Coffee Warmer Powered by Glue Gun

Completed "Warm" Plate

Don't you hate it when your coffee goes cold? Don't you want an easy, cheap "Do It Yourself" way to combat the cold? Today, I offer your salvation: The "Warm" Plate. The "Warm" Plate can be used to keep your coffee warm on a chilly morning, or even to warm up your gloves before you go for an early morning drive. This Instructable will instruct (pun intended) you on how to create the warm the plate.

A little note before you start. Without purchasing materials, this Instructable should take about 2 hours to complete with no previous experience with metal working, wire control, or using tape. I wish you the best of luck before you start!

Step 1: What You Need

The pictures above are of the Aviation Snips, Trigger Clamps, Craft Smart Glue Gun, Copper Infused Aluminum Sheet, and the 5 inch by 5 inch wooden corner block I used.

You will need the following materials to create The "Warm" Plate. Know that the brand of glue gun you buy matters. The Total Price for all of these things will amount to about $70 if you order everything on the list, so I urge you to look around your home before you purchase anything.

  1. Craft Smart Glue Gun (https://www.michaels.com/craft-smart-mini-glue-gun...)
  2. Insulating Tape (http://designengineering.com/cool-tape-heat-reflective-tape/)
  3. Copper Infused Aluminum Sheet (https://www.homedepot.com/p/M-D-Building-Products-...)
  4. 5 inch by 5 inch by 1 inch wooden block (I used a wooden corner block which I had lying around my house, but you can order one here, https://www.vandykes.com/legacy-heritage-5-12-inc...
  5. Aviation Snips (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Wiss-Straight-Cut-Aviation-Snips-M3RS/100060795)
  6. Philips Head Screw Driver (You can find that without me)
  7. Trigger Clamps (https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-6-in-Medium-Trigger-Clamp-DWHT83139/204389199)

Note: The shipping time for many of these items can be a bit long, and you can find almost all of the items I stated at your local Home Depot. The only thing I didn't buy at Home Depot was the glue gun, which was bought at Market Basket.

Step 2: Unscrew the Glue Gun's Case

The picture above is of the craft smart glue gun, and the screws are the holes in the gun.

This "Warm" Plate is powered by a glue gun, so the first thing we obviously must do is to take apart a glue gun. First, unscrew the glue gun using a Philips-head screw driver. Make sure all the screws are loose (sometimes they don't come out).

Step 3: Pry Open the Glue Gun's Case

This picture shows the separation of the glue gun's case

Once the screws are loose, grab the left and right sides of the case and pull them away from each other. If your screws are loose enough then the cases should open. If the case does not want to budge, check to see if your screws are loose enough.

Step 4: Remove the Trigger of the Glue Gun

This picture is of the trigger of the glue gun

Once you opened the case of the glue gun, Remove the trigger. The trigger is what you squeeze to push the glue into the heating chamber, and there is a spring attached to it. Simply pull out the trigger.

Step 5: Unscrew the Tiny Orange Girder

This picture is of the orange girder for the glue gun

Then you have to unscrew the tiny orange girder which keeps the wires in place using, once again, your Philips-head screwdriver.

Step 6: Break the Bond Between the Wires and the Case

This picture shows the glued wires.

Since wires are hot glued to the case, you must pull the wires away from the case and hopefully you will break the bond. Be careful to not rip the wires when you pull them off from the case, thus I suggest you firmly hold the wires with your fingers and not your nails.

Step 7: Unclip the Clip on the Heating Chamber

The first picture is of the clamp and the second picture shows how the clamp around the glue gun.

There is a clip around the heating chamber which keeps the heating element in place. Remove this clip by simply pulling it off of the case.

Step 8: Extract the Heating Element

This picture is of the heating element

Slide the heating element out of the glue gun. The element should look like two metal plates with a metal block between them wrapped in orange colored wrapper. I would tape the wrapper closed around the heating element so it doesn't get loose, and so you don't lose the tiny block which is used to heat the "Warm" Plate.

Note: I believe that the gun it powered by the little tiny metal block's electrical resistance to the high-voltage electrical currents which are coursing through it, and when the block cannot conduct any more of the electrical heat, it is released into its surroundings.

Step 9: Wrap the Wooden Base in Insulating Tape

This picture shows the wooden block when it is fully taped

Put the heating element in a safe place, and then wrap the entire 5 inch by 5 inch wooden base in Insulating Tape. I must warn you that the State of California has recognized that this tape contains chemicals which are known to cause cancer, so I would exercise caution when you handle the tape. I wore latex gloves when I used the tape, but that is not necessary. The entire base should have a least two layers of tape.

