Glue Pot Rebuild: Buy or Do in Shop?

When an edgebander glue pot fails, you can spend money on a replacement, or spend your own time and aggravation rebuilding it yourself. September 26, 2009

Can anyone provide a source for rebuilt glue pots for our Brandt KDN770 other than Stiles? Our bander is a 2007 model.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor G:
Try a local dealer or try doing it yourself - it's not that hard.

From contributor P:
Assuming that your time is worth little or nothing, you've got a really clever way to deal with old, burned, really-stuck-on glue residue, enjoy skin burns, and have easy access to all the spare parts you'll need - it's a piece of cake.

I did mine (KD56) last time. Mid-project, I began to appreciate what a screaming bargain Stiles' $3k charge for a drop-in rebuilt is! Next time, I'll go that route. And I'm an incredibly cheap bastard.

From contributor K:
4 hour tear down. Order parts. Put together in three hours and you're good to go. Yes, it is a pain, but so is parting with money.

From contributor P:
So you've got a full day's labor (which means neglecting work you ought to be doing to either produce product or bring in business), the cost of the parts, and machine down-time, to save some money that's tax-deductible anyhow.

I guess you can save a bit, but for me, it's not terribly satisfying work - I'm not set up for the project, and was improvising as I went along. Cleaning was the worst of the job, and I understand Stiles has a high-temp furnace that bakes the residue right off. At best, I'd be trading dollars.

I know shops that build their own drawers and doors and claim that it pencils out for them, but I'm better off sticking to what I can do efficiently, and letting others deal with the rest.

From contributor K:
You are correct about your value judgment on outsourcing or in-house on the glue pot and the other products, and it depends on what is happening in his shop. I took on the rebuild many times on various machines along with all other repairs so I could be the master of my machines instead of being a slave to them (or expensive techs) whenever they took a dump. Having a complete working knowledge of equipment from head to stern also keeps you from those costly breakdowns. One bad day behind a hot glue pot redo will keep you from neglecting the thing in the future. Wasn't knocking the buy-out... just showing that the in-house redo option isn't too tough.

From contributor P:
Points well taken! Good to know your way around each machine at the very least, and, yeah, I'm way more careful about the condition of my gluepot after having experienced the joys of the teardown!

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the input. We keep our bander extremely clean. That's why I am disenchanted with Stiles. They want to charge us 4800 for an exchange rebuild (one that we will not own) or 7300 for a new pot. This is for a 150k edgebander we bought new less than 2 years back. We will be adding a second bander first quarter next year and we will be looking at other banders.

From contributor P:
Ouch! How is it that you don't own the rebuilt pot? I assumed it was like rebuilt auto parts, and you're just returning a core for rebuild/credit. Two years? Hope you ran a lot of material through that machine - otherwise seems like a short life for a glue pot. Stiles isn't cheap, but they've always been responsive, knowledgeable, and efficient, which is more than I can say for a number of machinery suppliers.