It is not in amazement that I read that so many "rebuilders" and
"cabinetmakers" are coming "out of the woodwork" (so to speak) to
clearly side against hot hide glue, now. I'm grateful for the initial
article iterating the old timer's hatred of hide glue. That was the
best thing that has probably ever happened on the MMD so far.
So although much has already been written about hot hide glue, I have
noticed that few or none have gone to these voluminous MMD archives to
review anything. Amazing! There is an absolute wealth of information
there, and there hasn't been one single letter to my knowledge that
quoted any of it! Nor have I noticed either editor suggest doing it!
It's like this is ALL new information. New truth. Wow! Why didn't
somebody say something earlier? We thought the only thing you should
ever use was hot hide glue. This is the problem, when trying to
explain and reason to certain types who could care less about the
basics, and just want a good excuse to do what's easiest. Now we have
it! Are we are going to have to interview a 110-year-old cabinetmaker
to fix this? Or do you suppose that nobody of that age could possibly
If there was ever a good reason to dump this whole exercise, this is
it. Why bother writing more reasonable information when all it takes
is just one "old timer" quoted as saying "Twern't no good nohow," and
then all the closet advocates of Titebonded, epoxied, silicon-caulked,
and contact-cemented player pianos flock to his bandwagon (or band
organ, or whatever).
Nor do I see any editorial advocacy either. Every single conscientious
professional rebuilder who has written here has proven -- beyond a
shadow of a doubt, both from the angles of ease of use, strength,
versatility, expense, practicality, and finally, just plain best of
all -- that hot hide glue has no equals. But actually only one in
20 rebuilders use it. Why? They really don't give a darn, that's why.
They do what's convenient, what doesn't require any skill to learn.
It's hard to have to think, and that's the last thing they want to have
to do when rebuilding something.
So when the old timers you know say, "I hated that darn stuff. I was
so happy when we could buy some good glue," then all I can say is this:
If you won't listen to "old timer" rebuilders who did like it, and who
can give you a hundred better reasons why you should use it, then you
are going to do it your way, regardless of the ultimate consequences.
Nobody is going to tell you anything. They never have, and obviously
they aren't about to start now!
But I suggest that all you modern adhesive advocates keep writing here
to the MMD, so we know who you are, and why you don't like it. That's
a great idea. And I think the collectors who monitor this site to read
and see who does what and why will doubly appreciate it. Then we'll
see who gets the contracts, and who doesn't. After all, isn't that the
bottom line? You know -- if the customer wanted to fix his own player,
what would he use? But if he hires the best to have it done, what
would he expect to be used in it, that is, if he wants that instrument
to maintain its collector status and value?
[ MMD Archives now has 157 articles about glue, including
[ 38 articles on 'hot glue' or 'hot hide glue'. Visit
[ http://mmd.foxtail.com/Archives/KWIC/G/glue.html -- Robbie