Do I need to use special glue sticks to use a hot glue gun on glass?

Written by todd campitelli | 13/05/2017

The hot glue gun has been the hobbyist's preferred gluing method for many years. Nontoxic and waterproof, hot glue is a mixture of polypropylene and various resins. The result is glue that is solid at room temperature but converts to a liquid when heated with a hot glue gun. Hot glue can be used for a variety of applications and surfaces such as metal and glass. When gluing glass, however, there are certain steps you can take to make your projects come together better.

Guide to Glue Guns

To effectively work with hot glue, you need two components: hot glue sticks and a hot glue gun. Hot glue can be clear, coloured, round, large, small or have glitter embedded. The most important aspect when looking at hot glue is the temperature at which it melts. Hot glue is rated to be either low temperature to melt at 127 degrees Celsius, high temperature to melt at 193 degrees Celsius, or multi-temperature.

The same goes for hot glue guns. Hot glue guns are rated to work with low temperature glue, high temperature glue and some include a switch to make them work with multi-temperature glue.

Hot glue guns come in primarily two sizes. There are standard-size glue guns and mini-sized glue guns, which accommodate smaller glue sticks. Either size gun will work for just about any project, however mini glue guns are best suited for small detail work, while large glue guns are better suited for general applications, as they can release more glue with each pull of the trigger.

Applying Hot Glue to Glass

Hot glue guns work great with glass. While no special glue sticks are required to glue glass, there are some tips you can use to make gluing glass much easier.

First, use a low temperature glue stick when gluing glass. The lower temperatures limit the risk of the glass cracking due to excessive heat and they also set much faster, as it doesn't take as long for the glue to return to room temperature and harden.

Second, make sure the glass is clean and dry before you attempt to glue it. You can use any glass cleaner to make sure the glass is clean.

Third, if possible, rough up the area of the glass to be glued with a little sandpaper or a scouring pad. By roughing the normally smooth surface, it provides additional surface area for the glue to adhere.

Finally, when working with glass, shoot a nice bead down the length of the surface you want to glue. Quickly attach the surface with glue to the object you want to glue it to, and hold in place until the glue sets. If possible, reinforce the joint by placing a bead of glue around any joints, and if you happen to apply the glue a little too liberally, you can use a razor blade to trim off any excess glue once it has dried.

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