I've got a small closet business and my Virutex AG98F edgebander (hand held) is about worn out. I'm not ready for a full size unit, so I need advice on getting a new hand held one. What is the best brand/model for my application (PVC banding)?
From contributor B:
You might consider the cost of your throwaway banders and the extra time it takes to use it in comparison with a nice hot air unit. There is an incredible difference in the banding time and quality of your product. If not a full size unit, you might save money with a $12 Black and Decker Edgebander from Walmart and a $15 Virutex edge trimmer.
Donít sell yourself short. You should definitely be looking for a permanent solution rather than a temporary fix. I think that you are only putting off the inevitable. I would highly recommend a hot glue machine, but if you are thinking on getting a hot air bander, do a search on WOODWEB to see what others have said.
You need a real bander much more so, even, than I did. Nearly every piece of your product needs to be banded. Get a glue pot bander or the cartridge setup from Holz-Her instead of some expensive hot air setup. Guys have been having good luck with the Cehisa three-station bander for under $20,000. A friend of mine bought one and I saw it last month - it is a great machine.
You cannot imagine the improvement in your product and the tremendous increase in speed. The time savings alone will pay for your bander in one year. Most of us cabinetmakers do not value our time as much as we should. It took me nearly a lifetime to realize I cannot waste time on inferior machinery or the wrong kind of machinery and expect to make real money.
I don't necessarily recommend you buy SCMI, as there are major differences with it from the Cehisa. Mine is only 2 stations and the cut-off saw is 90 degrees. The Cehisa for the same price has 3 stations (includes a buffer, I think) and the cut-off saw is angled, which gives a better end cut on panels. At this point, if I had it to do over, I would seriously look at Cehisa. It is a longer machine and would require more space, and I don't think it is on rollers - it is a larger machine. Perhaps you could put up near your door and open up door for longer pieces - sounds funny, but I did it for a long while.
I am re-doing my main shop area to add around 200sf and hope to give the bander a permanent home along one side for the first time.
In my opinion, you have *got* to get a real bander. I honestly didn't start to make real money till I did. I converted to frameless.
Watch out for leases - I got stung and will never do it again. I think it is best to go to a bank if you have a good relationship and interest rate is reasonable (two often difficult things). If you do go with lease, make sure you completely understand what they are doing with you. I got into one where I had a 10% buyout, which I did not understand, and I ended up having to pay for the machine plus another 10%! How stupid is that, but my local machinery company did it to me - I never went back to them. Plus I put a large down payment which was, again, stupid and hurt my cash flow. On a lease you don't save any money by paying off early and the actual interest rate is often hidden quite well.
Contributor D, the questioner has been to my shop and I have been to his. He has seen the K201 bander in action and knows what it can do for him. Problem is, heís not kidding when he says that space is at a premium in his shop. I definitely think that it is doable, but it is going to take some thought and creative layout, and everything that can be, must be on wheels. I also havenít seen his shop since the vertical saw was installed, so that might affect his usable space as I remember it.
Contributor M, glad you are happy with the K201. I don't mean to put the little machine down - it has been perfect for us and may work perfectly for the questioner also. I don't think any other machines are on wheels from factory, but I'm sure a person could put one on wheels. The one problem I see with this is the larger/heavier the machine, the more possible problems there would be with alignment issues on wheels.
Thinking creatively here, how about a small addition to your shop? You could pop out one end for a few thousand and it would improve your shop flow also, which is a consideration. When I first bought my bander, we were in a tiny home with about a 350sf garage. I decided one day to put a 200sf addition on the other side of the home and did it in two days. Of course, I did not permit it, which in my particular case was not a problem even when I sold home - the new space simply does not count towards sf of sale price - but no garage space does either. I'm a licensed contractor, so I don't recommend not permitting - just letting you know that if push comes to shove, you always have alternatives.