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Discussion Starter #1
I spent many hours trying to understand the different types of hot melt glues. Actual or sufficient specifications are rare. So, to he who has tried using different products, pray tell which hot melt glues have worked best for sax pads? Please name names and relevant characteristics, your insights, etc.

Also, what specifications should an appropriate glue gun have for this use? Thanks.
 

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There have been several threads on this topic. You could search the site, or wait for Milandro to kindly provide a list of links.

Shellac - the stick form - is a type of hot melt glue and favoured by many techs for several reasons. It's downside is that in very cold climates it possibly gets too brittle. Also, if the metal is not heated then adhesion may be poor. A major feature is that it sets firm/rigid.
Its price is a turnoff for some, but per overhaul it does not amount to much.
Its general behaviour when softened is very friendly towards the technician.
Musicmedic markets shellac sticks which are actually not shellac, and behave somewhat differently.

Craft-type glue guns and glues operate at a considerably lower temperature, and the glue may well soften in a warm environment like in a car on a hot day.
Glue from these is not brittle, but some types have a sticking power not much different to cheese!
Lower temperature means less risk of the heat needed compromising the laquer on the keys, especially if it is nitrocellulose lacquer.

This is overcome by using a higher quality, higher-temp gun, eg 3M Polygun AE, with appropriate glue sticks, eg Scotchweld 3792Q.
https://www.hotmelt.com/blogs/blog/the-ultimate-3m-hot-melt-glue-gun-guide
 

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I use this exclusively: https://musicmedic.com/products/repair-supplies/adhesives/hot-melt/hot-glue-stick.html

There are many......MANY passionate opinions on what the best "vehicle" is for saxophone pad adhesion. I don't know any actual or sufficient (specific?) specs, but to be honest, I don't freakin' care. It works very well for me and many other repair techs I know. I also know techs who swear by shellac. That's fine. It's what makes the world go 'round.
I don't melt the sticks I use and apply with a glue gun. I use my small micro butane torch to melt the end of the stick and apply to the pad. I then flip the pad over and even the glue out on my bench anvil to make sure it's evenly applied. Then insert it into the pad cup, heat the cup and go from there.

For what it's worth......
 

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The summary of what I have gleaned is that unless you are really good with hot glue you should stick with shellac.

Its more forgiving...easily softens again to reseat pads when you dont have it perfect.

I personally dont want hot glue on my horn. Shellac continues to be used in the modern era for more reasons than tradition.
 

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The summary of what I have gleaned is that unless you are really good with hot glue you should stick with shellac.

Its more forgiving...easily softens again to reseat pads when you dont have it perfect.

I personally dont want hot glue on my horn. Shellac continues to be used in the modern era for more reasons than tradition.
Respectfully disagree, Phil. Especially regarding the "more forgiving, easily softens to reseat" etc... I certainly haven't found that to be true. Lastly, I'd challenge you or anyone to play a horn and tell me if the pads are glued with shellac or hot melt.

John
 

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Within reason, how the type of hot-melt glue - and that includes shellac sticks - is used is far more important than the glue.
1. Surfaces free of interfering contaminants.
2. Judging a suitable quantity; no pockets of air between the pad and the key metal.
3. Heating metal surfaces up to the glue melt temperature to aid adhesion.

I think most techs would agree that any oozing of excess glue is easier to clean up if it is shellac.
Oozing is far more likely for DIY.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
To be clear, my hope for this thread is not another discussion on shellac vs (modern) hot melt glues, but rather which (modern) hot melt products---glues and guns and their main characteristics/specs---are appropriate and preferred if that is the road one takes. I personally haven't chosen one direction or the other. I'm just trying to lean best practices for (modern) hot melts at the moment.
 

