Contour Bander


From original questioner:

Does anyone out there own a contour edgebander, and or contour trimmer such as those made by scm and brandt. I am looking at options to speed up and improve our contour banding processes, and would like any feedback on how well this type of machine performs, and whether they are worth the money.

I am also concerned how well they would work on a larger component, I sometimes need to edgeband 8' long shelves with curved ends and am concerned about supporting the component.

From contributor La

We've got the Brandt set. Work OK. There are several things you need to learn to make them work. That said, you will periodically have to tear a band off and start over. Long parts are difficult to control. I welded up a hold down system and put two ball top tables near, that helps. 3mm PVC has limitations as you would suspect. The soft stuff they make for contour banding helps a lot but the choices are limited. The trimmer works for the thicker banding. .018 we trim by hand. The end trim saw on the trimmer is effective for ends that don't end on a curve. The dust pickup is very poorly designed and just plain didn't work. I made a new hood and larger hose connection that works much better.

I bought one of the hand held contour banders made by Le-matic. It works quite well. Be sure to get the one with the temperature controller and variable speed.
You will need a way of holding the work. If you get a vacuum system get one that has a compressed air pump not just the suction cups. They sell an edge trimmer that works better than a trim router because of its modifications. The bearing has a glue scraper, and there is an effective dust hood. You have to keep it very clean for good results. It doesn't feel very durable but we have the stationary trimmer to use most of the time.

If you don't do a lot of contour banding I'd get the hand held one. They make an optional table for it that seems like a good idea. You could make your own also. It would then be much like the very much more expensive Brandt, SCM etc. Probably not as durable but we are talking limited use. For a one man shop it could serve as the only bander. Far better than the cheap hot air banders I've used.

The Le-matic importer was good to deal with also.

There are also the bigger contour banders that probably work well for large parts. They have a vacuum support table and a portable bander that hangs by a cable from a mast. Last I saw their price was around $35K. I've never used one.

From contributor Ch

We are running one for the first time this week. We have a used Brandt. We are getting good results. The tables we are making are taking about 30 sec to run. vs. contact adhesive. We are using 1mm PVC edge but most of what we will be doing will be veneer.

One issue we are having is cutting the joints after the edge is on. I got a joint cutter from Stiles (dist by ShopGear), but there are no instructions. Has anyone used one? Do you cut both edges at the same time?