Clearing a clogged hot melt glue gun

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My trusty old Stanley glue gun got clogged after being left plugged in too long. Reamed it with nails, paper clips, etc. without much success - just a little trickle of glue. Have burned the crap out of my hand three times, though!!!!
0-: >
I'm going to cut a wooden dowel next to ream it from the back end. The glue stick flexes too much to make a good reamer. Any other ideas?
-- Bobby G.
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A large drill bit, fed in by hand from the back, with a pair of pliers.
Even then don't expect a high probability of success. You're best to just buy a new one.
Do you leave the gun on its side when it's on?
--
Tegger

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Cracked three dowels trying to clear it. Best tool was a bare piece of #12 copper wire twisted into a tight hook. Yanked out oodles of black and brown crud. Still no joy .

Got a couple more burns, probably with carcinogenic material in the cheap glue sticks. FWIW, it was left on for a week nose down in a can that blocked leakage from the tip. This was my spare. I'm going to have to go three deep in spares now. Or get a timer that shuts off after 60 minutes. I believe there are some pushbutton timer wall switches that can do the job.
-- Bobby G.
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On Tue 26 Oct 2010 10:47:45a, Robert Green told us...

Can't you remember to simply unplug it when your finished using it?
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
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Wayne Boatwright wrote the following:

I'll have to write that down with all the other things I have to write down to remember. Now, where is that list of things I have to remember?
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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<stuff snipped>

Yes, it's like that. (-: Along with the helpful reminder "ON" lamp and switch that the unit lacks.
Now what were we talking about?
-- Bobby G.
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Take a strap of some kind, from the plug to your trousers. When you go to your next task, the plug will come out automatically.
--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
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Actually, the reason it was idling was that it's got to be on for at least 5 minutes before glues flows, so without ON light or OFF switch, it's very easy to walk away from the gun and get involved in something else.
I've now decided to plug it into a old GraLab timer from the darkroom so that it can never run for more than 60 minutes without a manual reset. Same general idea as the strap but a little more elegant and less likely to accidentally yank a hot glue gun toward the family jewels by the cord.
The ideal solution, of course, would be a built-in autoshutoff based on lack of motion for 60 minutes. The timer is much easier to implement.
-- Bobby G.
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Yep, pretty much the same. The car keys started playing hide and seek a few months ago and haven't stopped. I got various keychain locaters, put a hook on the back of the door for them to be hung on the moment I come in, etc. But the sad truth is that if some other event occurs between when I walk in and when I stow the keys, that's where the keys might end up - such as the phone ringing, hearing the "you forgot to punch in the alarm code" warning tone, etc. Every time I think I've idjit proofed a process, I find that I am a bigger idjit than I thought.
I knew getting old was going to be bad, but I didn't know it would be THIS bad!
-- Bobby G.
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On Wed 27 Oct 2010 05:21:27p, Robert Green told us...

Seriously, if you're having memory problems, I apologize. The idea of using a timer is a really good idea.
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
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I accept your apology and really wish I could just be offended instead of incipently senile. )-:

