On Gluing the Joints of Boards

To make the beſt and strongeſt Glew, for Glewing the Joints of Boards.

[Take] Scummed Milk which has ſtood ſo long, that no more Cream will ariſe from it: Scum it very clean, and ſet it over the Fire in a Leaden Pot, letting it boil a little; and if any Cream ariſe take it off.

Then put into it a ſufficient quantity of Joyners Glew cut into ſmall bits, which will ſoon melt; boil it to a good body, that it may be neither too thick, nor too thin, (for in this boiling lies much of the Art;) take it from the Fire, and keep it for uſe, as other Glew.

This Glew binds beyond belief, and will not be ſubject to reſolve with any ordinary moiſture of the Weather: and the reaſon is becauſe the Curdy Part of the Milk, freed from its Oil, is joined with the Glew. Now you muſt take care, that it burns not to the ſides of the Pot, for then it will be deprived of its ſtrength: To prevent which, (both in its firſt making, and in your after melting of it) you had beſt both to make and melt it in B. M.[1] or a boiling Veſſel of Water, ſo will you prevent burning, and by thoſe means boil it more ſafely to what body you pleaſe, without danger of hurting the Glew.[2]

Jack Plane

[1] Balneum Mariae, or bain-marie; a vessel filled with water or sand, in which another vessel is placed to be heated.

[2] William Salmon, Polygraphice, or, The Arts of Drawing, Engraving, Etching, Limning, Painting, Vernishing, Japaning, Gilding, &c., eighth edition, A. and J. Churchill, and John Nicholson, London, 1701, p. 938.


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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6 Responses to On Gluing the Joints of Boards

  1. Hi Jack. Have you ever made glue this way, or knew anyone that did? What years was this done?



    • Jack Plane says:

      Yes, I have used skimmed milk powder (try wetting your index finger and thumb; dip them in milk powder and rub together).

      If you’re interested in this from a waterproofing perspective, the addition of a small amount of aluminium sulphate will also work.



      • What about shelf life? I refrigerate my unused glue until I`m ready to use it again, adding glue and water as needed. No stink or waste. Actually, I`m not at all interested in making any this way but it is so fascinating. Did you save any leftovers or again what about shelf life?


  2. diceloader says:

    So does this make a hybrid casein and hide glue or is it just modifying the hide glue?


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