My heat gun is supposed to put out 630º F on low and 1000º F on high, but most of this is wasted as it blows past the object I am trying to heat. With the reflector in place, I can shrink the heat tubing faster on the low setting then I could without it on the high setting, and I am saving energy!
I have seen these things sell anywhere from $5.00 to $50.00 depending on the quality and the store, but it is really just a piece of metal bent to fit the nozzle of a heat gun and can be easily made.
My design can be fit for any gun nozzle, and has an adjustable depth to accommodate various sized objects under the reflector.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Piece of Sheet Metal - I used some scrap aluminum (12" x 1.5")
2 x Small Bolt, nut, & washer - I used 1 x 3/8" #6-40 Machine Screw and 1 x 1/2" #4-40 Machine Screw
Heat Gun - Why would you do this if don't have one?
Drill with various sized drill bits
Needle Nose Pliers
Measuring Tape or Ruler
Metal Cutter - Tin Snips, Dremel Tool, Strong Scissors, etc.
Step 2: Metal Measurements
The Reflector Collar
- Measure the Heat Gun Nozzle Diameter - Mine is 1.5" wide.
- Calculate the circumference - Pi * D = 3.14 * 1.5" = 4.71"
- Add Space for collar bolt - I only need ¼" on each side, so 4.71 + 2 * ¼ = 5.21"
- Round down for a clamping gap - Metal piece needs to be 5 1/8" long.
- Measure and cut the piece of metal.
- Draw a tab coming out of the middle of the metal piece (see the image).
- Mark holes for the bolts - one on either end and one in the tab
- Take the remaining metal strip and carefully curve one side down - The amount of curve depends on the gun size.
- Measure the distance from the nozzle tip to the gun casing
- Cut the metal piece back from the curve by the measured distance.
- Mark a long tab on the non-bent portion to match the collar tab.
- Mark a bolt hole every ¼" of the non-bent portion of the metal.
- Finally, drill a hole at each of the bolt hole markings, first with a small starter bit and then with the size needed for the bolt in use.
- Cut the metal shapes out, rounding any sharp corners.
- If you don't have any good way to sand the metal shavings around the bolt holes, try rubbing the metal along the ribbed teeth of the pliers over a wastebasket. Most of the shavings should come loose.
Step 3: Connecting the Collar
- Slightly bend the edges of the collar up for the clamping bolt to go through
- Tightly wrap the collar around the gun nozzle with the tab sticking away from the gun.
- While holding the collar in place, bolt the two bent edges together at the bottom.
Step 4: Add the Reflector
When you don't want the reflector there, it can be pushed to the side and out of the way.
If you need more room for a large tube or other object, simply unbolt the reflector and attach it with a different mounting hole.
CAUTION - The nozzle and reflector will get very hot during and after heat gun use. Give it plenty of time to cool before touching the end or putting the gun away!