How Strong is Gorilla Wood Glue?

Perhaps you remember that old advertisement with a construction worker hanging from a steel beam after applying some Gorilla Glue to his work helmet. It was a silly demonstration, but Gorilla Glue is pretty strong.  Many of us have used it for many purposes around the house and found it effective, quick-drying in no time at all, and solid.

It adheres to most materials, including metal, wood, stone, ceramics, glass, etc.  It dries clear and is water-resistant.  You should avoid using it on polypropylene and polyethylene plastics or rubber with high oil content.

But what about Gorilla Wood Glue?  Will it do the trick for you in the woodshop?

What Glue Type is Gorilla Wood Glue?

There are three main types of glues and adhesives:

  • PVA – polyvinyl acetate, also known as wood glue, the most well known of which is Elmer’s Glue;
  • Polyurethane – a glue commonly called Gorilla Glue, because it was the first company to bring the glue to the US market; and,
  • Aliphatic – a synthetic resin glue of which Titebond is the most well known.

Today, though, we move common Gorilla Glue into the PVA category with its Gorilla Wood Glue. 

Does Gorilla Wood Glue Expand?

It’s a reliable and very strong adhesive, water-based, and of a thick consistency that makes the application and spreading of it easy.  It works well with hardwoods, softwoods, and wood composites, does not expand, dries quickly, and leaves a clean line.

Is Gorilla Wood Glue Waterproof?

It is highly water resistant but not waterproof.  If you need truly waterproof glue, Titebond III will be your best choice.  But, if water resistance is all your project requires, Gorilla Wood Glue will serve you quite well.

Which is Better: Titebond or Gorilla Wood Glue?

As we’ve written, Titebond is an aliphatic glue – a synthetic adhesive with a yellow color and a creamy texture.  These characteristics are associated with wood glue in the workshop. 

Gorilla Wood Glue is a PVA adhesive – polyvinyl acetate (a synthetic resin) glue, water-based.  It is odorless and nearly clear. PVA wood glues are strong, dry fast to a natural finish, and can be sanded to provide an invisible bond between boards.

Wood glues are developed to penetrate the grain and wood fibers, thus creating stronger joints than the wood itself.  Both Titebond and Gorilla Wood Glue create strong joints between boards, with the main difference being the waterproof Titebond III compared with the high water-resistance of Gorilla Wood Glue.

Can You Thin Gorilla Wood Glue?

Gorilla Wood Glue is a thick adhesive, and as such, it is easy to control and spread on wood surfaces.  However, sometimes it might be too thick for your task. 

No problem.  It is a water-based adhesive and can be thinned by adding water.  Just be sure the water added does not exceed 5% in weight. 

What Is The Shelf Life of Gorilla Wood Glue?

Manufacturers are conscientious when stamping a shelf life on glues to limit their liability in cases where woodworkers are not as careful with storage as they should be.  In the instance of wood glue and safety of projects in which it is used, glues are stamped with an expected shelf life of 1 – 2 years.

Your glue’s usefulness may last longer, especially if your shop is heated.  The rating on shelf life has to do with the number of freezes and thaws the glue undergoes, and if there are no freezes, that 1 – 2 year shelf life may be stretched.

Where safety is involved, though, we might suggest you follow the shelf life stamped on the container. 

Strong, fast-drying, clear, dries to a clean line joining your pieces of wood, able to be sanded, can be thinned – these are all advantages that make Gorilla Wood Glue easy to recommend:

  • 20-30 minute clamp time, 24-hour full cure;
  • Usable indoors and outdoors;
  • Versatile on hardwoods, softwoods, and composites;
  • Dries to a natural color for a strong, invisible bond line.

Like the original Gorilla Glue, it is a reliable adhesive with much to offer your woodworking projects.  We don’t recommend you use it on your safety helmet to hang from a rafter, but for your wood bonding needs, it’s a good choice.

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