Does Hot Glue Work On Wood? Use It To Cut Back On Costs

Does Hot Glue Work On Wood

They called you the Glue” The Glue?”Yeah. Probably because you’re kind of the adhesive that bonds everything together ~- James Dashner. 

Among different types of glues, hot glue is the technological advancement that works better to join two other materials. But does hot glue work when it comes to bonding two wood parts together?

The straightforward answer is “yes”. Hot glue works on both porous and nonporous materials, including wood. It helps to make durable joints between two wood parts. The best part of this glue is it melts, spreads, and hardens too fast on wood surfaces. 

This is not the end. There are a lot more things related to hot glue and joining wood parts. Let’s dive into the details. 

What is hot glue?

Hot glue is becoming popular because of its regulatory requirements and processing costs. You will find many forms of hot glue out on the market, including:

  • Pellets
  • Blocks 
  • Ropes and 
  • Sticks

According to Wikipedia, Hot glue, also known as HMA (Hot-melt adhesive), is a type of thermoplastic adhesive. It is commonly renowned as a solid cylindrical stick. This type of stick is ideal for a hot glue gun with different diameters. 

What is hot glue made of?

Hot glue or hot melt adhesive is 100% solid that contains no water or solvents. It is made from thermoplastic polymers mixed with wax, mobilizers, and tackifiers. These ingredients give polymers their glue power.

According to manufacturer instructions, the three main components of hot glue formulation are as follows.  

3 Main Components Functions 
1. Polymers (synthetic substances composed of  macromolecules) Provide strength and flexibility and give the primary mechanical properties

It works better to increase flexibility and strength.  
2. Resins (synthetic organic compounds consisting of a viscous liquid substance)Give wetting and glue properties
3. Plasticizer (an additive to make things  more pliable or softer)Viscosity controller and makes it easy to apply. 

Hot glue sticks made out of:

The hot glue sticks are made from the following three components. 

  • EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate)
  • PA (Poly Amides)
  • APAO (Amorphous Poly Alpha Olefin)

Besides these, different tackifiers are also added to the formulation of hot melt glue sticks. Basically, they are classified as organic resin; for example, 

  • Terpene derivatives
  • Rosin
  • synthetic petroleum hydrocarbon resins (di-cyclo-pentadiene, aromatic, aliphatic)

Does hot glue work on wood? 

Hot Glue With Sticks

Usually, hot glue works better on small woodworking projects and DIY works. Besides these, it is ideal for crafting, repairing furniture (Chairs, tables, wardrobes, etc), or installing doors and windows. 

As it solidifies too fast, you will find this type of glue highly effective, especially on rough surfaces. 

But how does hot glue work on wood? With the help of a hot glue gun, you can easily apply glue to wood. This glue gun helps you to melt hot glue sticks. 

At high temperatures, it becomes moldable and sticky, making it ready to stick to wood surfaces. 

“It solidifies as fast at high temperatures as it resolidifies when it cools.”

Besides these, you will find some facts that directly or indirectly influence the bonding strength, mainly while hot gluing on wood surfaces. 

These two most significant factors are weight and temperature. Hot glue doesn’t perform well in too cold or too high heat conditions. In cold weather, hot glue can break. 

Choose the best hot glue that can last at cold temperatures. Also, to ensure a sustainable bond between two materials, you need to consider the weight and glue quality. 

Note: Hot glue isn’t ideal for high-strength construction projects because it can’t make strong bonds like glue like Elmer’s glue or gorilla glue

Best Hot Glue for Wood:

Although hot glue isn’t designed for heavy-duty wood joining projects, you’ll find some excellent products that can give a durable bond for the bucks you spend. Let’s get acquainted with some of the best hot melt adhesives for woodworking: 

  • Polyurethane PUR Hot Melt glue
  • Power Adhesive Tech Bond 23
  • Titebond
  • AD Tech 962
  • Surebonder 739
  • Power adhesive 7718

How strong is hot glue on wood?

Hot Glue Gun

Earlier, we discussed that hot glue isn’t for high-strength projects. You can easily pull off the hot glue bond between two pieces of wood with enough force. Besides, it shows limitations to joining certain things. It indeed can’t make strong bonds among wood pieces. 

Basically, the hot melt adhesive joints depend on the sticky surface tension. When the bond starts to face enough tension, and shear pressure than the joined parts, the bond will fail because of poor strength. 

Conversely, if the bond you want to create with hot adhesive is not affected by pressure or shear it wouldn’t break. But do you want to know a tricky solution to make the bond stronger? 

Well, I have a solution to ensure a strong bond by hot glue on wood. You can use screws around the bond area. Thus the bond between two wood parts wouldn’t fail even under shear and pressure. 

Note: The most effective way to increase the hot glue bond strength is to ensure it goes really hot. Never allow it cool before joining parts together. 

Ultimately, if anyone wants to get the fastest way to make small wood joints and clamps, hot glue is recommended. 

Related: Hot Glue vs Wood Glue: Which is Better?

Is hot glue permanent on wood?

