Hot Melt Adhesive Tips for Using
Recently, different industries are fond of hot melt adhesive. Fast setting is its most noble attribute. However, it is not an especially strong adhesive and is intended to be applied somewhat thickly. This makes it generally unsuitable for quality finish woodworking.
But this is not to take away from its versatility and usability. It is employed extensively in craft making, artificial flower arranging, in manufacturing to seal cardboard boxes and in some product assembly. Hot melt glues are available in high and low temperature formulations.
It is great when used as a secondary adhesive to hold items together for screwing or primary gluing.
There are many types of hot melt adhesives manufactured for professional and industrial use that far exceed the strength and durability of the typical hardware/craft store products. The seaming tape that carpet installers use is glued with a special hot melt adhesive and carpet seams are about as permanent as anything in this life.
Hot glue guns are simple to use. Plug the gun in, allow it time to heat up, and then squeeze the trigger to apply the adhesive. Melted glue very hot and will burn the skin instantly, so be careful! Press the parts to be glued together and hold till set. Literally, seconds for thin applications, and a few more seconds for thicker applications.
Sometimes the glue stick will not feed properly and may need a push. Feeding too much glue at once will cause the gun's mechanism to slip against the stick till more of the glue stick melts. Also, once a stick is almost used up, the gun may need a second stick to push the first through.
Some hot melt adhesives dry almost instantly and are best for situations where repositioning of the parts is unlikely and speed is important, such as in many craft projects. On the other hand, slower hardening adhesives are better when it may take a little time to position the parts, such as when installing cleats for drywall repairs.
Most importantly, hot melt adhesive is designed to be applied thickly and seems to stick best when it is not squeezed too thin. That means it can't be used where the tolerances are tight, such as in fine woodworking. No problem, because there are stronger, better glues designed for woodworking, such as polyurethane glue or good old wood glue, that allow the repositioning time needed to apply clamps.
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