Using Gorilla Glue

The first thing you need to know about Gorilla Glue is that it is very different from the glues or epoxies that you have used in the past. Gorilla Glue doesnít ďdryĒóit reacts with moisture to cure.  

If youíre using  Gorilla Glue to attach scales, either natural or synthetic, lightly dampen the scales before clamping in place. ( dampening the steel tang isnít necessary and would actually be a little silly.)  Clamping is absolutely necessary since the Gorilla Glue expands slightly ( it will look like a small amount of hard foam. More on this in a minute) and you donít want this to push the scales away, giving you a weaker bond. Clamping is not just important, itís mandatory! Note: If you forget to dampen the wood, you really didnít screw up too bad. There is enough moisture in the wood, even the air, to effect the cure. The dampening process does give you a stronger, more uniform bond, though.  

Gorilla Glue is perfect for gluing dissimilar materialsówood scales to a metal tang for instance. It wouldnít hurt to rough up the smooth metal of the tang with a carbide burr to give the surface a little  more tooth though. It works well on dense, oily woods that have been a problem in the pastócocobolo for instance. In porous woods like a burl, it make actually expand into ( and sometimes through) the wood. This is actually a good thing for softer woods and will add stabilization. Wood to wood joints will be stronger than the wood itself.  

Gorilla Glue, once cured (two hours for the standard formula, one hour for the Fast Cure) , will look like a hard foam in the areas where it has seeped out around the edges. It sands off easily and can be flaked off the metal tang  cleanly with a sharp utility knife.   It will be at about 90% strength now, 100% after 24 hours.

Donít get it on your hands. It will be there for a week  and the chemical reaction will stain your fingers. Wear gloves or be very careful. It wonít kill you or anythingópolyurethane glues are pretty chemically inert with anything other than moistureóbut it just looks ugly and exposes you to criticism from your spouse  about your general level of intelligence.  

Shelf life, I should note, can be an issue. Any glue that reacts with moisture in the air will begin to react as soon as you open the bottle. Thatís why I only sell the small bottlesóIíve usually  never gotten more than halfway through the larger bottles before they start to set up. Once you pop open a bottle ( before opening, shelf like is pretty good), plan to use it all in the next two or three months. Replace the cap immediately when youíre done.  You can extend the shelf life by storing these in a cool, dry place. I have also heard that people have luck by storing the bottle upside down so that the trapped moisture-laden air in the bottle is actually at the bottom. I thought that storing it in the refrigerator might help, but it doesnít, and only confuses house guests.  I do have a four month old bottle Iím just finishing off, but thatís kind of pushing the envelope. As a rough rule of thumb, shelf life on an opened bottle would be about the same ( maybe slightly better) as bottled super glue. I wish it lasted as long as that three year old bottle of carpenterís glue Iíve got, but it doesnít.


  Gorilla Glue FAQ's

What do I do if I get it on my hands?

Soap and water is your best bet, with a mildly abrasive soap like Lava. Gorilla Glue is not water soluble like carpenter glues, but the object is to get most off to minimize staining. Do not use paint thinner or acetone, itís a total waste of time. You can try using one of those citrus based liquid cleaners. They wonít work either actually, but they do smell nice and youíll feel better. Update Note: Gorilla Glue has notified me to try using denatured alcohol. I tried this and it does seem to work reasonably well

What can I do if I get it on my clothes?
Not a darn thing. And why were you wearing your good suit in the workshop? Same advice goes for pets and the new carpet in the family room. Gorilla Glue agrees that if you get it on your clothes, you have a problem.

Do I need to use clamps?
Yes. If you donít have clamps, use rubber bands or put a brick on top or something.  

Ok, OK, I have to use clamps. For how long?
Figure two hours for the standard Gorilla Glue, one hour for the fast curing formula.

Can the curing process be sped up with heat or something?

Is Gorilla Glue waterproof?

Why yes it is. Thanks for reminding me. 100% waterproof.


Gorilla Super Glue

All the cautions that you normally take with super glue apply here, only more so. This is super glue on steroids. Seriously, this is not your father's super glue.  Itís excellent for metal to metal ( or non-porous to non-porous) bonds. Itís also excellent for sticking fingers together. Since, like any super glue, it will soak into a porous material, you wonít get a maximum strength bond with wood or leather. One thing that makes Gorilla Super Glue superb for knifemaking  ( besides its strength, of course) is that it is not brittle like normal super glues ( they call it rubber reinforced) .  If you have a knife design where the guard is held in place against the shoulders of the blade  by the handle ( more common with partial tang designs), this is all you're going to need. I would still heavily recommend pinning or soldering the "U" shaped guards on full tang knives though.

15-30 seconds is all you need to hold the parts together ( although the label says maximum cure in 24 hours). Clamping is not necessary.  

Gorilla Super Glue is very water resistant, but not waterproof. Not a big difference, but an important one.  Example: using it on fillet knives should be fine but you wouldn't want to use it on a diving knife . I might also mention that itís rated to work at temperatures from -65 degrees up to 200 degrees. That should pretty much cover you for  any environments you might find yourself in on this planet  

Gorilla Super Glue can be dissolved with acetone if you get it on your fingers, but I would suggest that you just give it a few seconds to cure and then try to peel it off. (Yes, youíll lose the topmost layer of skin but, hey, you can spare it).  If you get it on your clothes, you'll have to spring for a new wardrobe. Do not wear your Sunday best when working with Gorilla Super Glue. If you get it on the carpet, all you can do is move the furniture before your spouse gets home.            


               OK, I hope I impressed on you some basic safety and application tips. Use common sense and you should have no trouble getting superb results with this stuff.