A devoted father is gluing old ivory onto a hope chest he’s making for his infant daughter. The ivory is from an old piano, and he using it like a veneer. He wants to know what kind of glue he should use to adhere ivory to walnut that will last about 80 years.
Michael Dresdner: Hide glue. It holds well, requires no clamping, and fills gaps. But, to be fair, remind him that although it may not feel like it, ivory, like bone, is porous, and virtually all adhesives and glues work well on it, provided the mating surfaces are clean and true.
Ian Kirby: Sand the pieces on the side you are going to glue to remove all the dirt and oil and old glue. My preference would be a two-part epoxy like the one made by 3M. It comes in a combined twin tube syringe with a single plunger so you can’t get the mix wrong.
Rick White: I’d start with epoxy, because the wood will expand and contract at a different rate than the ivory. You’ll want an adhesive that is a bit more flexible and less brittle to accommodate the difference in movement. And call us up in 60 years and let us know how it worked.