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  #1  
Old 15 January 2007, 08:04 PM
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Mister Ed Glue from horses

Comment: This is a VERY old proposition, but I have to ask. Is ANY part of
a horse actually used in the process of "glue" making?
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  #2  
Old 15 January 2007, 08:09 PM
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According to StraightDope, yes, parts of horses were used. Typically fat and bone trimmings.

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mhorseglue.html

Morrigan
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  #3  
Old 16 January 2007, 05:08 AM
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Am I the only horse-lover here who feels sickened at the thought of poor, old horses being killed for glue? *shivers*
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Old 16 January 2007, 06:08 AM
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I suppose because horses aren't generally eaten, we squirm at the thought. That's probably why it doesn't bother me that leftover bits of cow end up in hide glues.

On a related note: "Rabbit-skin glue" - which is also a form of hide glue, though I'm not sure whether rabbit is actually its main constituent any more - is the traditional stuff for sizing a canvas for oil painting. I've used it often, but ye gods, does it smell!!
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  #5  
Old 16 January 2007, 02:09 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Animal glues, from wikipedia.

Nick
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  #6  
Old 16 January 2007, 02:46 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Am I the only horse-lover here who feels sickened at the thought of poor, old horses being killed for glue? *shivers*
I don't think they were bred for glue, it was more of a way to use the carcass when they eventually croaked. I think it's a by product of the meat industry, as the glue is not made for the parts normally eaten.

I doubt it's used much anymore anyway, as modern chemicals outperform older glues by leaps and bounds.
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  #7  
Old 17 January 2007, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Galaxy View Post
On a related note: "Rabbit-skin glue" - which is also a form of hide glue, though I'm not sure whether rabbit is actually its main constituent any more - is the traditional stuff for sizing a canvas for oil painting. I've used it often, but ye gods, does it smell!!
I think if the package says rabbitskin glue, it's probably mostly rabbitskin glue. Substitutes will say something different. I actually like that smell!
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Old 17 January 2007, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
I doubt it's used much anymore anyway, as modern chemicals outperform older glues by leaps and bounds.

I worked for a cabinetmaker who used to use hide glue a bit - especially when restoring antique furniture. It was a case of being as true to the original as possible. A number of luthiers use hide glue extensively as well. Sometimes that is tradition, and sometimes for the properties of the glue. I doubt you would find a well made violin that didn't use hide glue. They are built with the underlying assumption that every so often they will need to be dissassebled and re-set (neck angle etc). Hide glues make the process quite easy because with a bit of heat they will melt. I have heard of instruments being dissassembled, and then reassembled using the original glue! A bit of heat and it melts. Let it cool and the glue is just as good as when fresh.

me
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  #9  
Old 23 January 2007, 05:34 PM
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"You won't eat my meat, but you'll glue with my feet!" - Elmer's Glue cow hallucination to a sleep-deprived Lisa Simpson
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  #10  
Old 24 January 2007, 08:03 AM
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Why are horses any different from cows? They aren't bred or killed specifically for glue, but what's wrong with using bits of dead horse? I don't have a problem with horses being raised as food animals either (as long as rearing and slaughter are humane).

However, I think we've been through this multiple times on the old board - horses are taboo in some regions for sentimental reasons and even the thought of recycling dead horse into glue, leather, feed etc disgusts some people. I don't have any issues with it - we have to do something with those carcases and the fact my pot of glue may once have been a racehorse doesn't worry me unduly.
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Old 25 January 2007, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
However, I think we've been through this multiple times on the old board - horses are taboo in some regions for sentimental reasons and even the thought of recycling dead horse into glue, leather, feed etc disgusts some people. I don't have any issues with it - we have to do something with those carcases and the fact my pot of glue may once have been a racehorse doesn't worry me unduly.
Heck, if they found a way to make my body into glue or something else useful (assuming they waited until I'm dead), I'd be pleased. But I'm just weird that way, I guess.
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  #12  
Old 26 January 2007, 03:52 PM
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This reminds me of one of my favorite movie bits: the horses' display of nervous behavior every time someone says, "Frau Blucher."
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  #13  
Old 26 January 2007, 03:56 PM
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Mister Ed

The urban legend that brought me to snopes.

Frau Blucher
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  #14  
Old 26 January 2007, 05:18 PM
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In South Africa, if one of our horses died suddenly, not from disease or poisening (thank heavens I never came across that), we would phone the local Lion Park or game reserve to come and fetch the carcass to feed to the cats. I rather liked the thought of that - the whole circle of life thing, etc. However, when I mentioned here in the States, at our barn, everyone was horrified and thought it completely barbaric.
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Old 26 January 2007, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I think if the package says rabbitskin glue, it's probably mostly rabbitskin glue. Substitutes will say something different. I actually like that smell!
The acrylic version is usually labelled "Acrylic gesso" while the rabbitskin stuff is labelled "Rabbitskin glue" or "Rabbitskin gesso." Few companies just label it "Gesso" or "Artist's Gesso," but it will always say acrylic or rabbitskin somewhere on the label. (I prefer acrylic--smoother texture and can be easily tinted with acrylic paint.)

I love the smell too. Mmmm, new canvas smell... (Of course, I always inhale deeply when opening my paint box, so I'm no judge.)
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  #16  
Old 26 January 2007, 08:50 PM
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In race horses, generally, only the head, heart and hooves are buried. Not sure what happens to the rest.

Morrigan
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  #17  
Old 29 January 2007, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
In race horses, generally, only the head, heart and hooves are buried. Not sure what happens to the rest.
Over here the rest often went to hunt kennels as racing and hunting have such close ties. Rendering for fertiliser or animal feed is an alternative. The lifes of Red Rum and Desert Orchid get buried near the finish lines of the race tracks they were associated with.
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