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Matt wax gun vs. hot glue gun

Does anyone know the diameter of the matt wax pellets for their "gun"
system? I am thinking about trying may wax pellets in a hot glue gun,
if size works (I may have to hook up a rheostat of some sort to
control temps, I’m aware.)


Hi Kenneth,

I tried just exactly that stunt 10-15 years ago. It works…sorta.

I’m sure the original prototype Matt gun was in fact a frankenformed
gluegun, but the hassle factor of doing it now versus the cost of a
’real’ matt gun didn’t net out well. (I spent about $50 on the power
control and voltage meter, nevermind time, and machining up custom

So, yes, the matt pellets fit into a standard gluegun. Which is
waaay too hot. So you have to build a rheostat to tone it down. (I
added a volt meter for repeatability.) Then you need to machine custom
nozzles for the gluegun, as gluegun nozzles are far too wide. One
thing that was neat was that I found a bunch of “decorative” gluegun
nozzles at a local crafts store. One of them spits out ribbon, one
does 5 little streams side-by-side, etc. Most interesting when done
in wax.

I had a real matt gun at the school where I was teaching at the
time, and I had my hotwired gluegun. Fancy nozzles aside, the real
Matt gun worked better. It turns out that simple rear mounted ramrod
that they use for pressure works better (for wax extrusion) than the
trigger feed on a gluegun.

For whatever that all’s worth.

Hi Kenneth,

they are the same diameter, I have done this with limited success,
you will need to cut down the temp, I used a rheostat. You will also
need to extend the outlet so the wax has a tube to cool in as it is
extruded. I found it a little hard to control but maybe if I had
persevered I would have had better results.

Let us know how you get on.

kind regards,
Tim Blades

I tried that too–didn’t work. Ruined my glue gun–ended up just
buying the real one.

Excellent info, Brian. Thanks much. I reckon I will just wait and
get my hands on a matt gun when I can.


A friend dissuaded me from getting a glue gun instead of the Matt
wax gun. She had rigged one up and let me try it. We found it awkward
to work with as the wax was overheating even though she had a
rheostat. When we turned it down, it refused to flow. We both agreed
that it was not worth the hassle, and so we are both getting the
Matt gun. I will be using the fine lines as decorative items on an
already carved model.

Hope the molten wax being ejected from the gun will adhere to the
wax model which will be cool. I am wondering if I should smear some
sticky wax on the surface of the model in order for it to adhere?
Certainly worth a try. However, I will appreciate your suggestions,
as all this is fairly new to me… I have been enjoying carving wax and
doing casting. I had accumulated quite a bit of clean scrap
sterling, and fine silver. Was going to trade it in for fresh, but,
as it is clean, decided to use it for casting. I have been keeping
the two separate as they have different melting points.


Hi Alma:

I used the red extrusion was from the Matt gun to do woven wax rings
with my beginners. If you extrude the red stuff into wires, it makes
the most absolutely great wax for weaving. It’s flexible, and hard
enough not to take fingerprints like the sprue wax wires do.
Unfortunately, you have to learn to extrude even wires to be able to
use it. (I’d love to be able to buy it already extruded into

Were I in your shoes, I’d extrude the red wax into wires, and then
tack it onto whatever it is you’re doing. Trying to get it to melt
directly onto your piece, and then extrude short pieces is going to
be…deeply entertaining. Like root-canal sort of entertaining.
Pasting already extruded wires into place with sticky wax seems like
a very good way to go. Anything other than trying to do it hot,
directly from the gun.


Does anyone know the diameter of the matt wax pellets for their
"gun" system? I am thinking about trying may wax pellets in a hot
glue gun, if size works (I may have to hook up a rheostat of some
sort to control temps, I'm aware.)

Dear Kenneth, Yes, I happen to use the Matt Gun. The pellets average
between 11.8–12.0 mm in diameter. (I just measured several for
you.) They’re also about 33 mm long.

Gary Strickland, GJG

Thanks Brian for the great advice on using the red wax in the Matt
gun to make wires and then tacking them to the model. I don’t make
squiggley things, but am interested in doing some overlay on a
preformed base, scrolls or lattice work. Most will be quite

I got some Matt wax tablets, on which I have carved some designs,
but want to add some additional overlay work. Using wax wires seems a
good way to do this.

I am glad to know about the red wax. The Matt gun comes with 3
different waxes, blue, red and green. As only a few pellets are
included with the kit I will order some additional red wax in order
to have enough with which to practice getting nice even wires.


Glue guns these days have a PTC (positive temperature coefficient)
element in their construction, so they self-regulate around the
maker’s chosen temperature, regardless of sitting idle versus
pumping glue slowly. This means running them under-voltage can
certainly get them to run below glue temperature, more suitable for
wax… but they will not self-regulate at the temperature for wax,
because the PTC element is inactive. When you pump wax, the heater
will not compensate, so the gun will cool down a little - sort of
cranky behavior.

Fourth Axis

About glue guns,

I have 2 glue guns that I’ve “juried” with rheostats. I make my own
wax rods to fit the small gun using straws of the right size. I’ve
made tips to fit so I can extrude the proper size I want. Thinking
now of changing the trigger so I can hold it sort of like a pen. I
used to have a unit YRS ago ( Kerr I think, but also vigor used top
make them) that had a small reservoir and tab for extrusion… wish I
could find another… missed a couple on E-bay. ANYWAY my glue guns
work very well considering.