Furniture maker Phil Lowe once showed me two 55-gallon barrels filled with clear stuff that looked like sand. He got the barrels from a factory that made gummy bears (I think he said the factory went out of business). Anyway, he used the stuff in the barrels – gelatin – to make his hide glue.
Since that day I’ve had the following stuck in my head: gummy bears = hide glue.
Today I decided to see if I could reverse-engineer the process and turn gummy bears into hide glue.
I bought a package of Haribo Goldbears gummy bears from the gas station up the block from Roy Underhill’s school. I put them in a cup with a little water and put the cup into his hide glue pot.
An hour later, the bears had melted and stirred like thin hide glue (I might have added a little too much water). Gummy bears are not just pure gelatin, of course. They have a lot of sugar and other stuff in them. But despite all this negative information running through my head, I had a question…
Does it stick?
I painted some Gummy Glue on a piece of poplar and performed a rub joint. The glue tacked right up with some nice pink squeeze-out. After 10 minutes, the stuff gelled up. The joint looks promising (right now).
I’ll let the joint sit overnight to see how strong it is.
Let the jokes begin.
— Christopher Schwarz