Gorilla Glue

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studioseven

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May 6, 2014
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I have been following tube glue-up posts for awhile now, specifically on preferred types of glue to use. I had tried gorilla glue a few years ago but it was a disaster for me. When the glue foamed up, it pushed the tubes out of the blank. For those of you who like to use gorilla glue, how do you deal with this?

Seven
 
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monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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That can be a problem. I've used clamps, and I've seen suggestions to wrap a rubber band around the blank longitudinally to prevent the tube from coming out.

Using epoxy avoids the problem of the foam pushing the tube out.

But it comes down to a choice of the hassle of mixing epoxy, or dealing with foam and keeping the tube in the blank with polyurethane. And both glues are messy and seem to inevitably get on your hands. So you either have to wear rubber gloves or be prepared to lean up with acetone, but that's just one more step. So it's a 'choose your poison' situation.

Gluing is complicated, and regardless of what the advertising says, the various glues have different characteristics that make them more or less suitable for different applications. In my work, PVA glues (eg, Titebond) are the most generic, but are actually only ideal when gluing long grain wood to long grain wood. Polyurethane is my choice when gluing end grain, when gluing metal or glass to wood, or when the final item needs to have greater water resistance. Epoxy is useful in similar applications where I don't want to have to clean up foam. CA is ok for filling small surface flaws in a turning, but it's brittle when used to bond two items so it's reserved for decorative situations, but rapid curing is required. I also keep some E6000 for gluing things like fabric, velcro and sandpaper.
 

philipff

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Jun 21, 2009
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Williamsburg, VA
Well, here we go again. The method of applying the clue is important. I think you need to try the following; put a tube on a flat surface with 150 grit and make sure you scratch the entire surface of the tube, then stick one end in the blank. (Put the blank in water to accelerate the curing process.) Put a bead of gg on the top of the tube and slide the tube in and out, round and round. Then reverse the tube and do the same thing again at the other end. You should see an even distribution of glue on all surface areas. Push the tube into place with about 1//8in to spare(at least). Lay the tube on a LEVEL surface and wait until the glue is dry.
 

penicillin

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Feb 27, 2019
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I glue nearly all of my pen tubes with polyurethane (original Gorilla Glue) and never had the "tube ejection" problem. I see others report it, and wonder what I do differently. It must be over 100 pens with different diameter tubes, and most of the pens were two-tube designs.

When I sand the tubes, I sand by rotating the tube and the sandpaper to make concentric circles. I do not sand the long way. (I always felt that the circles would provide more resistance and strength to prevent the tube from coming loose during assembly. Perhaps it also prevents the tube from pushing out (??).

As soon as I am done applying the glue, I set the blank on a flat surface (wax paper or a Rockler silicone mat) where the tube is horizontal. The glue foams out, but the tube stays put. Perhaps that is the trick (??).

See my post #12 in this thread, where I describe my polyurethane pen tube gluing process to a near-painful level of detail. I hope it helps:
https://www.penturners.org/threads/poly-glue-what-went-wrong.167954/#post-2101600
 
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I use System Three Epoxy (T88). Never had any issues and I've never had a blank and tube break loose. Sometimes I get orders for multiple amounts of pens and if the tubes aren't pre-scratched I mount several tubes on my lathe and give it a quick spin and hit it with 200 grit sand paper.
 

1080Wayne

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Brownfield, Alberta, Canada.
The only time I had that happen many years ago , I had a lot of glue at one end and little at the other . My process since then is
1) Scuff half the tube circumferentially turning the tube towards me , the other half turning the tube away from me , objective being no bias
2) Dunk blank in water
3) Apply glue in each end about quarter inch deep using a small flat screwdriver or rod to spread it
4) Apply thin coating of glue to entire tube surface , spreading as evenly as possible
5) Push tube straight in , no rotation , at least 1/16 inch in from blank end
6) Remove any gobs from exit end
7) Lay flat
8) If I see glue threatening to close off a tube end over the next half hour , I remove it

Some like to seal tube ends with wax or other material to prevent glue entrance and reduce clean up time . However it also provides a larger surface for excess glue at one end to push against .
 

leehljp

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To make it simple: after gluing them in, I put masking tape over the ends and wrap the tape to the blank.

that makes it a tad messy at first but I use a sanding mill to square up the ends and bring the wood flush to the tubes and any other gets turned off.

