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Renaissance Workshop Company
The foremost manufacturer of early musical instruments worldwide

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Raw Materials for Early Musical Instruments

Lead Wire
Lead is a very soft, highly malleable, ductile and dense metal. Lead has a bluish-white colour when freshly cut, but tarnishes to a dull greyish colour when exposed to air. It is highly resistant to corrosion.

Lead wire is used to weight and counterbalance the keys and jacks of the keyboarded instruments. Inserting lead wire in the keys and jacks is preferably to pour melted lead as fumes can be toxic.

We offer pre-cut lead wire of several dimensions in bags containing 100 pieces each.

Cork is the thick, rugged bark of the Cork Oak tree (Quercus suber). The harvesting of cork (every 9 to 12 years) does not harm the tree and a new layer of cork re-grows.

Cork's elasticity combined with its near-impermeability makes it suitable for musical instruments, particularly woodwind instruments, where it is used to fasten together segments of the instrument, making the seams airtight.

Conducting baton handles are also often made out of cork.

Agglomerated cork is not suitable for woodwind instruments as it breaks easily, but we offer it because you can use for other purposes (clamps, mat, protection, stop for keys, etc.)

The solid cork blocks are grouped in the market into eight classes according to the degree of defects on the cork surface. These defects appear in the form of random-shaped holes, cracks, and others. We only keep a stock of the best quality.

Hide Glue
Traditional granulated glue creates the strongest wood joints and allows disassembly later with a hot knife. Hydrating your own hide glue and melting in a glue pot (better if electric) is the best way to go. Hide glue has to be fresh in order to cure properly.

What about bottled liquid hide glue? Liquid animal glues are readily formulated from the usual hot animal glue solutions by the addition of suitable jell-depressant, such as urea, which serves to retard and depress the rate of gelation of the glue. Adding 2-3% urea increases the gelation time up to 5-10 minutes. An addition of 15% urea keeps the glue liquid at room temperature. If that’s the way for you to give hide glue a try, go for it. But use it before the expiration date.

How hot hide glue compares with other wood adhesives:

  • Hide glue has a fairly low viscosity so it can penetrate deep into a crack.
  • Hide glue cleans up easily with water, even after it’s dry.
  • Hide glue’s strength is similar to epoxy's but epoxies do not clean up easily and aren’t thin enough.
  • PVA and aliphatic glues are strong and clean up easily, but they are rather thick and wouldn’t penetrate as deeply as hot hide glue in a crack repairing.
  • Cyanocrilate works too fast. Also, it will mar a lacquer finish, requiring a finish repair that isn’t needed with hide glue
  • Hide glue dries crystal-hard, unlike plastic resin glues, so it doesn’t dampen tone.
  • Hide glue joints don’t creep. Over time under string tension PVA and aliphatic resin glues will stretch a little. This is called “creeping.” It’s not a problem with hide glue, which isn’t plastic-like in its makeup.
  • Joints can be heated/steamed back apart.
  • It was used on the instruments we want to work on most. It’s what was used on those traditional instruments that we like to see come across our workbenches.

Among all the animal glues that are produced, we choose the best suited for musical instrument making:

Gram strength (bloom) is 256.

Aliphatic Glue

Aliphatic is yellow wood glue used for applications with hardwoods. Sets harder than PVA glue giving better sanding and will take a stain. Also has longer joint open time but faster grab. Use when durable long lasting joints are needed. Ideal for musical instruments, picture frames etc or where extreme accuracy is needed. Sets at low temp, water resistant.

Copyright © 1999 Renaissance Workshop Company Ltd.
Last modification: 17 de septiembre de 2010
Phone & Fax:(+34) 91 450 30 50