I use hide glue mainly for bracing, on new instruments, crack repair on old ones, and a few other tasks. I go through the routine of refrigerating it at the end of the day, and if I'm not using it the next morning, I leave it in the fridge. Of course, that means, and it happens often, that the glue is not ready when I want to use it. I end up running back into the house, heating up some water in the MW, then heating the glue in the MW. Not that it takes long to do that, but it is an interruption. A lot is said about storing the glue properly to extend it's life. Today I saw a video by Dan E. where he says he just leaves the glue in the pot on the bench for several weeks and keeps using it. A few weeks of glue life would be fine for me. If that is an O.K. option, I'm very ready to do that instead of the daily refrigerator or freezer ice cube thing. I'd be interested in hearing practical experiences from other hide glue users.
Constant heat will deteriorate the glue. I've set my baby bottle warmer to about 50 or even 40 degrees C to keep it as cold as possible and still usable. When done with it I put the glass jar with a lid in the fridge. Most of the time I know when to heat it up again and in 15 minutes in the warmer it's usable when I need it. If I need a small amount quick I put the jar in the micro wave and give it a couple of rotations of the plate, The glue will melt on the sides of the jar first. I have to be very careful not to cook the glue and destroy it.
When the glue gets noticeably watery and thin I toss it and heat up a new batch. I always have two glass jars rotating in the fridge, the active one and the next one with a fresh mix of glue soaking in the water. The new batch is ready to go in 15-20 minutes.
In my shop I have running water, a micro wave and a fridge. Very practical.
I keep my mixed hide glue frozen when not in use. It won't mold in the freezer but will if just refrigerated. Pitch the glue if you see mold.
I had my potter daughter make me several small bowls that fit my glue pot. When I'm done with a heated batch, I just put the bowl and contents into a Ziplock bag and re-freeze it. Hide glue keeps a long time when stored frozen, probably months but I don't push my luck. When I want to re-heat, I fill my glue pot with hot tap water and then plug it in. I put the bowl with the frozen glue in the pot and cover it. Takes about 10 minutes to come to full temperature. I seldom have a situation where haven't already planned using hot hide glue and in those situations may just reach for the Titebond.
Thanks Roger and Paul--Wish there was a more scientific approach to how to handle hide glue. I do find myself reaching for the Titebond more often than I'd like because the HHG is not ready to use. The nature of my business does not really allow me to plan my daily building schedule.
Maybe worth you're while to invest in a decent glue pot and just plug it in every day so you have it ready.
I have a very good glue pot. It's just that there are a lot of different takes on how to deal with HHG freshness. Can't say that I have ever had a problem, but sometimes I wish I had more exact knowledge of what really happens to glue over certain periods of time when freezing, refrigerating, microwaving, or doing all or none of that is involved. There is a lot of anecdotal info out there and I've not seen controlled lab test results, which do probably exist somewhere. I know it has been used for thousands of years in all kinds of ways and it works, but just wishing I knew more. Not knowing does not stop me from using it all the time, but there are times when I'm not exactly in my comfort zone.
As always, great info from FF....
Mike-Thanks. I've looked at that from time to time. All good stuff, but does not satisfy my particular inquiry. Like I said, I use HHG all the time for a number of tasks, but still think it would be interesting to see some more detailed, quantative analysis of HHG properties when the variables are manipulated. I just like that kind of stuff. Enjoy your building!-Bob
Bob, I've been using hot hide glue for a number of years and I use a modified Frank F. approach. I mix a smallish batch (I don't do repairs every day of the week) in a glass storage dish and store it in the refrigerator, then when I see on a given day I'll need glue, I break off the appropriate amount and put it in my 'martini' glass ..the kind without a stem so it sits flat, but still has the cone-shape. I fill another storage dish with hot tap water, place it on my glue heater (140*) and immerse the martini glass with glue into the water. In five minutes I'm ready to go. I use that blue lid (photo) to cover the glue because I work in my basement where it's cool and sometimes a film will form over the top of the glue.
I find that my batch of glue in the refrigerator will last up to 3 weeks before mold grows, then I'll mix up a new batch. Very simple system.
The hot water on the bench top also serves to pre-heat my brush or spatula, and serves as a ready source of hot water to thin glue or wipe off squeeze out.
BTW, the water in the glass dish is cloudy because I've not used glue for a few days, and cleaning my brush will cause it to get funky.
"I know it has been used for thousands of years in all kinds of ways and it works, but just wishing I knew more. Not knowing does not stop me from using it all the time, but there are times when I'm not exactly in my comfort zone."
yeah, me too.
i don't use the stuff every day or even every week, and i'm just not sure about 'fridging or freezing. i mixed larger batches and froze the extra for a while, but i just wasn't confident about it for critical stuff.
i've settled on just mixing and melting a small batch fresh each time, in a small "spice can" heated in a water bath in a mini crock pot.
All replies appreciated. On another HHG related issue, just wondering how people deal with Hold Heat glue pots if you are using one. I had previously used a jury rigged hot plate, and then the all brass pot that you see on Amazon and eBay. I just switched to a Hold Heat pot. Experimenting with various sizes of glass jars to float the glue in the water with. Currently using a small salsa jar, which works, but there probably are better scenarios. If you have something that really works with this size heater, I'd appreciate any sharing. Thanks, Bob
I keep my hydrated HHG in capped, ~30ml plastic squeeze bottles floating in a hot water bath for speedy and precise application and storage. When finished for the day they get capped and go in the fridge or freezer depending what I have planned for the next week. They were used for antibiotics for my dog but I'm sure you can find similar bottles for the volume of HHG you need.