Step 10: Cut the Copper Plate

The first picture shows the metal after it is cut. The second picture is of the copper infused aluminum sheet being clamped by the trigger clamp.

Once you have extracted the heating element, you will now need to cut the copper plate. First find a table which is flat and big enough to lay the copper infused aluminum plate on. Place the plate on the table, then use your vice grips to secure the copper onto the table. Allow the copper to have a 6 inch overhang past the table, this makes it easier when you're cutting. Use your metal cutting scissors to cut the copper infused aluminum plate into two 4 inch by 4 inch squares. When you are cutting understand that you cannot move the copper like paper, so cut two parallel lines deep into the plate next to the square you want to cut, then fold up the flap you created using the scissors, and cut the flap off. Continue to do this until you are 4 inch deep into the plate. This way you can easily cut the final side with space to spare. Remember you must cut TWO identical copper infused aluminum plates.

Step 11: Place Heating Element Between Copper Sheets

The first picture is of the heating element being placed on the copper infused aluminum sheet. The second picture shows the heating element as it about to be pressed between the copper infused aluminum sheet. The third picture shows the heating element as it is being pressed by the copper infused aluminum sheets.

Now take the two sheets of copper that you have cut, and lay them flat. Take the heating element (and if you taped the heating element shut, I would take off the tape now) and place it in the center between the copper infused aluminum plates with sides of the element parallel to the sides of the plates. Then you must tape the two copper plates together at two opposite sides. Make sure that the plates are firmly pressed together when you tape them so that the pressure between the plates will keep the heating element in. Also make sure the tiny metal block is between the two wires with plates because that it how the "Warm" Plate is heated. Finally, it is IMPORTANT that you leave two gaps open between the plates, so the wire can leave the plates and so you can adjust the heating element if you need to.

Step 12: Tape Sheets

The picture shows the copper infused aluminum sheets being taped together.

Then you must tape the two copper plates together at two opposite sides. Make sure that the plates are firmly pressed together when you tape them so that the pressure between the plates will keep the heating element in. Also make sure the tiny metal block is between the two wires with plates because that it how the "Warm" Plate is heated. Finally, it is IMPORTANT that you leave two gaps open between the plates, so the wire can leave the plates and so you can adjust the heating element if you need to.

Step 13: Attach the Prepared Heating Element to the Base

These first picture shows the prepared heating element after it is taped (most importantly how the wire is taped down) and the second one shows the hole the space between the sheets which allows the heating element to be adjusted if necessary.

Now tape the constructed heating element to the base, and when you tape the element to the base, tape three sides (the two sides you already taped, and the side with the wire coming out of the copper infused aluminum plates) down onto the base and leave the final untaped part open to allow any future adjustments if you feel neccessary

Step 14: Viola!

You have finished the "Warm" Plate! Congratulations. Whenever you plug the plate in, remember that it can get considerably hot with little to no indication. Unfortunately the utilitarian design made it a little bit dangerous to use, but it will not catch fire, so that a good safe start. Also, I the heating element is ever loose, take a thin Popsicle stick and flashlight, and move the tiny metal block between the the plates which are attached to the wires (they are different from the Copper infused Aluminum Plates).

Step 15: After Thoughts

If you are wise enough to read through this instructable before you start, then I have few thoughts on the project that I hope you might take to heart. First of all, I would use a high-temperature glue which can withstand 400 degrees Fahrenheit (that is how hot the heating element is said to get) and completely seal the plates so that they can get even hotter and so you can glue the heating element to the plates without fear that it will get loose. Then I would tape the plates together and then glue and tape onto the wooden base. This way the plates are much more insulated, thus they can get much hotter. I think the copper infused aluminum sheet should've been replaced with iron because it holds heat better so while it takes longer for the iron to heat up it also allows the heat to stay longer. I also would've liked to install little girders made from the copper infused aluminum sheet on the "Warm" Plate to ensure that you couldn't spill any coffee while using the "Warm" Plate. Ultimately, I decided to give more generalized uses rather than one specific use. Finally, I believe I should've made the base from a rubber or plastic which would reflect heat better than the wood because the wood didn't reflect the heat as well as I thought it would, and I believe it absorbed a good portion of the heat that was produced. I anyone has any thoughts on how I can make the "Warm" Plate any hotter or how I could make it USB friendly, please tell me. Again, I wish you the best of luck on creating (and hopefully improving) this instructable.

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