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Greek Glues
Best quality bone glue would be from young calf bone marrow according
to friend of mine who did a lot museum reconstructions and told me that
German officers leather peaks from 1860 to 1943 were treated with this glue. I think he was tackling the water proofing issue as Carlton Bach said with alum. Unfortunatelly I did not asked him more details.
But after reading you posts I think that there are ways to make oranic glues more resistant.
Kind regards
My mistake, I misspoke, or spoke with insufficient specificity. Hide glue mixed only with water is not fully waterproof, however it is fairly resistant, and there are several ways of improving its resistance.

Already mentioned is the addition of alum.

Another old way of increasing the water resistance of hide glue is the addition of oil such as linseed oil.
>|P. Dominus Antonius|<
Tony Dah m

Oderint dum metuant - Cicero
Si vis pacem, para bellum - Vegetius
Anonymous\\n[quote]The production of much of Greek military equipment would have required the use of alot of glue ie Linothorax, Aspis ( I refuse to use the word Hoplon as even today in greek hoplon refers to Weapon, rifle etc NOT shield )

In The Hoplite Association, we use the word Aspis for the shield. If Hoplon always refers to weapons, however, I don't understand why a suit of armour is called a panoplion or panoplia.
It's my understanding that hide glue is one of the oldest adhesives known- ancient Egyptian furniture found in tombs has been found to be made with hide glue.

It's actually not really that hard to find- it's the only adhesive used by violin-makers, so all you need do is find a website of violin-making supplies. You can even find it on ebaY. It's rather more expensive than regular PVA glues, and certainly not as easy to use, but as far as historical accuracy goes, it can't be beat.

I've just started using it for the first time and have had reasonably good results. The main benefit I've found thus far is that it sets quite quickly, so it's not necessary to leave pieces clamped tightly for many hours as is necessary with regular carpenter's glue. The one thing you have to be careful of is not to overheat it- it's protein, and is therefore susceptible to heat degradation- overheat it and you permanently weaken it. And unused glue doesn't survive too long, so you should only mix it up in small amounts as you need it.

See FABRICA ROMANORVM Recreations in the Marketplace for custom helmets, armour, swords and more!
Quote:Another old way of increasing the water resistance of hide glue is the addition of oil such as linseed oil.

Have you tried this? I'll probably give it a go at some point, but I wonder how hard it will be to keep the water-based liquid and the oil from separating.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
I have not tried this yet. Research and plans are running well ahead of attempted use. The reference I was making was from the EB 1911:

Quote:Numerous recipes for water-proof glues have been published; glue, having been swollen by soaking in water, dissolved in four-fifths its weight of linseed oil, furnishes a good water-proof adhesive; linseed oil varnish and litharge, added to a glue solution, is also used; resin added to a hot glue solution in water, and afterwards diluted with turpentine, is another recipe; the best glue is said to be obtained by dissolving one part of glue in'one and a half parts of water, and then adding one-fiftieth part of potassium bichromate. Alcoholic solutions of various gums, and also tannic acid, confer the same property on glue solutions.

I have just recently ordered the book:
"Glue, Gelatine and their Allied Products" by Thomas Lambert, London, 1905)

Perhaps that will have more details.
>|P. Dominus Antonius|<
Tony Dah m

Oderint dum metuant - Cicero
Si vis pacem, para bellum - Vegetius
In case anyone is wondering, you might see bottled hide glue in the hardware store, but that stuff is crap. I used to make guitars, and I used that stuff to glue my fretboard to the neck. In about one year the fretboard popped off.

The reason why guitar makers like the *real* hide glue is that it softens when heat is applied, making repairs and things easier. The liquid stuff at the store is not the same thing however.
Rich Marinaccio
Yes, I've heard that the commercial liquid 'hide' glue is not much good too. Apparently you can make real hide glue liquid at room temperature by means of various additives like vinegar, but somehow I expect the less you put into it, the better it works. Waterproofing could also likely be achieved by coating in beeswax...

See FABRICA ROMANORVM Recreations in the Marketplace for custom helmets, armour, swords and more!
Hi guys interesting discussion you have going, From the research i have conducted i have concluded that the greeks and Romans did not have waterproof glues like the ones that we do today, not until around the thrid century anyway. And as discussed above that was by the addition of lime to hide or casien glues.

The Glues that they did use were Hide, casien, fish (which are all variations of protein glues) pitch from pine trees (used more a a water sealing angent for ships by the Romans and Gum Arabic (tree gum) mainly used in the near east (its the glue that was used to hold mummies bandages together in Egypt.

Much of my evidence for no waterproof glues is circumstatial so feel free to argue if you want,

Composite Bows had to be kept in special containers and had to be 'dried out' in order not explode when fired.

Why did the Greeks and Romans make such elaborate waterproof covers for their shields?

A non waterproof or heatproof (hide) glue is central to the story of Iccarus

There appears to be no glue used in the construction of ancient greek ships. which would have made the process a whole lot easier.

The other thing that makes hide and casein glues impractical is that they so readily attacked by micro-orginisms. this means that they are good to use in conjection with wood (it has its own antibiotic properties) where the join would not be exposed to the air. This would not work however in open weave linen garments that would be exposed to the air.

I could go on but i will leave you with this for now,

Thanks for the reference Dan i will talk to you soon, just finishing off the last 5 university units for my BA/BT, have to produce 13 000 words in four weeks ( 1 week and 4000 words to go!)

Jason Hoffman
"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." Maya Angelou

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