Gorilla Wood Glue: A Review

Someone using Gorilla wood glue
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Gorilla Wood Glue is an all-purpose wood glue suitable for use on a variety of hardwood, softwood, and composite wood materials, such as medium density fiberboard, (MDF). It is made by the Gorilla Glue Company, which also makes a polyurethane glue that is famous for gluing almost everything—including wood, stone, glass, and ceramics. Gorilla also makes a variety of other adhesives, including an epoxy glue. However, the company's All-Purpose Wood Glue is different from the epoxy and original polyurethane glues, in that it designed for everyday woodworking and carpentry use.

Gorilla Wood Glue is a PVA-based glue, not a polyurethane glue, and it is easily sandable by hand sanding or with the use of a palm sander or random orbit sander. While Gorilla Wood Glue is quite different from the company's other adhesives, it is quite similar to wood glues offered by other well-known brands, such as TiteBond, Dap, and Elmer's, which are also PVA glues. Gorilla Wood Glue does have some slight differences to these other brands, however.

  • While considered a white woodworking glue (in that it has an off white color when in the bottle), Gorilla Wood Glue dries to a more natural color than many other woodworking glues.
  • Gorilla Wood Glue passes ANSI/HVPA Type II specification for water resistance.
  • It has no added dyes, which ensures that Gorilla Wood Glue dries relatively clear and will not be visible in your project.
  • Gorilla Wood Glue is paintable and resistant to mildew and solvents.
  • It is FDA-approved for indirect food contact. As such, Gorilla Wood Glue is ideal for use when building projects for the kitchen.
  • Gorilla Wood Glue is suitable for radio-frequency gluing—a technique in which radio-frequency radiation is used to cure the glue joint.

Tips for Using Gorilla Wood Glue

To begin the application, clean the two mating surfaces to be joined. The boards should be dry, cleanly and evenly cut and free of any sawdust. Excessive sawdust can interfere with the effectiveness of the glue in the joint, so follow remove sawdust to prepare the joint. Test-fit the joint before proceeding with gluing, to ensure that the two mating surfaces of the joint will match up cleanly and evenly.

When applying Gorilla Wood Glue to a joint, the amount of glue is paramount to the quality of the bond. Using too little glue will prevent a strong bond between the two boards, while using too much glue will cause excess to squeeze out of the joint, causing other problems. A good rule of thumb is to squeeze out a flat bead of glue along the entire length of the joint, using the wide pop-top cap on the glue bottle as an applicator, then spread and even out the glue using a small glue brush. The result should be thin but even covering of glue along the surface of the joint.

After aligning the two boards, use a few woodworking clamps to hold them in place. Apply just enough pressure to the joint to allow complete contact between the two mating surfaces, but not so much pressure that the glue squeezes out of the joint.

Drying Time Advantage

One of the major advantages of Gorilla Wood Glue over other similar white wood glue formulations is that it requires only a short 20-minute clamp time—most other manufacturers suggest at least 30 minutes. While this ten-minute difference may not be a big concern on some projects, it can allow you to shift your clamps to other uses more quickly.

While the glue joint only needs 20 minutes of clamping, the manufacturer does recommend allowing a full 24 hours of curing time before putting full stress on the joint.

Clean-Up

Gorilla wood glue is a non-toxic product that cleans up with water. When your woodworking project calls for a stained finish, it is best to remove any glue run-out to keep from affecting the stained finish. Because dried glue clogs the pores of the wood, it can prevent stain from evenly penetrating and lead to a mottled appearance.

Should glue squeeze out of the joint, immediately clean the area with a damp cotton cloth. Be thorough in cleaning off the excess glue run-out, as the glue will fill tiny pores that are not easily visible. Using a pre-stain conditioner can sometimes help even out the effects of a dried glue run-out, but even the best pre-stain conditioner won't completely solve the problem; thoroughly cleaning off the run-out is the best strategy.

If you intend to paint your woodworking project, glue run-out isn't as serious. If you have a bead of glue that runs-out of the joint, you can let it dry and then scrape the excess glue off of the wood, much as you would when fixing a paint drip. A quick sanding of the scraped glue along the edge of the joint before painting will mask the run-out effectively.