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I like to do things with my hands, (easy now... I'm not talking about that!, not here anyway), and sometimes I like to make things, either because I have to or because I need to quench the thirst of boredom.
When it comes to making things, or even repairing things, it's nice to have the right tools in order to make the job in hand easy and safe to finish.
Some jobs in hand, (no... still not that), need a larger tool to complete, which is where a good power drill or sledgehammer may come in handy, whilst other jobs only need small tools to achieve the right result.
And it is one of the latter of tool types that I am going to tell you about today. That tool being something that can replace a vast array of things that are used to attach certain materials together... or in other words, it's something that is designed to help you stop having to go out and buy hundreds of tubes of 'Uhu' glue, (other brand named glues are also available at most stores).
What I am talking about is a sort of gluing device, but it's not the sort of glue that you instantly think of. It's not the sort that you squeeze out of a tube, nor is it the sort that you paste onto what ever you want sticking. This is on fact a gun that glues.
Yes that's right, it's a gun that glues?!! In fact, this particular gun that glues, or glue gun, to give it it's true title, is made by a well known tool company who are best recognised from their dark green tools that are found on many shop shelves, and that company name is..? ... No..? you at the back, the one with the striped hat and large nose. It's not from Wilkinsons. And you in the middle, the lady with the short skirt and hairy legs, it's not made by the Coop either... it is on fact made by the well known and very respected company called Bosche, with the full name of this gun being the Bosche PKP 240volt glue gun.
Now, I bet you're confused? I mean, you possibly know that Bosche make some cracking tools. You've seen such things green things as saws, drills, planes, (not the flying kind of planes), and several other tools as well. But how and why have Bosche made a gun that glues. How can a gun glue things together? Guns are for shooting things not for sticking things together, so how can I be talking about a gun that glues?
* Well, let me tell you.
Firstly, I'll tell you roughly what it looks like, which helps in letting you know why and how a gun can glue...
The main thing is that it is shaped like a gun, hence the gun in the name of it, and it has a trigger, again, a reason why it has the word 'gun' in the name. then, there is a handle to grab hold of and a nozzle that shoots things out.
And that's where the gun theme ends really.
It's a nice size, if more at the larger glue gun range, being about 205mm long by 160mm high, (at the handle) and about 30mm wide, (diameter, sort of), weighing in at a floating feather weight 345 grams.
On the front there is a black nozzle with a small hole in the end that the hot glue oozes out of, then, as we go backwards along the top of the glue gun, the is a small window type hole that shows you where the glue stick is up to, size why, so that you know how much glue is left on the stick itself, (these sticks I will explain a little later, if you don't mind). Also, on the top, or more on the bottom of the top section near the front end, so to speak, there is a couple of small holes, one either side. These holes are for the small metal stand that is designed to support the gun when it is being used so that you can place it down on a surface, keeping the heated end from burning the surface and keeping the danger of fires at bay.
On the back there is a round hole that, when you look into it, is like a like tunnel leading from the rear of the gun right through to the nozzle at the front.
And now for the handle, which simply has a rather large black trigger on the front of it, which is the gun resemblance, and it is when you pull, or more squeeze the trigger that the glue comes out of the end...
And that's really what it looks like.
* So how does it work..?
Before I go into how it works I have to tell you about the glue sticks themselves as they are quite important for this glue gun.
You do have to get the right size glue sticks for this gun, those being the 11mm ones, as there are many other sizes for different size glue guns. But 11mm sticks are quite common and easily found in many shops.
The sticks themselves are basically solid sticks of glue which, when heated up by the gun that they are inserted into, soften the stick and turn the solid glue into liquid, which then acts like any other glue, allowing you to paste the glue into the area you want to stick together.
Seconds later the softened liquid glue begins to solidify, turning back into the solid state that you see on the stick themselves. Then, after a bit longer, about a minute or so, depending on the air conditions around you, the glue will become as hard as rock and will make the area you have just glued have a firmer grip than the right hand of a single man in an adult video store.
* Now for how this glue gun works..?
This is such a simple method that I wonder why it took so long until some one actually came up with the idea of these guns that glue.
This works by simply heating the glue stick to a scorching hot 200°C so that the solid stick heats into a liquid form so that it can seep into areas that a solid piece can not reach.
Basically turning a solid glue into a liquid glue that turns back into a solid glue... simple really.
You simply insert the glue stick into the end of the gun, the end opposite the nozzle area as there's no way that you can get the stick into the tiny nozzle so don't even try.
Anyway, once the glue stick has been inserted into the rear end you plug the gun into the mains and let it heat up to it's maximum heat setting. This is a single heat of 200°C and, once there, it remains at that heat, no more and no less, until you unplug the gun. This helps the glue sticks melt at the exact temperature so that it doesn't burn and, more importantly, it doesn't come out with any little lumps and bumps.
So now the gun has reached its maximum flux capacity temperature it's just a matter of aiming the nozzle of the gun in the place you want to stick together and gently squeeze the trigger.
This trigger squeezing action slowly pushes the glue stick forwards and, as the heat of the gun around the stick melts the stick itself, the now liquid glue begins to 'ooze' out of the nozzle and onto the material you're working on.
Basically, the gun heats up and melts the glue stick that, with the pull of the trigger, passes through the top of the gun, turning a solid into liquid at a very high temperature.
And that's how the gun works.
You do have to be careful as the liquid glue comes out as hot as the gun becomes. That being 200°C. it does cool down over time but it's best left for a while before finger contact as it will take the skin from your bones quicker than a smirking chav taking your wallet as you walk down a darkened street at sunset
* Does it work then..?
In one word... Yes, it does... hang on, that's three words.
But anyway, it does work and can stick things together quicker than a traffic warden issuing tickets, and can be as strong as a teenager armpit aroma.
It does take a few minutes for the liquid glue to solidify into the bond that is needed for that perfect joint but once there it will probably out last the material you are gluing together.
* So what can I use this on..?
This glue can be used on many material. Such as wood, leather, paper, card, thin metals, (such as aluminium), plastics, certain cloth, glass and probably what ever else you can think of sticking together.
It will struggle on thick metals where a true weld is really needed. Don't get me wrong, it will stick them together but the join won't last long at all.
Basically, if you need something gluing and you think that a tube of Uhu will do it then this glue gun will be of more use... but if your car needs a new drivers side wing reattaching then I'd seriously get the welding kit out of the kitchen cupboard as this glue gun may fail you very badly.
* Is it easy to keep clean..?
Pretty much yes.
The only part that has any issues surrounding keeping clean is the nozzle area as this is where the hot glue seeps out of. This is where you would expect it to get bunged up worse than a 'Big Mac' addicts back passage but the actual nozzle manages to stay remarkably free of the heat glue as it runs through the tube.
But even if some glue does end up hardening inside the nozzle it soon softens up when the gun reaches the right temperature once again.
* What do I think of this glue gun..?
This really does save me a fortune on buying several different types of glue for all different fabrics and materials as the glue from this gun can stick all sorts of stuff together without any real trouble at all.
This gun feels nice in the hand, being a good size, with the handle feeling very solid in my hand so that when the gun gets hot I'm not worried about my hand being near the heated area.
As for actually using it it is so easy and very safe indeed, unless you're either very stupid or very clumsy, or both, which if you are then for the love of god please don't even think of going near this glue gun,,, or me come to think of it as I have had enough bad luck recently.
It has a few nice features, such as the mechanical feed, which means that when you press the trigger it squeezes the hot glue out slowly and surely, stopping it coming out when you release the trigger. This is all controlled by the mechanical feed so that the right amount comes out. No more and no less, which saves any unnecessary burning of the skin or worktops.
Plus, there's the little wire stand that attaches to the sides of the gun so that it can stand up when it is being used, which stops anything getting burnt from the heat of the front of the gun. This wire simply folds forwards and backwards so that when you are between gluing you can rest the hot gun down without the hot nozzle touching anything. The stand may look a little flimsy but it can take the slight weight of the glue gun without collapsing.
As for actually getting to the ultimate heat setting, this gun gets to the maximum heat of 200°C in a matter of 6 minutes and 45 seconds, (or there- abouts), and stays at that heat so that it gives a constant run of glue without it getting too hot and burns the tips or becoming to cold so that the glue sets inside the nozzle.
According to the book it can give out about 20grams of glue in a minute, but I have not tried this so I can not confirm that statement at all. But what I can say is that the glue does come out at a speed that feels very comfortable when sliding the gun around the area that needs gluing. Not too fast and not too slow.
Anyway, if I remember correctly this gun only game with one solid glue stick, but these sticks are as cheap as chips, (what ever that means), and can be bought from many shops out there, just make sure you get the right 11mm diameter sticks as there are a few different ones.
But apart from the gun and the single glue stick you get an extra-long nozzle, which helps get the glue into the more narrower areas, plus an instruction manual which give a simple guide on how to use the glue gun.
* What more can I say about this glue gun..?
Well, it does exactly what it is supposed to do and it does it well. It glues things together and keeps them stuck for a long time afterwards.
Using it is so simple, being just a matter of aiming the nozzle into the area you want to glue, then it's just a matter of pulling the trigger and slowly moving the gun along... the glue then does what it is supposed to do and sets in a matter of minutes, making the join as solid as Rocky Balboa's six pack.
* What would one have to pay for this gun that glues things together..?
This glue gun sells for a mere £15, roughly, which is great value indeed as it does a great job in connecting things together and can save you money in the long run as you won't have to spend £4.00 a time on tubes of very expensive glue.
As for the glue sticks, these sell for a few pounds, and for that you can get a good 50 sticks or so.
Do shop around as there are many offers out there, just remember to get the 11mm sticks as they are the ones that fit this gun
"Hot melt glue gun for sticking wood, card, plastic, ceramics, fabric and leather / Reaches operating temperature of 200C in 5 minutes / Window allows you to see how much glue is left / Includes anti-drip guard, wire stand and clear glue stick / Features: Precise Trigger Control; Sticks Feed up to 20g/min; Long Nozzle."