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undoing gorilla glue

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by tyb507, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. tyb507

    tyb507 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    Burlington, Vermont
    Say one wanted to disassemble an old bass that some long-forgotten "repair person" shamelessly slathered with obscene amounts of gorilla glue. Like, it looks like the top and back might have been removed and glued back on with the stuff.
    How might one approach rectifying this situation? I'm thinking some of the thicker beads might be separated with some fine dremel cutting tool, then maybe cut off with a sharp chisel.

    The whole bass needs to come apart anyway for addition of a neck block, countless crack repairs, probably removal of integral bass bar and installation of a real one (I haven't inspected yet), conversion from 3 to 4-string, etc. The first step seems to be figuring out how to get rid of all the G. Glue without ruining the wood.


  2. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    subscribe. I'd like to hear about GG removal as well from
    any wooden material.
  3. I think that lots of cutting is what you're going to end up having to do. As far as I understand it, glues of that variety don't just stick stuff together, they alter the chemical composition of the stuff they're gluing, and so can't really be "removed," as it were, without also destroying the thing you're trying to remove them from.
  4. JacobE


    Jul 19, 2008
  5. tyb507

    tyb507 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    Burlington, Vermont
    hmmm...a friend suggested making it into a double bass-inet for the little one on the way...but I'm not giving up til I have a whack (or at least a day of very tedious cutting and grinding).
  6. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    You might check in the BG Luthiers forum as well. There are some glueheads up there.

    The way that stuff fires off with a foamy chemical reaction
    scares me. There is some weird resin reaction in that stuff.

    I guess the first thing I would do is try putting some of that
    stuff on scrap wood and then try a few solvents to see if
    anything softens it.
  7. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    A fine razor-saw, carefully worked through under the plate? Saw through the rib-edge, effectively, right against the front and/or back plate. You may lose 0.5mm if that. It will take a good deal of patience...

    With all the things you listed as being needed, I think I would remove the front plate using a razor-saw, patiently working thorough all the glue, doing as little damage as possible, then do all the internal repairs as described, until the front is ready to go back on. Re-install the front, using hide glue, then remove the back, do the final cleaning and repairs, and re-install it using hide glue. That way, you can keep everything more or less in place while doing the work, and still get it all done.

    If you are replacing a neck block, are we to assume that it is also installed with gorilla glue? That could really be tough... good luck.

  8. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Hot knife?

    I suggest contacting the maker of the glue. Probably anybody who makes glue has encountered the "removal" problem often enough to have specific instructions.
  9. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Yeah, their creepy website (the gorilla has wiggly fingers...) offers no help. According to their website, solvent resistant when cured, heat resistant when cured, and nearly impossible to disassemble a wood joint without damaging the surfaces.
  10. Beno


    Jan 11, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, I got some on my hands while gluing some stuff over the summer and if I look closely enough at my hands I can still see it. There was no amount of scrubbing and scraping that got it off.
  11. EggyToast


    Jan 21, 2006
    Perhaps you should plate the bass with aluminum?
  12. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    (that's Tom playing "Is you is, or is you ain't my baby" isn't it?)
  13. billybass


    Oct 14, 2003
    New Orleans
    Best glue ever. Made of 100% pure Gorilla.:crying:
  14. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    I must admit that I once used this stuff to repair a cheap "liquidation quality" rental stock violin with a broken neck to save time. The instrument broke again and had to be salvaged for parts.. There's no reverse! I hide the nearly full, aging bottle of the stuff when I have customers come in for repairs. :cool:

    I've used this stuff on a couple pieces of plastic that went into a saltwater aquarium. Pretty much anything exposed to saltwater over long periods of time will start breaking down, EXCEPT THIS JUNK. Those little bubbles of foam is exactly as I left it. The algae won't even grow on it..

    I've too had it on my hands, it will stain them and not come off for at least a month..

    It's scary stuff, I don't envy you to have to remove that top, good luck.
  15. bring it by..the kids will have the top off and a fort built out of it inside an hour ;)
  16. wingnut


    Apr 18, 2007
    Las Vegas Nv.
    A while back as some of you may remember, I used it to re-attach my pegbox as recommended by a local guy. Had to re-do everything. I took my dremmel out and basically cut through the glue and removed the pegbox, then I carefully ground off all the glue I could. It wasn't really difficult as it was painstakingly slow and a major PIA. I swear to the bass gods to never use the stuff again. There will be a "stain" where the glue was used that won't come off without removing the wood. According to the gorilla people, nothing removes it from two surfaces that are glued together. For my hands, I used a little toluene and then some "dawn" and a handful of salt. Don't ever use this stuff unless you never want to seperate two items!