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International violin hide glue


Crimson0087

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I just bought a pound of 315 last week. I go by approximate volume, say two to two and a half parts water to one part dry glue and let it set up (gel) before I heat it. Once it's thoroughly emulsified (maybe two hours, I'll swish it around once or twice during that time) I'll rub it between my fingers to check the thickness, then vary the consistency depending on what I'm going to use it for. Add a little water to thin it, leave the lid off for a bit to thicken it.

 

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Just now, Michael Darnton said:

That stuff is overkill unless you want the cleanest possible cracks. It sets up too fast for me for normal stuff. But it's good glue.

I agree. Good for strong cleanly glued cracks if you're set up to get clamps in place quickly.  Not enough working time for many other operations.

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6 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

That stuff is overkill unless you want the cleanest possible cracks. It sets up too fast for me for normal stuff. But it's good glue, especially for things you never want to take apart.

 

3 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

I agree. Good for strong cleanly glued cracks if you're set up to get clamps in place quickly.  Not enough working time for many other operations.

What glue DO you use?

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Interesting. I have always found that a consistent source of glue is very helpful as far as knowing how to mix it for different jobs and how it will act as far as gel time etc. I have used 315 from a single source for almost everything but now am doing more repair/restoration work and have found some slower gelling glues useful as well.

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5 minutes ago, John Preston said:

I think there is only one manufacturer of hide glue in the US - Milligan and Higgins.  So, if you are buying from a NA company, it was likely made there.

No.

Eugene Thordahl in North Carolina knows more about glue than anyone I have ever spoken to and makes a variety of glues which I have found to be consistently excellent.

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8 minutes ago, Crimson0087 said:

What strength is most appropriate? I definitely could use a longer opening time I'm slow but I didn't wanna get too weak of a glue joint? What strength do y'all use? How much time do you think I'll have with this 315 glue? Can I do anything to increase the time and it still be strong enough. I've read adding salt

I would avoid adding anything to your glue. There are slower setting glues and mixing and temperature can control setting time to at least some degree. I know David Burgess has done some controlled testing on glues and I believe there is at least one other maestronet conversation about this subject. I will look for it now but my computer skills are nonexistent so if David would like to chime in or if anyone can provide some sort of link to the previous thread?

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27 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

No.

Eugene Thordahl in North Carolina knows more about glue than anyone I have ever spoken to and makes a variety of glues which I have found to be consistently excellent.

He offers a variety of gel strengths, but I don’t think he’s making it himself, though he certainly has the knowledge to do so.

https://bjornhideglue.com/

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According to a phone conversation I had with Eugene Thordahl, a lower gram strength glue with a longer working time, and a higher gram strength glue diluted to the point where it gives the same working time, will have roughly equivalent bonding strength. The exception is where gap-filling ability is needed, such as a poor joint, where the more concentrated lower gram strength glue will be more viscous when wet, and will shrink less when it dries, since it will have higher solids content. But I have always considered hide glue to be a horrible gap filler anyway, so that part isn't important to me.

Some us have extended the working time of the higher gram strength glues by using them in a hot moist environment. Another use for your sauna or steam room. :)

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Gel strength is how stiff a standardized mixture of glue gels at a certain temperature.  It is measured by the Bloom gelometer, which is why it is also called Bloom strength.  Higher gel strength equates to a higher molecular weight of collagen.  High gel strength means less penetration of wood and a more brittle glue once cured by itself, such as on a glass plate.  Lower molecular weight gel penetrates wood more and is more elastic when cured by itself.  High Bloom strength gels also set faster.  Gel strength does not directly correlate with wood joint strength.  Gel strengths in the range of 140 - 315 can yield equivalent joint strengths depending on how they are mixed and the quality of the bond.  David Burgess' article on gel times is instructive. 

Our source of hide glue is generally bovine, but rabbit (more elastic) bone and fish (both very low molecular wt) are used by others.  Another fun fact; hide glue can bond to cured hide glue; the same is not true for PVA.  So a failed PVA joint must be taken back to bare wood before re-glue if full strength is desired.  

I am still finishing up a batch of dry hide glue I bought in 1987.  I am about to start using glue I bought from Japan, see attch.  When I do so, I will experiment with that batch to make sure it works as I want to before I joint a nice piece of maple or spruce.  

image.png.651b7e6a496437ebff55a996ec8e7fd8.png

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Interesting. I have always found that a consistent source of glue is very helpful as far as knowing how to mix it for different jobs and how it will act as far as gel time etc. I have used 315 from a single source for almost everything but now am doing more repair/restoration work and have found some slower gelling glues useful as well.

