Old Brown Glue or homemade liquid hide glue?

creasman

Board of Directors, Development Director
Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
I'm looking for some input on the subject of liquid hide glue. I've gotten to appreciate the benefits of using hot hide glue, but for some projects the set time is just too quick. I haven't used Patrick Edwards Old Brown Glue before and am considering buying a bottle. Don Williams has a simple formula for making your own liquid hide glue by adding salt. I'm considering that route as well. Assuming both are equal quality it comes down to cost vs convenience (doesn't everything).

I'm interested to hear from others here on the forum with experience using OBG and/or making their own liquid hide glue. I've read that OBG has a shelf life of 18 months and can be extended indefinitely by freezing the unused portion. Likewise, the salt acts as a preservative in the homemade variety. The price of OBG varies. One concern from ordering online is I get a bottle that's been setting in the store/warehouse for 15 months already. For that reason I'd probably order directly from Patrick Edwards site, or purchase in store so I could inspect the date. Anyone know if Klingspor's sells this brand?
 

marinosr

Richard
Senior User
OBG is my go-to on most all of my indoor projects. The open time is great and the reversibility has saved me more than once. Sometimes it's a little annoying having to warn the glue in advance, and to my mind that's an advantage of homebrew... You can add various amounts of urea to give optimal properties for the ambient temp of your shop/season. Titebond liquid hide glue is also liquid down to a lower temp than OBG. Im just going to stick with OBG though.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
I make my own, but I only use it on special projects. Mostly musical instruments ir anything that I may need to re-address/change later. It is easy to make. There are a bunch of videos on this. I think the Wright wood guy had a good one. Anyway, just depends on your needs
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Corporate Member
Klingspor's sells Titebond. I've used both Titebond and Old Brown Glue. They're similar in use, but I prefer Old Brown (small business, little guy, blah blah blah). One knock on Titebond is that they removed the "best by" date, and replaced it with a manufacturing code.

I have a 5oz bottle of OBG that you can have. PM your address and I'll get it in the mail
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
Another strategy is to heat the surfaces to be joined to allow more open time. As long as you can keep them between 140~100f you can work. If you use higher gram strength HHG the lowest is about 115f.
 

creasman

Board of Directors, Development Director
Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
Another strategy is to heat the surfaces to be joined to allow more open time. As long as you can keep them between 140~100f you can work. If you use higher gram strength HHG the lowest is about 115f.
One strategy I have used with hide glue is to pre-moisten the surface before applying the glue by dipping the glue brush into the water bath. This works since the hot hide glue dries when it looses heat or moisture. What source of heat are you using? Seems it would require a moist heat of some sort.
 

Charlie Buchanan

Charlie
Corporate Member
OBG has very useful open time especially when the weather gets cool. But it also gets thick in the bottle when the weather gets cool. I like to have it warm so I turn my glue pot on very low and keep it about 100 F in use. I think it has all the good properties of hot hide glue but cures slower. Both can be adjusted with heat if you make a mistake
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
One strategy I have used with hide glue is to pre-moisten the surface before applying the glue by dipping the glue brush into the water bath. This works since the hot hide glue dries when it looses heat or moisture. What source of heat are you using? Seems it would require a moist heat of some sort.
I use a heat gun
 

creasman

Board of Directors, Development Director
Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
I use a heat gun
That's very interesting. I would have thought the dry heat would cause the moisture to leave too quickly, thereby drying the glue. Guess I'm over thinking it (something I tend to do). Sounds like you're heating the wood just before applying the glue. I'll give that a try some time.
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
That's very interesting. I would have thought the dry heat would cause the moisture to leave too quickly, thereby drying the glue. Guess I'm over thinking it (something I tend to do). Sounds like you're heating the wood just before applying the glue. I'll give that a try some time.
I heat the workpieces prior to applying the glue.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
The biggest diff for me is hot hide glue and hammer veneering.

OBG has a much longer open time than HHG, but works just as well. If using OBG with veneer it needs clamping you're not supposed to use it in a vacuum press.

IMO if you're doing general ww'ing and not much veneering, there really isn't a big reason to invest in HHG. And if you're vacuum pressing you can't use it either.

That said, there are people who use nothing but HHG for all their gluing needs.

The only thing I can think of not to use it would be bent lamination, anything you need some open time.

The temp for both HHG and OBG is 140°
 
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creasman

Board of Directors, Development Director
Jim
Staff member
Corporate Member
The biggest diff for me is hot hide glue and hammer veneering.

OBG has a much longer open time than HHG, but works just as well. If using OBG with veneer it needs clamping you're not supposed to use it in a vacuum press.

IMO if you're doing general ww'ing and not much veneering, there really isn't a big reason to invest in HHG. And if you're vacuum pressing you can't use it either.

That said, there are people who use nothing but HHG for all their gluing needs.

The only thing I can think of not to use it would be bent lamination, anything you need some open time.

The temp for both HHG and OBG is 140°
I use hot hide glue for hammer veneering and for rub joints. Also use it for small projects that don't require a longer work time. I love the stuff (except for the smell :eek:).

I did make the mistake of using hide glue in a vacuum press once. That didn't work so well.

Do you heat the OBG as well? I thought part of the appeal was that it could be used at room temperature. Is there an advantage to warming the liquid hide glue?
 

mdbuntyn

Matt
Corporate Member
Do you heat the OBG as well? I thought part of the appeal was that it could be used at room temperature. Is there an advantage to warming the liquid hide glue?
OBG is thicker than Titebond, so it's best to warm it a bit. I'll usually put water in a large measuring cup, and nuke it for a minute or so.
 

Robert LaPlaca

Robert
User
Jim I use hide for all the furniture I build. I have used OBG bought directly from Patrick Edwards, it works great, has a long open time for larger glue ups, it does seem to always need to be heated up in a water bath to be liquid enough to use, might not need to be brought up to 140f, but needs to be hotter than a normal room temperature.

Having said all this, I mostly use 192 gram high clarity hide from either Tools for Working Wood or Bjorn, typically add some salt or urea to add some open time, maybe in the 10-15%. The tip given about heating up the wood definitely helps, in fact this practice was commonly done before modern glues became more common place in furniture factories.

OBG ah, definitely has a smell, maybe not a great one. I find the 192 gram high clarity doesn’t have such an odor.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, Events Director
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I use hot hide glue often. I mix up a batch of 192 and then put it in small containers with a top - the same size that a nurse would hand you for a lab test. I keep them in the freezer and take them out as needed.
 

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