Thinking about modding my Heat Gun
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Nospam

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Yeah, it's a bit out-there, but I just had to ask


So, I found a great deal on a heat gun ($15 with a bunch of nozzles). The thing is, when I got home, I realized the ouput temps are 700F and 920F. I think it'll still work ok for shrink tubing, but I would prefer to see something closer to 500F on the low end. So, it got me thinking... yeah, always a dangerous thing


Just how do these things control the temperature output? What would it take to adjust this?

Yes, the rational person would just use it as-is, but that wouldn't be as much fun
 
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Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nospam
Yeah, it's a bit out-there, but I just had to ask


So, I found a great deal on a heat gun ($15 with a bunch of nozzles). The thing is, when I got home, I realized the ouput temps are 700F and 920F. I think it'll still work ok for shrink tubing, but I would prefer to see something closer to 500F on the low end. So, it got me thinking... yeah, always a dangerous thing


Just how do these things control the temperature output? What would it take to adjust this?

Yes, the rational person would just use it as-is, but that wouldn't be as much fun




How many watts and amps is that heat gun rated at? If it's not too high, you could use a lamp dimmer for a ghetto controller. Otherwise you may have to build your own with a higher rated rheostat.

-Ed
 
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audiomortis

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i just hold mine farther away.
 
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Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by audiomortis
i just hold mine farther away.


That and waving the heat gun nozzle across more rapidly will help to spread the heat out more. Watch out for your hands and arms, though.

-Ed
 
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Voodoochile

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Can you post a pic? Although the further away/fanning techniques work pretty well, if you have any techflex nearby, being able to control the air more tightly is nice, especially with 3:1 tubing.

I'm wondering if it looks at all like mine, perhaps you could disassemble it, and drill some small holes in the nozzle, 2/3 of the way towards the body of the gun. This would allow it to draw in some cool air at the last moment before exiting the nozzle. You would want to make them small, and only a couple to start with. If they were too big, it would negate the cooling effect for the motor by reducing the amount of air drawn through the gun, possibly causing it to overheat.

No warranty expressed or implied. In fact, any mods will void the warranty... but you implied that you may not be rational.

Any rheostant solution would have to be pretty big to tolerate the 800-1500 watts or so that this likely uses, and a variac would slow the motor and the heater down, so that's probably not a good way, either.
 
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mono

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I'd tend to think limiting the heating element with a series resistor might be a good option if there's room for one, perhaps with a switch across that (resistor) to switch between full power and low power.
 
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Nospam

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mono
I'd tend to think limiting the heating element with a series resistor might be a good option if there's room for one, perhaps with a switch across that (resistor) to switch between full power and low power.


This is along the line of what I was thinking. I'm just not sure if it would work.

The heat gun looks very much like this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=35776

The logical thing to do, would be for me to return it and buy this: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47269

But like I said, that wouldn't be nearly as much fun
 
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mono

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Quote:

I'm just not sure if it would work.


I doubt a $10 heat gun has anything more elaborate than a simple resistive wire element, so a series resistor should work. Problem is getting a large enough resistor stuffed into the thing and doing so SAFELY.

However a rheostat or other external control may not be a problem- while the fan will slow down, typically a fan has a non-linear voltage to RPM & flow response towards it's upper end so that a voltage reduction would result in a little higher flow to heat ratio than it originally had, and for heatshrink that [lower flow rate] "might" be a desireable thing but not having done so myself, it's only speculation.
 
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beamrider

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I don't know, mine outputs 1000 degrees, and I hold the gun about a foot away from the shrink, works perfect. Most of the nichrome wire models output a certain temp, based on air flow and length of wire. Add wire, temp will drop. Remove wire, temp goes up.
 
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Emon

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Not sure on the heat output of mine, but it's a BEAST. It can change the temper of steal. It works fine for heatshrinking all sorts of plastics on the lowest setting. Just hold it a little futher away.
 
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