Make Your Own Liquid Hide Glue


My shop time is erratic. Sometimes I’m in the shop for 40 hours a week. Sometimes I get about four. So it’s hard for me to plan for hot hide glue. Sometimes assembly time comes much faster than I anticipated. Sometimes it’s weeks later than I planned.

So I use a lot of liquid hide glue, which doesn’t rely on overnight soaking or planning for how much I need for the coming day.

Recently Joshua Klein published a super-simple recipe for making your own liquid hide glue from glue granules, tap water and canning salt. It is so simple, that I am definitely going to make some myself, just as soon as I get home from this trip (one of the other reasons that using hot hide glue is tough).

Check out the great post here – and it has a printable recipe card you can tack to your shop wall.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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7 Responses to Make Your Own Liquid Hide Glue

  1. woodworkerme says:

    I have been using hide glue for while, and my shop dog likes it also. he licks up the squeeze out. so I need to make sure he can’t get to them. one of the things I dislike is it has a shelf life. I have glued things up and they take for ever to set…time to throw in out. so I will be making my own from now on.

  2. rwyoung says:

    Mixed up a batch the other day using his formula, minus a smidge of the salt. Worked like a champ. Unscientific test where I smacked a glue joint with a hammer after 24 hours broke adjacent to the joint and also a second crack 3″ further out. Took three good whacks to break the board (hackberry) thrice asunder.

  3. And if you like the convenience of the little squeezy bottle your liquid hide glue comes in Don has a solution for you:

  4. bernardnaishb says:

    I only use hide glue. Fast grab rubbed joints and hammer veneering are so cool. Have used urea and salt to extend the time I have to assemble parts. I keep some hide glue already made up in the freezer and use the auto defrost function of my microwave if I need to get it ready to use quickly. A very, very, very tiny drop of pure cedar wood oil added to a batch reduces the smell and seems to help prevent mould attack and the glue is more liquid.

  5. lignarium says:

    If any one is looking for more info about Hide glue, info from this link covers much everything and also when you should add sal or urea to the mix.

  6. I’m not sure what type of hot hide glue you use, but it definitely does not need to soak overnight!

    I let mine soak for about 30 minutes, then it’s ready to go (by then, all the water has soaked). I prepare a new batch daily, whenever I need it. I’ve been doing it that way for 10 years with no problem!

    I’m a violin maker (for the music nerds, I’m actually a viola da gamba maker), so this is the only glue I use. I also use it on my occasional furniture pieces, whenever I feel that I will be able to clamp the joint within 15 seconds or so.

  7. rwyoung says:

    Less highly refined hide glue (pearl, stuff with more bone, i.e. the smelly stuff) forms take longer to re-hydrate. Overnight soaking won’t hurt any of them. Highly refined and finely ground glue will hydrate very quickly, 30 minutes is about right for a 1C batch. Cold (cool) water seems to re-hydrate glue more quickly than hot water.

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