Matthew Hannafin

Switching glue brands...

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Well....I've used up the last bits of hide glue I had...I think it was Behlen 164g...for most purposes I was mixing 5g glue to 7g water.

The new stuff I have is 222g from International Violin....it just seems a bit frothier than I'm used to...and it doesn't look as string-ey if you mush it in your fingers and pull apart.  I have notes on glue:water ratios from the  school and I mixed this stuff up at 5g glue to 9.2g water.

I did a little test rub joint on some scrap and it seemed to be OK...but I thought before I glue up a back I'd make a post, have some lunch and walk the dog.

Why is it so frothy?  Is anybody familiar with the 222g from International?

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Well, the test went well...the glue definitely seems to form a strong bond.  I dug out a piece of scrap to do a bigger test rub joint on...and that went well...seemed to grip nicely right away.  Once I got a big smear of glue down though, I realized how vastly different it smells than the Behlen 164g I'm used to...and not good different.  I held up the jar to my nose and gave a deep sniff...what a mistake.  Shall I say...the odor of decomposition?

Is a really bad smell normal?  Are the higher gram hide glues just a bit more pongy?

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I've used a lot of 379 that is crystal clear and has no smell to speak of.

I also have some 315 that smells like decomposition. It works well seems to be fine, but it is really foamy. It gets less so after a couple of heating cycles. My dog loves to eat the old hide glue, the stinkier the better.

I've seen 222 on both sides of the fence.

I think that it has to do with the cleanness of the parts the glue is made out of, nasty parts equals nasty smelling foamy glue, clean parts and clean equipment to start with,,, equals clean clear glue.

I know of a special batch of extra clean glue that was made, crystal clear zero odor, long open time and very strong,, and someone with a couple hundred pounds of it,  I've gotten some of it,  but , it's not for sale. It's like everything else, it is not economically feasible to spend too much time on something,, so we can end up with junk.

However there is some very good glue being made, I don't mean to dis anyone at all and am not!

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Don't know about the smell, but I too would be suspicious. The glue I use is a High Clarity 192 gram strength from here...

https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/MS-HIDEGL.XX/BT&C_Hide_Glue

At the time I purchased it, it was manufactured by Milligan & Higgins. This glue melts clear and has no smell.

http://www.milligan1868.com/index.html

Milligan & Higgins are manufacturers/wholesalers and I found them very helpful when you call. 

here is a thread from some time ago with some useful info... 

https://www.violins.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1441&highlight=hide+glue

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I've only used 315 gram strength.  Why learn to use something else when you figured out how to work with what you have?  Previously I used glue from IVC.  I didn't have any problems with it.  When I ran out I replaced it with Bjorn Hide Glue.  https://bjornhideglue.com/product/1-pound-high-clarity-hide-glue-grade-315/  Definitely like it better.  Gluing up ribs last week I found some leftover IVC glue.  When heated it was milky white.  I didn't know glue granules could go bad.  This batch was probably from around 2012.

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I  used Behlen glue from Woodcraft, (I have no idea what strength that is)  and went I ran out I tried BT & C 251 glue.  Very different stuff.  It seems to work, it has to be almost 3:1 water,  but I just noticed the other day that it separates in the jar when cooled.  The top half of the clear jar is watery, then something like a gel, then maybe something harder.  It doesn't just form into a hard clear (golden) mass like the Behlen did.  This isn't normal, is it?

They both, especially the new one, get moldy in days.

I just looked and I see that Bjorn now has a nice site to buy from.  I never found that before.  It seems they only sold in bulk.

High clarity for sure, but 251 or 315?

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Thanks for the responses.  I appreciate all the help and links. 

I'd feel bad throwing this batch out...so I decided to carry on for now, and order from Bjorn next time.  (I'm going to buy a small jar of minced garlic next time I'm at the store...this old mustard jar doesn't really offer any counter odor!)

I went ahead and glued up last night...I was a bit worried thinking about this glue possibly leaving a glue line due to lack of clarity...but it turned out fine:

241943813_222lowclarity.thumb.jpg.6277c508e35f32580cde5cf4dfb8d9dc.jpg

So...how do gram strength and dilution in water relate?  Can a glue like 315g be diluted enough to still work for gluing a belly to the ribs?  I've had to repair one of my instruments in the past that was assembled with 164g at 5g glue to 7g water...and that belly came off just fine.  Or is the strength of hide glue not as important because it is all easily broken down by dehydrating the glue for repairs?

Or does it have more to do with higher strength glue being a bit more resilient to severe conditions that can threaten the glue stability? 

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52 minutes ago, Ken_N said:

I  used Behlen glue from Woodcraft, (I have no idea what strength that is)  and went I ran out I tried BT & C 251 glue.  Very different stuff.  It seems to work, it has to be almost 3:1 water,  but I just noticed the other day that it separates in the jar when cooled.  The top half of the clear jar is watery, then something like a gel, then maybe something harder.  It doesn't just form into a hard clear (golden) mass like the Behlen did.  This isn't normal, is it?

I don't know for sure...but since I had these notes from school out anyway (I think they're right from the Weisshaar book) it says to mix 250g glue at 1 part glue to 2 parts water...so maybe yours is just too thin and the excess moisture gets pushed away when it cools?  I have no idea if the separation is related to going off in only a few days...but that would sure be frustrating.

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The 315 strength glue can be mixed to a variety of strengths but the number of times it has been heated changes it dramatically. I use fresh glue heated once, gelled completely, remelted and only then thinned to working consistency for permanent joints, maybe up to three days old for semi permanent joints like back to ribs and glue that has been heated many  times and allowed to sit at room temperature for tops. Other than top glue the glue should be kept in the refrigerator when not being used.

There is a great deal of feel involved in judging the thickness and tack of the glue and sticking with the same source is helpful.

There have been some other discussions of glue on this site which get pretty involved and you may benefit from searching them out.

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I glued a fingerboard on yesterday.  It was one that I had "tacked" on, and had to beat off. Never had that problem before.  I undercut the inside of the board to reduce the area.  I guess you're supposed to do that?

I mixed up a little of the Behlen glue with 2 1/4 parts water; heated in hot water; and in less than ten minutes I was gluing the fingerboard on with a couple swipes with the foam brush.  It worked great. 

This morning, the glue in the glass jar is solid. It is a beautiful clear gold color.  The B T & C stuff NEVER set up like that; it just separated into water, white globs and mold. 

I guess the next time I get over to Woodcraft I'll pick up another can of Behlen Masters glue.

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37 minutes ago, Ken_N said:

I glued a fingerboard on yesterday.  It was one that I had "tacked" on, and had to beat off. Never had that problem before.  I undercut the inside of the board to reduce the area.  I guess you're supposed to do that?

I mixed up a little of the Behlen glue with 2 1/4 parts water; heated in hot water; and in less than ten minutes I was gluing the fingerboard on with a couple swipes with the foam brush.  It worked great. 

This morning, the glue in the glass jar is solid. It is a beautiful clear gold color.  The B T & C stuff NEVER set up like that; it just separated into water, white globs and mold. 

I guess the next time I get over to Woodcraft I'll pick up another can of Behlen Masters glue.

I've never seen hide glue, good or bad, separate  into blobs, mold and water. That can't be ordinary glue!

I really like the glue LMI sell, but I bought 3lb recently, and it cost a fortune in FedEx charges. I paid  for  the carriage, which was dear enough, but a month later got a bill for €37. There had been €3  import duty and €34 to pay for paying  it! Ill ask them to post it in future.

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