I bought out some guy's online inventory of GE 12 hour twist timers that I am mounting in electrical boxes in a number of areas where a "left on" situation could be dangerous. I'm finding I have to do a lot of things that assist me. It takes two electronic timers to remind me to take my pills every eight hours, and even then I bugger it up. I can't imagine what it could end up as. There's already family history. My aunt Columbine didn't know where she was unless she was in a hyperbaric chamber. It was like Jekyl and Hyde.
I probably should start a thread about senility-proofing your home, but I am too depressed to want to think about it much. In the beginning, they say, it's like you feel your brain becoming filled with holes, like Swiss cheese. Then you only remember things from long ago, then not much at all. My friend's mom went from the signs of early onset to full blown in less than a year. That's atypical, they tell me, but it's hard to ignore a case you know about.
I probably should do what I can before the symptoms get to the point where I can't do anything to help myself. The timers should at least limit some damage potential. I have many of my charger-based devices on timers since the newer ones can catch fire if over-charged. I suppose I should get the rest of them there soon. Much of my memory loss is showing in the very short-term memory. Which is why I find myself starting my car twice (I check the tachometer first now) or taking my pills twice or not at all.
Short term memory is a very tricky thing to have an "insufficiency" in. It's especially troubling to patients (like me) who used to have very good recall of small details. It makes you do things twice or not all because you can't remember if you did them or not. I carry a small pocket recorder all the time now, and even have it running during doctor's visits, etc. because I simply can't recall what was said. New stuff just bounces off, but I can remember episodes of "Men in Space" that I saw on TV in the 50's vividly.
FWIW, I ordered two new Surebonder guns that are "pseudo cordless" - they sit in a base that has prongs that allow 110VAC to heat them, and you can detach them from the base and use them for at least a half a glue stick's worth before they cool down too much to melt glue. That's what I had before the Stanley, but my local HD didn't have any so I bought the Stanley. The cordless design will make it even harder to accidentally leave them on since I have to remember to put them back on the stand to reconnect them and I always forget to do that! There's a thread subject: "Making senility work FOR you!"
-- Bobby G.
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On Wed 03 Nov 2010 10:22:15p, Robert Green told us...

It's good to know that you're being proactive about problems that could occur. It's amazing how many potential dangers there are in a home where we tend to think we're safe.

I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to have this happening. My only experience was with my dad who did not actually have either senile dimentia or altzheimer's. He did begin suffering with short term memory loss which worsened with time, but it was cauwed by severe blockage of the carotid arteries. This was at a time when they hadn't begun clearing or stenting those arteries. He was well aware of what was happening and I know that it increased his anxiety and depression.

It's good that you recognize the problem and are taking as many measures as you can to avoid problems down the road.

This was also very frustrating to my dad. He was both an electrical and mechanical engineer working in the concept and design phase of products, and had always had a terrific memory for minute details. He ultimately reached a point where he thought blueprints were just pictures of something. Very sad.

The Surebonder guns sound like a good choice, especially since it will be more difficult to acidentally leave them on.

Best of luck, Bobby. I hope this progresses *very* slowly for you.
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
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wrote in message

There is some consolation that eventually I won't be aware of what's been lost but it doesn't seem like much of a state to live in. I can kind of fake it with writing because I am free to get the "1000 yard stare" without anyone noticing that 20 minutes elapsed between when I started this sentence and when I finished it and I can't for the life of me tell you what I was thinking about. I think it was how much it's like being in a zombie movie and knowing you've been bitten and are just waiting to turn into a zombie yourself.

The problem is that denial is so powerful that it takes a "landmark" event to change behavior patterns. How many of us know of elder adults that knew they had to stop driving long before the accident that *made* them stop driving?

That happens very quickly in some people. Programmers can no longer write programs or even type, chess players can hardly handle checkers and so on. The emotional toll is especially hard for men because we define ourselves by our occupation, in large part. The oddest experience is the anxiety caused by fast-moving TV shows with moving cameras, changing angles, etc. I can finally understand why reruns of Matlock are so popular with the senior set. Nice, linear plots with people who hardly ever yell. (-:

That's the theory, anyway. What I hate most is all the things I do incorrectly now. I, too, watched my Dad deal with his dementia. He was extremely frustrated and agitated at his own failures, especially perfoming tasks that require many steps and/or attention to detail. I'm trying to see it as just a natural progression of things, at least for some people. My grandfather died at age 39, so I'm doing *way* better than he did.

Thanks. I though I had better mention it so people understand when I start spouting more than my usual amount of gibberish.
-- Bobby G.
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On Thu 04 Nov 2010 02:04:30p, Robert Green told us...

Yes, there are many ways that a person with any form of dimentia can "cope" with the inherent problems they face...up to a point. From my limited observation, it's that turning point when one is no longer able to cope where the future becomes extremely difficult.

My dad was in, at least presenting to others, in deep denial. However, I think he actually knew and didn't want his family to worry more than they already did. He never did stop driving before he passed away, but his distance of travel grew smaller and smaller, as well as limited to areas that he had been extremely familiar with for many years.

My dad taught me a lot as I was growing up and even as an adult. I would often spend time with him during his mental decline and remind him of these things, which he generally remembered, since it was mostlyh long term memory. I think it made him feel more "with it".

