Edgebander Glue-Pot Maintenance

Advice on how to prevent an edgebander glue pot from wearing out prematurely. October 9, 2006

I have a Brandt KD56P, purchased in 2003. I love the compact size and quiet operation but the parts seem to wear out quickly. I have less than 385 hours on the entire machine and I am already faced with replacing the gluepot. I realize that the gluepot and heaters take the brunt of the wear and tear but this seems like premature failure. Is this a normal time frame for this type of repair? We have followed all of the maintenance guidelines as per the machine timetable. I went with the Brandt for the bullet-proof reputation and now I am beginning to wonder if I was wrong. Any advice?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Unless you bought this machine second hand or have abused it that number of hours equals 48 work days. This sounds ridiculous to me.

From the original questioner:
I bought the machine new and we do not abuse it. I also had an air cylinder go bad in the first year of use and an "O" ring that lasted about a month before falling apart. I am beginning to suspect some lemon in my bander.

From contributor B:
I was told by a tech at Stiles that the heaters are built to last about 3 years before they have to be replaced. I had a heater go out on the tower and replaced it. It is not that difficult to do, just time and money. What's going on with your glue pot? Why do you think it needs to be replaced? If it is the roller then you may have other problems related to alignment or operator error.

From contributor C:
As the Technical Specialist for the Brandt machine, I would like to know if you let the machine just sit without running panels but with the pot hot. This will quickly degrade the condition of the pot and thus you will have problems. If you do not run for more than 15 minutes, turn off the heaters. As for the gluepot worn out, I am not sure what you are referring to - the bearings or heaters or just the general condition of the pot? Bearings are bearings, and heaters are heaters - some last long and some short but most in the middle. Please contact us so we can see what is happening and if we can help.

From contributor D:
It's reassuring to know that Stiles is keeping an eye on these forums. Keep up the good work.

From the original questioner:
It was not the gluepot itself or the heaters which caused the problem. I was told by a Stiles representative that our leaking glue problem was due to a bad seal around the glue roller. The leak got so bad that it was running down the front of the gluepot and beginning to affect the performance. We were advised that the solution was to replace or rebuild the gluepot in order to repair the bad seal and stop the leak. Upon installation of a rebuilt gluepot we discovered the extent of the leak. Glue had leaked into areas under and around plates and screws/bolts which made the work difficult. It had eventually affected the heaters (not sure why). The bander works fine now with the rebuilt gluepot and we are back in business after a couple of days of effort and distress.

I do not feel that we abuse the machine at all. We only turn the heaters on when we plan to band panels and we do not band every day. We are guilty of having let the heaters idle @150 between banding sessions during the same day (maybe an hour?) but we were not told that this was bad for the machine. We were told that one way to avoid the long warmup time, some shops would turn it on in the morning and let it idle most of the day in order to be ready for duty when necessary. We don't have a need to have it on all day, so we wait the 20 minutes until it is ready to band.

From contributor C:
This is what Brandt recommends for the glue pot. Whenever the machine is not used for more than 15 minutes between jobs, it is recommended to turn off the machine's heaters. Yes, the pot will automatically go to 150 degrees without operator action, but this is still burning the clays and fillers in the glue at a slower rate than if the pot was at 200 degrees. If you turn off the heaters, then two hours later, the heater temps should be about 100 to 120. The heat up time from 100/120 back to 200 is much quicker than from cold iron (like when you start in the morning). So by following this method, it is delaying the time you have to clean the glue pot by many weeks or months.

As for the leak, I am not sure what seal you are speaking of in the top cap unless it is the glue gate o-rings. The top aluminum cap is made out of aluminum due to the fact that the top cap can be misaligned when putting the cap on the glue pot. I normally leave the top cap finger tight when assembly the glue pot. When the pot is heated up empty and starts to turn the glue roller, then you tighten the bolts on top of the aluminum cap until fully tight. This way the glue roller seats itself into its slot of the aluminum cap and does not create a new ground area to which glue will pour out of.

There are two other important items when cleaning the glue pot. One is to ensure the tower is fully inserted in the lip at the bottom of the glue pot. The other is to ensure some high temperature anti-seize is applied to the heaters if they are ever pulled out. This will allow heater removed 5 years down the road when they may have to be replaced.

Normally the glue pots can be rebuilt locally or replaced with rebuilt ones. There are always pros and cons to doing anything, but the big pros for rebuilt units are the minimizing the down time for disassembling and replacing all parts on the glue pot. Some customers do repair their own gluepots with no problems. It is a matter of how much mechanical knowledge the operator or owner wants to invest.