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Stefan Question

Glue melts the foam...

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#1 Jpec07

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 11:42 PM

So I've got a n00b's question. My friend and I started making our first ever batch of Stefans the other night (crude, misshapen things), and upon beginning the process of hot gluing the domes onto the darts, several times I found that the dart itself was actually melting, causing the still hot glue of our creations to dribble down the side of the dart and nearly scald my finger. Naturally, after this happened two or three times, we decided to rethink our strategy concerning the Stefan darts we were making, and I thought to finally ask a legitimate question on these forums.

My question is this: how do I prevent the foam of my new darts from melting on account of the hot glue?

And before you yell at me to do a search, know that I tried multiple times to find a topic/post about this issue (keywords "stefan melt" minus quotes), and to no avail.
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#2 Collective

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 11:54 PM

You're probably using a high temp glue gun. Switch to a low temp one and it should stop doing that.
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#3 Jpec07

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 11:57 PM

That...does seem like a good idea. Only problem is that the glue gun I got doesn't have high and low settings (then again, it was only $3, so I can't complain). Should I invest in a new, better gun, or is there another workaround?
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#4 Ryan201821

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 12:17 AM

Buy a new one. They are like $5 tops. You can't make good stefans with a high temp glue gun. You just can't.
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#5 Hipponater

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 12:36 AM

That...does seem like a good idea. Only problem is that the glue gun I got doesn't have high and low settings (then again, it was only $3, so I can't complain). Should I invest in a new, better gun, or is there another workaround?


The low temps are also around $3. I got mine at Joanne's or Michaels, a couple of craft stores in the area. Every week they have a 40% off one item coupon, so you can score some pretty cheap glue guns. I'd get two, one for you and your friend.

You want to look for as low as a wattage as possible. Usually 5W or 10W. And get low temp glue, of course.
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#6 father time

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 01:29 AM

I use a bowl with ice water in it, as soon as I put the glue on and it starts to dome, I put the dart in the water for a few seconds and it locks it in shape with minimal foam loss.
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#7 snakerbot

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 02:01 AM

You could also not leave the glue gun plugged in all the time. It takes some extra time and it will take a little while before you get the hang of when you should plug in and unplug the glue gun, but it works and you don't need to buy anything extra.
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#8 oh1134

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 03:21 PM

I have found that I can make CS type darts with a sorta medium temp glue gun (it doesn't actually say what temperature). it melts it a little, but not much.
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#9 Dude13

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 03:33 PM

Switch to denser foam or just be careful with the amount of glue you put.
I always ALWAYS use high-temp glue guns to make stefans and only 1 out of about 150 melt beyond the edge.

Slow down on the trigger of the glue gun. Pull it only about half way and it shouldn't melt your foam a lot, a little bit of melting is tolerable and is a natural occurence (I assume you are using hardware store foam).
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#10 Jpec07

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 05:49 PM

(I assume you are using hardware store foam.


Yes. I was unaware there were different grades of foam available for purchase. If I may ask, what's the best place to get denser dart foam? We got ours from Lowe's (none at the Ace Hardware in San Dimas)--and it is rather flimsy and doesn't want to stay straight (even after trying a few of the methods listed in the sticky thread).
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#11 Dude13

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 06:05 PM

I'm in canada and relatively close to Forsaken_Angel24. We usually attend the same wars so I buy some of his beige foam.

I'd reccomend ordering foam from SwiftNerf. I have a few darts made with his foam and it is extremely dense. It fits OMC's Thick wall PETG rather nicely (Semi-tight)
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#12 nerfer63

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 07:03 PM

My foam look at link in sig.

N63
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#13 AquaPsudo

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 07:15 PM

yeah same as father time iced water works nicely

Edited by AquaPsudo, 10 November 2009 - 07:17 PM.

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#14 Blacksunshine

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 11:53 PM

Get a Mini if that one you have isn't already. Even minis can get glue hot enough to melt even the best foam so you have to not let it sit and warm up for too long. If you're making a lot of darts let it cool down between when you burn the holes in the darts and actually put glue in them. Usually it takes a few min to put your weights in all the holes in the blanks. Let the gun cool down for a bit. Or you can get a 2nd glue gun and have it warming up while you're burning the holes. If you've let the gun sit for a bit and you're not low on glue you can even waste some to make sure the molten hot stuff is out of it and fresh cooler stuff is ready to go in the darts.
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