When woodworking, you’ll need the tightest bond between two pieces of wood. It’s here you often reach for your trusted wood glue. Gorilla Glue is among the best you can use to penetrate and fill every glued gap you have in your wood when you want to secure one piece to another.
One small amount can cure and deliver great success in its bond once you clamp the stuff and squeeze out any excess. When you have a new bottle, all you need is a drop when gluing, yet once you pop the cap, you may notice the bonding stays the same, yet your glue gets thicker.
Sadly, Gorrila glue, like others, starts to dry even if you follow the correct storage tips. Then comes the day you grab the wood glue from the shelf. However, this time, it either doesn’t work properly from the bottle, or it’s thickened to a stringy mess and hard to use. (Learn What Glue Can You Use On Your Face)
Luckily, thickened wood glue can be saved, and most often, wood glues can be thinned by adding water up to 5% of the weight of the glue.
Yet, there can be a little more to that, as stored glue can work in funny ways. Water may not be the ideal solution. In our guide, you can learn how to thin Gorilla Wood glue using various methods.
By the end, you’ll see thinning Gorilla Glue isn’t too challenging, and doesn’t need to be too messy if you do it right. However, when you do it, do it in an outdoor environment and wear gloves as there are mixed results from one method.
Can Original Gorilla Glue Be Thinned Out?
No woodworker will want to compromise their glue joint strength; thus, clamping pressure and the bond must be tough, especially if using nails rather than screws.
By far, the most common type of wood glue is PVA glue. So if your wood glue is just vaguely titled “Wood Glue,” you’re almost certainly working with PVA glue.
PVA glues are water-soluble and can therefore be thinned with water, up to 5% weight.
Now, you could add water slowly, stop when your glue meets the desired consistency, and bet you won’t hit that 5% mark.
But if you’re worried about going over the 5% mark, here’s the process.
- Place a container on the kitchen scale and zero the scale.
- Add the amount of Gorilla Glue you wish to use and take the weight.
- Multiply your glue weight by 1.05, and this gives you the weight of the glue you can’t go above when adding water.
- Slowly add water until you reach this number, or your glue is the desired consistency below this number.
- Stir as you go so the water combines with your glue.
Polyurethane Wood Glue
If you’re working with something labeled “Polyurethane Glue, “you have a polyurethane glue.”
Gorilla Glue is the original polyurethane glue and is best to fasten one side of your wood to another and fill gaps in the process.
To be clear, the Gorilla Glue company also sells “Wood Glue” or “Ultimate Wood Glue,” which is a regular PVA wood glue.
However, if you’re using any of the original Gorilla Glues, you’re working with polyurethane glue.
In any case, you shouldn’t add water to a polyurethane glue because it isn’t water-soluble. The glue will be ruined by water, and you’ll end up with a sticky mess on your hands.
Submerging the bottle of glue in warm water to thin it out is recommended in Titebond’s official documentation.
Although Gorilla Glue makes no explicit recommendations, the warm water method is worth a shot.
Mineral spirits, paint thinner, or even alcohol can be used to thin polyurethane glue and can also be used to clean up afterward.
However, as you’ll see later, adding acetone might have positive or negative consequences. (Learn How To Remove Gorilla Glue From Leather)
Epoxy Wood Glue
Epoxy glue comes in two parts most often and wouldn’t need thinning.
Once you have mixed your two parts, the epoxy has a shelf life of minutes up to an hour, depending on the formulation.
During this time, you must ensure your wood pieces are in position and apply the correct clamping pressure.
After the epoxy begins to harden, there is no changing anything.
Since you can use acetone to clean up drops of epoxy, you could potentially use acetone to thin the mixture. However, manufacturers make no official statement on this, and you would most likely weaken any bond between two surfaces.
Like other glues, wear gloves when mixing epoxy; it has a tough bond and could be hard to remove from your fingers once it starts to dry.
Can You Liquify Gorilla Glue?
If you find the glue in the bottle is getting harder to use, you may want to know how to get it usable.
Some glues use acetone to thin them, so is now an excellent time to use acetone? Gorilla glue can work in various ways.
One user claims to add 50% acetone and a drop or 2 of water to obtain great success to create a great bond, even when you paint thin layers of glue.
However, you may need to experiment as another user claims to have added 25ml of acetone solvent to a 2oz bottle of gorilla glue. It appeared to work on the wood surfaces, yet after 10 minutes, the whole bottle began spewing foam.
There is a dramatic sign of a chemical reaction when trying to thin thickened wood glue.
Tap the Bottle
This method is risk-free to try, and it’s easier than adding water, so give it a shot before trying something more time-consuming.
Take the bottle of glue and tap it against your workbench several times.
Check to see if the wood glue has thinned after about 10 taps. If it has, you are good to go; if not, you can move on to one of the other methods.
Why Wood Glue Thickened?
Besides thinning your glue, it’s good to know why it thickened.
Most often, it is because you didn’t put the lid on; however, you can find lids on glues still let air in.
Other reasons are:
- Freezing Temperatures
- Extreme Heat
- Expired shelf life (Typically 2 years when stored properly)
- Air Exposure
- Contamination from other products
Can You Soften Gorilla Glue In The Microwave?
If you have a project where you’ll be laminating, you need thin layers of glue, and if it is thick and hard, it could leave the wood in your project sitting unevenly.
Gorilla Glue recommends applying glue to both pieces, then waiting for 5 minutes before you start clamping.
However, you will need to finish clamping before it expands at the 30-minute marker. It is tough to work quickly enough not to make a mess without wasting a whole bottle of the stuff while trying to clamp when it is thick and doesn’t spread.
Below are a couple of options for how to soften dried Gorilla glue.
It all starts when you can’t get glue out of the top or even remove the top.
The small opening at the top was entirely blocked by hard glue.
The inside may not seem fully hardened, so you can take a sharp pin and poke a hole in the bottle’s side while squeezing.
It will be one-shot use but can be enough to get a bit out of a bottle you would otherwise throw in the trash. (Learn How Long Does It Take For Loctite To Dry)
Another option for softening hard Gorilla Glue is to pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.
Many report this works enough to get a bit out of the bottle for their job.
Note: Don’t microwave for too long as your bottle may be sealed, and the bottle could explode.
Note: Using the microwave method could have the opposite effect. Like the cap not being on, there is a lack of moisture; thus, heating it could dry up any moisture content even more.
How Do You Soften Gorilla Glue In A Bottle?
1: Break the seal
Break apart the coating with a screwdriver if the glue surface has set into a thin seal. This should allow you to squeeze the trapped adhesive so you can finish your projects.
2: Heat With water
- Turn on the hot water tap until it reaches an uncomfortably high temperature.
- Fill a broad container halfway with freshly heated water and submerge the full Gorilla Glue bottle.
- The water level should be high enough to reach the level of the glue that needs to be softened.
- If you don’t have access to a hot water tap, heat a kettle of water on the stovetop.
- Bring the water to a boil, but do not immerse the bottle entirely in it. Allow at least 45 seconds for the water to cool before inserting the glue bottle.
- Allow the bottle to settle for a while. If it doesn’t soften after the initial heating, be patient and give it a few more tries until it gets wet inside the bottle.