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Gluing a gingersnap cottage (like a nerd)

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Just in time for X-mas I offer you a safe and effective way of gluing a gingersnap cottage, without pouring molten sugar all over you. Molten sugar is, of course, the proper glue for the task, even though many people use inferiour substitutes.

The stuff you need is shown in the picture.

Note that the melt glue gun should be dedicated to this task. It should be brand new, or possibly only loaded with sugar before. Do not count on being able to clean it, neither before or after this exercise.

Step 1: Make glue stick moulds

The moulds for our sugar melt glue sticks are rolled from some aluminium foil.

The foil is folded once to make the tube opening stiffer, then rolled over one of the original melt glue stics.

Twist the bottom shut, tape the top, carefully withdraw the melt glue stick. If the tube collapses since the air did not have time to come in and replace the stick, gently push the sides to shape between your fingers.

Make a number of tubes. You will not be able to re-use them, and they have to hold all of the sugar that you melt.

Step 2: Set up four moulding, then pour the molten sugar.

You definitely do not want to hold the tubes when the molten sugar is poured, so the tubes are taped somewhere were some slob with molten sugar does not matter. The kitchen sink edge is a hot candidate.

The picture shows only one tube, but there should be a as many as you can fit, or as many as you need for your batch of sugar.

The sugar is molten slowly and carefully in the pot. It turns brown real quick, so take it easy. (This part, your granny can show you.)

Pour it into all the tubes. Thanks to the high viscosity, this is easier than one might expect.

Step 3: Unpack one sugar glue stick

Let the sticks cool off, then unwrap one of them. If pieces of aluminium are stuck inside the sugar, something that usually happens at the twisted end, break off that part.
 
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ewilhelm6 years ago
I love this Instructable. Check out my candy towers built using this technique:
Candy Towers Built with a Molten-Sugar Hot-Glue Gun.
all_thumbs (author) 7 years ago
Well, yes, I just happen to have a Matryoshka doll at home (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_dolls ) with well known Soviet leaders as its theme. They are popular souvenirs. Mine is a couple of years old, so it does not start with Putin as the outermost doll, it consists of Lenin, Stalin, Breschnev, Gorbachov, and Jeltsin from inside out.

I would say that the sub is more interesting. It is designed to capsize, take in water, and then almost sink. It will stop sinking with just a few qubic cm margin, floating with merely its periscope above water.
stas all_thumbs6 years ago
Hey, where can I find a boat like that?
all_thumbs (author)  stas11 months ago
Hi stas,

Sorry for the delay. I am not 100% sure, but I think it was the Swedish water toy manufacturer AquaPlay (www.aquaplay.se) who produced it. I cannot find the sub at their home page, but I have sent them an e-mail just to make sure.
all_thumbs (author)  all_thumbs11 months ago
Quick addendum

I loaded my favourite search engine with "aquaplay submarine", searched for pictures, and ta-daa:
http://www.wayfair.com/AquaPlay-Submarine-A360-QPL1025.html
Eh Lie Us!4 years ago
Lenin on a sub...I laughed out loud. that one 'takes the cake" ! thank you.
junits154 years ago
in soviet russia..glue gun melt you!
all_thumbs (author) 4 years ago
I haven't visited this page for a while. I must say I am flattered by all the feedback. I never thought this particular instructable of mine would take off like that.
Brilliant :0)
Nice!

This is actually perfect! Now I know exactly how I will make my cotton candy gun!

THANK YOU! =D
COTTON CANDY GUN!!?? please post an instructable
Hehe I will! Unfortunately, 3/3 of the concept designs failed in test, but due only to one component - the sugar melter. Research is being conducted on better ways to raise the temperature to a point where sugar will remain in its liquid form, but as of now it's pretty much caramelizing and burning the sugar instantaneously. In other news, I've finally got my heating coil for my next cotton candy-related project - CCM MARK III. Coming soon (appx 2-3 months) to an Instructable near you....
I WANT IT! :D :D :D
Prototype is finished! Expect it out in a few months!
YOu said that already xD
Nope - that was mark III, this is for the cotton candy gun ;) I'm making it for a class, so it actually has to be finished in a few months.
Oh sweet! Can't wait!
yes! i would like info on the parts (please) so i can build it when your ible comes up. =] please pm them to me
could you send me the ideas for the gun then maybe i can find it out if i can figure it out wel make an instructable together :D
I figured it out, and it works! coming soon!!!
k8monster5 years ago
We all live in a yellow submarine! Looks pretty cool! I'll have to look up gingersnap houses first, but definitely an innovative idea! Kudos!
bounty10125 years ago
hmm If youre not going to eat the art that you make with the molten sugar.... Can you use a used glue gun?
bounty10125 years ago
XD glued lenin to a submarine...
zachninme7 years ago
Rice won't slow anything down. Thats a myth. The only reason you put it in salt shakers, is because it breaks up clumps when you shake it. (for that, you could use ball bearings, but rice is edible) Just stick these in your sugar jar.
all_thumbs (author)  zachninme7 years ago
Good suggestion. The surrounding sugar should be exactly as prone to absorbing moisture as the glue sticks. As for the rice myth busting, I think you are perfectly right there. The sticks I used when making this instructable were saved from last year. They were sticky at the open end of the foil tube. The foil had protected them real nice.
You can probably find a dessicant packet to toss into your box; just make sure it comes from a food product to avoid industrial cross-contamination. Most nori (seaweed for sushi-making) comes with a dessicant package inside you could simply reuse.
Yeah, if it says "DO NOT EAT", don't use it for this :P
i found a bunch of little kids in my boyscout troup trying to eat those things i have to admit they did look pretty good.
lol
I remember one time when I was....10 I think, my mom and grandma & grandpa (for unknown reasons) wheretalknig about how they thought milkweed was poisonous, so I promptly went and tried it. the minds of children are incomprehensible.........
wtf
exactly.
maven zachninme6 years ago
It's Silica gel, and they ALL say Do Not Eat.
zachninme maven6 years ago
Well, it could be a different dessicant, although the fact that it is a dessicant is probably why its bad.

I can't say this for sillica gel, but licking the nori dessicant package shouldn't* hurt you, but if you ate the whole thing, its not good.

  • *I'm not responsible if it does!
Well, actually, all dessicant packs (those in vitamins and nori seaweed included) say "DO NOT EAT". So as long as the pack came from a package of something edible, you'll be fine.
but you'd think it would because rice is so dry and it wants to absorb water... i dono just a thought
maven6 years ago
Why not butter some tinfoil and use the sugar to draw snowflakes and other sugar decorations? I'm assuming you take the sugar to the hardball stage (on a candy thermometer) when making the sticks.
Danny6 years ago
i have the same glue gun, the glue sticks you get included arent even long enough - LOL
andlorr6 years ago
How long does the hot melt sugar take to dry? Would this save time in house construction? I know gingerbread houses use royal icing, but that has to dry overnight before it can be touched. Would sugar glue be faster?
it's much faster. It hardens within a few minutes depending on your humidity level. And is still edible, I used it to make a gingerbread castle earlier this month, but I was using a knife & spoon to apply it (have some burns to prove it lol) Royal Icing can be a royal pain (pun intended). I used it as well just for decoration though. Some people use it instead of royal icing b/c of the raw egg whites it it (or you can substitute meringue powder)
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