Most of the time poly doesn't push the tube out but once in a while it can. This says that there is not a lot of force behind it, so masking tape will do a good job.
 

henry1164

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Jan 3, 2020
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Webster, NY
I have been following tube glue-up posts for awhile now, specifically on preferred types of glue to use. I had tried gorilla glue a few years ago but it was a disaster for me. When the glue foamed up, it pushed the tubes out of the blank. For those of you who like to use gorilla glue, how do you deal with this?

Seven
I use Gorilla glue CLEAR for tube glue ups. No water needed. No foaming. Looks just like medium CA or epoxy in application. I'm happy with it. However, if I were to change I would not go back to medium CA. I would try 2-part epoxy. Good luck.
 

penicillin

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Feb 27, 2019
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Clear Gorilla Glue is a good, strong glue, well suited for pen tubes. Clear Gorilla Glue is silane based and does not foam. The only issue with Clear Gorilla Glue is that you must store it in the light, or it will yellow and deteriorate.

Original Gorilla Glue and White Gorilla Glue are polyurethane, which foams. The reasons I use Original Gorilla Glue instead of Clear Gorilla Glue are (1) the foaming action can hide flaws if the drilling wasn't perfect, (2) Original Gorilla Glue is less expensive, and (3) it does not have special storage requirements.
 

sorcerertd

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Sep 30, 2019
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North Carolina, USA
I've never used anything but original Gorilla Glue for the tubes and haven't had one slide out yet. Maybe I've just been lucky so far? I haven't been doing this so many years as some of you, so it's probably bound to happen some time. Can't say I have anything to compare it with, but if I did try something else, it would be epoxy. What have you been using and has it worked reliably for you?

I keep a small spray bottle around with water in it, so I squirt some in the blank and shake out the excess before glue-up. Also, the water does expand most woods a little and the tube is a tighter fit while it starts to cure, sometimes tighter than I would like. I rough up the tube pretty good, too. As harsh as it sounds, I typically use a coarse metal file. A couple quick swipes don't seem to weaken the tube any. At least, I've never had problems with them. Have used 80 grit, too. Again just a few good scratches. I would agree that you have to spread the glue evenly, which can be tricky without making a huge mess, but, to my thinking, the foaming will fill any gaps and grab the wood better by getting in the pores, as long as you have most of it coated.

As to what Penicillin said, are they laying on a level surface? I usually do several glue-ups at once and leave them on a piece of waxed paper on the work bench overnight. A couple times, when the tube seemed very loose in the blank, I tried the rubber band trick wrapped around the length to cover the ends, but the tube never slid out to touch it while drying, so I stopped worrying about it.
 

Warren White

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Aug 27, 2014
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Livermore, CA
I would like to offer my experience with Gorilla Glue here. I used to use the white GG, which does foam as it cures. That bothered me, and I did have some creep, although with blue tape around the ends of the blank, with rubber bands to make sure it stayed in place, I never had one move too far.
I changed to Clear Gorilla Glue, which doesn't foam and holds as well as the white variety, at least in my experience. Cleans up much easier once the blanks have set. I plug the ends with plumbers putty before they are inserted. I only put the slightest amount of water in the blank, using a question tip. I have put too much water in some woods only to have them swell so much I couldn't get the tube in, so I am VERY judicious with the water (unless it is a acrylic blank and then I am not at all concerned.
My method is the same for inserting: put some glue on the tube, (which I round sand on the lathe with perhaps 120 grit), put it in the non-mating end of a two blank pair, in and out, turning as you go. Go to the other end of the blank, add some glue to the other end of the tube, in and out, turning as you insert. I take an old tube and push the tube so about a 16th is left. Then put the tape and rubber bands and store them 24 hours (or so) on a flat surface.
 

ramaroodle

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Feb 15, 2018
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Seattle
Use GG almost exclusively and never had that problem. Wondering if it has to do with being on a level surface. Trying to imagine the physics of the glue moving the tube laterally within the blank.
 
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