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Re: [BKARTS] homemade glue


You will have some hurdles to overcome, and I suggest that you try what
I am about to suggest at home before taking it to West Africa.

It may be a lot easier to begin with some gelatin/hide glue which you
bring with you.

It may also be possible, or more practicable to use local flour or starch
as the primary adhesive.

You can make hide glue by cooking down hide, cartilage and other connective
tissue (sinew, organ membranes, etc.) from domestic and wild animals in
the region.

The raw material will need to be cleaned (and perhaps salted to remove
blood and then rinsed throughly to remove the salt) and oils which cook
out and float to the surface and should be skimmed off.  Any hair remaing
on the hide will also have to be skimmed off or filtered out.

If you have some parchment/vellum scraps, begin learning to make glue
by cutting the scrap into small pieces, soak them in water overnight and
them slowly cook them down.

You will have some residue (probably quite a lot of residue unless you
cook the scrap at too high a heat; a heat just under a slow rolling boil
should be fine) so filter the glue solution through a piece of muslin or
a few layers of cheesecloth.

Now comes the tricky part.  There is too much water in freshly made glue
so you need to evaporate it away.

Pour the gluewater into a shallow aluminum pan (not copper and not wood)
and try to turn it into a dry film in no more than three days, otherwise
mold/bacteria will begin destroying it.

Once it is dry you can break/tear off pieces and re-wet the glue as you
need it for a day's work.

You do this by putting the pieces of dried glue into a container with some
water and let it soak the water up.  The glue should absorb all the water;
if there is any free water left, pour it off or add some more dried glue.

Warm the glue up (try not to exceed 140 deg. F as glue/gelatin begins
breaking down above that temperature) on a sand bath.

A sand bath is just a dish/bowl of sand on top of a heat source (small
charcoal fire, etc.) to provide even heat to the container of glue.

When the glue goes into solution, brush it on where needed and put the
glued pieces of paper under a weight until dry.  You may need to use some
waxed paper or similar barrier to keep the glued paper from being glued to
itself or adjacent paper.

Hope this helps and hope you understand that this is just scratching
the surface of making glue.


>I am going to be spending some time at a women's paper-making cooperative in
>Burkina Faso, West Africa and need some help with glue recipes for making
>envelopes and other products.  I am needing to find ingredients that are
>easily available, easy to make and if possible last for a few days (covered)
>without drying out.
>I am wondering what suggestions any of you have to offer.
>Thanks so much. gwen

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