June 9, 2011

Gorilla Wood Glue - Review

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It takes quite a bit for someone to switch wood glue brands. We're in the Titebond II camp and always have been. It's just what we've always used, and that's that. Gorilla, seeking to change our minds sent us a couple bottles of their Gorilla Wood Glue to test out. So half way through a shelving project, we took the the plunge. We tucked the Titebond away and gave the new guy a shot.

Comparatively, the Gorilla Glue has a shorter clamping time, only needing 20 or so minutes for the initial set (Titebond recommends about 30 minutes). This didn't have too much of an effect on us, but once or twice our work flow demanded that we unclamp at around the 20 minute mark and it was nice to know that we were within the limits of the glue.

One cool thing about the glue is that it dries a more natural color than the competition. In the photograph below (click to enlarge), you can see a bead of the dried Gorilla compared to a line of Titebond II and Titebond III. Even though you're not supposed to see any glue after a nice glue-up, if there's a little peeking through, it's a little more camouflage with the Gorilla.

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To test out the strength of the Gorilla, we glued a few boards together, clamped them and a day later (Gorilla says 24 hours to full strength), we wailed on them with a hammer, trying to break them at the joint. None of them did, which is how it's supposed to be. Like a weld, if a glue joint is done correctly, it should be the strongest part of the glue-up. With the Gorilla Glue that appears to be the case.

After using the Gorilla Wood Glue and seeing how it performed in our barbaric tests, we became pretty confident of its abilities and if we see it at a store, we're probably get some more. It's priced at about the same as Titebond, maybe a little less.

We also need to note that Tool Snob Jr. finds the Gorilla Glue logo far more fascinating than the Titebond logo.

Gorilla Wood Glue is at Amazon in an 18 oz bottle ($7) or an 8 oz bottle ($3.15)


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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 9, 2011 5:45 AM

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Recent Comments

I was formerly an Elmer's wood glue fan, but I built a pedal plane a few years back and the original polyurethane-base Gorilla Glue was suggested to be used at the local hardware store based on it's sheer strength, and I've never used any other products since. I am also a fan of their wood glue, which is their water-based answer discussed above. It's such a strong bond, in fact, that I had a heck of a time fixing a mistake that I made in my latest project. So confident I am in this glue that I didn't even used screws, dowels, or anything else for a butt joint on a bed that I've just finished, and it's as tough as nails, like it says.
I've never tried Titebond products, and quite frankly I haven't any reason to at this point. GG is a little more expensive, but it translates to piece of mind. Both their wood glue and their poly-based glues are staples in my woodshop.


Posted by: Scott at January 17, 2012 8:46 AM

Very true about the Gorilla Glue. It's some tough stuff. I can't tell you how many projects in my house have been constructed some how using GG... it's a staple in my home.


Posted by: Aaron at June 21, 2011 2:09 AM

I use Elmers Carpenters glue,easy set up, easy clean up, mostly white for tricky old furniture repairs and yellow for new work. I tried the original gorilla glue and it definitely had a bit of a learning curve, not a fan.


Posted by: Kevin at June 15, 2011 12:08 AM

I've done a little experimentation myself, with Elmers thrown into the mix as well. I found the joint strength to be comparable between all the players. I have some samples sitting out in the weather to see how they hold up long term, they have been out since August of last year and not one of them has failed yet.
I'm starting to prefer Elmers for most of what I do, as I can usually find it significantly cheaper at Wally world.
I have noticed differing viscosities between the brands, with Titebond being the least viscous and Elmers being the most. Elmers, in my opinion, seems to have the most solids in their mix. I use this information to my advantage when I'm putting together loose or tight joints, knowing with Titebond I can put a really thin coat down and not have to worry about much squeeze out.
Good observation on the colors. Elmers dries to a fairly light pine color as well. That Titebond glue line in the test photo looks like it may be the dark version of their wood glue, which is meant for use on dark woods like walnut.


Posted by: PutnamEco at June 9, 2011 1:30 PM

The original gorilla glue is some serious stuff - water activated foam expanding poly glue. the only reliable way i've found to get it off fingers, though, is a quick rub on a belt sander. bonus, you lose those pesky finger prints!


Posted by: paul at June 9, 2011 9:22 AM
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