When the archeologists of the future excavate our workshops of today, they will find a bottle of Gorilla Glue in most of them. Because of this, they will associate a certain amount of significance to the product and the “stick it together” culture. I would agree on the impact that this product has had on our project lives.
I tried Gorilla Glue many years ago when filming an episode of our PBS TV show, HomeFix. The show was a weekend project theme and had to do with building you own wooden screen doors. I went to the local ACE Hardware store and asked for the best exterior glue. They said to try Gorilla Glue. I did, and I have been a fan ever since.
I built the screen door out of 5/4 pine. It was salvaged from a friend’s workshop attic, ripped to width, ran through the planer, and cleaned up with finish sanding. I am not Norm, so I kept it simple. Dado style lap joints. (Norm is shaking with disgust, I know.) But all I had to work with was a table saw and a bunch of clamps. And the theme of our show was building it in a weekend. If we can, you should be able to also. In fact, we usually left all the screw-ups in the show so you could see that they really do happen and when you are out of lumber, you are out. I screwed up and cut a few dados too wide and one too deep.
I laid up the project on sawhorses and applied a good amount of Gorilla Glue on all the joints. I was going to test the ability of it to bridge gaps… I had some. Clamps in place, I backed away till the next morning. Which was when I also discovered that you really should wear gloves when working with this product. I had glue all over my hands and it took a while to wear it off. Kind of a badge of honor though.
I cut the glue excess off where it squished out because it expands as it cures, and then finished it off with some sanding and a bit of filler. NOTE: Glue only. No nails or screws were used.
This door has two ¼” ply inserts at the bottom, a decorative push bar style middle, and the screen top half. I shot it with two coats of oil primer, and then two coats of white oil base exterior gloss.
I can tell you that today, as of this writing some 6 years later, these doors are still hanging on my house, get used and abused like crazy, and not one of the glue joints has failed. Ever.
Gorilla glue is a great product and is fun to work with. If you haven’t experienced it yet, get some and try it. You will be pleasantly surprised. Read the dang bottle though would you! There is some good advice on using it, like wetting one surface to speed up the expansion of the glue. And to wear gloves.
I now keep Gorilla Glue not only in my shop, but also in my tool trailer for on the job. It isn’t for everything, but nothing is. Used in the right applications, interior or exterior, wet or dry, this product won’t let you down.