Uses for Hot-Melt GlueQuick-drying, weak-bonding glue is perfect for temporary holds
Synopsis: Prompted by a reader suggestion, Fine Woodworking’s Mark Schofield takes on the task of finding uses for hot-melt glue. He found the weak-bonding glue useful in a variety of jobs, including hardware placement, clamping crown molding, padding clamps, assembling jigs, affixing moldings, attaching templates, building mock-ups, and more.
From Fine Woodworking #168
A recent review of a new hot-melt glue gun system (FWW #157) that touted its permanent adhesion prompted Hilliard Stone, a reader in Texas, to write in praising the virtues of traditional hot-melt glues. He noted that their weak adhesion makes them perfect for many tasks, including temporarily attaching parts until their final location has been decided on, such as when fine-tuning jigs or placing handles on drawers; attaching furniture parts to templates for routing or sanding; acting as a temporary clamp while other glues set; and holding panels in frames while allowing wood movement.
I decided to see for myself how valuable traditional hot-melt glue is, and I came up with a few new uses of my own.
It sometimes is hard to decide what hardware looks best on a piece of furniture, and locating handles and pulls is always a challenge. You can remove a drawer from its chest to see what hardware looks best on it, but you may discover that the location or hardware doesn’t look so hot with the drawer back in the chest. Applying hot-melt glue sparingly allows you to mount handles in trial locations while the drawer is in place, giving you an accurate picture of its appearance. Remove the hardware carefully to avoid damaging the surface. Hot-melt glue also can be used to align false drawer fronts.
Working with small or curved parts presents many challenges, among which is how to mill them safely. One solution is to attach them to a larger piece of wood, which then can be handled safely when cutting on the tablesaw or the router table. It would be impossible to use a miter gauge to guide the piece of gooseneck molding past the sawblade with any degree of safety.
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