Nope, hot glue isn’t a permanent solution on the wood. Over time, it is prone to leaking out of the bond because it will dry up and harden. Also, when it dries, it could be breakable.

You can peel off the glue by applying rubbing alcohol or acetone to the edges of the glued area.

Is hot glue waterproof on wood?

No, hot glue isn’t waterproof on wood. Wood is probably one of the worst when it comes to water exposure. If you don’t use water sealant on the wood, it will soak up water, will be bloated, put extra pressure on the bond, and make the hot glue joint ineffective. 

These are the common reasons why wooden hot glued parts aren’t waterproof. 

How to use hot glue on wood -Step-by-step solution?

At 100 degrees Celsius, the hot glue melts. The recommended temperature for applying hot glue is about 160 degrees Celsius. Let’s talk about how to use hot glue on wood. 

Step 1: load the hot gun with a hot glue stick

Firstly, use a hot glue gun, inspect it, and ensure it is ready to use. Also, you need to ensure that the nozzle of the glue gun has no prior glue residue. 

Step 2: Load the gun with a glue stick

After that, you can load the gun with a glue stick (from the back part of the gun). Now let the gun plug into the electrical cable. 

Step 3: Apply the gun to the wood

At this stage, you need to wait until the glue heats up and melts. Release the trigger slightly to use the melted glue on the wood parts. 

Note: Don’t use excessive glue on the surfaces. 

Usually, the opening time of this kind of glue is around 30 to 180 seconds. So. while using it on the wood, ensure you join the two parts quickly. 

Step 4: Let the glue dry

Finally, allow the glue to dry in the joint area. But the question is, how long does hot glue take to dry on wood? Usually, the hot glue takes to dry fully on wood for 24 hours (on average). 

How to Fill Wood with a Hot Glue Gun ( Video)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

Can a hot glue gun stick to wood?

Yes, a hot glue gun can stick to wood. It is ideal for woodworking projects or creating bonds in wood furniture assembly. Besides these, it works fine for tacking wood pieces or crafts projects~Dana Horton, Former Carpenter.

A hot glue gun works fine for joining two pieces of wood together, but the bond will weaken ~James Owen, Traditional Hand Tool Woodworker & Instructor for 20+ years. 

According to Avo Mokka, 40 Years Selling Timber Joinery, a hot glue gun is ideal for sticking a floral arrangement, not hanging your hat. 

Will hot glue stick to painted wood?

The straightforward answer is yes, the hot glue sticks to painted wood. We know hot glue is a formula of thermoplastic polymers and wax. So when glue melts due to heat, it penetrates the painted wood surface and sticks to it. 

My favorite is to use Surebonder’s “Clear Stik” Hot Glue for painted wood.  By the way, hot glue sticks are better on the bare wood surface compared to painted wood. The bare wood has a porous surface which allows hot glue to make a strong bond. 

Note: Hot glue works better on water-based painted wood than oil-based painted wood. 

Does Hot Glue Work on Damaged Wood?

Yes, Hot Glue Works better on Damaged Wood. The science behind this fact is that the damaged wood has a rough surface with enough porosity. You can use this adhesive as a gap filler. You should give it a try to repair your damaged wood. 

Note: It is hard to get better results if the wood is damaged from the inside. When it comes to joining two wood pieces with interior fractures, it will show poor strength. 

Does Hot Glue Work on Metal to Wood?

Yes, Hot glue works well on light metal to wood. If the metal is heavy, it shows poor bond strength. Power adhesive Tec bond 23 is a quality hot glue product that can stick light metal to wood.

Does Hot Glue Work on Balsa Wood?

Yes, Hot Glue works on Balsa Wood but the pieces need to be small and thin. It wouldn’t be an excellent choice to use hot glue if the Balsa wood pieces are large and heavyweight. 

What Can You Use Instead of Hot Glue On Wood?

Following are some of the best alternatives for Hot Glue On Wood: 

  1. Epoxy resin
  2. PVA glue
  3. Fabric glue
  4. Spray adhesive
  5. Liquid glue

What you learn (My opinion):

You are my glue. Without you, I’d be nothing but broken pieces ~Miley Cyrus. 

Exactly, without gluing, two different wood pieces are two different broken pieces. In this regard, hot glue could be your quick solution. 

Usually, to get better results, you should consider some factors. While applying hot glue, make sure the temperature is hot enough. The hot temperature keeps the viscosity of the glue low enough as it can wet out the surface and let them assemble before cooling. 

Besides this, be thoughtful about the open time because it affects the glue temperature and wet-out. I hope the answer to the question, “Does hot glue work on wood” is now a matter of easy subject. 

Just follow our guides, apply it accordingly, and enjoy wood gluing. Once again, Last but not least, don’t try this for high-strength wood gluing projects. 

About Adam Larry

Hello everyone! I’m Adam Larry, a pro woodworker, an expert project planner, and woodworking tools expert also owner of this website. From hand tools to power tools, I have extensive knowledge of all aspects of woodworking and take pride in creating beautiful and functional pieces for clients. I feel glad to share my woodworking experience with you with enormous excitement and enthusiasm.

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