And the winner is....Gorilla Glue!

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

ramaroodle

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
548
Location
Seattle
I just completed a 30 pen order for a company with both engraving on some and decals on others so I needed a reliable assembly line kind of process. On the first several I used epoxy and GG. (I gave up using CA on blanks a few years ago) The only ones that blew up were the ones with epoxy. I did the rest with GG making sure to wet the inside of the blank. Mostly wood but some acrylics. Not one single blow-up! Naturally, with this hobby there are as many different ways to get the same end result as there are people doing it so YMMV but as of now I am officially a GGG (Gorilla Glue Guy). I stick them in the toaster oven at about 120 degrees and can turn them within 4 hours of gluing them. I plug the tubes with plumbers putty. While they are in the oven I guess the heat causes the air trapped in the tube to expand which pushes the plugs partially out of the tubes and keeps the glue from setting on the inner rim of the tubes.

I have also decided to stop using MM and really can't feel a difference in the finish. I use my normal method to make the blank and sand to 400. I don't really see a need to sand to 600 as the CA (GluBoost) is self-leveling. I use GluBoost and apply a few coats of "Blue" fill and finish then use .0000 steel wool or 600 sandpaper and blow the dust off with compressed air. When applying the GB I have the lathe off and wipe in straight strokes across the blank making sure to not turn the blank while I am wiping which gives a much smoother finish. I only make one or 2 swipes across each section because ridges form as the glue dries, with GB accelerator after each coat. Then the same technique with 2-3 coats of "Orange". Not one pen with any frosting or bubbling in the finish. I wait a few minutes for it to cure then depending on how it feels I use 600 or steel wool again then, again depending on how it feels I'll use EEE or go straight to Plastix polish. Quicker, dryer, less mess and same results IMO when I compare them to blanks that I made using MM. YMMV, but I just filled a 30 pen custom order with decals and engraving and was able to turn and finish a blank with a decal in less than 15 mins. (plus engraving time for the engraved blanks).
 
Last edited:
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Jay

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
58
Location
Atascadero, CA
“I plug the tubes with plumbers putty.” I have a small tub of plumbers putty that I will never use again for actual plumbing purposes. It now has a use. I hope it hasn’t hardened yet. Thank you for that tip.
Jay
 

ramaroodle

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
548
Location
Seattle
Not saying a GG blank won't blow up but of the first 5 I did 3 were epoxy and 2 of them blew up.
 

Bryguy

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
591
Location
New Hampshire
I stopped using anything but GG for tubes about a year into my pen turning career. I love the stuff. I usually leave tubed pieces for 24 hours after gluing. The key to GGs effectiveness is that it expands to fill any irregularities. So if you coat your tube thoroughly there are no spaces between the blank and the tube. I sand my tubes with 100 grit to roughen them and put them in water (needed for activation of the GG0 before gluing. Never a failure!
 

henry1164

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
101
Location
Webster, NY
You have my undivided attention. Regarding the GG type/style, are you talking about the 2-part/5 minute epoxy, a super glue type or something else? Thanks.
 

ramaroodle

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
548
Location
Seattle
Not sure I understand your question but...

Gorilla Glue is a brand of polyurethane adhesives. They are water activated, hence why you wet the inside of the blank before inserting the tube. As the glue dries/cures you will see a white foam start to creep out of the space between the tube and the blank which lets you know it's curing. The benefit is that it expands as it cures which ensures contact and a bond between the tube and blank along the entire surface. I still roughen the tube with sandpaper. When the blank is spinning and you apply the tool you are basically shearing the wood from the tube, hence more failures. My thinking is that epoxy and CA have poorer shear strength than GG, but that's just my unscientific opinion/theory.
 
Last edited:

PoppyTee

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
73
Location
Alabama
@ramaroodle Are you talking regular GG? I can't do the fumes of CA so I'm trying to find alternatives. I picked up a small order of Eddie Stone's pastes and have totally eliminated CA from my finishing for now.
 

ramaroodle

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
548
Location
Seattle
Yes. Regular GG.
Capture.PNG
 

MyDadsPens

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Corning, New York
GG original is the only thing I use for tubes inside the blanks - I love the foam, it tells me it worked. I love the open time (no rush to work, never a tube half inserted before cure) for me it's the least messy because the open time is so long it wipes off easily. I never plug tubes because the pen mill easily cleans inside the tube AND it lasts forever, I have successfully used GG over 6 years old (it was very dark and very thick - but still ripped apart wood fibers before failing at the joint) Don't let it freeze though - bring it inside over the winter months
 

SteveG

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
2,840
Location
Eugene, Oregon 97404
One comment relating to the idea that GG will expand. That does happen, but it definitely has limits. As all can see, the push out expansion you can see is very much bubbles and air, and can easily be scraped away. So if someone should wrongly count on GG to save a flawed drilling job where there are significant gaps to fill, this could likely fail. The idea is, yes, count on a small amount of expansion with this glue. But avoid thinking that bubbles and air type of expansion down inside the blank being glued are a good thing, and will save the day! 🤔
 
Top Bottom