Old Marine Wood Glue

As a kid in New England I used to hang around boat yards.

In the 1940-50's all the boat yards seemed to use the same glue for their wooden boats.

It had a very distinctive smell and every yard smelled the same.

I can't describe the smell but I don't find it anymore.

Probably been replaced by some epoxy stuff.

Would you know the name of that old glue?

Nick Revel

Comments for Old Marine Wood Glue

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Sep 11, 2012
Yard Smells
by: Matt

There were also lots of wonderful smells in boat yards.

Just the small of freshly worked timber is enough to get me sniffing deep.

Then there were all the Stockholm/pine tars, wood oils, creosote and the like, ah, nectar.

Sep 10, 2012
Smelly Glue
by: Mike

The smelliest wood glues were the animal protein glues made from hide and or hoofs.

Next in line were the casein (dairy by-product) glues, used for sizing deck canvas.

I believe that the Borden Company was one supplier.

These animal based glues aren’t waterproof and besides smelling to high heaven they have to be heated in a ‘glue pot’, used hot and they can attract flies.

Resorcinol (phenol resin) was a popular wooden boat building glue but it isn’t particularly smelly.

Hide glues are still used by furniture restorers but modern synthetic glues are just so much more convenient to use and less smelly.


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