The reversibility property of hide glue for wood applications provides an advantage over other types of glue. This provides greater flexibility for not only new jobs, but also for the repair and restoration of old ones. Common wood applications that benefit from hide glue’s reversibility property range from the production of musical instruments, furniture and applying veneers of varying sizes and shapes. The secrets to reversibility are heat and water. Once you get water and heat to the glue, it will liquefy regardless of how old the glue is or when it was applied.
The hide glue can be fully removed using a hot wet cloth with no impact on the integrity of the original wood. This helps correct defects in production or, for repair and restoration, allows for easy removal of the hide glue. Re-application of new hide glue for a new, strong bond is a simple process that is just not possible with other types of glues. Another great feature of hide glue is its development of a very strong green tack and fast bond development. This greatly speeds assembly and eliminates much of the need for clamping and pressing. Hide glue is also compatible with wood stains. Once other liquid glues touch raw wood, the pores are filled and the glue cannot be removed. As a result, wood stains cannot penetrate evenly. This is the reason for inconsistent stain finishes on wood projects assembled with modern glue. Hide glue, in contrast, is water soluble and can be completely removed using a hot wet cloth. Once the hide glue is removed, the wood stain will penetrate the wood uniformly.