Radio-Frequency Glue Press Tips

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RF curing works well on hardwoods, but not so well for softwood joints. May 10, 2005

We glue up a lot of stock on a regular basis (1500sf a day). Right now we have a clamp carrier. But it's big, noisy, and doesn't work half the time. We're having trouble keeping panels flat, etc. And the machine is just physically demanding. Your back is sore after a shift.

Is a radio frequency press better suited to glue up panels? I like the idea of the top platen keeping the panels flat. I am on a budget, so I can't afford something like the Dimpter Profipress.

Forum Responses
From contributor K:
RF is the way to go if you can afford it. I have a Taylor clamp carrier, and a Rosienquest high freq gluer. The hf gluer will cure glue joints in about 50-80 seconds depending on the material. HF works great on maple, oak, hickory, mahogany, ash, and beech. It does not work well at all on any kind of pine, cypress, or softwoods.

The panels will be pretty flat as long as you keep the surfaces of the machine clean. Also be aware that you must let the panels set for about 15-45 minutes (depending on the air temp) before you start machining them. You can take the panels out of the gluer at the end of the cycle and just set them aside for a few minutes.

I wouldn't sell the clamp carrier even if you go HF. They make great backups for those days that just don't go right.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for your reply. That's disappointing to hear about the pine, as that's the vast majority of what we glue up. I do know of one large manufacturer in my industry that does all their pine in a Rosenquist Electroflow continuous batch gluer. What happened to the softwoods when you tried it with RF?

I'm also considering an automated clamp carrier. I'm sure all machines are somewhat finicky. I would just like to try to eliminate the manual labor to have a consistent output.

From contributor K:
Every time we tried to do pine, the wood burned (scorched edges) while cycling. We tried to reduce the current, shorten the cycle time, and set up a 1/2 cycle. Nothing seemed to work for us.