Hi Nathan;

For "American glue" I have 192, 251 and 315 on hand.  the 192 and 315 are M & H high clarity,  The 251 is from Eugene Thordahl. 192 is probably what I go to most... and no mater what I'm using I make it fresh for anything critical.

I did have a bad experience with one batch from Thordahl, but I imagine there are number of reasons that might happen and many colleagues use his glues regularly.

I've also tried two Japanese glues (only available there as far as I know; can't order them here); A deer hide glue we had exposure to at Oberlin (nicknamed "Bambi Glue") and a hide glue (that I rather like so far) that a colleague brought me (really nice to work with).

I know David has done some great testing with glues... and Christian Shabbon has done some pretty in depth testing with various strengths of hide glue.  I believe that he found the higher gram strength were not as effective with the maple to ebony bond when glueing on fingerboards... and maple to maple bonding had interesting results too.  He may have some of this info on his website (I haven't checked).

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20 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Jeff ,

Does the 192 need to be mixed differently than 315? If 192 is actually stronger than 315 then I have been dealing with short gel times for no reason for the past 45 years. :unsure:

Yes, low Bloom grade requires less water, and vice versa. I'm not sure if 192 is stronger than 315, as far as I know, the higher the number the higher the molecular weight, so longer protein chains, which would lead me to assume higher strength for higher bloom grades.

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I use glue marked 222 gram strength, but would use 192 just as easily.  I make up small batches by volume. I measure of glue to 2 measures of water. Soak for an hour or even overnight, and heat. I add water as it thickens, and replace whenever I see a sign of mold, which never happens if I'm using the glue pot daily.

 

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15 minutes ago, Michael Richwine said:

I use glue marked 222 gram strength, but would use 192 just as easily.  I make up small batches by volume. I measure of glue to 2 measures of water. Soak for an hour or even overnight, and heat. I add water as it thickens, and replace whenever I see a sign of mold, which never happens if I'm using the glue pot daily.

 

When you say you measure by volume, how do you do it? Do you put the glue in the jar first, and then add water until it's double the height of the glue? Just to try to understand, the percentages in volume always leave me the feeling of not having understood correctly:)

For example, how would you define this proportion by volume?

Collapergiunte.thumb.jpg.04d2443e9929f6c2b07719d3884cf3a9.jpg

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When two media dissolve each other or when they are miscible, it is very difficult to say anything about the volume proportions based on what you see in the resulting mixture/solution such as in your vial.

In my opinion, the only possible way of referring to volume proportions in such cases is to refer to the volumes before mixing. Something like "2 teaspoons of water were added to 1 teaspoon of glue".

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A number of years back, there was a great article in Strad Magazine where @David Burgess went through his process for prepping glue based on how long it takes to gel - instead of just measuring out the glue/water measurements by proportions. Would this method normalize any differences in gram strength? Like, if you have a jar of 222 and another of 192, and they're both gelling at 90 seconds, should I expect them to be pretty comparable? 

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

When you say you measure by volume, how do you do it? Do you put the glue in the jar first, and then add water until it's double the height of the glue? Just to try to understand, the percentages in volume always leave me the feeling of not having understood correctly:)

For example, how would you define this proportion by volume?

Collapergiunte.thumb.jpg.04d2443e9929f6c2b07719d3884cf3a9.jpg

Normally, I just put a tablespoon of dry glue in the container, and put two tablespoons of water on top of it (or whatever volumetric measure is appropriate at the time), and that has worked fine for me for years. It's very inexact, since the water evaporates and has to be added back as the glue sits during the day. I do almost everything else by weight, though, including making spirit varnish and cooking, so I weighed the ingredients and came up with 11 gm of glue to 30 gm of water in my particular case. So 1 part glue to 3 parts water by weight may work for starters.

At the place I got most of my initial experience, we made our own fish glue by simmering sturgeon swim bladders for hours "by eye and feel." with no scientific controls to speak of.  Once the glue was extracted, we'd divide the glue into portions and keep it frozen. The glue was too strong for my taste, and very difficult to reverse once dried. We just thinned it to whatever consistency we needed for workability.

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