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Using Hot Melt Adhesive For You


I have grown 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. I have seen inexpensive cabinets literally fall apart because they were assembled with hot melt.

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.

Different hot melt glues have different setting times, and this will determine its proper uses.

It is great when used as a secondary adhesive, to hold items together for screwing or primary gluing (see the Famous Glue Trick).

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, as I'm sure you know, carpet seams are about as permanent as anything in this life!

Most hot glue comes in the form of cylindrical sticks. Of these, half-inch or 7/16th-inch diameters are most common.

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... a few more seconds for thicker applications.