Melt Polyurethane Glue for the Small Shop

Melt Polyurethane Glue for the Small Shop

How would you like an adhesive that bonds wood as strongly as your traditional “yellow” woodworking glues, reduces clamping to a minimum, is ready to machine in as few as ten minutes and is applied with a cool-looking glue gun? Oh, did I mention, the glue joint is waterproof?

Franklin International’s new HiPURformer hot melt polyurethane adhesive system is a groundbreaking advancement for the home shop woodworker and small shop professional. Hot melt polyurethane technology has long been used in large manufacturing facilities, but it was expensive and application was difficult. Industry put up with the challenges because the adhesives’ benefits out weighed the difficulties.

Now, Franklin has teamed up with the German based Steinel Company to develop an easy-to-use, affordable way for the rest of us to take advantage of those benefits. If you’re looking at the glue gun and reading “hot melt” and thinking of those handy-dandy craft store hot melt glues, you need to think again. That would be like comparing a Red Rider BB gun to a high powered rifle. For example, the adhesion developed in just ten minutes from the system’s WW30 adhesive, within a maple to maple joint, will withstand over 650 pounds per square inch (according to Franklin’s documentation). Over the next 24 hours the polyurethane will build “cross-linking” as it reacts to moisture in the wood and air, and bond strength will increase to over 1300 psistronger than the actual wood fibers themselves.

The key to this new system is Franklin’s re-sealable storage and application tubes and the Steinel applicator (heater and gun). The adhesives fit into the applicator and are heated to the appropriate temperature. There are two formulas for woodworking applications and one for various plastics (including melamine … very nice!). After the gun and glue is heated, you can remove the gun and use it for up to 20 minutes at a time before you need to put it back in the heater stand to re-heat the polyurethane. When you are done with the task at hand, the tubes have threaded caps to keep the product fresh. As with any new product, it’s a good idea to test glue a few pieces of scrap wood before you try it out on a real project. The gun is easy to use, but I needed to get the feel of it before I was completely confident.

I am not good at predicting things (I was sure the Mall of America would be a commercial failure), but this new product makes such good sense to me that I’m guessing it will do well. With the variety of materials available to the home shop these days and the time crunch that all of us seem to find ourselves in, this new adhesive seems to answer real woodworking questions. Not to mention that the adhesive is equal to or better than the competing glues and adhesives it is looking to supplant. I know it will have a place in my shop for a long time to come.

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