Introduction: Hot Rod Your Hot Glue Gun

Picture of Hot Rod Your Hot Glue Gun

After running out of glue sticks and forcing my ink pen too far into the back of the hot glue gun to push in that last little bit of hot glue stick my glue gun needed a bit of a tune-up.

Step 1: Disassembly

Picture of Disassembly

1) Any pieces (most likely just the front folding stand) that span both sides of the hot glue gun will need to be removed. Usually these just pry off-be gentle and they should pull out just fine. Get one side out first, and the second side should come out much more easily.

2) Remove any fasteners that hold the two halves together. My hot glue gun had Phillips head screws along with one triangular drive security screw. My handy dandy security bit set from ye olde Harbor Freight had several different size triangular drive bits. Triangular drive screws don't seem to want to be used more than a couple of times, so apply a good amount of downward pressure to keep the bit from slipping and stripping it out on your first go.

3) Set the glue gun on a table or bench and carefully pry it apart-you want to see how it goes together before you pull it apart and scatter the pieces. They aren't terribly complicated, but it is certainly handy to see how the spring is oriented and how the mechanism is set up.

4) In my case, this is where I pulled off all the glue from inside the gun that had gotten everywhere it wasn't supposed to when I put the ink pen beyond glue stick and into molten hot glue. Withdrawal of said glue covered ink pen out the wrong end of the gun left a pretty good mess of glue where it out not have been. Not shocking it didn't work right after that...

Step 2: Time for the Hot Rodding

Picture of Time for the Hot Rodding

So after I cleaned out my glue ooze that was blocking new glue sticks from going in I discovered the need for some modification. Even with a newly cleared passage, the new glue sticks were too slick for the feed mechanism to push them into the gun. Bring on the mod!

1) Using a rotary tool cut a shallow hatched pattern into the feed ramp. This is the piece that pivots up into the glue stick to feed it forward. I turned a cutter to about a 45° angle to cut the grooves. Cutting the grooves actually pushed a little bit of the material above the surface that was slick, so not only did it tighten up the tolerance but made for a grippier surface to push the glue stick.

2) Reassemble*** and now you can feed even the slickest of sticks through your hot rod hot glue gun :)

***If your hot glue gun had a security screw now would be the time to replace it with a plain screw if you wanted easier future access to your hot glue gun's innards.


petercd made it! (author)2015-08-09

My glue gun also has this poor feeding problem due to bad design and then the manufacturer uses security screws to add insult to injury.

I had previously tried to tooth the edges and sharpen them without much success.

Your buck2217 comment got me thinking of inserting a piece of hacksaw blade into the feed cam.

While breaking off a piece I noticed that the broken edge was slightly curved and very jagged and so I used this to advantage as the depth of the junior hacksaw blades is the same as the feed cam width.

I used the same blade to saw a slot so that the blade stands about 1mm higher than the other "teeth", a drop of superglue is strong enough to keep it in place.

Finally it works as nature intended. :)

wilwrk4tls (author)petercd2015-08-10

That was going to be my last step, but thankfully I didn't have to go that far. My next step was to just put some sandpaper on to increase the grip.

It seems like a much better feed mechanism would be a very simple design change that glue gun manufacturers could incorporate.

Sad you had to go to such lengths, but nicely done!

buck2217 (author)2015-06-24

Good I'ble my HGG keeps failing

wilwrk4tls (author)buck22172015-06-25

Hope this helps!

If that isn't enough another thing I thought about was adding a piece of sandpaper to that piece or even something metal. It would be a good candidate for a 3D printed replacement with different geometry, too.

A lot of work for a glue gun, but it becomes the principle of the matter after a while!

arvevans (author)2015-05-31

I wonder if anyone has considered converting their hot glue guns to have screw-on nozzles with different bore sizes for fine or broad lines of glue extrusion? Might be an interesting small lathe project...just turn a couple of threads on the existing nozzle and then make some external nozzles to screw on. We could use an Instructable for that.

wilwrk4tls (author)arvevans2015-05-31

It might be possible to turn pieces that simply slip over the tip and maybe fasten to the gun to save having to try and put threads on the end-with the attached pieces it may be difficult the thread the end. Different sized tips would definitely come in handy

beamerpook (author)arvevans2015-05-31

Oooh, I can see where having a wide, flat "ribbon" of glue instead of one round line, or even multiple round lines would be helpful!

seamster (author)2015-05-30

Great work! I need to do this to my glue guns. Yes . . . I have several! :)

Thank you for sharing this great idea.

wilwrk4tls (author)seamster2015-05-30

I wouldn't mind having glue guns-my sister got my mom one of the fancy DeWalt ones with the ceramic heater. If it works as well as I bet it does that may have to go on my wish list...

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