Sunday, June 30, 2013

It’s Easy to Make Your Own Liquid Hide Glue

Here’s the liquid hide glue recipe I’ve been using the past few years. It's really easy... It requires three ingredients and three minutes.

Measured by weight, here they are:

1 oz 192 gram strength hide glue granules
.2 oz Urea Prills
1.5 oz distilled water.

To mix, simply place a small glass jar on your scale and tare it out. Add your granules followed by the urea. I give these a quick stir and then add the water.

Once the three ingredients are poured, I stir it together well and cover it to leave it sit overnight.

The next morning I heat up the glue to 140 degrees in my homemade $3.00 glue pot. I let it cook for at least 2 hours and it is ready to go. In order to use this it will need to be slightly heated in the glue pot, warm water, or simply placing the jar in the microwave for a few (and I mean a few!) seconds.

I often make a double batch but I would not advise making a batch larger than you will be using up in a few weeks. The fresher the better.

I know Don Williams uses and recommends canning salt instead of urea. I have tried this but have to play around a little more to find the right ratio of salt for what I like. Don told me once that the urea can potentially cause a problem in the glue down the road. (Titebond and Old Brown Glue are both urea depressed however.) Don, if you’re reading, can you enlighten us as to what the potential issue with urea specifically was? If I find the right ratio I will be sure to post about it as the canning salt is way cheaper and more readily available than urea prills. (Unless there is some supplier I am not aware of.)


Hide Glue Granules – Eugene Thordahl
Urea Prills – Homestead Finishing Products
Distilled Water – Your local grocery store

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment!


  1. Joshua,

    I use up to a teaspoon salt to one pint of glue (already mixed.) I rarely use this much, as it is far too slow. Usually I add about half that. Also, I use well water instead of buying water. The only problem I have is that the cast iron pot darkens the glue over the course of the week. Might switch to your glass bottle trick. Easy to put in the fridge that way.



  2. Great. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Jason. I'll give that one a try and see if it works for me. The glass jar is really nice to work with. It's a great way to recycle.

  3. I'm wanting to move from doing casual woodworking with basic power tools and PVA glue to pursuing more traditional work with hand tools and hide glue. What's the difference between making your own hide glue vs. buying the bottled kind (I think Titebond has one). I'm sure there's a huge financial difference and bottled isn't really traditional in any possible way. But I didn't know if there was something beyond that. Sorry for the newbie question.