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Vegetarian Glue?


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.. as in Farrow and Ball?

No, its this firm. It was part of their Stycco range, and I got it from a specialist leather work suppliers that now only seem to trade in finished products (Friends for Leather, in Brighton). I believe its main use was for sticking leather linings in shoes, so a similar application to bellows parts, as both need flexibilty. Asking around the shoe trade might find you a modern version.

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Andy, the picture is of a jig I made (just a wedge with laminate surface) and a safety skiver (bought off eBay fairly cheap). Working cross handed, skiving the left side of the strip using my right hand works for me. Might be especially useful for you working at the dining table as will protect the table. Suggest you practice on some scrap material (even strips from a thrift store bargain jacket) before you attack the expensive hide. If you buy a skiving tool like this, buy plenty of blades - sharp blades make it easier.

post-8954-0-09545200-1322502831_thumb.jpg

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I have an alcohol problem so can't use anything with alcohol in the title (PVA).

PVA glue is made from polyvinyl acetate, not polyvinyl alcohol.

 

Of course it is. I was being stupid. It was confirmed when I read on the label of a new bottle of Feibing's Leathercraft Cement that it "contains vinyl acetate". So basically it's just thin PVA!

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Helle all.

I'm just embarking on making my first instrument, a 3 row anglo. I've nearly finished the bellows (I figured I'd start with one of the hard bits first). I have been using hide glue, with all its accompanying smells and difficulties. I've now started thinking, my wife's vegetarian, my daughter's vegetarian, I'm hovering on the brink of being vegetarian, my workshop's in the house and this stuff stinks! Does anyone know of any serious, sophisticated 21st century adhesives that would do the job (I don't mean PVA!)

Are Aliphatics too rigid? Does Cascamite, which is an extremely brittle glue, like hide glue, behave in the same way? What about modified polymers? Any ideas? I'm starting to see the faces of the terrified animals as they file into the abbatoir!

Thanks

Andy.

 

Dear Andy:

 

Have you considered what bookbinders call a 'mix'? PVA is terrifically handy for building boxes because it sets quickly, is relatively flexible and is very strong. But ... it stains/alters leather, sets too quickly for leather work, and doesn't 'breath'. Wheat paste was used for generations in bookbinding. Currently, rice paste is preferred (in some circles). But for maximum flexibility, working time, lack of toxicity and ease of use, you would be hard pressed to improve on 'mix'. Loosely speaking, 'mix' is 55% PVA / 45% paste (either wheat or rice). But there are plenty of variations (not to mention opinions) in either direction. Some people think you should never ever go over 40% paste. Some of us play with 50/50 or even (gasp) 40/60 proportions. And the world hasn't ended. Yet.

 

Paste can be mixed in small proportions in either a pot on the cooker or in the microwave. It has a very definite shelf life and so does the mix when mixed with PVA. So only make as much as you need. (Unless you are fond of culturing green furry growths.) But it is inexpensive, vegetarian and very non-smelly.

 

Where are you located? I would be happy to send you 1/2 cup of both wheat and rice starch with preparation instructions if you like.

 

Let me know,

 

 

Lucy in Rhode Island

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Helle all.

I'm just embarking on making my first instrument, a 3 row anglo. I've nearly finished the bellows (I figured I'd start with one of the hard bits first). I have been using hide glue, with all its accompanying smells and difficulties. I've now started thinking, my wife's vegetarian, my daughter's vegetarian, I'm hovering on the brink of being vegetarian, my workshop's in the house and this stuff stinks! Does anyone know of any serious, sophisticated 21st century adhesives that would do the job (I don't mean PVA!)

Are Aliphatics too rigid? Does Cascamite, which is an extremely brittle glue, like hide glue, behave in the same way? What about modified polymers? Any ideas? I'm starting to see the faces of the terrified animals as they file into the abbatoir!

Thanks

Andy.

 

Dear Andy:

 

Have you considered what bookbinders call a 'mix'? PVA is terrifically handy for building boxes because it sets quickly, is relatively flexible and is very strong. But ... it stains/alters leather, sets too quickly for leather work, and doesn't 'breath'. Wheat paste was used for generations in bookbinding. Currently, rice paste is preferred (in some circles). But for maximum flexibility, working time, lack of toxicity and ease of use, you would be hard pressed to improve on 'mix'. Loosely speaking, 'mix' is 55% PVA / 45% paste (either wheat or rice). But there are plenty of variations (not to mention opinions) in either direction. Some people think you should never ever go over 40% paste. Some of us play with 50/50 or even (gasp) 40/60 proportions. And the world hasn't ended. Yet.

 

Paste can be mixed in small proportions in either a pot on the cooker or in the microwave. It has a very definite shelf life and so does the mix when mixed with PVA. So only make as much as you need. (Unless you are fond of culturing green furry growths.) But it is inexpensive, vegetarian and very non-smelly.

 

Where are you located? I would be happy to send you 1/2 cup of both wheat and rice starch with preparation instructions if you like.

 

Let me know,

 

 

Lucy in Rhode Island

Hi Lucy. That's interesting, I never thought of a mixture. I don't like neat PVA because of my woodworking experiences with it. However, you seem to have got the answer. I'm in the UK so I don't think your kind offer of a cupful would work :rolleyes: Could you give me a bit more detail about what to go for. Thanks.

Andy, SW England, near Stonehenge (they used good glue!)

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  • 2 months later...

When making bellows, I had been using PVA for the base construction, including the gussets, and using liquid hide glue for the top runs. No problem, the bellows on my day-to-day player is standing up well.

 

However, while making another bellows, I tried using the liquid hide glue for the gussets. FAILURE. For some reason the leather to leather bond where the gusset overlaps the root hinge has failed. The bond to the ragboard is fine. Repairable, but a big pain.

