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Re-Upholstery with specialist covering

How To Make Traditional Glue

What Is Traditional Glue?
It is the oldest form of glue known, and is made from waste product from the abattoir, originally it was a made with a heady mixture of any old bits of beast, bird or fish.

Here the Cabinet Maker is adding sanitised 'pearls' of traditional glue to warm water, the mixture must never boil and the glue pot is in fact a bain-marie, ie the glue pot has an internal jacket filled with hot water. The glue must be used whilst it is still hot, and the Cabinet Makers often keep the glue pot 'brewing' all day. If allowed to cool in the pot it can still be warmed through and used the following day.

What Is Traditional Glue?
Well first of all it can be made to differing strengths, dependent upon which job it is required to perform, a weaker solution would be required if a temporary or sacrificial adhesion was needed.

Traditional glue is also completely reversible because it is suspended and soluble in water, ie it does not emulsify. To reverse the process inject or apply hot water, or Methylated Spirit (or indeed heat) to the joint that has been glued, and the adhesive becomes malleable. This makes it a perfect material to be used with Book Binding, jewellery creation or Cabinet Making.

Identifying Genuine Antiques
Its presence is a good indication in identifying genuine antiques; look for a dirty brown crystalisation around the jointing area. If present this indicates that animal glue was used many, many years ago.

Wheathills Cabinet Makers use Traditional Glue in the creation of marquetry, and in the mortise and tenon joints in the construction of bespoke, handmade furniture. It is also used as an adhesive when traditionally hand laying veneers.

Cabinet Maker fixing mortise and tenon joint Cabinet Maker performing restoration Areas Of Crystalisation in old glue Fixing a veneer with traditional glue

Further Reference:
How To Identify A Real Antique
Cabinet Making
How To Make French Polish
Bespoke Furniture


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