Author Topic: Removing Dried Hide Glue  (Read 4661 times)


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Removing Dried Hide Glue
« on: November 18, 2008, 09:14:22 PM »
I mistakenly popped a transition block off a cabriole leg when clamping it on my workbench.  The block was attached with with hide glue.  I need to re-attach the block and was wondering what the best way to remove the dried glue would be.  I was thinking of simply sanding it off but thought that maybe someone had a trick that could remove the glue.


Brian Harding

Parttime/Hobbyist Woodworker (20 Years). Recently (last 6 years) concentrating on period furniture.

Tom M

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Re: Removing Dried Hide Glue
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 10:03:32 PM »
I've removed dried hide glue by squirting hot water on the surface until it gells - sometime I've used a heat gun to speed up the process.  A scraper works great when gelled.

I recently restored ogee bracket feet from a federal tall clock, and this method worked great.  I was pretty excited to see toothing plane marks on the miter joints.
Tom Meiller, SAPFM Member #684


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Re: Removing Dried Hide Glue
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 12:06:58 AM »
Actually, you don't have to take it off. The  heat  and water from the new hide glue will soften the dried glue, actually "reactivate it". Think of the dried glue on the transition block like fresh dry hide glue. It will still work as glue.
One hint. I've found that if I can get a clamp on the transition block, rather than just rubbing the joint, the joint is then stronger than the wood and the wood will crack before the glue joint gives.

Howard Steier

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Removing Dried Hide Glue
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 09:28:14 AM »
Howard is right.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Cartouche recipient 2009. Retired Dec. 2018.


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Re: Removing Dried Hide Glue
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2008, 05:53:09 PM »
Hi Brian,
 I've tried most ways, but the best, quickest, easiest,most successful way I’ve found is? With a finely set toothing plane, worked cross grain, this gives a better adhere when reglueing, if the leg is glued Ok, I take the toothing plane blade out is its base, and scrap by hand.
 A rubbed joint is all that is required with any glue.
 Sanding? Will possibly reduce the stock?
 And lastly? Recoating with glue without cleaning first will make a bad joint, remember this? No glued joint should be visible, only the joint line, if by chance the first glue didn’t soften? Well, a bad repair.

               Sharing the tricks of the trade


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Re: Removing Dried Hide Glue
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2008, 12:36:09 PM »
Brian - If you're restoring an antique, and you don't want to add or subtract anything (i.e. - removing wood in the joint, or adding more glue), you can re-activate the hide glue by using the "steam" setting on a household iron.  Just steam the joint faces until the existing hide glue is softened, then clamp the joint back together.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking