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MMD > Archives > March 2004 > 2004.03.11 > 08Prev  Next

Electric Flatirons for Ironing Hot Glue
By Spencer Chase

As with every other tool, there are irons and there are irons.  I have
two irons that I use for virtually every hot glue joint I make and have
never had a problem.  The most useful is the little Teflon coated one
that is use to seal and shrink plastic film on model airplanes.

There are probably a few brands available but the one I use is by
MonoKote.  It can be set at very low temperatures.  With a very low
setting and extreme care it can even be used on pouch leather without
shrinking it but this is very tricky and only to be done in extreme
cases such as a Duo-Art accordion stack that has a cold glue joint.

The other iron (I actually have about 5 of them of various brands)
is an old iron of the pre-steam iron time.  They are made by Sunbeam,
G.E., etc., etc.  They are small and have a heavy sole plate that holds
a lot of heat and a control (when working) that allows it to be set
very low and not overheat.  You can also use one of these on a variable
voltage supply such as an incandescent lamp dimmer to limit the heat
to a very low level.

I have one that I let get really cruddy, for bubbling up the last bits
of old glue when I don't want to sand any more wood off.  It destroys
the glue and turns it into foamy crap that can be scraped off easily
without removing wood.  This type of iron is also good for heavier
fabric as it holds more heat and does not cool down when doing large
areas such as a long seal strip.  You can actually apply glue to the
whole strip and then put the cloth on and slowly reactivate the glue
from end to end although I prefer the slow bit at a time method and the
little MonoKote iron.

Most modern irons are made for show.  You can probably get one that has
an IP address and other fancy features, but have fun trying to use it
on player work or ironing for that matter.

My favorite aunt (deceased) was a real ironer.  She ironed everything,
including the sheets.  She used one of these little irons still, after
buying every modern one she could find.  She never found one that
worked as well as her old Sunbeam and was thrilled when I fixed it.
It had failed after a mere 40 years of daily use.

Best regards,
Spencer Chase
Laytonville, Calif.

(Message sent Thu 11 Mar 2004, 21:27:34 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Electric, Flatirons, Glue, Hot, Ironing

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