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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #1
well, I was all set to buy a Web caster from Spirit last week at 30%, but then found out they didn't have them in store and I could get one at 30% off, but still pay shipping, or get free shipping, but pay full price. Neither option was appealing so I've decided to take a crack at making an 'el cheap gun of my own. Seems like a pretty simple concept. Run an air line to the tip of a glue gun and get the air flow angled right and strong enough to glow the glue into a string. I went with copper tubing for my air line because it is very easily bent to the contours of the glue gun and is easily adjustable with just piers. Made my connections with brass compression fittings and added an air valve to control the flow. For now it is all secured with electrical tape and zip ties and it looks like a hot mess, but it seems like it's going to work. First attempt under a porch light with no adjustments to the air direction had me producing a little webbing on a branch in about 30 seconds of fiddling with it. My air flow direction is not right though. It's angled upwards too much and it flips the initial drip of glue back onto the top of the glue gun instead of out and away. I've now bent the tube so that it points straighter now and is closer to the tip of the glue gun. I'm going to work with it some more tomorrow and see if I can't get it dialed in and making webs. Anyways, here is a photo of the monstrosity. lol



The pic is before I made adjustments to the airline tip. Not very pretty at all, but it only cost about $10 to build and if it works will save me about $30-$40 on the cost of the Spirit web caster. $8 of that $10 is in the glue gun!
 

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Scariest guy on the block
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Frankenwebber!!!!! Looks about like the setup I use. I need a bigger air compressor to keep up with me when webbing. I use a large 60 watt glue gun and it really sucks the glue down when you get going.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #4
Frankenwebber!!!!! Looks about like the setup I use. I need a bigger air compressor to keep up with me when webbing. I use a large 60 watt glue gun and it really sucks the glue down when you get going.
I think my compressor is big enough. It's a 15 gallon Craftsman. My glue gun may not be hot enough though. I'm using a cheap dual temp one from Michaels. One of the things I like about it is that I can use it on foam if I switch it to the low setting, so that may be an indicator that it does not get hot enough. It did produce webbing lat night, but my air angle is wrong and I didn't mess with it much because I was tired from 12 hours of work and also didn't want to bug the next door neighbor with the compressor cycling. I'm going to let it heat up on high again today and test it again. I've moved the air tip closer to the glue top and made it more parallel.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #5
After a quick adjustment to the air tip with a file to fine tune the angle some, the frankenwebber works perfectly. I was really impressed with how easily it actually worked too! It made web very easily on the first try without much fiddling at all. All I have to do is simultaneously turn up the air and start a drop of glue flowing and the air catches the drop an throws it out away from the tip, which starts the strand of web forming. Once the strand forms I stop turning the air valve and slowly squeeze the glue trigger. I tested it on one of my graveyard trees that I intend to have hanging spiders on anyways.



I took the pic with the sun behind the webbing so it would be more visible. This was a whole lot cheaper than buying a web caster and gave identical results from what I can tell.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Discussion Starter #7
Here is a photo of the final alignment of the air tube in relation to the glue tip for anyone who wants to try making a frankenwebber for themselves.



You can see how I've move it compared to the first photo I posted. It's much closer to the glue tip and a little further behind it. I used a couple of zip ties and a good tight wrapping of electrical tape to secure my air line along the sides and bottom of the glue gun. Now I just need to go buy a new hot glue gun because this was my good one. lol
 

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I made one a couple of years ago but could never get it to throw webs consistently. Then I read what you said about getting the air flow parallel with the glue gun tip. So I dug out my Frankenweber (sounds like a monster grill:)) and made the angle more parallel and it made a huge difference. It now shoots a continuous stream of webbing that is indistinguishable from real webs. They even feel like the real thing. Thank you for pointing out this important detail.

One thing I did that you might want to consider is pinching the tip of your copper tube to restrict the airflow. I put a very small brad into the end of the tubing and mashed it down then removed the brad. This will greatly reduce the amount of air you need to use and increase the velocity of the airflow at the tip. At 30psi with the valve about half open I can easily shoot webbing 25 feet.
 
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