The Benefits of Glue Guns and Sticks

The Benefits of Glue Guns and Sticks


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Choosing the Right Gun

Most glue guns are powered by electricity, but you can find some models that run on batteries as well. Consider picking up one of each so that you will have a functional gun if you don’t have access to power. The gun should be made from decent material that produces a steady and efficient stream of hot glue as needed. Cheap, plastic guns with poor heating elements and components can make jobs more difficult to complete and reduce the quality of the finished product. They are also more prone to breaking, clogging, wasting glue or using too much power.


Choosing the Right Glue

There are lots of different glue sticks out there, and not all of them are created equally. Some are ideal for woodworking projects whereas others have strong adhesive properties. Make sure that you get quality sticks that will be useful for your needs and purposes. This may sound like common sense, but it’s very easy to end up with poor quality glue or the wrong type of glue for the job at hand.

Stock up on a good supply as well. You want to make sure that you have a variety of sticks that can be used for different repair jobs. They take minimal space, don’t cost a lot of money, and they can be useful for a lot of different reasons that you will discover over the course of time. They are also far superior to making your own from pine pitch. So, it makes more sense to have some on hand so you don’t have to resort to improvising in the field.

You also don’t need a glue gun to melt the sticks. You can cut off some of the glue, place it on a spoon, hold a flame under the spoon and wait for the glue to melt. You can then apply the glue by smearing it with your finger, cloth, stick or even your survival knife. Just remember that the glue will be hot, so you want to either protect your skin or wait until it cools just enough to prevent burning but still remaining pliable.

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Making Glue

Pine pitch is your best bet when looking for a decent adhesive in the field. However, it serves as a better sealant than adhesive. Don’t count on it for fixing broken furniture or other items that will support a lot of weight. You also want to keep the charcoal to sap ratio at about 1:4 instead of making it thicker. This will make it more easy to spread while being able to get deeper into little nooks and crannies.


You want to find your nearest pine tree, collect as many balls of clean sap or resin as possible and melt it down. Add one part charcoal for every three parts of resin. Continue to melt it down until it has the consistency of syrup. Pick out as many impurities as possible and pour it through a metal strainer if you have one available. Take a stick and dunk the end into the hot liquid, remove and allow to cool for a few seconds. Repeat the process until you start creating and growing a blob on the end of the stick. Stop dunking and twisting as soon as the blob is large enough to form into a stick of glue.


Allow to cool and solidify a bit before handling with your bare hands. You want to be able to thicken enough to retain its shape without burning your skin at the same time. This may take some trial and error and a bit of practice, but you’ll get it down after a few tries.


All you need to do now is allow the formed glue to cool. Make sure you store it in a cool and dry place away from direct heat or sunlight. Simply melt the end of the stick or light it with a match or lighter when you want to use it. Apply the melted resin just as you would with the glue stick as explained before.


Get a good glue gun and lots of glue sticks if you don’t have them already. You will be amazed at how hot glue can make so many repair jobs and projects faster, easier and more permanent.

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