 

Doug

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I've been using a casein-based glue (it's called "maitoliima" here, which translates verbatim to "milk glue") for bellows repair and making pads, for both accordions and concertinas. So far so good, but I don't know if it will as long as hide glue or PVA. Anyway, they even used it for building aeroplanes, which apparently caused some crashes when flying in the humid (and hot) weather conditions in Asia (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Mosquito#Construction). But I reckon unless you're planning on flying to Asia with your concertina, it should be OK.

 

The milk glue does not need any heating, so no need to make a mess in the kitchen. It does smell like rotten milk if you give the tube (or mixing pot if you're mixing from powder) a good whiff up close, but the smell goes away when it dries, and the smell really does not carry further than 30cm or so. So there shouldn't be any complaints.

 

Oh, and as a bonus, the glue is machine-wash-proof up to 40 degrees Celsius, so uh, if you ever decide to give your concertina a spin in the washing machine, milk glue is highly recommended.

 

Cheers,

Jori

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For glueing leather to leather I've found nothing better than Fiebing's Tanners Bond Leathercraft Cement, its widely available through leatherwork suppliers, forms a permanent bond that remains flexible, cleans up with a damp cloth. It is a bit more expensive than ordinary pva (which it looks like) but for leather its worth the small extra expense.

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Why not pva? There are plenty of good woodworking adhesives that are pva. The Titebond aliphatics are good too. All the synthetics though are more or less permanent. The big advantage of hide glue is that it can be undone with moisture and warmth.

 

What about the other animal products you are likely to use: leather and wool?

Hi Theo. It's not an over zealous thing with me, but I do my gluing in the dining room, with the glue pot on the Rayburn and Julia doesn't like me boiling up dead animals! I do wear leather shoes and occasionally eat a delicious lamb casserole. I have an alcohol problem so can't use anything with alcohol in the title (PVA). I'm going to look at fish glue though!

 

Incidentally, joking aside, I've just glued some linen round the outside edges of a bellows with pearl glue and 30% of it didn't stick. Too cool? not enough glue? too much glue?

Andy.

 

Not that I have shares in any chemical & glue factories,

 

but PVA is by far the most versatile and famly friendly glue you can use,

 

for 'soft' gluing, bellows papers etc, gum arabic

 

I am with Theo here

 

Dave

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[...]

 

Dear Andy:

 

Have you considered what bookbinders call a 'mix'? PVA is terrifically handy for building boxes because it sets quickly, is relatively flexible and is very strong. But ... it stains/alters leather, sets too quickly for leather work, and doesn't 'breath'. Wheat paste was used for generations in bookbinding. Currently, rice paste is preferred (in some circles). But for maximum flexibility, working time, lack of toxicity and ease of use, you would be hard pressed to improve on 'mix'. Loosely speaking, 'mix' is 55% PVA / 45% paste (either wheat or rice). But there are plenty of variations (not to mention opinions) in either direction. Some people think you should never ever go over 40% paste. Some of us play with 50/50 or even (gasp) 40/60 proportions. And the world hasn't ended. Yet.

 

Paste can be mixed in small proportions in either a pot on the cooker or in the microwave. It has a very definite shelf life and so does the mix when mixed with PVA. So only make as much as you need. (Unless you are fond of culturing green furry growths.) But it is inexpensive, vegetarian and very non-smelly.

 

Where are you located? I would be happy to send you 1/2 cup of both wheat and rice starch with preparation instructions if you like.

 

Let me know,

 

 

Lucy in Rhode Island

 

Lucy, are only wheat and rice starch pastes viable? The mix sounds very interesting, and I take it it's a bit more reversible than PVA. I've got wheat, corn and potato starch in the cupboard, but since I've got coeliac disease, using wheat starch is a bit risky, since if I get the tiniest bit in my stomach (contaminating food by wheat carried under my fingernails for instance), it's gonna be a not-so-cheerful day at the loo, and the grocery store nearby doesn't have any rice starch.

 

Cheers,

Jori

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  • 8 years later...
On 3/9/2012 at 5:39 PM, Theo said:

For glueing leather to leather I've found nothing better than Fiebing's Tanners Bond Leathercraft Cement, its widely available through leatherwork suppliers, forms a permanent bond that remains flexible, cleans up with a damp cloth. It is a bit more expensive than ordinary pva (which it looks like) but for leather its worth the small extra expense.

Hello, I’m finding Fiebing's Leathercraft Cement in Japan leather craft shop, that is’nt available.

So I’ll try similar glue, Please let me know if you know what the Fiebing’s glue material is.

https://fiebing.com/product/leather-craft-cement/

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/27/2011 at 5:02 AM, Theo said:

Why not pva? There are plenty of good woodworking adhesives that are pva. The Titebond aliphatics are good too. All the synthetics though are more or less permanent. The big advantage of hide glue is that it can be undone with moisture and warmth.

 

What about the other animal products you are likely to use: leather and wool?

Talas sells a glue for bookbinding “Jade R” that is a combination of PVA and another adhesive that I find excellent.  I used to use Jade 403 which was good, but not reversible and had a little odor.  They added Jade 711 which has almost no odor and works as well.  The Jade R is reversible ( that’s what the R is for ) and all of these adhesives are archival and remain flexible.  
   I’m not sure where hide glue for bellows comes from.  It certainly was used for the woodwork, as evidenced by old loose corner blocks, but in the Pathe film of the Wheatstone factory,  shows a white brushable paste being used for the bellows.  I believe I remember Geoff Crabb speaking of using a wheat starch paste that they aged a few days after mixing.  This I suspect is similar to wallpaper paste which is pretty durable stuff as anyone who has had to remove a lot of wallpaper can attest to.

Dana
  

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