Home Forums General Discussion Forum Hide Glue For Clock Cases

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    marc hildebrant


      I just finished a repair to a School House Clock. The Case was in really bad shape.
      My first thought was to take the case to a “professional” repair store. The folks really didn’t want the job and priced it at $100 just to repair some glue joints !

      So, I thought that I would try repairing the loose joints myself.

      My first thought was to use some yellow wood glue to fix up the joints (I have little wood working experience). Well, after some research I found that the best way to fix up the old clock cases is to use….the original type of glue..Hide glue !

      I found that I could let hot water flow over the old joints and the glue would just let go. A rag in hot water then wiped the wood clear of glue. Next, I applied some new hide glue (Titebond). Easy stuff to work with and if you don’t like the way it glued up, just use heat/hot water again.

      So, I found that the best way to work on the clock cases is to use the same glue that was used originally, namely Hide Glue.



        Nice Mark, its always good if you can use original methods. It is the same with the old black French “slate” clocks. They were held together with plaster of Paris. You might think its not strong enough but there are thousands of these clocks still around that prove it obviously was strong enough. I tried a repair on one myself the other day and it works very well, you just have to work fast and make sure it doesnt go on too thick.


          Hey Marc, you are exactly right, thats what is neat about hide glue, heat and moisture can get the parts apart. If you want to be very careful about things you can inject hot water in a inconspicuous spot of the joint with a syringe, also use a heated iron of some sort over a towel so as not to burn anything once water is introduced, I have also used steam, a wet towel with a hot iron on the part..but you have to be careful……. another thing about hide glue is that as the water “evaporates” from drying, the joint pulls tighter. luthiers use hide glue, usually a mix of hide pellets (not sure what part of a hide or how its made), with heated water. You can still buy the pellet form…..I am guessing that some time ago somebody put on a bearskin, while working he sweated a bit and found out that it sticks, maybe that is the Sasquatch everyone talks about seeing???? 🙄 William

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