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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not only for gelatin molds

I came across an interesting item in an old woodworking magazine, in an article on glues. It seems that hide glue, which is seldom used anymore, is made from gelatin. In a pinch, a quick version can be made right in the kitchen, using the powdered gelatin that's usually sold in little packets. Even though most homes these days are more likely to have glue on hand than powdered gelatin, I had to give it a try.

The proportions are 2-1/2 parts cold water to 1 part gelatin. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water to soften it. When it has softened, it will look mushy. Heat the mixture gently--I used the microwave--taking care not to let it boil. It will become clear. At that point, apply it to the wood. The article said that the open time is only 60 seconds, but I think it's a little longer than that. Once I glued the wood together and let it set up, I was completely amazed at how strong it was. Of course this glue does not stand up well to moisture, but for a quick and easy non-toxic glue it is quite amazing.

It also might be a fun project for kids, although who knows what they will think of to glue together!

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