Gorilla Glue failure

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by willie posted 08-21-2014 02:24 PM 2178 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View willie's profile


533 posts in 2423 days

08-21-2014 02:24 PM

About a year ago I repaired a chair for a friend. He’s a big guy, 6’4” about 300 lbs. Both rear legs were toast so I had to turn two new ones. Because the mortices in the seat bottom were tore up, I enlarged them to get to solid wood and made the tenons on the legs larger. It all went together well with no problems and all joints were tight. I had recently bought my first bottle of Gorilla Glue and figured it would be perfect for this job. The chair was solid so I gave it back to him. Monday he brought it back because all of the joints had loosened and the chair was now wobbly..

I managed to get it all apart with no further damage but it became apparent that the glue was the problem. All of the joints had become loose from everyday use. I reglued everything with Titebond II.

My question is this: is gorilla glue the right glue for this application or should I have used the titebond instead? I have used gorilla glue on several other projects since with no problems. Hopefully this is the only problem I’ll have with it. Thanks, Willie

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

18 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2871 posts in 2141 days

#1 posted 08-21-2014 02:46 PM

I would want to know how he is using the chair. I have used gorilla glue on chairs and had no problems.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bigblockyeti's profile


5101 posts in 1689 days

#2 posted 08-21-2014 02:53 PM

I have had zero applications where Titebond II could have been superior to Gorilla glue.

View ChrisK's profile


1946 posts in 3050 days

#3 posted 08-21-2014 03:06 PM

Where the joints in the chair big enough to let the glue foam? If the glue foams it has very little strength. I also do not use extra moisture on wood since it tends to cause the gorilla glue to start setting to fast and over foam. I use extra moisture sparingly on metals and foams. But the surfaces need to be stiffly clamped so the glue does not force the parts apart when it starts to cure.

-- Chris K

View Redoak49's profile


3201 posts in 1957 days

#4 posted 08-21-2014 03:15 PM

I have never had a gorilla glue joint fail…it is just the opposite.

How tight were the joints before you glued them. They should not be loose but if too tight, the glue will not stay very well.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4907 posts in 3929 days

#5 posted 08-21-2014 03:19 PM

Gorilla PVA or urethane?
Kinda hard to know without a complete description.


View willie's profile


533 posts in 2423 days

#6 posted 08-21-2014 06:51 PM

It was urethane glue. The joints were tight, new, and free from previous glues. I have done similar repairs using Titebond and never had a problem. As far as I know, the chair doesn’t get abused, it’s used at the dinner table. He may lean back in it, which is probably why he broke it in the first place. Both of the original back legs had to be replaced.

I haven’t done a lot with this glue and was wondering what could have caused the failure. Everything was prepared like I normally would using Titebond. I followed the directions on the bottle and as far as I know I did it right, but I’ve been wrong before! I’ll use up what I have but I’m not sure I’ll buy any more.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4907 posts in 3929 days

#7 posted 08-21-2014 08:16 PM

I don’t use urethane glue. Consider it much ado about nothing.
PVA glues are my choice. Not gap filling that I can tell but, if you’ve got a bunch of gaps, you’ve got a joinery problem.
Gorilla brand has a good PVA glue. Shame that they don’t create some marketing that differentiates. Kinda like Scotch tape. They have so many types, yet all are called Scotch.


View DrDirt's profile


4423 posts in 3711 days

#8 posted 08-21-2014 08:30 PM

I don’t use Polyurethane glues – the wetting is important as well as the gap.

Polyurethane won’t handle gaps at all – it expands where your glueline is basically just polyurethane sprayfoam.

You mention a tight glue line – so it should not be an issue – all the glues out there should be stronger than the wood itself.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2940 days

#9 posted 08-22-2014 02:41 AM

I can’t believe anyone would say Gorilla polyurethane is their glue of choice over Titebond I, II, or III.
It has virtually no shear strength.
It’s only use as far as I can tell is where very little strength is needed, but it needs to be waterproof.
And, there are much better choices for waterproof glues, most of which are much less expensive.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5624 posts in 2782 days

#10 posted 08-22-2014 03:08 AM

I like TB II in most applications. For chairs I sometimes use TB II Extend, because it offers 20 minutes of open time.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View NoThanks's profile


798 posts in 1498 days

#11 posted 08-22-2014 03:17 AM

I don’t use gorilla glue. Not as strong as titebond in my opinion

-- Because I'm gone, that's why!

View eccentrictinkerer's profile


38 posts in 2997 days

#12 posted 08-22-2014 03:21 AM

Where strength is needed I avoid Gorilla glue. I’ve tried it at least a dozen times with little to no success.

Matthias Wandel tested the stuff. Also un-impressed.


View JAAune's profile


1788 posts in 2285 days

#13 posted 08-22-2014 03:23 AM

Gorilla glue is more expensive, messier, harder to spread and still requires tight fitting joinery just like PVA glues so it’s not a great choice for general application.

I’ve used the urethane stuff when I need to work in low ambient temperature, assemble moist wood or just want to do a repair on a veneer bubble and want something that has better tack than PVA.

-- See my work at and

View TheFridge's profile


9251 posts in 1455 days

#14 posted 08-22-2014 03:27 AM

After looking at matthias wandel of glue breakdown tests, it seems gorilla glue had some of the best yet some of the worst results. Urethane glue is neat stuff but I’d rather old faithful myself.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2237 days

#15 posted 08-22-2014 04:12 AM

16 years using gorilla glue barely any failures and they wernt the glues fault.Did you say 300lbs wow big boy i have a table i made at my house friends 450 he leaned on it and snap no matter what glue.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics