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Hot Glue Stick Testing/Comparison

#1
One of the YouTube channels I follow, Project Farm, recently did some comparison of various hot glue stick brands. A number of these are ones I have tried in the past and it was interesting to see the results.


Though these test don't necessarily mimic the forces that we see in building airplanes, it was still fascinating to see how things turned out. Makes me feel good about most of my planes being built using Stanley glue.

The one additional test I would have liked to see is at what temperature the glue starts to soften at being someone who often leaves planes in their car on a hot day.
 

Brett_N

Active member
#2
I can tell you from personal experience that anything over 105* in direct sunlight will soften the glue enough to have wing separation. But, the plane was sitting in the sun for a couple hours while we were out on the lake. Even in the garage I've had some models "sag" during the summer heat.

I've switched from hot glue to carpenters glue. Cheaper, easier to clean up, and less burnt finger tips. It also doesn't come apart in PHX summers. The only place, if ever, I use HG is for holding servo's in, since it makes it easy to recycle them by cleaning the glue off with iso-alcohol.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#3
I can tell you from personal experience that anything over 105* in direct sunlight will soften the glue enough to have wing separation. But, the plane was sitting in the sun for a couple hours while we were out on the lake. Even in the garage I've had some models "sag" during the summer heat.

I've switched from hot glue to carpenters glue. Cheaper, easier to clean up, and less burnt finger tips. It also doesn't come apart in PHX summers. The only place, if ever, I use HG is for holding servo's in, since it makes it easy to recycle them by cleaning the glue off with iso-alcohol.
I had my glue joins let go in my Sea Duck - Left the plane sitting in my car for an hour during a 100 degree heatwave in Southern California last year, and noticed separation along the wing edge. I tried to fix it, but...Oh well. It's been rebuilt now. :)

As for carpenter's glue, it might be cheaper and easier; I just prefer to use the hot glue since it's got the advantage of being faster to dry. I'm building my planes in the living room of a 2 bedroom apartment, and my wife doesn't want plane stuff all over the living room for several days. :)

On that note, I've found the Arrow brand of hot glue to be pretty good; it's got a good feel in the glue gun, and you can get a 5 lb box (with a TON of sticks in it) from Home Depot for $20 USD. The box should last me a couple of years of building planes. :)
 

Brett_N

Active member
#4
Sproutz - here's a trick.

Use carpenters glue on the long runs, and a dot of hot glue at the ends. That way it "holds" while the glue dries and you can move stuff around. I've found that Titebond 2 (quick and thick) sets up within a couple minutes.

Funny - it was also the seaduck that I had the glue let go on!
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#5
I do use hot glue depending on what I am building, but for light, smaller planes and flexiable especially on EPP it is hard to beat Beaon Fabric-Tac dries clear, tacs quick and does not yellow.