How to use a hot glue gun

So.. You just bought a hot glue gun, and you think it is just a piece of cake using it?

Well, it is actually an artform :)

Seriously; Step one, before you start ruining your hard to get robot-parts, is to take your hot-glue gun, some sticks and a cutter, and then practice what I call "Mounting i free air":

Hold something where you want it.. And then you just cut wood, and glue it on below as support, until .. let's say the motor you wanted to be placed there, in free air - has something to be supported on / glued on to. And then you glue it on :)

You can be really creative with a glue gun and sticks, anything can be placed anywhere in 3D!

What I spend most time on, is holding the parts up in free air.. Sometimes even take pictures of it, and evaluate. When I know where I want something, I just "mount it in free air" :)

It takes a while for the glue to cool down, but this is your friend.

Anything can be glued, apart from alloy!

Practice these 7 technics as the first thing (do not skip this part, you will regret it):

  1. Dropping a drop of glue down where you cannot reach, between 2 sticks. Practice dropping it at the side, so it runs down in place.
  2. After adding glue, and it is not by dropping, always press out the amount you want.. and then by a fast pull / jerk with your arm (make sure no kids in the background) - you pull the gun away. The faster, the thinner the inevitable string of glue from what you where gluing to the gun. Leave the string there till the glue is cooled down, do not start "pulling it", it never stops, and you make a mess.
  3. Water on your finger prevents glue from sticking, and if it is not too hot, also prevents you from burning your finger. You want to try this; Mount something in an angle. Drop some glue down, let it run down the side, and end up in the angle / corner. Dip your finger in water, and when the glue is cooled enough off, round the corner / shape the glue.
  4. Get the feeling of this: Fresh, warm glue sticks, is fluid enough to run into little holes. Shortly after this, it makes a crap gluing if you press it down holes, it will look as if it is gluing parts together, but after some time they fall apart. Only really hot glue works.
  5. Wait way longer than you think; The stuff is VERY warm when it comes out, and the bigger your "drop" is, the longer it takes for it to really harden. So make sure you do hold on to what you are gluing, till the glue is so cold that you do not see a slow collapse that you will have to save. Sometimes you will have to wait 3-5 minutes, just holdin, while it cools down.
  6. Many plastics melt almost at the same heat as the melted glue can come out with. Be aware that if you add a large drop of glue on a piece of plastic, there is a great chance for it to deform! A case to hold a motor with gears inside is not a nice thing to deform, even the smallest bit will ruin it.
  7. Mount with VERY fresh / hot glue (Straight from the pistol), but do it in several rounds if you need large drops. A tiny small, long strip along the edges of to parts will dry fast, and hold things in place. Then - when it is cooled down - add a similar tiny stri and so forth. Tis is also the way ahead if you are afraid of melting plastic, and it makes it much easier to mount difficult parts, as the first little drop is all you need to hold it in place.. And then you can completely encapsulate the parts by adding multiple layers.

More on the issue here

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I take it this is theplastic

I take it this is theplastic melting gun?

Well, I dumped it and gone back to having a candle and melting the plastic stick itself.

Much more fun + much more accurate :slight_smile:

Reheat Tip
Don’t forget if it cools in the wrong place, you can just remelt it. I use my heatshrink gun to re-melt the stuff.

My god, robot builders carry lots of guns!
There is such a thing as a heatshrink gun too? I’ve seen Frits use his lighter for heatshrink tubing and that worked really well and was super quick. Of course he does run the risk of burning his shed to the ground one day :-).

This is a very good

This is a very good point!

Also, if something should fall off in the heat of a battle - when you are outside, just have lighter ready, quickly heat the supposed-to-glue surface, and stick it right back on!

Heatshrink gun… on shrinking-plastic… I was into that, but tried a lighter once, and realized I had been spending time & electricity on something that only should take 1/2 second. Have you tried a lighter? Fast flame, just on the schrink-parts, done & well done.

No no no. Electric heatshrink guns are a waste of time. Mine is kind of a mini blowtorch. Guess what? It’s powered from a cigarette lighter! …and it works in the wind…


glue is to you what duct
glue is to you what duct tape is to mcgyver :stuck_out_tongue:

McGuyver and “Duck” Tape

Anoye a startgate SG-1 fan?

Duck tape. Their website is brilliant.



is there anyway to getthe parts off again, after you glued them on?

Just wondering.





More heat.

Hot tip

Just been reminded that the simplest tips are the best.

One of the finest uses for hot-melt glue is in making strain relief on your circuit boards. If you have a bunch of wires soldered onto your PCB, you can put a gob of this stuff on the board and bed the wires down into it, so they don’t break off the board.

As we know there are different types of hot melt glue and different guns working at different temperatures. It would appear that some don’t stick too well to PCB. The trick here is to drill a small holle through your PCB (well, bigger than the 1mm holes which are already all over it). Something like 3 or 4mm. Squirt the hot glue through the hole and then make your “gob”. This will act like a little rivet and hold your wires in place.

Any recommendations for

Any recommendations for makes/models of glue gun? I had one a few years ago that was sooo awful that I threw it away. Now, I feel the need for a new one.


they are extremely cheap,
they are extremely cheap, I buy them like I buy a coke or something :slight_smile:

I got a cheap one at K-Mart.
I got a cheap one at K-Mart. Brand doesn’t really matter a whole lot. All they need to do is heat up and cool off. I assume a more expensive one may heat up quicker, but if you need a glue gun hot in seconds you may be using the wrong tool.

Harbor Freight FTW 2 bucks for a glue gun or Michaels craft shop for a 1 buck mini glue gun. I find those work easier on most small projects since the glue is in small dabs. Both of these shops are in the US all over.


Hoff’s gonna be in a blast :stuck_out_tongue:

When i was at school, we did

When i was at school, we did an “injection moulding” project. we made moulds (i dont remember what out of actually) and then used glue guns, to inject molten plastic. the plastic most definatly wasnt glue, but it was designed to run through a glue gun. have occasionally considered getting hold of a glue gun and trying to find some of this stuff, and making some “custom” parts.

I’m more of an araldite guy myself

Thanks for the tips!

I’ve never used a hot glue gun but when i do,  i will remember these tips!