My mother-in-law has an old table with three legs that attach by dowels and glue to a center spindle. These legs have come unglued. The table is very old as it was a hand-me-down from her grandmother, and I assume that the glue is hide glue, but I am not sure. My question is: Is there an easy way of removing the old glue, or do I even need to remove it before putting on new hide glue or Titebond® glue? (I would prefer to use Titebond as I already have it.) – Floyd McGillivray
Tim Inman: If I were you, I would go out and get some hide glue right away. With hide glue, you can just physically clean the joints and re-glue with good success. If you add a new type of glue, you really need to get rid of all the old glue —whatever it is — and start fresh from the wood. In my restoration shop over the years, I’ve repaired literally hundreds of pieces where the owners “tried it first” without good cleaning and preparation. They usually use some glue that is handy and probably ancient that they already had on hand. It fails. My work is more involved. It is more expensive in the long run. I’m thinking of the old adage that says, “Never time to do it right, always time (and budget) to do it over.” Hide glue might be your new best friend in the shop, too. It can do some wonderful things the “new” glues just can’t.
Chris Marshall: And Floyd, since you’re a fan of Titebond products already, their version of hide glue is probably right next to the red-, blue- and green-label Titebond bottles you already buy. Look for the dark brown bottles. Unlike traditional hide glue that must first be heated from dry pellets in a glue pot to form a liquid, Titebond’s formulation is premixed and ready to go. Just squeeze it on.