General description of edgebanding equipment. November 11, 2008

Reprinted with permission from MLS Machinery, Inc.

Edgebanders Double/Soft/Combination/Foilers
Edgebanders Single

Edgebanders Double/Soft/Combination/Foilers
This category covers double sided edgebanders which are exactly the same as the following category. Double sided edgebanders do exactly the same operations as a single sided machine except that they do two sides at the same time, usually only for large volume production.

This category also covers combination machines. A combination machine is a double end tenoner with a double sided edgebander attached on the same frame. The tenoner would square and size the panel first and the edgebander as described would apply the edging.

Soft Formers: Soft formers basically look like edgebanders. The only major difference is that an edgebander puts on a straight edge, be it PVC or solid wood, etc. while a soft former actually takes the edge material, which is specially made, and forms it around a profiled edge; therefore, most soft formers will have a shaping head or some form of shaper at the beginning of the machine to make the required shape. It then applies the edging in a similar way to an edgebander excepting forming the material through a sequence of rollers that apply pressure to this material as it passes. Most of the heads from here on would follow the same sequence as the edgebander, that is there would be an end trim, top and bottom rough finishing, top and bottom fine finishing, a buffing unit, and in some cases there would be corner rounding and glue scraping as well; therefore these machines would be a longer version of the conventional edgebander. Soft Formers also give a rounded edge look, but they only apply high special tape.

Edgebanders Single
Edgebanders glue a strip of material made either of PVC plastic, Formica or veneer, onto the bare edge of a panel, usually particle board. This covers the raw edge of the particle board that has been cut. Edgebanding is used to protect and cover the edge, for example the parts that make up kitchen cabinets, bookcases, kitchen doors, etc., such as the tops, bottoms, sides and shelves.

PVC plastic is the most common form of edgebanding; it is very thin and comes in coil form. The edgebander applies the edgebanding on the edge of the panel in a single operation. It unrolls it from the coil, puts pressure on the tape as it applies it to the wood, trims it front and back which is considered end trimming, cleans up the top and bottom to flush the PVC with the panel (edgebanding is normally applied oversized) which is called top and bottom rough finishing, and top and bottom fine finishing which bevels the edge to a clean finish (done with special trimming tools), buffs the edge which is done with small round brushes which polish and buff the final edge. When applying solid wood strips the machine might be equipped with a sander as well.

The size of the machines normally depends on the size of the shop and how complicated they want to get, as well as how many operations they want to do in one pass. A custom shop might only require one or two operations; as an example applying the edge and end trimming the edge only, the rest of the work being done manually saving cost on the machine. In a larger operation they might have the stations discussed above which is a normal standard machine. Machines can be purchased for more detailed and sophisticated work as an example glue scrapers, top and bottom comer rounding, etc. These machines are very noisy and normally come with a sound enclosure to protect against the noise. The motors turn at very high revolutions per minute (between 12-24,000 RPM) in order to get such a fine trim and cut. This high RPM is what causes most of the noise.

Edgebanders are expensive machines and are very finicky and require a lot of fine tuning to set up in order to get the edge to be perfect.

Contour edgebanders are edgebanders that do non straight parts; they are small machines being approximately 4'x4' and the application of the tape to the round part normally has to be done by hand, edgebanding of non straight pieces is a very labour intensive job.

These machines have a glue pot, trimming knife and some have a manual type feeder to assist the operator. Most have top and bottom trimmers to remove the extra width of tape. Automatic machines are now available such as machining centres that would route, drill and apply the edgebanding at the same time.

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