Many men use Glue all their lives and know but little of where it is made, or how. We will tell what we can, and that is not much after all —for it is an old saying, among both manufacturers and merchants, that the more you have to do with Glue, the less you think you know about it.
There are three leading kinds :
First, Hide Glue, which is made of the hides or sinews of cattle and such beasts. The pieces of hide cut off by the butcher and tanner, which are of no use in aking leather, are soaked in lime water a longer or shorter time, according to their condition. The lime eats away the fatty or partly decayed matter, leaving the glue substance uninjured, provided the process is not continued too long This stock is then carefully washed and put into large kettles, where the glue liquor is readily boiled out and the insoluble fibre sinks to the bottom. The glue liquor is poured into pans, where it cools and hardens and is just such a substance as calves' foot jelly when served on the table When cold, the jelly is turned out of the pans and sliced, and the sheets laid on nets and dried.
The second kind — Bone Glue —is made of the largest bones of cattle, and only differs from the other method in softening the stock by an acid, instead of a lime solution. Sixty per cent of bone is lime, the other forty per cent (or thereabouts) is glue.
The third kind of glue is made from the feet of cattle and hogs ; their hoofs contain a large proportion of glue matter, and this is simply washed and then boiled out.
As to which is best of the kinds mentioned, it is hard to decide between the first and second, the hide stock and the acid-treated bone stock glues. The greater purity and beauty belong most surely to the bone stock glue, and for work requiring delicacy as well as strength, it is unequalled. But the acid left in it, and which it is hard to wholly eradicate, qualifies its use for many purposes. In stiffening straw goods and finishing silks, and for very fine-grained and hard-surfaced wood work, it is admirable.
For this article we are indebted to the Milligan &..Higgins Glue Co.
But, if we had no bone glue at all, we could get along very well. What would we do. however, if we had no glue made of hide stock? Thick flowing or thin flowing, dark color or light, slow settling or quick, rigid or elastic, it embraces them all. It is an old saying, That " glue is the poor workman's best friend"—that means hide stock glue, which is the cheapest because it is the best.
A great improvement was made twenty years ago, when this company first devised means of grinding glue and at nominal cost. Ground glue is now also extensively used throughout Europe. It is indeed not the poor workman's, but the good workman's best friend.
Now, a word as to the way to use glue. To begin with, glue is animal matter. A ham will keep a long time uncooked, but who would soak it over night and forget it the next day and expect to find the ham sweet; or would soak and cook it in a pot where other hams have been cooked and the pot never cleaned? Such treatment of glue is unworkmanlike and wasteful. Then the glue maker knows when his glue is cooked enough, and that to cook it longer will hurt both its strength and its color; yet many users think that they can cook glue for hours and get as good, or even better results. They really ought to soak and cook ahead just what they require, and use it as fresh as possible. If the glue is ground (as it should be) they can soak it in three minutes, or dissolve more in the melted glue that is in the pot in one minute, and always have their melted glue at its best.
We now come to a source of much trouble. Glue will not hold unless the pieces to be glued are put together while the glue is still hot and liquid. Its function is to sink into the fibres and grasp them, which it cannot do when chilled In the Autumn, when cooler weather makes glue dry more quickly, we have complaints that the glue will not hold. A suggestion to the above effect is usually sufficient. Again, take two woods; oak, which is close-grained, and pine, which is porous. One requires a thin-bodied and penetrating glue, to soak in and lay hold; the other needs a heavy bodied glue, used thick, or the spongy wood will soak up the glue and leave nothing at all to hold with.
CHEAP GLUES ARE NOT ECONOMICAL. The quality of Glue is determined by the amount of water it will take, and glue is usually tested in this manner Some of the cheap, common glues will not take the equivalent of their own weight in water. The cheapest glue we handle (No. 5) will take 4 oz. of water to one. The No. 10, from 5 to 6 oz. of water to one, and the No. 15, from S to 10 oz. of water to one of glue. The above extreme proportions would be modified by practice, as different kinds of work require the glue to be thinner or thicker, as the case may be.
It will, then, be readily understood that a pound of glue, costing 10 cents, and which will only make a quart of the prepared article, is more expensive than a glue, costing twice the amount, that will make two and one-half quarts, this leaving out consideration of the fact, that quantity for quantity, the higher priced glue is much stronger and more durable, and in fact, more desirable in every way
GROUND GLUE. In past years there has been among many users, a prejudice against Ground glue ; and there is some foundation for this prejudice, as there are unscrupulous manufacturers who grind inferior glues as a means of hiding their defects. It is not easy to tell much about glue when ground, but it possesses several advantages over the sheet glue. It requires but a few minutes of soaking to dissolve, and for those who use glue occasionally, it is an easy matter to prepare just the amount needed and no more.
THE GLUES WE SELL.
NO. 5 GLUE. This glue we keep to meet the demand for a low priced article. It is of a fair quality, quite as good, or better, we think than most of the glue sold throughout the country at a much higher price. Our only excuse for keeping it is, that some people cannot be persuaded that high-grade glues are the cheapest in the long run.SHEET GLUE. —We can furnish any of these glues in sheet form when desired, at 2 a cent per lb. less (this being the actual expense of grinding).
NO. 10 GLUE. This is a strong, sweet glue, suitable for cabinet makers and general woodwork. It compares favorably with the better class of imported French and Irish glues. We sell more of this for general purposes than any of our glues; have sold it for the past ten years, and never have heard a single complaint.
NO. 15 GLUE. This is the best glue we have. It is made of the choicest stock, and is, we believe, as good a glue as can be produced. We have customers who are using from one to two thousand pounds a month, men who have given a great deal of attention to the matter of glue, and who assure us that it is superior to anything they have ever used.
EMERY GLUE. All firstclass Glues answer very well for the purpose of fastening emery, and quartz, or flint, on wheels and belts, but for the best results in this class of work, the glue should possess two qualities. First, it must have great tenacity, so that the particles of emery or flint are held securely. Secondly, it must have flexibility. A glue may be very strong, and yet so hard, that it will crack or "peel ", and allow the particles of emery to be thrown off. As the time consumed in putting the emery on wheels and belts is usually worth many times the cost of the glue, it will be well to remember that a poor glue for this purpose is dear at any price. Our Emery Glue is made especially for this work. We have it both in the sheet or cake, and ground form.
BELT GLUE OR CEMENT.
This is a glue made especially for the purpose of cementing leather belts.