My dad was 81 when he passed away, and his death was actually from congestive heart failure, not dimentia related. I'll be 66 in January. I have some well-managed arterial blockage, but otherwise fairly healthy.

I think you did a damn fine job of helping people to understand what turns your life is taking. The average person needs more knowledge about these issues.
Best alway!
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
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wrote in

As you note, coping only gets you so far. Right now, it's just scary and a little bit annoying, but it's clear it's getting worse and that the consequences keep mounting. About the only positive thing I can see so far is that I have become a lot more tolerant of dumb people if only because I am becoming one. Last week, I couldn't remember the name of the American Bandstand host, Dick Clark and it really bothered me. This morning, I woke up hearing the music from AB in my head along with Dick Clark's name. A trivial thing, to be sure, but a reminder that my ability to recall things is deteriorating. It's scary and depressing at the same time.

Boy oh boy do I know that scenario. After living a life where I often found myself unable to trust other people to do things they promised or to do them correctly, I am finding I can't trust myself.

I console myself often by remembering that it wasn't very long ago that the average life expectancy was 35 years. We've extended that substantially, but as a result, face a host of new health issues that hardly every plagued the first colonists.

Well, here's to hoping you outlive your dad and avoid the problems he went through with mental decline. There's a lot of research going on in this area, but unfortunately, much of it hasn't panned out. A recent study was stopped in mid-stream when it was discovered that not only was it not helping memory, it was having bad cardiac side-effects.

Oddly enough, I am not sure I would have even noticed the decline had my wife not insisted I get a checkup. I've always been slightly forgetful, but she's noted some serious issues of late. I imagine it was the same with your Dad and people around him noticing the problem long before he did.
-- Bobby G.
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That's really, REALLY easy to forget to do!
At work we have a number of 3M Polygun ECs. These cost about $350 each, and are the very best available. They even have an on/off switch, which is really nice. And they last forever, unless somebody leaves them on for a week unattended...
We tried Stanley/Bostitch guns and a few other brands, but nothing -- nothing -- even came close to the 3M Polyguns and 3M JetMelt adhesives in quality.
--
Tegger

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Amen. No lights, no switch and a 5-10 minute warm-up time are all contributors.

and
And really unusual to find in a consumer level gun.

Yep. I've burned up glue guns before, and I will again, but I kind of liked this one because it had not, as of time of death, ever backed up a dribbled hot glue on the web part of the hand between the thumb and forefinger.

I also suspect that Home Depot's finest store brand of glue contributed to the problem. It really formed an incredibly hard, black calculus inside the nozzle. While feel I might eventually clear it out with dowels and fresh glue, I've already passed the "I want to smash it to bits with a sledgehammer" mark and am ready to buy a new one. But I always ask first in case there's a miracle cure I am unaware of out there.
Thanks for your input, Tegger!
I will put the new gun on a 60 minute maximum timer to help avoid such problems in the future.
-- Bobby G.
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You can greatly improve the gun's longevity by using glue specifically meant for that gun, sold under that gun's brand name, even if it costs more.
Much experience has taught us that the wrong glue can coke-up really quickly, as well as having the wrong characteristics for that gun's heat range and feed volume. The correct glue will have more tendency to tolerate long periods of inactivity while at full-heat.
--
Tegger

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wrote in
<stuff snipped>

tolerate
I am sure you are right. Next glue gun will definitely last longer than this one did and the one before it, that spewed overflow out the feed tube on the inside of my forearm while trying to glue some X-mas stuff to the tree. Flew out of my hand at 100mph and cracked up on the tile floor. That was the last thumb feed gun I ever bought (or will buy). Hot glue burns are outrageous because it sticks like napalm. If I am doing industrial quantities of gluing, I keep a bowl of water around to dunk my hand in just in case.
-- Bobby G.
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On Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 8:05:54 PM UTC-4, Tegger wrote:

I left mine on for a week.... I go back to my dads where I left it on since.... sunday * I go back Friday/tomorrow.* I am scared its going to be either melted, burnt/ broken... EYEYEY
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