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Glues for leather

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A couple of things I'm considering


1) bellows making - I want to move from the synthetic glues (aside from the cost) I've been using hitherto, to a more traditional glue - any thoughts on the type of glue I might use?  Fish glue, rabbit skin glue?  I guess the glue used must retain some flexibility, whilst maintaining adhesive qualities.


2) case making - looking at the instrument cases I have, some of them appear to be constructed from 2 layers of around 2mm leather bringing the thickness to around 4mm - which is ideal for sewing the edges and corners - will rabbit skin glue work for this?


I'd appreciate your thoughts on appropriate glues to use

Edited by SteveS
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Hi Steve, I don’t think you will beat modern PVA glue.  It gets tacky at just the right time, glues leather perfectly, remains flexible and the excess is easy to clean off.  

If you want to bump it up a notch, use a PVA white glue that is pH neutral.


Edited by 4to5to6
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For bellows I use fish glue from Conservation Resources now. I used to use rabbit skin glue but the short gel time can be annoying. I also use an acid free EVA glue to laminate the layers of card together. The main advantage of an animal glue is it's more repairable in the future. It's also quite flexible if you don't put it on too thick.


For case making I generally use PVA as the repairability seems a bit less of an issue there. You could also consider using a contact adhesive but personally I don't like working with it.

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