View Full Version : Old Brown Glue Update

Pete Howlett
05-05-2015, 03:43 AM
Ii really like this stuff and would recommend it as the non specialists specialist glue! It is so easy to use and on initial observations has better adhesion properties than Titebond. The only downside for me is the long clamping times - I am simply not used to spreading my builds over time. But yes - a great 'hide' glue that I am going to use in conjunction with Titebond and the other synthetics I regularly use.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
05-05-2015, 04:01 AM
I looked at it and couldn't figure out how it differs from normal hide glue- Apart from being pre mixed, it still needs warming up to 140F etc.

Pete Howlett
05-05-2015, 04:11 AM
There you have it....

Piedmont Uke
05-05-2015, 05:58 AM
I believe the maker states that it has a longer working time than standard hide glue. Thus the longer clamping time.

05-05-2015, 06:46 AM
Sounds like this could be my solution to box closing :) Regular HHG is good for everything else, but I need more open time for that one operation. And it sounds like it's safe to freeze, so I shouldn't have to buy new bottles all the time either.

Thanks Pete!

Pete Howlett
05-05-2015, 10:56 AM
Follow the instructions on YouTue. This is a hybrid HHG so doesn't need freezing. The longer open time is the bonus. I decant a day's worth into a tattoo ink squeeze bottle and use a hog's hair brush to apply it.

05-05-2015, 11:19 AM
We've used this glue for a number of years and like it a lot. As we only do finish and set-up here in Louisiana (the instruments are rough built in Central America) it means we don't have to mix up small batches of hide glue for just bridge gluing. Simply take the bottle and put it in hot water a few minutes before using.

The one thing I would caution everyone about is to pay strict attention to the expiration date. Just gluing bridges means we don't use all that much. Time flies, and before you know it you've got an old batch on your hands.

Once that happens, if you continue to use it, your bridges will lift. Then, after the fact (ya' big dummy!), you remember to look at the expiration date.

05-11-2015, 02:39 PM
Expiration dates are helpful, but sometimes stuff happens and glue goes bad sooner (or later) than you expect.

Apologies if you know this already, but a handy check for whether a protein glue (hide, fish) has still got stick'em power is the "string test": put some on two fingers, rub together for a bit as it cools and pull the fingers apart from time to time. If the glue is good, as it cools many long spiderweb-fine filaments will begin to appear as you pull your fingers apart. Do it with known fresh and well prepared glue to calibrate yourself. Patrick Edwards, the maker of Old Brown Glue, describes this here: http://www.wpatrickedwards.com/gluearticle.htm and searching the web will yield more references.

Other simple tests: if the smell has gotten dramatically worse, time for new glue. Ditto if you see mold.

Storing any prepared protein glue in the fridge will extend it's life (for the same reasons it extends the life of foods).

Finally, re Beau's comment about not seeing any difference from hide glue: the working time is far longer. In my other life I use Old Brown Glue for very complex furniture glue ups, it's much less stressful than any PVA. The flip side of long working time is that the clamping time is generally considered longer, though I haven't tested this to push the envelope.

Frank Ford suggests that liquid hide glues are a bit more prone to creeping. They clean up a bit differently as well--the squeeze out from liquid hide glue doesn't become rock hard for ages. This makes one wonder if the glue dries rubbery, but Patrick Edwards says that the glue line is rock hard, it's just blobby squeeze out that remains softer...an clean up advantage over hot hide glue in his view.

Inksplosive AL
05-11-2015, 07:02 PM
I decant a day's worth into a tattoo ink squeeze bottle

My how the world changes. I remember it was something to my mentors to know what a Boston round bottle with a yorker cap was. Now they and any other style of small squeeze bottle are just tattoo ink bottles.

They taught me data punch my 1st year of jr high as well. Not a whole lot of that going on in 2015.

Pete Howlett
05-11-2015, 08:09 PM
Goood to know other trades have a specialist vocabulary...

05-12-2015, 11:30 PM
Pete are you going to use it for gluing on the bridge ??... Or don't you have the bottle. :)

Pete Howlett
05-13-2015, 02:23 AM
I have the bottle but I'm not going to use it :) I'll 'stick' with Titebond for the time being....

05-13-2015, 07:07 AM
What do you think about mixing some fresh made hide glue with the OBG? Maybe you could custom mix to get just the right open time you need for a given task?

Pete Howlett
05-13-2015, 07:56 AM
I'm not into experimenting - have glued all bars with it and am happy with the results. Time constraints mean closing up the box has had to be done with Titebond...