FRETS.COM Tips & Tricks

Should you
Hide Glue in Your Kitchen?
© Frank Ford, 6/26/98; Photos by FF, 6/23/98

If you read my
article about hide glue, then this won't surprise you. Hide glue and animal gelatin are one and the same. Only thing is, edible gelatin has a gel strength up around 350 grams. That means it is particularly important to keep the parts warm when you glue up, so that the glue stays liquid before you apply clamping pressure.

By the way, unflavored gelatin is sold as food. After smelling it and smelling my usual hide glue, I think I'd rather eat the glue!

This stuff is perfectly fine for occasional use, although it's an expensive way to buy glue.

You just mix the dry gelatin with 3 times its weight of water:

That means about 3/4 oz. cold water for each package (1/4 oz.) of unflavored gelatin:

Stir it up and almost immediately the water is absorbed:

Heat to 150 degrees Fahrenheit to use it, and you have a remarkably clear and strong hide glue.

It works just like the hide glue I describe in the article on
using hide glue, but because it has higher gel strength it needs more water (about 3:1 instead of about 2:1.)

Mix up a 1/4 oz. envelope of gelatin with about 1/3 cup of water and you get a perfect glue for attaching paper identification labels inside the unfinished top of any stringed instrument.

Don't forget to read the other glue articles before you go about using hide glue.

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