How to Make a Primitive Style Glue Stick

Today, we’re going to be showing you How to Make a Primitive Style Glue Stick using exclusively materials made out of trees. This is a hot glue stick. It’s not the kind that you usually think of that goes in a glue gun or you buy at a craft store. This stuff works surprisingly well and holds on really strong. The ingredients could not be simpler, sap from pine trees and charcoal dust. Here’s the basic plan. We’re going to gather up some pine sap, melt it down and mix in some finely ground charcoal to create a solid mass that can be melted down into the glue.


To get started, we need to gather some sap. Now, I think every kind of pine tree produces sap, and it’s usually not too hard to find if you look around. It will often be leaking out of the trees, especially if the tree has had any branches break off or something like that. Let’s look around and see what we can find, and we’ll just gather it up in this tin. This used to be a bean can, it’s cut into this strange shape so that it has a couple of handles to easily carry it around.

You can see that gathering the sap is not usually very quick. Although, this amount is already a good start, and it’s only taken me five or ten minutes. If you spent a couple hours doing this, you could probably fill the whole tin. Sometimes you can get lucky and you’ll actually find spots where sap has dripped down off of the trees in larger quantities.


I think we’ve got enough. We can now take this over the fire and start to melt it down. We’ve got our sap in our can, our modified can with the handles. So now we’re going to take it over the fire and we have here just some charcoal that’s burning. It’s not big flames. It’s not super hot and that’s what we want. We want fairly low heat because too high of heat and some of this would burn.

Next step

Some of it would start boiling and that can change the texture in ways we don’t want. Plus, this is all flammable and if there’s lots of big flames it’s harder to control and it could ignite. Very quickly. Little bits of it start to… melt and get runny down in there. That might even be going too fast. I’m trying to stir it to keep all of the melted stuff together with the melted stuff. It’ll help it melt more, it will help it be more smooth and even. And it stops the stuff that’s already melted from boiling too much. Now, depending on the map you’ve gathered. What it melts down into is going to be a little bit different.

If all of the sap you gathered was really nice and clear, you’re probably just going to have a nice clear thin syrup textured mixture. Alright, this is starting to melt quite nicely. We’re just going to back it out of the fire. So it’s still in a warm area. So it’s not going to be boiling as we prepare the charcoal. Now what we need is charcoal. And generally the mixture that we’re looking for is, two to one of sapped charcoal. So, one part charcoal, two parts sap. And you can kind of eyeball this, if you’re off by a little bit either direction, it should still work pretty well. Take me some charcoal and a rock. I’m just going to start crushing this up into a fine powder.

That looks… I think that will be about enough, by the time that’s all crushed up. I think that’s getting to be quite a good fine powder. I’d say that looks like should be enough. Let’s get our sap all the way melted. Make sure it’s at the consistency we want. We can go even a little bit thinner than this. [Music] I’m just going to mix our charcoal in.

Little Touch

We actually need a little bit more. I’m just going to crush up a little bit more. This handle, because I’ve just been keeping this in low heat. These handles are actually cool enough that I can just hold on to them. Especially the one that was farther away from the heat. Then I can just… add a little bit more charcoal here.I’m just going to use one stick to try and attach it to the other stick.

It’s warm enough that I definitely don’t want to just grab it with my hands. One of the reasons I’m using this can instead of something else, is that whatever you cook this in is definitely going to get ruined. This is destructive and messy. And as this stuff cools off, it sticks a ton. And of course it’s charcoal. So it’s super dark, very noticeable as it builds up on stuff. As this cools down, it stops sticking nearly as much, and it’s fairly cool now, still quite squishy soft. But definitely getting harder, and now, we want to let this cool down completely.

I’ve been talking about how we want to avoid getting this too hot. Let’s try and see what happens if I get this too hot. I’m just going to put this right over some coals, then I’m going to blow on it a little bit to get that going a little more. So, what I’ve poured onto there is… basically turpentine and charcoal.

The Process

It burns very quickly and very readily with a lot of smoke as you can see. Our glue has now cooled down and at this point. It’s quite hard. You can barely put a dent into it with your finger. If you use your fingernail, you can definitely mark it a little bit but it’s quite rigid, quite hard, and it holds itself together really well, and this still could cool down a little bit more. It’s a fairly warm day out here, which is going to keep it a little bit more pliable.

If it’s cool or if you cool it off in cold water or something like that, it gets very hard to the point where I’m not even sure you can dent it with your nail anymore. So now, we have our hot glue stick. To use it, we warm it back up. And we saw how flammable this stuff was when it gets really hot and lights on fire. We don’t want to do that.

But we can just use the heat from the fire to warm it up enough that we can use it. You can see it definitely started getting a lot shinier. It is now sticking to my glove pretty much immediately. We’re just going to see about gluing these two sticks together. Now, that is not the best kind of use of this glue.

Make The Stick

Sticking two surfaces to each other is not what it’s best at. But just to take a look at it to see what happens. Get some more glue smeared on there. Press these two together. Now let’s let this cool down. Let’s look at something that this does really well. So, I have dowel here and a piece of 2×4 that I drilled. And the hole that I drilled is far too big for this dowel. It’s not a tight fit, falls right out, spins very loose and easily. That’s because I intentionally drilled this hole too big. You can just see there’s a gap all the way around that dowel. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take some of our glue here. We’re going to melt that down. We’re going to heat up the end of our dowel just a little bit and cover it. And then, we’re going to wedge that down in and see how well attached it is after the glue cools. [Music] If I was not wearing gloves, I would not be using my fingers to clean this off.

I just be using a little piece of a stick. Not even necessarily for the temperature thing. Although, the glue was pretty warm as I was doing that. But mostly because it would stick to my fingers. All right. Let’s let this cool down and we can see how well these pieces are attached. I tried to glue these sticks together and then because I was impatient, I ran them under cool water, but the water was flowing fast enough that it just sort of pulled the sticks apart, and now they’re wet. So I can’t glue them back together very well. But, I do still have the dowel in the 2×4, and as you can see it’s stuck.

Like, it doesn’t just hold the dowel into the 2×4. It holds the 2×4 on to the dowel. I might be able to tear it out, and I’m going to try, but we’re going to see how much force this takes. Oh, my gosh, a lot of force is the answer. And that’s still actually a little bit sticky, which means it probably wasn’t even cooled down all the way yet. And that was in there that was stuck! This stuff is powerful. I’m going to rewarm this and stick it back in there. Just so it holds in but like, that stuff sticks well. “Random Fact: Another interesting product that can be made from trees is chewing gum, which got its start from the rubbery sap found in Sapodilla trees.” A strong, easy to use, easy to carry, water proof glue.

Fits on a stick and it’s entirely made out of trees. Just pine sap, charcoal, and a stick from the ground. In terms of useful primitive knowledge, this to me is really great because like, it’s glue! Who doesn’t want glue? Not to mention the fact that once it’s cooled down all the way, it’s sort of a rigid plastic. So there’s probably some other tools, you could make just by sculpting this stuff a little bit into the right shape. Guys, we love doing this old technology style stuff.

okey thats it How to Make a Primitive Style Glue Stick. If you’ve got anything you’d like to see, let us know down in the comments. Guys, there’s always more for you to see.

Read More: How to Make Soap at Home with Natural Ingredients

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