Power Feed Slipping with Melamine

Melamine is so slick, you may need to tweak the power feed, or even buy better wheels. July 27, 2008

I'm cleaning up sawn edges on two-sided 18mm melamine faced MDF. I've got a Felder spindle moulder with a 3 wheel power feed. On timber and bare MDF, the power feed is very good. On this melamine the wheels seem to be slipping on the smooth surface, needing a lot of help in feeding and keeping it tight to the fence. Height of power feed or angle to the fence doesn't make much difference. Is this a common problem or am I doing something wrong?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor K:
How old is the feeder or the rollers on it? Older rollers dry out and become glazed over, easily allowing them to slip. You can fix a board onto the shaper with coarse sandpaper glued to it to rough up the surface of the rollers. Also be sure to wax the table surface or use a spray coating like Topcoat to keep the table lubricated. I run a lot of melamine on the shaper with a feeder that's about 25 years old and original rollers. It's getting the same way so I spend more time coating with Topcoat to keep it going. I really need new rollers.

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Just stuck a strip of 80 grit under the wheels and lowered the feed, running, down on to it, holding the paper at one end. Works much better now! The feeder is virtually new, but with very smooth wheels.

From contributor T:
Call Western Roller - they have a 40 duro wheel designed for ply and melamine.

From contributor L:
Urethane wheels work much better than the original rubber wheels. We've used Axium Ind. for a long time. They can recover about any wheel.