Edgebander Glue Level and Maintenance

A cabinetmaker who has acquired a used edgebander asks about how best to care for the glue pot. August 16, 2012

I have just brought a secondhand edge bander from a landlord who had locked the cabinetmaker out for back-rent. At this stage we are doing a large project for a few months and will not need to use the bander. What should I do with the glue that is currently in the glue pot? Does the glue also need to be cleaned off with an application roller? This machine is a big step up for us as we have been using a hot air bander with manual trimming. The new bander is auto everything and does up to 1/4 soild timber.

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor K:
I never do anything to mine. It sat for over a year with glue in it and I used it last week. It worked just fine with the old glue that is years old.

From contributor S:
How long has it been sitting - weeks, months, a year? If you have the manual read up on the maintenance schedule. Lube the tractor feed, lube all the pivots, heat it up and pull out the old glue. Use the stick in the pot method. Buy some edge band glue pot cleaner and run it through the system.

Search this site on edge band maintenance. There are some good discussions on it. If this is a larger machine and you just reinstalled it you will likely need help setting it up the first time. Find a good tech and have him walk you through the maintenance and settings.

From the original questioner:
The machine has been sitting for a few weeks and the glue pot is about half full. I have the manuals so I will have a look at the maintenance advice.

From contributor C:
You need to find out from the manufacturer if pot cleaner is ok. Ours never recommends anything more than letting a stick cool in the pot and turning it on to reach a certain temp point and pulling the stick out. I went from a hot air six and a half years ago to what I have now and have never looked back. I would get some training asap. Then you can make the most of your purchase. I can guarantee a very fast return on investment. You have to keep it clean and maintained. It is crucial you put the right glue in it recommended from the manufacturer.

From contributor K:
Half full? I never leave mine half full. When I turn it off I fill it to the brim. The added pellets help absorb the heat and when it's turned on again it's full so it's less likely to scorch the glue. I havenít cleaned mine in a decade.

From contributor U:
I'd recommend keeping the pot full also. The adhesive only chars at the top of the glue level. Make sure the machine isn't left at full temperature when it isn't being used. Most newer machines have a timer that will automatically step the temperature down after a certain time. Our machine automatically maintains the adhesive level so we haven't cleaned the pot ever. We do clean the tower section about every three months. If you really need to clean the pot use the stick in the pot method and don't damage the coating in the pot by scrapping. Cool glue can stay good for a long time so keep the dirt off of it.

From contributor Z:
My tech says to keep it less than half full. I have a Cehisa EP9 and there is an opening for the glue to flow to the tower and he says that some of that opening should show for better glue flow. It also takes less time for the gluepot to warm up. I have heard many opinions and perhaps they are all true.

From contributor L:
Our machine also has an automatic fill system that way not as much glue has to be kept hot but the pot is always full (allows smaller pot.) Also, when it adds glue to the pot it has been preheated so it won't affect the application temperature.

From contributor C:
I was told to try and run the glue ad low as possible to keep the auger cycling the same glue as much as possible so you arenít dumping last monthís glue on this weekís fresh source. Keeping the return as clean as possible makes for a better spread. I had a lot of trouble one time and the tech told me to never fill more than 1/4 full and turn the machine off when not in use. I haven't had a glue issue in six years. We had to clean that batch out and it seemed like it was vulcanized rubber and huge clumps would get on the shoes. That was the techís clue we had been filling the pot too much and not using it up fast enough.

From contributor L:
Contributor C - if you don't use the bander very much and the glue is re-heated many times it will start to char and go downhill. That's the only reason I can see for not keeping the pot more than 1/4 full. If a bander is used in a semi-production environment and is not equipped with auto filling, you'd go nuts trying to maintain just 1/4 full pot. I suspect our bander runs more than most people's on this site so that is probably the difference in approach.