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    casein glue

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    stuckinthemud1
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    casein glue

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:45 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    does anyone have any experience making and/or using casein (cheese and quick-lime) glue?  Specifically for glueing up antler inlays, but any comments would be of interest.

    rolynd
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    Re: casein glue

    Post by rolynd on Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:52 pm

    I have used it on bone to make a thicker piece for carving.  I used it because its more waterproof than hide glue and acording to my reference it would make for an almost "invisible" glue line.  
    Well, it held up fine and the glue line was almost not to be seen - until I stained the finished piece  and the glue line revealed itsself rather prominently... smack 

    As far as can remember it was mentioned in the book:
    Arthur MacGregor :Bone, antler, ivory & horn: The technology of skeletal materials since the Roman period


    I got it from the university library and AFAIK it was a great reference for the older working techniques. Since Antler is  notso  very far from bone it could work there also.  Since you intend inlay I see no glue line problems.


    But be advised that Bone, antler and Ivory are prone to small shrinkage/cracking  problems if exposed to varying moisture contents/temperature changes. Ivory the most and Antler the least affected.  these small dimensional changes could lead to the glue becoming unstuck. Mustn'd be but could be. Had a nice piece of carved mammoth crack for no apparent reason after  I sold it, It was not hit, dropped or else mechanically stressed. Also some bone scales on a knife developed a minute gap to the bolster section  after some time despite being perfectly flush at the time it was finished. These were glued with epoxy.


    Forgot to mention : I made mine from cream cheese 20% fat and added  slaked lime. Ratio app. 5:1.
    cream cheese made with enzymes (lab- ferment) is not suitable. It should be made in traditional "sour" way

    stuckinthemud1
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    Re: casein glue

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:18 am

    Thanks Rolynd, those notes will be really useful: the interface between the inlay and the surrounding wood will be topped off with a black (pitch?) infil and should be capable of taking up movement differences between wood and antler (fingers crosed)

    rolynd
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    Re: casein glue

    Post by rolynd on Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:07 am

    Well, my experiences come from working with mostly bone and various Ivories  so I dont know if it would be readily transferable to  antler.  Also I did no bone inlay work, just carvings and  knife scales & stuff like that.  

    Will the inlays be just flat and work by shape&form or dou you plan on texturing them or add a little carving?  
    If so, can recommend  Stephen Myhres Book : "Bone carving, A skillbase of Techniques and concepts" for Starters.
    Power tools are nice for roughing out but  detail work on carvings is best done with Hand tools.  Essentially these tools are various forms of scrapers and Working with those is much faster than you`d antipicate.  . Results are also much nicer than just made with  rotary powertools.

    Since you want to use old techniques like casein glue  maybe you also want to make everything else by hand tools.

    Flat Inlay is relatively straightforward - I Inlaid some small metal plaques into knife scales - the most tricky part for me was doing the recess in the wood accurately to depth and dimensions and  after I was not able to do this gap-free by hand I opted for a mechanical aid : A manual Pantograph.
    I got the Idea from mr. Wandels site www.woodgears.com and built a dremel pantograph.
    Heres mine:http://www.woodgears.ca/reader/pantograph/ralph.html 

    Well, its not exactly medieval  but still old and mostly forgotten thing  Cool but it helped me greatly in doing some small inlays accurately and was definitely worth the effort to build. Came in handy a few times since. It cant rival a modern CNC for sure but for something homemade its great for small inlay work.

    Some other users also had good results from this contraption and I think it would  be nice for intricate bone Inlays.
    http://www.woodgears.ca/reader/alois/inlay.html

    stuckinthemud1
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    Re: casein glue

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:01 pm

    The inlays are carved, and I am using hand-tools as I really don't like rotary power tools (personal prejudice) - I am finding small scrapers to be the best approach to working antler.  The carving is progressing nicely although I am having mixed results at my attempts to straighten the antler - so far using boiling water with a glug of vinegar and then clamping between boards over night seems to be the most effective, but even then the antler seems to relax back into a flatter version of its old shape, perhaps I need to straighten and glue into place immediately so the antler does not get chance to relax. Any thoughts?

    Can't remember the last time I used a pantograph, think I was still in my teens, could be worth getting re-acquainted with it.
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    hullutiedemies
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    Re: casein glue

    Post by hullutiedemies on Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:44 am

    I have made it from hot milk with vinegar. - Clean & easy that way.
    Is cheese version different ?
    Some recipes also mention use of baking soda.

    stuckinthemud1
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    Re: casein glue

    Post by stuckinthemud1 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:46 am

    This document http://www.rocks4brains.com/glue.pdf is very thorough for medieval glues, giving period recipes and modern equivalents,  and states

    Modern research (e.g. Guo, C., B.E. Campbell, K. Chen, A.M. Lenhoff, O.D. Velev (2003), Casein precipitation equilibria in the presence of calcium ions and phosphates, colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 29: 297-307) has demonstrated that sodium based alkaline solutions like water+baking soda are nowhere near as good for rebinding the drying caseins as calcium-based solutions. So baking soda will work as the solution base for a casein-based glue but lime solutions will always be better. If you want really-gnarly totally-awesome homemade wood glue, use calcium phosphate instead of lime – but be aware that it’s not period…)" 
    (Class Notes - SCA Estrella 23 Collegium, Feb 18, 2007 cited by C. M. Helm-Clark, Ph.D.)

    There are several recipes in the document, the author recommends avoiding cream cheese, preferring mozzorella with pickling lime.


    Last edited by stuckinthemud1 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:54 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : content)

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