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To be clear, my hope for this thread is not another discussion on shellac vs (modern) hot melt glues, but rather which (modern) hot melt products---glues and guns and their main characteristics/specs---are appropriate and preferred if that is the road one takes. I personally haven't chosen one direction or the other. I'm just trying to lean best practices for (modern) hot melts at the moment.
So the question is. What are the best of hot melt adhesives and guns from experience on sax pads.
If you have not seen Matt’s video.
https://youtu.be/cqPTYp3gkws

Video glue specification, click on “view all details”
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company...lt-Adhesive-3792/?N=5002385+3293273674&rt=rud

The gun from video
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company...lt-Adhesive-3792/?N=5002385+3293273674&rt=rud

All the technical information and other adhesive options.
http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/44021O/3m-hot-melt-bonding-systems-guide.pdf

Hope this helps. PS
 

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Thanks, those links are helpful. However, I did see them already. One gets some idea of desirable characteristics by tying Matt's recommendation with the 3M website info. Regarding the 3M gear, it's too much investment for just testing purposes; and the 3792Q seems to come only in 5/8 diameter. Would love to hear about other experiences. Anyone know what products the sax manufacturers use?
 

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https://www.ebay.com/p/ACE-01562-Gl...3530-Pkgs/11012368126?iid=272663018688&chn=ps

I've used this on many repads. Other techs may claim they lack the skill to use this product properly, but I didn't find it that difficult. It differs from shellac in that the open time is longer. You just need to know that when floating.

Some claim that there is the hypothetical problem of the glue softening if you leave your saxophone in a hot car. That is true, but that level of heat would also destroy your upholstery and melt your dash, so any saxophone damage would be just part of your insurance claim. And this should never happen because, just like an infant, you should not leave your saxophone unattended in a car.

I can't address the difference in sound quality between glue and shellac because I never heard any when I switched. Others might claim glue improves intonation or that shellac makes the sound brighter, etc. My concern is simply getting the pad attached in a manner that is secure, level, and semi-permanent.

I've used several types of glue guns, most of them cheap hardware store versions. While adequate, I now use a Ryobi battery operated gun. The gun cost way less than the lithium-ion batteries, but since I already had the Ryobi batteries for other tools, spending $24 for the convenience of not having a cord was worth it. If left on and not used, it will overheat the glue (the same with most glue guns). Switching it on and off isn't complicated and much easier than pulling the plug over and over with the hardware store guns.

Mark
 

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https://www.ebay.com/p/ACE-01562-Gl...3530-Pkgs/11012368126?iid=272663018688&chn=ps

I've used this on many repads. Other techs may claim they lack the skill to use this product properly, but I didn't find it that difficult. It differs from shellac in that the open time is longer. You just need to know that when floating.

Some claim that there is the hypothetical problem of the glue softening if you leave your saxophone in a hot car. That is true, but that level of heat would also destroy your upholstery and melt your dash, so any saxophone damage would be just part of your insurance claim. And this should never happen because, just like an infant, you should not leave your saxophone unattended in a car.

I can't address the difference in sound quality between glue and shellac because I never heard any when I switched. Others might claim glue improves intonation or that shellac makes the sound brighter, etc. My concern is simply getting the pad attached in a manner that is secure, level, and semi-permanent.

I've used several types of glue guns, most of them cheap hardware store versions. While adequate, I now use a Ryobi battery operated gun. The gun cost way less than the lithium-ion batteries, but since I already had the Ryobi batteries for other tools, spending $24 for the convenience of not having a cord was worth it. If left on and not used, it will overheat the glue (the same with most glue guns). Switching it on and off isn't complicated and much easier than pulling the plug over and over with the hardware store guns.

Mark
Thanks for the info Mark.

I recently switched to glue and find it a lot easier to work with and way cheaper.
 

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If the object is to simply "glue" the pad into the keycup so that it stays, just about any glue will do that. On the other hand if the object is to provide an adhesive that also forms a solid bed for the pad to lay on that will allow minor adjustments (I don't like the term "floating") when it is heated to its "plastic" state, then shellac is the better choice in my experience. Many high end saxophones like Yamaha install pads with shellac at the factory and most low end or student models use hot glue probably because it is much less expensive.
 

