Hot Glue Tricks

by FliteTest | November 25, 2014 | (30) Posted in Tips

Link: Adhesive Tech Website
Link: Ad Tech Pro 200 

Wether you are scratch building, modding, or repairing, hot glue is your best friend. It's cheap and reliable. We use it for pretty much everything here at Flite Test. 

Here's some advice for choosing your glue, applying it, and even ways to remove it. 

Most modern glue guns come with high temp or low temp settings.
One gun that Josh really likes is the Ad Tech Pro200.

When it comes to foamboard you want to be careful that your glue gun doesn't get so hot that it makes the glue boil. This will warp the foam. On the opposite end, you don't want your glue to cool before you finish your bond.

We recommend using multi-temp glue sticks on a high temp setting. 

Speaking of glue sticks, we had a run in with a bad batch recently. If you are going to look for sticks make sure you keep an eye open for the foggy, opaque sticks.

These, for whatever reason, took too long to dry, and when they did the result wasn't very solid. The cool part is that once Ad Tech heard about this they made the effort to contact us and fix the problem. 

They sent us a ton of sample sticks all with different formulas. Once we figure out which is the best for scratch building we will let you know what made the cut!

One problem you may run into is running low on a stick while you have a large surface to bond. 

You can always put a new stick in but it isn't secured in the body of the gun until the first stick is pushed through. 

If you tilt the gun at a weird angle it will more than likely just fall out.

The easy fix is to use the heat from the guns metal tip and melt the end of the stick slightly.

Then when you but it up to the original stick, it was adhere to it making one giant Franken-stick! Problem solved. 

If you are planing on Minwaxing Your Plane or if you just want to get the longest life out of your builds, you can seal the edges of your plane.

All you need to do is cut a small notch in a scrap piece of foam the same width of the edge. 

Run a small bead of glue down the edge you wish to seal... the notch over the edge...

...and scrape off the excess. This will drive the glue into the edge and seal it, preventing the paper from peeling. 

Now that you know how to apply the glue, what if you need to remove it?

The easy method is fighting fire with fire! Not literally. You use heat to apply the glue and you can also use heat to remove it. 



If you have components that don't mind getting a little warm, like plywood, metal, (basically things that don't melt) you can use a heat gun to re-melt the glue. 

If you do need to remove glue from surfaces you don't want to catch on fire, a really cool trick is to use denatured alcohol!

Here is a bunch of random stuff hot glued to a microwave!

Here is a pipette full of denatured alcohol!


The alcohol separates the glue from the surface without damaging a thing. 

A more practical example would be removing a board from a multirotor. 

The glue peels away like it forgot how to glue! 

Check out the glue and glue guns that we have available in our Web Store!

We hope that these tricks help you get more out of your glue. If you have any cool hot glue tricks leave them in the comments below!


sailorJohn on November 27, 2014
Debonding great tip, also noted the Cunard, tomorrow I will maiden my third version (modified slowstick to carnard) from FlyRC mag, looking forward to your version
Log In to reply
sailorJohn on November 30, 2014
P.S. denatured alcohol will let you know if you have any cut or splits in your fingers.
Log In to reply
panther3001 on November 28, 2014
Denatured alcohol looks like it will be a HUGE help and EXCELLENT tip! I haven't tried it yet, however, as I don't have any at the moment. Which foams is it safe on? Will it melt Depron, Dollar Tree foamboard, EPS (Styrofoam), EPP, EPO? I'm guessing that it will *probably* be safe on EPP and EPO, but melt Depron, Dollar Tree foambard, and Styrofoam, since they are all EPS-based. Is this correct--anyone know for sure?
Log In to reply
HilldaFlyer on November 30, 2014
I, too, liked the idea of removing hot glue with alcohol. I experimented with it over the weekend and I found that it works on smooth surfaces, like sides of microwaves, glass, formica, plastic but does not work on paper or foam. I do not have any Depron, but I imagine it will perform like the Readi-Board foam. I peeled the paper off the Readi-Board, used EPS and EPP foam and it didn't let go. So, the great tip here is the one Peter showed of removing a control board from a quad. It also works to remove plastic parts like servos and receivers from models, but it doesn't seem to work on joints of hot glue and paper or hot glue glue and foam. Here is my tip, if you want a reversible joint with hot glue, lay either one or both sides of the joint with smooth tape like packing tape or strapping tape. The alcohol works well at loosening the hot glue/tape. The alcohol is safe on the foams I tried - Readi-Board, EPP, EPS so will probably be safe on all others.
Log In to reply
sailorJohn on November 30, 2014
Good grief ! Been watching this show for 4 years.
Log In to reply
gontanaka on November 26, 2014
Thanks for the tips, perfect timing for me as I'm about to build my FT Delta soon. I'm using a simple Proxxon glue gun, but am not happy with it. After I apply some glue, more keeps flowing out of it and that's the mess. Is it a commen problem? Are there tricks to prevent it?

