Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Theater Tech: Precision Hot Glue Gun

The hot glue gun is a staple of theater set and costume work. But this standard tool can be quite messy. Dan Lockton has posted instructions for modifying a cheap glue gun and (hopefully) turning it into more of a precision tool.

Precision hot glue gun by Dan Lockton

A simple mod turns a cheap hot glue gun (messy) into a precision tool (neat) suitable for more professional and intricate modelmaking and prototyping.

Hot glue guns have a bit of a reputation for clumsiness in the maker community. The liberal, messy application of glue in a project tends to be associated with amateurish, quick or kludgey projects (what we in the UK might call bodges), but glue guns are cheap, quick to use, and allow parts to be separated again relatively easily if required. Hot glue can also be useful in sealing against water ingress.

It occurred to me that a cheap glue gun could be easily and rapidly modified to turn it into a precision tool. It's basically just a heating element surrounding a tube through which the glue stick is pushed, and a nozzle. The gun shape is useful in allowing the user to use a trigger action to force the stick through the heater, but not necessary for the actual application of glue, nor desirable for the precision control needed. A pen shape would allow more precise control.

This is still to some large extent work in progress and ultimately, an even better tool will evolve from the simple modded version; I have plenty of ideas for turning this into a real professional product and would appreciate suggestions and ideas from other makers.

[ Read More ]

No comments: