|The Saga of the Heat Gun
||[Jun. 7th, 2011|08:33 pm]
So for our wedding invitations (which I'm making) I'm doing some rubber stamping with embossing. It was a way to include some design elements that are appearing other places but in a 2 dimensional way. I hadn't done any since I was 10 or so, and was originally thinking about using the stove or an incandescent light bulb to heat the embossing powder, but while reading up on the process (Internet to the rescue!) there were suggestions to use a heat gun. Heat guns are just a tool with a directional heating element, often shaped like a hairdryer, but more focused and with less air movement. When I went to Michaels to pick up an embossing ink pad and embossing powder, there was one in the stamping isle, specifically designed for crafting, for $25, so I decided to buy it.
Man, this thing made embossing SO MUCH EASIER. It was great on my embossing experiments last week and this morning, and I started on the first step of assembling our invitations this morning. I get through 1 stamping (of 3) on about 20 invitations and I notice that the plastic of the outer casing was warped, and some of it was touching the metal of the heating element. Not good. So I boxed it back up, went back to Michaels, and the sales lady was very surprised: she's owned one of the same models for a while now and never had a problem! So I chalk it up to bad luck, exchange the item, and come back home to get back to work.
I start up the replacement and the motor doesn't sound the same as the previous one. Then there is white smoke. Then it won't turn back on. I didn't even get ONE invitation done. Clearly this model and brand (Marvy Embossing Heat Tool 2500), geared towards crafters, is a complete POS. I'll be returning it to Michaels for a cash refund (which they offered when I was there earlier today) tomorrow. So I decided to do some quick internet research on preferred brands, and a couple of places mentioned Milwaukee, as in the power tool brand.
Now being in a "I need to be making progress on this NOW" sort of mood I decided to check out the selection at my local Hardware store. 10 minutes and $33 later I return home with a Performance Tool Dual Temp Heat Gun. While it's not a top of the line product, it's much sturdier than the craft grade one, and I don't NEED something hardcore. I'm using it on it's lower setting at 570°F (the higher setting of 980°F is overkill for a craft project) and it's working great. The motor sounds steady, it's sturdier in my hand, and definitely worth the extra $8.
I was able to complete step 1 of actually starting to assemble these invitations and I'm quite happy :) On the back of the invitations, where card company logos often are, I used a stamp of Snoopy & Linus playing cards. One of our themes is board and card games, and my father LOVED the peanuts characters, and when I stumbled across this stamp while looking for other things it reminded me of Dad. Incorporating it into our invitations wasn't even a question, and the "logo spot" seemed like a cute spot where we didn't already have something else planned. I'm pleased with how step 1 turned out :)