First of all, ATG stands for Adhesive Transfer Gun and is not a brand itself (ehem, I thought it was). There are a couple of name brand ATGs such as 3M/Scotch and Glue Art. These name brand ATGs run about $50-75. So, being the ever thrifty person that I am, I set on a quest to find a cheaper alternative. I found a generic ATG at http://www.thetapedepot.come/ for $25. (Model: Dispenser ATG-50)
This gun holds adhesive rolls for both 1/4" and 1/2" tape widths without having to buy an adapter. It is very light and weighs less than a pound including the tape roll. I thought it would be too big and bulky but I found it very easy to adjust to. The dispenser has a special pin spool allowing use of complete roll without any waste, friction or effort. You still have to do the little wrist flick motion when stopping the tape run to get a good break...or maybe I'm just not releasing the trigger fast enough (hmm, gotta go back and experiment with that one).
So, now I have this cool dispenser and how the heck do I get the tape in, right? Well, it appears it is complicated enough that someone created a You Tube video on it, which was extremely helpful. In fact, there are LOTS of videos on how to load your ATG. Apparently, I'm not the only one who couldn't figure it out! If you have a Scotch brand ATG, you will want to search You Tube for a video on how to load a tape roll for that brand. Here is the link to the video for the generic ATG from The Tape Depot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtyKPRoeOgA
Now, tape is another factor. There are name brand ATG tape rolls from Scotch and generic tape rolls. Both are acid free and pretty much the same EXCEPT for one thing. The plastic spool in the center of the generic roll is slightly different. I had to modify my generic tape roll to get it to fit the ATG properly. I don't think a lot of people know to do this which is why some may have problems loading their guns. It was quite simple once I knew what to do and took me about 10 seconds, but a very important step. All I did was remove one of the little plastic spokes on the tape spool with a pair of needle nose pliers (it snaps off quite easily). You should then be able to hear the tape roll snap in to place like it says in the video. Easy peasy!
Now that I have my ATG properly loaded and have had a chance to play with it a bit, I absolutely love it! I do a happy little dance every time I use my new gun. To learn more about Columbus Scrappers, join us at http://www.columbusscrappers.org/