Glue Renew Guru

| January 27, 2010

I love the idea of regluing skins, not just because it is all eco earth friendly and vegan approved, but because a pair of moderately worn nylon skins have such a nice feel to them – they glide, climb and fold-up like butter.  With this in mind, I stripped the old glue off of a pair of skins last year and carefully documented my first outing with Black Diamond Glue Renew strips in eager anticipation of a KILLER BLOG POSTING.  Yeah, well, it turned out like crap as I have the patience of a two year old and once again forgot to read the instructions until after I finished the job.

This is how my glue job turned out because I yam sofa king we ta did. Sad.

But, my faith in Glue Renew (strips of skin glue that you iron on) was renewed over the weekend when I saw the factory-perfect job that Ron Smith was able to do.  Check this out:

Now we're talking! Ron shows off his glue job.

Aside from reading the instructions and being patient, Ron had some excellent little tricks of the reglue trade.

  1. Take your skins to a Dry Cleaner and have them remove the old glue for five-ish dollars.  This is a brilliant trick and the skins come out looking brand new and apparently unharmed.
  2. Before applying the Glue Renew, lay down a coat of Gold Label adhesive using a scraper to get a nice, thin, even coat.  This soaks into the backing and helps the Glue Renew adhere.
  3. Ron got the Glue Renew cold, then cut it into strips so that he could put a strip down each side of the skin and leave the center blank (except for the Gold Label).  This eliminates the need for a piece of nylon cloth and also allows you to get two complete skin reglues out of one set of Glue Renews.
  4. Ignore the recommended heating temperatures and keep the iron “just ahead of the bubbling point” which is hotter than it might seem.

I can’t wait to try it again, or maybe I’ll see if Ron wants to do a another pair while I watch.
Help support and lay down a sticky base with Black Diamond Ascension Gold Label Skin Glue from Click on the photo below…


Category: 05 Uphill, Gear Reviews

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (23)

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  1. Dave says:

    Will the dry cleaners remove ALL the old glue, or do you have to get most of it off before taking it to them?

  2. David Butler says:

    Seriously? A dry cleaner can remove the old glue? Before I go in and have the dry cleaner laugh in my face, I want to verify that this is for real. How do they do it? Great post. Thanks.

  3. Andrew says:

    Hi David – that was my initial thought as well, but seeing was believing. The dry cleaned skins came out perfectly clean and ready to reglue. How do they do it? I have no idea, but I guess that is part of the magic of dry cleaning.

  4. Andrew says:

    Dave – nope, bring them in as is, complete with dog hair, pine needles, old glue, etc..

  5. mark says:

    “This is how my glue job turned out because I yam sofa king we ta did. Sad.”

    Took me three tries to figure out what you meant. Once I did, I was ROTFL. Nice.

  6. mike moulton says:

    Ron can do anything..I heard he was going to do all the skins in his neighborhood…

  7. atommy says:

    Andrew – Wow, you DID do a hideous job on those skins. Nice fail.

  8. Andrew says:

    Mike – I could be wrong, but I thought I heard Ron mention that he’d be happy to reglue a pair of skins for a six-pack of Cherry Coke and a box of Jr. Mints? ;)

  9. ron says:

    I think the sofa king has been sniffin’ too much Gold Label!

  10. Justin Mool says:

    Wow. That’s actually frickin’ amazing. My first re-glue job most definitely looked like yours … but worse. I always wondered how to get all the little sticks and dirt and whatever out of em.

    Thanks for this, Andrew … It must be that time of the season, because we just posted an article about skin care, as well.

  11. Omr says:

    Years of using gold label and I never had a problem. Just tried the renu sheets and what a disaster! And, buggered up the wife’s scissors and knitting needles in the process. My advice: never mix inter-marital hobbies. Next time I’m sticking to gold label, utility knife and needle-nose pliers.

  12. Mark says:


    Good post. Good idea! In the picture I noticed that you sewed your skins together at the top. What did you use to sew them together? I am hesitant to use my sewing machine as I don’t want to ruin it with skin glue…..

