I made a test run by following the directions that came with the glue.  Start with twice as much glue powder as water, slowly heat while stirring, and when it is up to temperature, add more water until it is the desired consistency.   I used a heaping spoonful of glue granules and one spoonful of warm water.  It seemed to mix great, and it thinned out as it got warm.

When I added more water, I accidentally added about ten times what I meant to, so it turned out a bit thin.  However, I tried a rub joint with two little bits of scrap I had laying around, and it seems to be holding just fine.

Test joint, glue seems plenty strong.
Everything cleaned up nicely, too.  A bit of soap and water, and all is ready for my next glue-up.


  1. I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and I love your content!

    I've been hearing good things about hot hide glue for awhile, but I think reading this post has now convinced me to go for it. This is specifically because seeing your glue pot made me realize that I can use the temperature controlled hot water bath I normally use for sous vide cooking to heat the glue to the required temperature. That means I only need to buy the granules to get started!

    1. If you use a crock pot, you can mix up a giant portion of hide glue.


      I spent less than $20 for this bottle warmer, the point being there are many ways to do it. The best way is with something you already have!

      Good luck, and thanks for reading.

    2. Yes, the bottle warmers do not quite make it to temperature. Wax heaters (handy if you want to remove your leg hair as well) go higher in heat, and are probably more stable as well. Your local beauty parlor may sell you an old one.

  2. In fact, if you look at the item depicted next to the top temperature setting, it is clearly a glue container with a brush in it!