Premium granular animal hide glue perfect for arrow, spear
and knife attachment, hafting and for sinew-backed bows.
Diluted hide glue can also be used to carry and stabilize
natural pigment powders for natural paints.
5 oz poly bag with instructions for glue
For additional mixing instructions as well as pictures
of hide glue being applied on our own finished weaponry, please check
our Using Animal Hide
Glue how-to page.
Using Natural Animal Hide Glue for
primitive weaponry projects:
Use a 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 completely. 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 mix. Do not scorch or boil the glue
mix, as this can hurt the properties of the glue and cause objectionable
Keep the work piece clean and free of excess glue by careful
application and quickly wiping spills with a wet cloth. Moisten hafting,
wrapping, 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 work piece. If you are wanting an antique look, throw
some dry dust onto the moist surface of the hide glue as it dries. 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 patinaed bone handle materials.
Making Molds using Hide
If you 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 poured.
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. Remove one or more sides
of your box and carefully remove the mold original. The mold will start to dry
out so use it quickly. 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..