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Saxo, what do you make of this stuff?

https://www.wwbw.com/Shur-Stik-Stick-Shellac-473595.wwbw?

I've used it on the last 4 or 5 horns I've worked on. It's definitely not a trad shellac. It is very strong. Nothing I have "floated" has moved.

I have used an amber hot melt glue which seems similar to the glue pellets you see in kits on eBay. It doesn't inspire my confidence.
 

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How is this different from the standard all purpose glue from Stanley?
https://www.stanleytools.com/products/hand-tools/manual-fastener-tools/hot-glue-gun-sticks
I sorta agree. I have occasionally used this Ace stuff in a severe pinch when I ran out of stick shellac a few times....not to be contrary, but it acts just like regular ol' run of mill glue-gun glue. It hardly has the workability nor positive attributes of stick shellac, IMHO....It serves OK for me in a pinch, but I would certainly not switch to it....

Thanks, those links are helpful. However, I did see them already. One gets some idea of desirable characteristics by tying Matt's recommendation with the 3M website info. Regarding the 3M gear, it's too much investment for just testing purposes; and the 3792Q seems to come only in 5/8 diameter. Would love to hear about other experiences. Anyone know what products the sax manufacturers use?
It appears you want to get some sort of definitive answer.....but, as the other thread examples and other links have illustrated...there isn't one...or two.

The debate will never end, a definitive answer will never be reached. Techs have their preferences. And various products all happen to 'work'.
If you choose one person's answer over another's without actually experiencing and trying the various products out there yourself...then you will simply be taking one person's answer over another's.
Asking what products are used my mfr's on their assembly-lines....is not necessarily gonna answer what product is better....

VALIUM...Its what's for dinner.
Inevitably what will be on the Menu should this thread, like others, go on past another page or so......

(again, not because it was an unreasonable question, just because the nature of the topic is such tha--...oh, etc., etc., I said it already.....)
 

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One of the things discussed in this thread is durability of temperature from exposure. The sax in car trunk on a hot day.
Last summer I took a stick of clear shellac and placed it out on the patio propped between two blocks. I let it sit for the day in the heat. Direct sun. Measuring at times with my temperature gun. The patio table and the stick reached approximately 148°. At the end of the day the 10” stick was still straight.
Meanwhile a piece of trim I glued on the dash of my car with hot melt fell off. Temp was 183°Inside.

The products Matt listed (see item 3 on post 10 ) have a working temperature between 250° and 275°. A open working time of 50 seconds. I’m not sure what the all purpose adhesive‘s temperature range is. I assume similar as there is no adjustments for temperature on the application guns. Working time 25 to 30 seconds.
The instructions on one of my generic Stanley guns says “caution the tip is 320°“.
Looking over a assortment of available adhesive’s it appears the cobweb problem has been resolved.

So here’s my question.
What is the working(temp) limits of the lacquer so you don’t burn the lacquer trying to liquefy the hot melt glue?
How does that compare to using shellac. What are the working temperatures of shellac?
I’ve used hot melt glue on repair and craft projects. I find the stability of the shellac more appealing.
 

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Some posts have mentioned "open" time.
As a technician, where time is money, I want an adhesive whose behaviour I am very familiar with, and which has a short "open" time. I have to get on with other work, not wait a long time for glue to harden. This may not be an issue for DIY, where time means very little.

With shellac I can glue the pad in, then spray the back of the key cup with water, and wipe any excess water off on my smock. That quickly cools the key cukp to below 100C. At that point shellac has just the right degree of fluidity (i.e. very little!) to give me 5-10 seconds of final adjustment time. That's all I need and all I want. It's all a matter of timing. That, to me is all part of a hot melt's specs. (For clarinets I get a similar performance from the amber coloured pellets.)
 
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