  13. Andrew says:

    Hi Mark – I use a “Speedy Stitcher” to sew the tips of my skins together, which I learned about through a reader comment on an earlier posting on StraightChuter. After buying it (about $10) I can’t believe I’ve lived so long without one. Very handy.

  14. Chuck says:

    I’m too lazy to redo the glue…This past Sunday my skins were coming off after lap 4. I borrowed my partner’s knife to cut a portion of the center skin tape. Worked like a charm to get the 5th and 6th laps in. There’s enough tape left for me to do this several more times before needing to reglue. But when that times comes, I’ll know to go to the cleaners. Thanks.

  15. brian harder says:

    Wow, that dry cleaner beta just might be the tip of the new millenium! The process of cutting brown bags into strips and repeatedly ironing them on and removing them from my nailed-to-the-table skins is almost ritualistic at this point. Then there is that strange cross between bummer headache and toluene buzz you get after painstakingly applying new Gold Label. Letting them dry open for a couple of days seems to keep the thin coat in place and I like the thin layer I get. I think I will pass on the reglue strips but love the dry cleaner idea. Time to get motivated! Race skins are one thing but those fatties are a beat down.

  16. grenalds says:

    I actually went to 4 drycleaners in the SLC area asking to clean skins. I was shot down in dramatic fasion 4 outta 4 times.

    Perhaps Ron can provide a drycleaner recommendation? Cuz it sounds too good to be true. I’d love to hear of a willing and able cleaner though…

    I’ve also hear some kind of electric (plug-in) hot scraping tool works really well too. I’m also at a loss where to aquire one of those.

  17. ron says:

    Hey grenalds, I took mine to Red Hanger a few weeks ago on 17th So. & Foothill. $3 each and got em back the same day. I explained what they were and their only concern was to make sure I was aware that they would not be responsible for any damage to the skins. The horrid glue mess didn’t seem to bother them at all. Thanks to Klaus on telemarktips for the dry cleaner tip.

    It was Andrew’s idea to lay down a (very) thin base coat of Gold Label which did a great job of sealing the absorbent canvas backing. I just used a putty knife and spread it as thin as I could and then let it dry for a day before using the Renew strips.

    I think the real trick on the Renew strips was running the iron hot enough. After heating the first few inches my wife sent me outside, no sense both of us dying from the fumes. Indoors I was able to keep the iron temperature stable but out in the cold I finally just turned it up close to full bore and kept the iron moving. The backing paper has a slick (silicon?) layer laminated to a paper layer that you run the iron over. Too much heat and the paper/silicon bubbles so I just kept moving trying to heat it just short of bubbling and it worked like magic…way better and faster than my best Gold Label job (and I’ve done sofa king many).

  18. “This is how my glue job turned out because I yam sofa king we ta did. Sad.”

    oh my sofa king hell !

  19. grenalds says:

    Ron, thanks for chiming in. I’m gonna give your Red Hanger a shot. But I’m not sure I’m emotionally prepared for another shut-down.

    I got my fingers crossed. By the way, your re-glue is a thing of beauty.

  20. bs says:

    Regarding glue removal, I use a heat gun, similar to an industrial hair dryer and a scraper. The right touch with the heat, and the old glue comes off real easy. A stack of newspaper takes the glue off the scraper as long as you wipe it off immediately while still hot. A perfectly clean pair of wide skins in about 10-15 minutes.

  21. jason says:

    I took my skins to my local dry cleaners, and while they had no problem running them through the dry clean process, NOTHING HAPPENED. the skins still had all the old glue, and some of the edging was deteriorated.

    It seems to me the iron/hair dryer/scraper way might be just the way to go. maybe there are different methods of dry cleaning???

  22. Andrew says:

    Hmmm – sorry to hear that Jason. I’ve only seen the end result myself, but haven’t done the actual process, so I’m not sure what to say. From my conversation with Ron, it sounded pretty straight forward..?

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