How to store hide glue
Patrick Edwards demonstrates how simple it is to store hide glue indefinitely and rehydrate it to use at a later date.
Hide glue has been around for centuries and was originally sold in solid form. One hundred years ago if you walked into a supply house and said “I want some glue,” they would sell you a solid cake of it. The advantage of solid glue is that you can test it. You could look at the color, or you could take your thumb and press it against the glue to see if it’s sticky or not. In its solid form, hide glue will last thousands of years. It’ll never change.
If you have a glue pot full of hot glue, and you turn it off, you have to cook it every day or eventually the glue will attract mold. To save your hide glue for use at a later date, pour out the glue on a piece of plastic and when it solidifies, place it on a nylon screen so that it dries from both sides and becomes hard. When you need to use it again, simply break it up into small pieces with a hammer. Be careful, the broken pieces of glue are as sharp as glass. Place the small pieces of glue in cold water and let it sit for 24 hours. The next day, the pieces will be gelatin, and you can heat them up in your glue pot and reuse them. It’s the way people have done it for centuries.
Modern hide glues that we use today are already ground up so you can rehydrate them very quickly. The glue can go through those cycles as many times as you want without a problem—from solid, to gel, to liquid, to gel, to solid, to gel, to liquid—just by a function of temperature and water.
Check out Patrick’s video on drying glue for use later on: