Edgebanding Glue Holding Problems

Cold melamine stored in the unheated shop overnight may be stopping edgebander glue from adhering properly. March 20, 2006

I own a Virutex EB-25 edgebander. I apply PVC edgebanding on double-sided melamine. No matter what temperature I set the machine for, I can peel it off with relative ease. I have ranged my temp from 500 to 800 at 25 degree increments. Basically, the results are the same, though at higher temps there is more holding power. Anything above 800 and the glue gums up the machine. I have even discarded the factory pressure plate and used my own weight to apply as much pressure to the rollers. I bought my edgebanding from Edgeco Inc. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
Are the edges of the melamine burnished? If they are too smooth, the glue has nothing to grip. Also, do you let the glue dry and cool for at least an hour before trying to pull it off? You may need to sand the edges of the melamine if they are too smooth, using 100 grit and a few light strokes on each edge.

From contributor B:
The temperature you use is specific to the glue you are using. Changing the temperature just five degrees can make a huge difference. Could be the probe is not giving you an accurate reading. We sometimes have to close our outside shop door to stop crosswind, which affects the band. Also, you could have a bad batch of band. PVC banding needs to have a primer on the back for the glue to stick properly, and sometimes the band comes without. The bander is a touchy machine.

From the original questioner:
I admit I probably did not give the banding more than 15 minutes. I will give the edges a light sanding and see if that will solve the problem.

That is right on about hot air banders being touchy. This is my first use of an edgebander and I am beginning to understand the finesse required. But it sounds like I can bond the banding successfully if I keep experimenting to get the right combination.

I have decided to start a garage cabinet shop (no experience, but learning fast) and bought an edgebander, Holz Her 1265 Super Cut vertical panel saw, hinge press for euro hinges and a used Marcon double line boring machine (also touchy, as far as getting the boring lines square and parallel to the fence), and a cabinet grade table saw. I plan to cut the parts and install on site.

Since the cabinets will be in the garage and subjected to changing temps here in Ohio, I feel it is absolutely critical to have the banding bond be as strong as possible. Thanks for your input.

From contributor M:
Have you tried another brand of edgebanding? I have heard that HPL needs a primer, but PVC is a new one for me. You might also want to talk to the manufacturer of the banding and tech support at Virutex.

Also check the squareness of the panel. Is it 90 degrees? Everything has to be perfect for this to work. You might be better off running at the higher temps and dealing with the glue. Stiles makes a spray called ATMOS. It is an anti-friction spray that is put on cutters, pressure stations, etc., but does not effect glue bond. It makes it easier to remove the glue as well from these parts. I have heard some people use Pam (cooking spray) and anti-static spray (you spray it on your clothes to eliminate static cling). You don't want to use anything that contains silicone.

From the original questioner:
I called Edgeco Inc., the company from which I purchased the PVC banding. The guy told me that because I don't leave the heat on in my shop at night, the temp of the core of the melamine will be too cold and the banding will not bond well. Also, he said to keep the Virutex bander temp between 580 and 600 F. By the way, he said most PVC banding has a primer. I won't be able to try this out until this weekend. I'm gonna have to try the Pam cooking spray, although it may smell like I'm cooking in my shop. Mmm, breakfast.

From contributor J:
The supplier tech gave you great advice. The core temp of the melamine cools the glue too quickly, almost like curing the surface. The glue used by most suppliers melts at between 450 and 625 degrees, so try sticking to these areas when testing. Keep in mind that pre-glued tapes never have the holding power of a glue pot bander with the right glue or spray on contact. The selection tends to also be more limited when matching melamine. Why is it that melamine and tape suppliers never have exact matches? Isn't that their job?

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor E:
I know this problem very well from many years of experience on this machine and have spent many hours trying to adjust temps, and etc. What works for me is to glue size the flakeboard edge with contact cement. I use a water based product - two coats. The PVC edgebanding will stick tight guaranteed. Itís either that or you can go with melamine tape, which will break before it peels. The PVC peels because it stretches before it breaks and the flakeboard edge is too porous to hold the glue. Thatís why you need the contact cement. The only other way around this is to buy pre-edged melamine shelving and use it for your case parts.