How to Use Hot Glue

Tips on Applying Hot Glue

hot glueCredit: Wikipedia

Hot glue can be favorable when you have a big job to do. These are sold in sheets, powders, flakes, and strips and should be heated before it is ready for use. Typically made of animal wastes—bones, skin, and muscles—it should first be liquefied by double-boiler method, placing the glue container into a pot of boiling water. Special electric gluepots having thermostat controls are great for this purpose. For the home workshop, a one-pint pot is enough. The glue must be stirred when it is heated, and should be kept hot while binding is occurring. Working with hot glue demands even more precision than working with cold glue. You must work in an area with a temperature of 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit for great results. Then assemble roughly the right amount of glue for your project, giving a bit of excess. Put the dry glue in the pot with adequate water to cover and fix the thermostat at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir using a clean paddle as the glue melts till it attains the consistency of ordinary paint.

Virtually any kind of brush can be utilized for spreading glue —of either bristle, wire, or shredded rattan. It is good to keep a small wooden paddle inside the gluepot for stirring, and for wiping the brush on, rather than using the edge of the pot. The paddle could be used for spreading the glue, especially for working into holes and crevices. Work speedily, because if the glue cools before the work is ended, it would not hold. Later on, draw the joints tight with clamps. Test the corners using a try square and adjust the clamps until the corners are true. As hot glue hardens when it cools, each joint should be clamped rapidly and squarely within seconds. Leave twenty-four hours for drying.

Wherever possible, gluing work must be divided into small units. This would help in getting clamps on rapidly and in making joints true. It is really difficult to glue the four sides and legs of a small table in place in one procedure and have all sides true and the joints drawn in place prior to the cooling of the glue.

Popular practice is dividing the work into three procedures. Glue one end or side, two legs, and the intervening rail and stretcher. Then glue the reverse end or side in the same manner. When the glue is hard, take out the clamps, spread glue on the joints, put in the rails, and stretchers, and then join the two ends, tightly clamped and true. Long-edged joints give special problems, especially if the edges are to be matched for figure and grain.

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