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Is there away to take apart a wood cabinet that has been glued together with Gorilla Glue without destroying the wood?

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Gorilla Glue is a polyurethane-based adhesive. As such, you might be able to use a solvent that dissolves polyurethane to try to break down the adhesive and remove the glue. Likely you will have to let it sit and constantly reapply the solvent to get the polyurethane to break down.

We just had a Question about storing solvents that you will find helpful in determining what might dissolve your Gorilla Glue. Some solvents that may work are:

  • ethyl alcohol (the kind you can drink)
  • methyl alcohol (only drink it if you want to go blind)
  • lacquer thinner

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  • Shoulda thought of that. Good thought!
    – keshlam
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 0:50
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Dissolving gorilla glue is not easy. Paint stripper methylene chloride is the only chemical that will do it. You need to take a clean sharp paint scraper and wedge it slightly in the joint. Place a little MC in the space and work at it slowly. GLOVES. MC resistant gloves. Playtex melts. Tap squirt massage pat squirt. Go slowly. then a coating of MC and wash with laundry soap and hot water with SS brush.

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Good Luck.

Traditionally, woodworkers used hide glue, which could be softened with heat and moisture. Some modern glues, though less cooperative, can be persuaded to do likewise.

My admittedly minimal understanding is that Gorilla may not be one of these.

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caustic (ie, vs solvent-based) finish stripper may work, if you can get it to penetrate into the joints. Gorilla glue crosslinks as it cures, meaning that what was once many molecules is now one giant one... it can't be dissolved, it has to be broken. Caustic stuff like drano, oven cleaner, or caustic stripper should work, but getting it to penetrate will be tough/impossible without damaging the wood... good luck!

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I needed to reset a joint made of cedar that I had fastened with Gorilla glue.

Other sites suggested acetone or nail polish remover. I used acetone-free nail polish remover.(Contains ethyl acetate) I added a few drops to the joint, waited a few seconds, then gently worked a utility knife into the joint.

I then repeated the process, applying the liquid to different seams along the joint, until the cedar pieces eventually worked free.

The process is a bit slow, but steady.

image of nail polish remover containing ethyl acetate, and an Olfa utility knife

A utility knife is gently inserted between two pieces of glued cedar wood. The nail polish remover is slightly visible, soaking into the wood around the joint seam.

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  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange. Can I just clarify, this was glued with the original Gorilla Glue, the foaming polyurethane type? Since the query was first posted Gorilla has gone on to market a full range of glues so "Gorilla glue" is no longer synonymous with only one thing as it was in 2015. Plus, the residue doesn't look like cured polyurethane, although I've never seen it softened by solvent so this may just be what it looks like after that has happened :-)
    – Graphus
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 16:59

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