Glue for cleats.

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Glue for cleats.

Post by Atlantatubby »

I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on the use of a product like Gorilla Glue for cleats and butt joints. There are some days that I will only get to work on my tubby tug for 15 minutes. It takes up a lot of that time just to mix epoxy. If I had a tube of glue it sure would make things easier. I even thought of doing some test with products like liquid nails. This is a boat I would like to last for many decades, so if my only option is epoxy, then it will be epoxy.

Any experiences or thoughts would be greatly appreciated

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Graham Knight
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Post by Graham Knight »

I've used Balcotan (similar to Gorilla glue but foams less) for all my decking, it's certainly convenient being able to use it straight from the bottle and of course there's no expensive waste as with Epoxy.
As for strength, my feeling is that it's possibly not as strong as Epoxy, but quite adequate for this particular purpose, I'm also using it for attaching some trim pieces.
But I think I might draw the line at highly stressed parts, where I'm sure the Epoxy is superior and worth the small amount of extra time. Cleats are likely to be very highly stressed and I would use Epoxy, but it's worth doing some tests if you have the time, make up some samples from scrap and subject them to the same kind of stresses that they will experience in real life.
I would be interested to hear the results.
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Post by JimM »

Butt joints can be strengthened with splines or mortise/tenon joints.

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Dave Grason
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Re: Glue for cleats.

Post by Dave Grason »

Atlantatubby wrote: I even thought of doing some test with products like liquid nails.
Years ago, I worked as a trim carpenter and I also did a lot of hardwood floors. I've a LOT of experience with "Liquid Nails." Liquid Nails is simply a brand name for standard construction adhesive. It has a consistency of heavy pudding and the color of caramel. (approximately) It comes in a tube like caulk and you use a caulking gun to apply it. It is rather difficult to apply because when it first comes out of the tube, it doesn't really want to stick to whatever you want it to, but will stick to EVERYTHING else. But be patient and give it about 24 hours to cure and whatever you've glued together, only God can take apart!

One of the most common uses for this stuff is glueing down subfloor onto joists so that there are no squeaks. If folks in hurricane areas use this stuff to glue the plywood on the roof to the rafters, the frame of the house will have to come apart before the structure will fail.

A friend of mine builds semi trailers for some of the race teams in NASCAR, CART and some of the motorcycle series. His trailers are built using 2x2 steel tubing with plywood glued to the steel. He's using standard constuction adhesive as his glue of choice. He has NEVER EVER had a glue joint fail.

Sometime in 1987, I had a tube of it split and spill some of the glue into the bottom of my toolbox. I couldn't get it removed and over a decade later, that glue hadn't budged. By this time, the tool box was getting old and rusty anyway. I gave it to a friend. He left it outside at his farm and 4 years later, the box was completely rusted but the glue was still totally unchanged.

Personally, I've never known anyone to use this in a marine environment, but I would have no compuction in using it in water, salty or fresh. The stuff is nothing short of phenominal. But the big downside is that there is a long cure time and whatever you want to put together, must be clamped tight and held that way for the entire cure. I doubt that I'd use it in my boat because it's not pretty, can't be dressed in, cleaning the squeeze out would be a royal PITA and I wouldn't know about compatibility with other marine products. But the glue itself really ROCKS!!
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Post by RobbieD »

I have used gorilla glue on my hydroplane and it holds like a gorilla. A little less foaming would be nice but it does the job just fine. Water doesn't effect it at all. I put some glue on a peice of wood, let it cure, and then left it in my pool for a week and it was still solid.
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RE: Glue for Cleats

Post by clearlakepelican »

Buy a set of the Glen-L Epoxy pumps. The pumps screw into the tins and can stay in. With a 2 cent plastic plate you can mix as small has 1/4th pump in about 10 seconds. 1 table spoon or two. There isn't a problem with shelf-life with the epoxy-- so no fuss, no muss-- perfect mix every time. My pumps (West System as Glen L didn't sell them then) have gone through 4 gallons of epoxy over the last 4 years. Great $10 investment and great for small "over lunch" or "before dinner" clamp up jobs..

(They should actually include them with the 1st Epoxy order-- once you have access to epoxy on demand you would be amazed how many things you need to glue.

Gary Baker

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