Gorilla glue disappointment

I know that some of the better woodworkers on this board use epoxy and/or Titebond III for their projects. Me too.

About a year ago I laminated a bland to make a GP using GG. When I started shaping it I discovered that it was delaminating, so I put it aside and left it sit.

Today I needed a spacer for a clamp, rooted through the scrap wood bin and found a piece of that lamination I had cut from one end. Just the right thickness, but several inches too long. A quick trip through th emitre box was all it needed. Then I looked at the scrap piece that was left.

One lam split off, clearly showing glue evenly distributed on both faces. What a disappointment.


New products
don’t always endure the test of time and are they worth trying? What is the warranty worth cause it won’t pay for the wasted wood and your time. As a builder I ignore almost everything new on the market. Imagine if you had finished the paddle and sold or given it away.

Yup! Gorilla Glue …

– Last Updated: Feb-08-08 2:07 PM EST –

might be ok fer gluin' apes tagitter, but ain't de best fer wood. Ah' find it does work a little better iffin' yer dampin' both surfaces a little first before yer put on de GG.


I’ve had good luck with Gorilla Glue

– Last Updated: Feb-08-08 2:09 PM EST –

I used it to glue up my fir decking lee boards. They get flexed pretty hard when the wind blows. So far no failures.
I also used it to glue my wife's dining room table back together. The feet are bolted to an 8 sided tube and the weight of the table top was pulling the tube apart. Again so far so good.

Edited to add... I did read somewhere about wiping the wood with a wet rag before glueing. Works for me.

I followed directions
including dampening the surfaces.

The failure was THROUGH the glue - leaving glue residue on both wood surfaces.


gorilla glue’s been around awhile

Jim…you might
…try going over to QajaqUSA web boards, as I think Brian Shulz had some of the same issues.


me too
Darn I wanted to quit using epoxy, but it is not even as good as titebond 2 for me so far. Maybe I didn’t clamp it well enough.

Worked great for me
I have used it on dozens projects including several bamboo flyrods and indoor and outdoor furniture. I have never had a failure with fresh Gorilla glue. I have had old glue (more than a year old) fail and that is fairly common experience among woodworkers. Given you do not know how long it was on store shelves always buy it from store with high turnover.


Fine Woodworking glue tests
A few months back Fine Woodworking did a strength test of several glues. They included PVA, PVA type 1, hide glues, epoxies, urethane glues.

PVA type 1 glues like Titebond III were the best overall, even beating out epoxy. The polyurethane glues were a shocking disappointment to all the editors, they had expected it to fair better and in the end lost on almost every count.

Epoxy has its places for use, and I do use it. But Titebond III is just so much easier and safer to work with, and apparently usually just as or even stronger. Even on dense tropicals like teak and Ipe, they found PVA type 1 stronger.

Mind you, this is all wood//wood. If the question were bonding two dissimilar materials the results would likely differ.

the best thing about gorilla glue
has still got to be its name

gorilla glue

I’ve had good luck with the glue.
But G.G duct tape wouldn’t stick to my PVC SOF kayak.

gorilla glue is only good for
bonding unlike surfaces; wood to metal, plastic to glass… titebond III for wood to wood. both should be clamped. actually gorilla must be clamped because it foams, which will seperate the two pieces.

gorilla glue
Read the Fine Woodworking glue test and was surprised by the lowest ranking for Gorilla Glue.

First used Gorilla glue in glueing the sides onto the core strip of an Aleutian paddle. As my favorite paddle It has held up under heavy use since it’s construction in 2003. Woods are: Red cedar, yellow cedar and sitka spruce

I made 15 hollow shaft Greenland paddle blanks for a course held with ConnYak. No failures yet in two years. Wood used in hollow shaft paddles was all red cedar.

I think it is important to really wet one surface AND to clamp very tight. Without one surface wet the glue doesn’t kick off properly. If clamping isn’t very tight foaming starts and that spot then has no strength.

In spite of above successes, I used Tightbond III on the four Aleutian paddle blanks I just glued up. Guess I follow herd mentality or read too many magazine articles.


I made sure to thoroughly
dampen surfaces when I glued the blank.

Since I did not have 20 C-clamps I used two on each blade, twp on the loom, and about 20 heavy rubber bands. I suppose that the rubber bands did not apply enough pressure…

Nevertheless, I am happy with Tite Bond III, and plan on using it when I laminate a cedat/ash canoe paddle in the near future.


My laminated paddles

– Last Updated: Feb-09-08 2:00 AM EST –

are going strong after three years of rocky Ozark Rivers and the boulders of the BWCA with Titebond II. I've used Gorilla Glue on other projects and found it to be a messy alternative with no particular benefit. I have had no glue failures with either. I'm using Titebond III now on paddles and canoe parts. Cabinets and tables get TB II.

Too Much Pressure?
Sounds odd but GG does some weird foaming action. My first project failed with super tight clamping. Second try I camped it but just a little past snugging, did okay but the stuff is messy.

I cannot remember the term (dry something) but my 8th grade shop teacher stressed not squeezing it too tight. more glue is not better and more pressure isn’t either. Get it to the point you see a little glue at the joint uniformly. Temp, humidity, age of glue, and prep all come into play

It sounds like you used it improperly

– Last Updated: Feb-09-08 8:30 AM EST –

There are two things that are necessary for a good joint with polyurethane glue:

1- The surfaces have to mate precisely

2- The joint has to be TIGHTLY clamped (I suspect that this was your problem)

The reason for this is that if you allow any space in the joint, the glue will foam and lose most of its strength.

While moisture is necessary for these glues to cure, unless the wood is stored in a very dry environment, there will be sufficient moisture in it to do the job. It you feel the need to add moisture, LIGHTLY wipe ONE side of the joint with a DAMP (not wet) cloth or sponge. The moisture is merely a catalyst and it takes very little to get the job done. Too much moisture will weaken the joint.

I've used polyurethane glue on paddles and wooden kayak frames and haven't had a single problem with it. FWIW, I use Elmer's polyurethane glue, as it's much cheaper than Gorilla Glue (which seems overpriced).

Starving de glue joint
be de term.


No reason to use polyurethane glue
For wood to wood there is simply no reason to use polyurethane glues. This includes joinery, laminations, etc.

It’s priced higher than a PVA-1.

It’s more toxic than a PVA-1.

It’s harder to clean up than a PVA-1.

It’s more finicky to apply than a PVA-1.

It’s not as strong as a PVA-1.

A lot of people have fallen for the hype associated with "“Gorilla Glue” and it’s brethren. For woodworking, the benefits just aren’t there. Why would anyone choose a more expensive product that’s harder to work with? The answer is marketing, plain and simple.