All FAQs

FAQs - All FAQs

Old Brown Glue dries as hard as Hot Hide Glue but it takes longer.

Old Brown Glue cures by loss of moisture over time.

Inside the joint, the wood absorbs the moisture and the glue drys hard.

On the surface it take longer for the moisture to evaporate and the glue remains gummy. This allows for an easy clean up with cold water.

The Article by Fine woodworking “How Strong Is Your Glue” shows that Old Brown Glue is comparable to Hot Hide Glue in strength.

Old Brown Glue has an 18 months shelf life. Like Hot Hide Glue, Liquid Hide Glue loses strength if the protein starts breaking down.


The indicators of protein breakdown are:

Extremely liquid (runny) at normal room temperature. 

Strong ammonia smell.

Indicators of surface mold.  


If in doubt, do a test on scrap wood.


Our shelf testing has shown that OBG remains good for over 18 months in all storage conditions.  It lasts longer in the refrigerator.  We have some bottles which still test good at 2 years or more, but we only guarantee it good for 18 months. Expiration date is on label.

We have done multiple freeze and thaw tests on our liquid Hide Glue and found that freezing does not affect the properties or strength of Old Brown Glue.

Hot Hide Glue dries by loss of heat then moisture, Liquid Hide Glue cures mainly by loss of moisture. Any blob of LHG will take several days to lose the moisture as the film formed on the outside does not permit the moisture to escape.

On a tight joint well clamped, there is only a thin layer of Old Brown Glue and the wood absorbes the moisture.

Old Brown Glue is not a gap filler, and is better used on tight clean joints.

We guarantee Old Brown Glue for 18 months from the date of manufacture.

Refrigeration will extend the shelf life, but is not required.

Old Brown Glue is not affected by freezing.

W. Patrick Edwards developed Old Brown Glue to use in his restoration business over 20 years ago, and it has become the principal glue in the shop for furniture making and restoration.

The Hot Hide Glue is still used for rubbed joints, quick repairs, hammer veneering and marquetry on an assembly board.

OBG penetrates deeply into the wood fibers on end grain, since it remains liquid and has a high water content.  Therefore, we would normally add the glue (hot and liquid from the bottle), wait a minute or so and repeat the application as necessary until there remains a visible layer of glue on the surface.  Clamp it right away, do not wait for the glue to gel, as that would not produce a good tight joint.

If it is modern glue you need to remove it completely to the bare wood. If it is hide glue, bare wood is preferable. Hide glue is the only glue that bonds to itself so it will bond to the old hide glue if you reactivate it with moisture.