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Gorilla glue as a finish?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rojo412, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    On a flat surface, it could always be sanded down at least. But I don't know if I'd use it for fixing or bonding when Titebond or CA work so well.

    I have seen well joined body blanks using it, fwiw.
  2. Thumpin6string

    Thumpin6string Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    Shoals Indiana
    With the multitudes of actual wood finishes out there that are designed for finishing, why use Gorilla glue? It is a glue not a finish, so I can't imagine it would hold up well to constant exposure to wear and sweat as well as bumps or scrapes. What the next new finish, Elmer's?:smug:
  3. The end result is it's purty.! As long as it's durable too, use what ya want. I've always been a fan of anything strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual.
    Sonicfrog likes this.
  4. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    Not exactly the same, however I have used CA glue (aka super glue) to put a finish on the fingerboard of my fretless bass.
    Manticore likes this.
  5. SonnyBassPlayer


    Nov 29, 2013
    Glues or anything made to not be a finish can have unexpected results when facing direct sunlight sweat & other external agents.... must be tested I guess! For example, epoxy primers can not be used as a finish even if they can look smooth and matte almost as a finish because they are not made to support direct sunlight but to grip the surface... glue? hmmm
  6. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I've tried it for general woodworking and gave up on it, too messy, foams and oozes out of joints, sticks to your hands, etc. I only use it now for super oily woods like teak. I imagine you can get a finish out of it, but epoxy seems like less hassle. The monkey pee finish does sound intrigueing.
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i like it! may have to give it a go on a parts bass i'm avoiding.

    thanks for the tip rojo412 ! :thumbsup:
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Aren't we all just big monkeys anyways? I don't think I'll be leading the charge on this particular innovation, though! ;)
    Robert B likes this.
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Lots of good points on both sides (and please don't mistake me as paraphrasing a certain "moron" on that one).
    I guess the proof is in the pudding and if it works, it works. If not, oh well. No harm in trying it though.
    Someone back in the day decided to put marine epoxy on a fretless board and that worked. Others decided to try gun stock finish on basses and that worked as well.

    Once I find my bottle (or buy one) I'll post some test results. I have a bunch of scrap to play with.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. I was in the Depot yesterday and saw a bottle, I almost grabbed it :-D
  11. cazclocker

    cazclocker My social skills are rapidly dwindling.

    Oct 24, 2014
    Newton, Kansas
    I've been subbing this thread for the last couple of days because the concept is so intriguing. Full disclosure - I'm a bit out of place here... I'm not a luthier, just a bass player who dabbles in woodworking sometimes (read: I have a hammer and both thumbs). That said, even though Gorilla Glue as a wood finish is interesting, isn't it kind of re-inventing the wheel? We already have nice finishes for bass (and g**tar) bodies & necks that have survived the test of time. I might be inclined to build a few basses with Gorilla Glue finishes, and play them out in the real world for 20 or 30 years... just to see how it holds up. Until a test like that is documented and widely reported, it's all kind of apocryphal... but believe me, I don't know anything so I can easily be all wrong. I guess all innovations begin with the germ of an idea!
  12. LT131


    Jan 25, 2015
    Deep South
    Finding the Monkey. Possible band name.
  13. Manticore


    Feb 27, 2016
    I too had a fretless with super glue on the fingerboard. It was thinned and put on in multiple coats then sanded and polished. There were no adverse effects and the fingerboard held up to round wound strings exceptionally well.
    smtp4me likes this.
  14. five7

    five7 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2009
    I have used it on remodeling projects and wouldn't want to use for a finish. The foaming and the yellow color plus the rough texture after drying are a turn off for me.
  15. Christopher DBG

    Christopher DBG Commercial User

    May 18, 2015
    Westerly, RI
    Luthier/Owner, Christopher Bass Guitar
    Definitely worth trying on some scrap. Question I would have are how much of a finish can be built up? One coat that mainly soaks into the wood, isn't heavy enough to leave brush or rag strokes and leaves a very superficial raw wood finish might be easy, but how does a second or third coat go on if you want or need it? How repairable is it? If I had to guess I would say blending in a small repair might be difficult, esecially if only one coat was used to start. So you might have to refinish the whole bass, and then you are back to the first question. Good luck with your testing!
    rojo412 likes this.
  16. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    My question is why? I've worked some with Gorilla glue, and experienced all its problems. I can forsee plenty of potential problems with using it as a finish, and no real advantages. Why not use Tru-Oil? Tru-Oil is a hardening polyurethane based varnish made specifically to be a finish. You can buy it in a small bottle, wipe it on with a cloth, and it's just about fool-proof. I don't see how Gorilla Glue would be any better or tougher.

    To each his own, and all that. But again, why?
  17. smtp4me


    Sep 30, 2013
    Philadelphia, PA
    It was surprisingly easy to do. I only had to purchase the glue, sandpaper of varying grits, a radius sanding block (9.5 inch for Fender Jazz), and polishing compound. Took me one weekend to complete. After one year it is holding up well against roundwounds.
    Manticore and cazclocker like this.
  18. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    By the way, if you are looking for a real simple clear finish over natural wood, I highly recommend MinWax Oil-Enhanced Water-Base Polyurethane. It can be wiped, brushed, or sprayed on, right out of the can. It has a bit of red-orange tint, which really brings out the color of woods like walnut. I'm now using it as the finish on all of my walnut Scroll Basses.

    It's real tough. A friend of mine has been using it for years on outdoor wood trim, and it holds up well in direct sunlight and weather. It's very easy to touch up. It has a small amount of oil in it, so it behaves kind of like an oil-base finish. But overall, it's water-base. So there's no real fumes or fire issues. You can safely use it in a closed household room. And it's about $13/quart on the shelf in your favorite big box store.

    The only downside to it is that it's kind of a stand-alone product. It's tricky to mix in pigments or dyes to shift its color, and I've had some trouble with it bonding to other finishes. It works great by itself, as it is. But you don't want to use it as a mix with other finishes.
    bholder likes this.
  19. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    I've seen photos of big balls of Gorilla Glue removed from dogs' stomachs. If you decide to experiment with this stuff, keep your dogs away!
  20. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    My finish of choice is TruOil, primarily. And I wouldn't mind trying that MinWax, too. But this was just me wondering, in all honesty. I'll do an A/B test of this versus TruOil on some scrap and see what happens.

    I don't believe that this will revolutionize bass finishing by any means, but if it gives someone a viable option and they want to try it, why not?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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