I'm getting tired of having my shop look like a laundry business with everyone having an iron in their hand. I'm thinking about making the move to an edge bander. We don't band a lot of stuff but when we do its time consuming to iron on by hand, What are you guys using and NOT having any problems with ? Thanks as always !!
Pick one that has someone in your area that has a tech close by. These things do everything these days but they have so many bells and whistles its like opening the hood on a high priced foreign car.
I have a new Scmi and a 1988 scmi B4L.
The older one is always ready to go when we are waiting in parts for the other.
I know its limited but I bought a used vitap hot air bander about 5 yrs ago. What used to take all afternoon or longer now takes 45min. The guy I bought it from in New England built a lot of frameless and made enough money with it to buy a new streibig and a new large edgebander that he was setting up while I was there. It was the right 1st step for me. Now, I paid like $2800 for it. I am not sure I could justify a new one at 6-8k without thinking of going to a glue pot. FYI. It does not do PVC well. It is inconsistent and the temp to melt the glue softens the tape to much and it bunches up on the rolls. I use mainly prefinished tape on prefinished ply for shelves or I band parts and finish later. As I said, for me it was a good next step for my 1 man shop but if you have aspirations to grow you may outgrow it quickly.
Virutex has a glue pot bander with edge trimmer for $4k and change. I've made several millions of dollars of frameless cabinetry with it. It's your bare bones, not much can go too wrong, operate on it yourself and get work out the door bander.
I have a 1 year old biesse that has both the new style glue pot and d the airforce glulesshotair application. Machine has worked flawlessly for 11 months and applies.edgebanding beautifully. We have not had to make any adjustments to the trimmers since installation, just fire it up and run parts. Cost about $120k
On the other end of the scale, i have a Festool portable edgebander that we do for radius work. This thing is BEAUTIFUL and of the highest quality. You still have to manually trim. It utilizes cartridge.glue, heats up fast, is much cleaner than a glue pot portable. Had mine for 2 years and still looks brand new. Cost $3200 ar $3500 with accessory kit. Uses any regular edgebanding
We've got two banders plus one of the portables. A huge disadvantage to the portable is having to hand trim. Edge banders have a lot of moving parts and adjustments. It takes some effort and thinking to successfully get the most out of them. When fine tuned they produce near perfect edges. Our industrial level bander runs every day most all day and does a good job. The light duty HH struggles with 3mm banding even though they claim it will do it. There is a big difference in price so you can't expect the same performance out of a $30K bander as a $150k one. Don't get the cheap hot air bander. A bander will pay for itself in labor savings! Probably in the range of 10 to 1 time. If your shop rate is on the cheap end and only about $50/ hour and you spend 10 hours a week hand banding but only use the machine 1 hour, that machine has just saved you $450 every week to pay its way. Tip to avoid problems, put one person in charge of it, not everyone in the shop. IWF is coming in a couple of months, go look at all of them.
If itís not used often and only for thin wood veneers than the virutex will do the job very well with almost no adjustments needed. Just keep glue pit clean and your set to go. We have a massive Brandt with premill and corner rounding that runs several hours a day but takes time to learn the machine and it can be costly to maintain. We use a lot of 1mm pvc tape and modern materials that need a flawless edge with as little glue line as possible, but doesnít sound like thatís your requirement. Harold
Not sure what your budget is or what your power/electrical capabilities are?
If you are looking for something cheaper i would buy a used SCM, the 201s have a glue pot and do all the trimming and end cuts, they are for sale everywhere. I had one years ago and it was a great machine, I upgraded to a Brandt so I could do thicker wood strips. I love the Brandt, there are also used Brandts around that are in excellent shape. Another thing to consider is the layout of your shop and the placement of your edgebander, different manufacturers feed from different ends.
We have a 2006 Casadei bander which will need some parts and possibly major repairs. As we do mostly solid woodwork, we have only the occasional need for a bander. Would the festool or felder bander work in this instance and replace our stationary bander? When it has worked (the Casadei), it is great, but half the time we are adjusting something that's not running properly.
I know a shop nearby that provides banding service and that may be an option for large jobs (they charge $110 an hour to do the work though so I won't be a frequent customer). I'm thinking of mounting the portable bander in a tabletop set up. The festool trimming kit seems a bit goofy to me. It might be OK for a festool addict but I don't know that it will work in a professional shop.
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