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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In Praise of the Hot Glue Gun.

One of the most useful in the world of costuming is the hot glue gun (if you don’t count Duct tape). With just the application of heat, the cylinders of thermoplastic adhesive melt effortlessly oozing their contents onto the chosen receptacle. The resulting (reasonably quick drying) glue can be applied in long strips or small beads.

The gluegun is so easy to operate and there is no training and little skill required. You just pop a solid stick of glue into the ‘gun’, wait for it to heat up then push the stick so it passes through the gun and melts – ready for application. Aim and click! The main downside is the production of fine strings of glue (which dry quickly) and waft in any available breeze. Much in the same way as cobwebs they can attach themselves to all and sundry. Fortunately these webs are easily removed from unwanted surfaces.

There are not many things that cannot be co-joined by this wonderful invention. Today was the turn on metal and leather and cardboard.  It is perfect for gluing trim onto hats, securing them (almost) permanently. The resulting bond does not require further treatment to cure the adhesive and the glues fumes are less toxic than many others so do not have special requirements for disposal.

Best of all, the resulting joins (or decorative beads made by the glue itself) is paintable! A bonus when costuming. Downside? I really don’t want to think what all those chemicals are doing to the environment.  A quick bit of research revealed that there is some research on lactic acid polyesters and soy protein in place of the current polymers. I hope this does eventuate, then both the costumer and Greenie in me will be very happy.

In Praise of the Hot Glue Gun.

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