Video Series on Making Quality Hide Glue

hideglue header

Howdy folks.  I’ve been MIA on the Paleotechnics blog for a while.  I spent quite a bit of my time, thought and energy this last year focusing on recovering my health and on audio/visual stuff for making videos.  The good news is that my health has been considerably better and I’m getting pretty well set up for shooting decent quality videos, though I still have a lot of progress ahead of me in both goals.

I’m shooting a video series on making high grade hide glue.  At least that is the goal, we’ll see when I test the glue after it’s finished, or maybe have it tested.  The third video, on liming, is uploading to YouTube as I’m typing this.  The approach is a sort of learn as you follow along kind of thing, going through the process of turning a cattle hide from Tamara’s recent cattle processing class into hide glue.  Every time I go to work on the skin, I take some video and edit it down.  One section is sort of a lecture type deal with some chalkboard action, one is on fleshing and, aside from the liming one uploading now, the others will be de-hairing and de-liming, cooking and pouring, then finally cutting and drying.  Maybe at some point there will be one on testing the finished glue.

In the first video I got off to a rough start.  I had just done a shot the night before (LDI, Low Dose Immunotherapy, or LDA) that is something like an allergy shot for systemic autoimmune type issues (including lyme disease related things for you lymies out there).  I was pretty wonky from the initial immune reaction including a low grade fever for most of the day.  In spite of all that I had unusual energy and managed to flesh the entire skin and get it in the lime bath.  So, in the beginning I look kind of like a rat that was partially drowned and hung up overnight to dry and I’m fairly brain dead to boot, but I snap out of it pretty quick, so hang in there!  The LDA Shot seemed to work though!  I’m getting the next one soon and I’m hopeful that I will continue to feel increasingly better and able to bring you good content more often.

This hide glue series will be fairly long, but there are things in there to learn beyond making hide glue.  Little snippets about other stuff relating to tanning skins and such inevitably work their way in.  No process is an island after all.  So far these videos have been decidedly lacking in popularity and the total number of people that really get a lot out of this will probably not be that many.  But it will be there when people are ready for it, and that is most of the reason I do this stuff at this point, as a reference archive and so it doesn’t all die with me one day.  Personally, I think it’s really cool, even though I’ve so far mostly restrained myself from going on long tangents about multiple related processes and ideas.  Poking around looking at other hide glue videos on youtube, a lot (or most?) of them use rawhide chew toys cut up in pieces.  Nothing wrong with that in context I suppose, but that has never been what we, or the genesis of Paleotechnics, has ever been about.  I’m definitely bringing you something closer to the ground up version.

The link below goes to the main Playlist into which all videos in the series will be placed as they come out.  I think anyone with any kind of google account, like Gmail, can subscribe for updates.  My channel, for now, is a mixed bag of stuff I get up to.  I’m also currently also doing a series on amateur apple breeding, which will follow my progress over the years attempting to breed up some new red fleshed apples here at the Turkeysong experimental homestead.  For the hide glue series,  I’m in the dehairing/refleshing/deliming process now, so that one should be up soon.  When finished, I will probably sell the glue on Etsy.  If that works, maybe I’ll add artisan hide glue making to my list of little income sources.  Artisanal hide glue for artisanal artisans, you know instrument makers, fine artists who use traditional materials, fine woodworkers that want their furniture to be fully repairable in the future and the likes of them.  People who are keepin’ it real!  See ya…

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Martin

     /  June 20, 2016

    Hi! I really like the video of the glue making! I have a question that i think you might know the answer to. How hot can the water be when you boil the hide? Could it be boiling or should i use a duble boiler and keep it under a specific temperature? I’m using deer hide if that is useful information.

    Martin
    Sweden

    Reply
    • Hi Martin. I’ll finish that video series soon! What I’ve been doing is keeping it to a low simmer or lower. I dont’ know what is ideal or what you can get away with, but I’ve noticed that with cooking soup stock, if it boils, it will go cloudy and the taste changes. I know temperature has some effect, so I keep in low and slow. I think in commercial operations, they might raise the temperature for each extraction. Make sure you don’t use too much water (just covered) and test the glue till it’s ready to gel and cut and pour it off as soon as you reach that point. Then add new water, again, not too much, just barely covered, and simmer again. The first batch may be stronger and anything after the second batch definitely weaker. That is not necessarily bad. Most wood workers choose lower strength glues actually. Good luck! Read my paleotechnics written article on hide glue too before you do it. There are some good pointers in there.

      Reply
      • Martin

         /  June 21, 2016

        Hi!
        Thanks for your quick reply!
        I’ll read that and try it out later by myself.
        Thanks again for some really good videos!

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