I’ve been looking for the perfect hot-melt glue and gun for years, ever since I saw a solid-surface fabricator install countertops with the help of hot-melt glue. I’ve tried all kinds, from a little pink craft gun with glue sticks to the Titebond HiPurformer Advanced Bonding System, and they’ve all fallen short.
Then I was introduced to the PamTite Adhesive System at the 2012 Remodeling Show in Baltimore. It includes the corded model HB 220 industrial-grade glue gun, plus a choice of two nontoxic, waterproof, and virtually odorless thermoplastic adhesives called PamTite and PamTite Plus. The former has a working time of 1 minute and instant tack, and it fully cures within 5 minutes. The latter has a working time of 3 minutes, has a less-aggressive tack, fully cures within 8 minutes, and is more resistant to cold and heat. Both have a shelf life of several years. If you make a mistake with either, you can melt them with a heat gun and reposition your work. The adhesives aren’t structural, but they bond to a wide range of materials and, according to the manufacturer, can often substitute for construction adhesives or traditional fasteners in controlled environments.
I’ve been using the gun with the instant-tack PamTite adhesive lately, and so far I’m really liking it.
At the moment, I’m tuning up and weatherstripping lots of windows and doors in houses that are 50 to more than 100 years old, and the kit has been indispensable.
For instance, I weatherstrip old double-?hung windows by routing grooves in the edges of the sashes and inserting either Q-Lon foam seals or silicone bulbs—a method that doesn’t detract from the historic appearance. When this weatherstripping is loose at the ends of the grooves, I’m using the hot-melt to secure it while I return the window to the frame. Where window parts are worn and the fit is loose, a bit of hot-melt can make them work like new with no milling required. I also just used the gun to fix some leaky French doors and to glue plastic shims behind door hinges to realign the doors with their jambs.
What I like most about the PamTite system is the gun itself. It has a built-in stand, lets you set the perfect temperature, activates the glue in less than 5 minutes, has an adjustable stroke with a consistent feed, and accepts optional tips. It appears to be built to last, and also comes with a compact, sturdy plastic case that conveniently holds 12 of the 1/2-inch-by-10-inch glue sticks. The gun costs about $110, and the adhesives cost about $13 to $17 per pound. I’ll be using the kit for other things soon, so I might have more to say ... stay tuned.
Bill Robinson is a weatherization expert, trainer, and multimedia construction consultant currently working in New Orleans. He also presents the Moisture Management Inside and Out clinic at JLC Live and moderates the Exterior Details forum at jlconline.com.
PamTite Adhesive System / Pam Fastening Technology / 800.699.2674 / pamfast.com