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MMD > Archives > March 2007 > 2007.03.15 > 10Prev  Next

Hot Hide Glue Headache
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  I wonder if the people who get headaches while using hot hide
glue ever considered that it might be the quality of the product they
are using?

Back in the 1970's when I worked at Tusting Piano in Asbury Park, New
Jersey, we used a hide glue that smelled so bad that the owner of the
store would only let us use it in the early morning and in the late
afternoon, when it was unlikely that any customers would be coming into
the store.

Also, we had to keep the front and back doors open when using the glue
so it didn't stink up the place all day, or leave behind "that dead
animal smell".  Since I never got a headache, but hated the smell,
I used cold hide glue for many years before I got "edumacated".

Most of you know that I sell a Premium Hide Glue at Player-Care.  It's
not inexpensive, but it is the highest quality available!  And, at this
point, I'll let Craig Brougher (who formulated the glue) say a few
words.  (Craig wrote to me this morning after reading more of the
postings about people getting headaches while using hot hide glue.)

  "Well, I see the attack on hide glue continues.  Now it's the smell.
They don't know anything, apparently.

  "There's many grades of hide glue, all the way up to Knox gelatin.
Does gelatin give them a headache, too?  No?  Well, maybe that's
because it has been fully rendered.  Since there are many grades of
hide glue, the cheapest is the darkest, generally speaking.  So there
are fractions in different grades of hide glue that could conceivably
react in the sinus passages.  But were they to get the blonde grade of
high quality hide glue crystals and start with that, then their
reactions would probably stop.  You sell it, you know.

  "If not, why not suggest he switch to bottled hide glue, or a
different hide glue supplier?  The fear that hide glue stinks and can
cause illnesses will force new rebuilders to never get involved with
hide glue to begin with.  They will be making a huge mistake."

So, in an effort to help educate those who might not know the
difference, I've taken a picture of what good quality hide glue
crystals look like, and sent it to Robbie.  Hopefully, he will link
the picture to this posting.  For reference sake, the stainless steel
measuring cup in the picture is one cup in size.  The glue comes in a
55-pound drum.

John A Tuttle
Brick, New Jersey, USA

 [ See the photos at  -- Robbie

(Message sent Thu 15 Mar 2007, 15:16:37 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Glue, Headache, Hide, Hot

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