Also, can someone from Europe/Germany recommend a good gun, that's more easily available here than the one mentioned in the article? Thanks!
Log In to reply
Cristian on November 28, 2014
STEINEL’s GlueFix™ 3002 - Bauhaus, Aki.
Best of the best, trust me, I made dozens of workshops even with small kids, unbeatable. Around 18 Euros, not cheap but worth every cent. I cannot underestand why in USA those milky hot glue sticks are bad, but try the same Steinel sticks, highly recomended.
Log In to reply
Cristian on November 28, 2014
Log In to reply
tero on November 27, 2014
Can't recommend anything because I'm too looking for new gun, but I'm probably going with Dremel 940:
Log In to reply
gontanaka on November 27, 2014
Hey, thanks for the tip. Looks like a good choice and it's easier to get here.
Log In to reply
mad_milchmann on December 18, 2015
Igot this hot glue gun. works perfectly, almost doesn'T drip and it'S quite cheap.

(you probably got one by now, but maybe it's of help for someone else)
Log In to reply
sailorJohn on November 27, 2014
Edge gluing was published under "Tools and tips" must be a good idea.
Log In to reply
PropSpinner on November 29, 2014
I love when Peter throws an occasional big word in like, "thermal mass". I was waiting for Josh to pull out his new iPhone and say,"Siri, Google thermal mass". 😊

Great information guys and entertaining as always.
Log In to reply
1959cutter on November 29, 2014
i liked his answer to violence! LOL
Log In to reply
Michael13 on November 26, 2014
Can you review some more EDF jets
Log In to reply
Captain T on November 26, 2014
I agree. I have recently found how awesome a good EDF can be.
Log In to reply
FliteTest on November 26, 2014
Consider it considered!
Log In to reply
earthsciteach on November 27, 2014
Was that one of Matt's flamingos? LOL!

Great episode, guys! The denatured alcohol tip is incredibly helpful! Thank you, Peter.
Log In to reply
LetsFlyRC on November 26, 2014
Did Adtech say if they were going to fix the problem with the foggy sticks and release the clear ones again? I bought all the clear ones I could find after I heard, and I will eventually run out.
Log In to reply
91shadowrider on November 26, 2014
Josh mentioned a Kraken speed build kit. When????
Log In to reply
Desert Wings on December 1, 2014
Please update us after testing the various ad tech glue formulations, which they sent to you. In looking at their website I was amazed at how many different glues they offer.
Log In to reply
TriTriAgain on November 26, 2014
I really don't know where this sort of comment should go but I'll try it here:
Peter, I think that when your on camera you have such great input but if you would just look in the camera it would put your audience at ease!
Just my two cents worth of constructive criticism.
But thanks for the Tips!
Log In to reply
dana8192 on November 27, 2014
i love these tips and tricks articles! The tip on using the slotted foam to squeegee the foamboard edge is a great one - much better than what I have been trying to do...

Using alcohol to de-bond hot glue works amazing!
Log In to reply
Ph3nykz on November 27, 2014
Thanks for the tips, as usually something that I plan to use on my builds. Also, AdTech makes good products at reasonable prices. I found that the AdTech Pro 100 works awesome for my builds. It's a 60 Watt gun that takes the full sized sticks. I do have to assemble a little fast than you may with a 100+ Watt gun as the glue dries quicker, but for the person that's building on a budget the Pro 100 would be a good alternative. I picked mine up at a local Walmart for about $20.
Log In to reply
connorlyle on February 10, 2015
I know this is really a noob question but what type of glue sticks does it matter
Log In to reply
Pecos on March 3, 2015
So have you figured out which glue stick is best for FT applications?
Log In to reply
bionikcobra on October 10, 2015
Adtech has a set of 3 or 4 silicone thimbles in a pack at JoAnn's fabric stores and Michaels craft stores and they are about $4-6/pk. I highly recommend these for everyone working with hot glue no matter the circumstances.
Log In to reply
fab3r on January 17, 2017
Another way to fix a glue issue (after bad-glueing that needs re-glueing), is to use the hot glue gun tip to make extra glue melt in order to remove it or flatten the surface with a foam piece, and make it ready again
Log In to reply
ccdman on November 6, 2017
Another neat way to remove hot glue is to super cool it rapidly by dripping a few drops of propellant from a compressed air can by holding it upside down and squeezing the trigger a few bursts. Learned this from Ed 's YouTube Videos .(Experimental Airlines). This may induce atmospheric moisture to frost up on the surfaces, so make sure everything totally dries out, especially electronics. Here in the Midwest we could probably debond an entire plane simply by trying to fly it in January or Februrary!
Log In to reply

You need to log-in to comment on articles.

Hot Glue Tricks