Using Natural Animal
Hide Glue for primitive weaponry projects:
premium quality hide glue formulated to be water soluble and usable
at different thicknesses.
Prepare a double boiler or pan that is
clean and can take some heat.
Mix approximately 50% by volume
glue and water. Allow the glue to absorb the water
Apply the heat to thoroughly mix and liquefy. Add
more water as needed to bring the glue to the proper consistency.
Most people try to use glue that is too thick. If you add too much
water, either add more glue or cook the extra water out of the
Do not scorch or boil the glue mix, as this can hurt the
properties of the glue and cause objectionable
workpiece clean and free of excess glue by careful application and
quickly wiping spills with a wet cloth.
sinew or rawhide first with water then with the glue mix and squeeze
out any excess before wrapping the item.
Hide glue is liquid
when hot or very warm and will gel or thicken if allowed to become
cold. Do not hesitate to add more water or change the temperature of
the glue to make it more usable. After the final application layer,
use a warm, wet finger to smooth the surface of the glue and even
out lumps or thin spots. A toothbrush wet with warm water will allow
you to clean your workpiece.
If you are wanting an antique
look, throw some dry dust onto the moist surface of the hide glue as
Set piece aside and allow 1 to 24 hours for glue
to dry completely before waxing or using.
Natural hide glue
will become sticky if exposed to excessive moisture, but must be
soaked for hours before it will soften enough to lose its grip.
Paste wax is recommended for all applications what will see use. To
antique use a dirty or pigmented paste wax.
Hide glue can be
sanded smooth after drying, but pains should be taken to do the best
job possible during the wet stages.
Natural hide glue is
compatible with natural sinews, gut hafting material, rawhide and
leather. It will adhere to these materials and make a very strong,
fiber reinforced bond. It is not compatible with waxed artificial
sinew, nylon or other plastic or water resistant materials.
To make your hide glue look less refined you can add ochre
pigments or a little dry dust. A touch of dull yellow and a touch of
black iron oxide will make a nice brownish green that matches burned
wood, the patina on some stones and patinated bone handle materials.
Making Molds using Hide Glue:
make your hide glue especially thin, and cool it, it will congeal
into a gelatin like jello but a bit stronger. You may have to
experiment with the exact mix, but this was used to make molds for
plasterwork for a very long time.
Make a box that will
contain your model. Best is to make the box with screws so it can be
partially disassembled during casting.
Affix your model to
the bottom of the box using hot glue or something NOT water soluble.
The attachment should be on the back or somewhere that will
eventually become the opening through which the Plaster of Paris is
Spray the entire inside of the box with Pam or use
Vaseline applied with a brush to keep the glue from sticking to the
model or the box.
Mix the hide glue hot and pour it around
the original and fill the box with glue. Tamp and tap the box to
release air bubbles. Allow to cool until congealed.
one or more sides of your box and carefully remove the mold
original. The mold will start to dry out so use it
Replace the cooled gelatin mold into the box for
firmness and pour in mixed plaster. Immediately fill the mold with
mixed plaster. Agitate and settle to remove air bubbles from the
plaster. Allow to harden for 25 minutes.
Remove and recast as
desired for multiple copies. You can re-use your glue if you do not
allow it to dry out too much or become contaminated with debris. Wet
rubber can be frozen to keep it from spoiling, but molds do not keep
well and you may have to re-pour your mold..
Article Created By: Wilkie Joe Collins