Hide Glue (2): How it’s Made

How it's Made

192 gram-strength conceal glue

The most important, and I feel solely, hide-glue manufacturing facility left within the
United States is Milligan
& Higgins
, positioned in Johnstown, New York, west of
Albany, off Interstate 90. You should purchase conceal glue immediately from
the corporate in 50-pound or bigger portions.

For smaller portions, resellers embody Woodworker’s Supply, Tools for Working
, Merit
Industries/Wood Finish Supply
 and various
suppliers to the musical-instrument trade.

My expertise with conceal glue from sources aside from Milligan
& Higgins is that the glue stinks significantly extra. The
rationalization from Milligan & Higgins is that they take pains
to take away extra of the micro organism that trigger the dangerous odor.

So right here’s how Milligan & Higgins makes the glue (I visited
within the 1990s to really see the method).

First, trimmings from cowhides taken from a close-by tannery are
washed then handled with lime many occasions in giant vats that
appear to be freight automobiles with open tops. This goes on for one to
three months.

The limed skins are then washed and neutralized with dilute
acid. Washing with water many occasions then removes the lime,
salts and the acid.

The pores and skin inventory is then transferred to kettles and heated with
scorching water. This removes the collagen – the fibrous,
albumin-like materials discovered within the pores and skin and connective tissues
of animals. (Hooves and horns don’t include collagen and aren’t
used, opposite to what you usually hear.) Successive extractions
of glue are made, with these being designated “first run,”
“second run,” and many others. Generally, glue produced from the early
extractions excels later extractions in gel energy and clear

The dilute answer from the recent water is filtered and
evaporated to about 40% focus. Then the answer is
chilled and pushed by way of a big plate with small holes
much like a large pasta machine to kind “noodles.” The noodles
are then dried additional on a conveyer to maintain them aside in order that they
don’t stick to one another.

The ultimate step is to interrupt the noodles into items, that are
floor and saved in giant bins to be blended later. The blends
are graded by “gram energy” from a excessive of 512 grams to a low
of 85 grams.

The upper the gram energy the stronger the glue, however the
quicker it gels. So larger gram strengths are unworkable in
woodworking as a result of they gel too quick. However decrease gram strengths
are nonetheless lots sturdy to make a bond stronger than the wooden.

The gram energy I’ve used for 40 years is 192-gram energy
(on the advice of Milligan & Higgins). However 222 or
251 are sometimes utilized by musical instrument makers (for no matter
cause I don’t know; possibly as a result of they’re engaged on smaller
objects; or possibly as a result of that is simply what they bought began
with and are used to).

Trying round on the Web I discovered a really attention-grabbing video
of a fellow making his personal glue from hides. The video
creator follows roughly the identical course of I’ve described.
For those who’re , I extremely suggest it.

— Bob Flexner


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