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Box Builder
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I bit the bullet and bought a cheap little hot air edge bander. I've tried it on a few things and it seems to work pretty well. I am having trouble on the ends of the panels though. I have a proposed fix for it, but it will be time consuming. Here is what I am using.

http://www.selectmachineryinc.com/product.aspx?product=215

It heats the actual glue on the underside of the banding before you roll it down. When I start the machine I have to put it right on the edge of the panel at the beginning and hope the very end gets glued well. Also, when I finish the end it is hard to see when the roller gets to the end of the panel and the whole thing tends to drop off the panel and will inevitably break the banding at the end. So, usually that isn't a big deal if I cut my panels a couple inches long, I can cut off the ends. But if I am doing an mdf core door for example. I can only use this approach on two sides. The other two edges I have to band while they are cut to size. My idea is to have some scrap pieces and butt them to my finished piece on the ends but leave a small enough space I can cut the edge banding after I'm done. Start on the scrap and end on the scrap, and hopefully get good adhesion on the piece that counts. Is any of this making any sense? Is there anyone out there that has a similar issue and has a better fix? Oh yeah. I hate edge banding. Thanks, Nick.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I have one of those. It's all I had for several years. I don't know how to tell you how to get the finer aspects of using it down other than to say its a tool that you need to feel. It's not a tool that works itself.

Getting a feel for how long to let the air blow on the tape before you start takes time. This will cut down on the starting troubles. Also you can get 6 or 8 inches in and stop and take a block to press in the beginning few inches while there is still some heat there.

When the bottom guide thingys get to the end of the part and you cut the tape, ease way back on the pressure and pull the machine off in a more straight line. Quickly pick up your pressure block and work in the end of the tape.

Check the entire edge for good adhesion with two fingers pulling up from both sides. You can always hit an area with an iron or run the machine back over it hitting it with the heat on high.

The rate of feed and the heat setting is the trick. It takes a roll or two to get a feel for how to do it. Don't get discouraged, it's a decent machine. Just make sure you test each piece before you trim it.
 

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adding to what Gus says...

At the tail end make sure you apply pressure with your thumb or block asap to seat the banding.

A cheap 12$ hot melt glue gun can be your best solution with end stick issues.

Had a Virutex EB-35 ( eternal biotch ) and making sure you had pressure at the very end made all the difference. Now have a portable Virutex hot glue unit and same thing.
 

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Box Builder
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gus, I have done a few trial runs. is there any harm in running too slow with the heat? I know you could burn the banding, but i haven't done that yet. Is reheating the glue a no no? For instance, if i run the hole thing and then just go back to the ends with a heat gun and roller to make sure they are down, that would be quicker in the long run. I have tried pulling off the banding on some stuff I've done. It just breaks and doesn't pull off. I'm using VG Fir and birch (paint grade). The birch is way easier to work with than the fir.
 

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Gus, I have done a few trial runs. is there any harm in running too slow with the heat? I know you could burn the banding, but i haven't done that yet. Is reheating the glue a no no? For instance, if i run the hole thing and then just go back to the ends with a heat gun and roller to make sure they are down, that would be quicker in the long run. I have tried pulling off the banding on some stuff I've done. It just breaks and doesn't pull off. I'm using VG Fir and birch (paint grade). The birch is way easier to work with than the fir.
While you wait for Gus' experience with your particular tool, getting the glue too hot you tend to squeeze out too much glue. If that happens, it won't stick well, and heating it back up to try to get it to stick just makes it worse. Reheating can cause the same type of issue.
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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I agree that too hot and you can starve the joint of glue.

I can mash the first inch or two down with my thumb when I'm in a groove.

I run it on high and I guess the feed rate at about 96 inches a minute or so.

When the machine is stone cold, I stick the tape down and let it run for several seconds to warm both the machine and the first bit of tape. Then start moving. Check that first few inches with the machine off on the first run. Mash it with a block first. Then switch it back on, let it blow for a couple seconds and start moving again.

Once the coils are hot and you are moving quickly through parts, you don't need as much warming time. When the tape gets too warm, it starts slipping in those first few inches.

You just need time with it.
 

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Can't you just pull a few inches out before you start the edge and run it long past the end, then trim and file?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree that too hot and you can starve the joint of glue.

I can mash the first inch or two down with my thumb when I'm in a groove.

I run it on high and I guess the feed rate at about 96 inches a minute or so.

When the machine is stone cold, I stick the tape down and let it run for several seconds to warm both the machine and the first bit of tape. Then start moving. Check that first few inches with the machine off on the first run. Mash it with a block first. Then switch it back on, let it blow for a couple seconds and start moving again.

Once the coils are hot and you are moving quickly through parts, you don't need as much warming time. When the tape gets too warm, it starts slipping in those first few inches.

You just need time with it.
I have over heated it and had the tape slide on me. So, I've done that.

You are supposed to leave extra on the ends anyway, but it is tough to get the roller to press down right at the ends well. I'm going to give it a shot with the pressure block method and possibly my idea of extra blocks. My method will probably work but will be a major PIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Edge banding is new to me in general. So, for the few pieces I have done, I do get some glue squeeze out on the side of the piece. I'm assuming that is normal, right?
 

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Maker of fine kindling
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Morning Wood said:
Edge banding is new to me in general. So, for the few pieces I have done, I do get some glue squeeze out on the side of the piece. I'm assuming that is normal, right?
Definitely normal for some glue to seep out the sides.

I can't stress enough about how important the two finger pull test is though. Run your thumb and index finger up the part and pulling up on the edges in little flicking motions. If the tape flaps a little you'll need to apply some heat and pressure to fix it. At the same time you know you were probably traveling a little too fast.

Practice, grasshopper, practice. It's all about feel.
 

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I do get some glue squeeze out on the side of the piece. I'm assuming that is normal, right?
I think it's desirable. If you're too cold or not rolling hard enough, you won't get squeeze out. If you have a porous edge, sometimes you may not get squeeze out, or at least not consistently. I haven't tried edge banding fir ply, but the fir ply I've worked with tended to be porous. I could see that making edge banding fir ply tricky - too much glue may go into the porous edge, but I haven't tried it.
 

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It takes waaaay longer to go back and test and fix all the little problems after it's all on and cool than it does to find and fix / adjust technique as you go. Waaay longer. As soon as you figure this out, you'll be following Gus' advice. Ask me how I know:whistling
 

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VG Fir banding and ply is the trickiest of all. Damn splinters!

If your edge trimmer is not yielding good results, you can always try a flush trim bit in a small hand held router. Or just a laminate file.

My partner is partial to the laminate file for all his final trimming. Even after the big edge bander.
 

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This will probably jack the chit out of everyone round here....

I use a 2" wide chisel to trim wood edge band. Hand trimmers just suck, flush trims dull way to fast and too frequently chip/splinter, laminate file takes way to fricken long.... the wide chisel seems to be the lessor of all evils. Of course it needs to be sharp and the backside (sharpened burr) needs to be turned up or it will dig in.

:laughing: all right have at it :blink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I use a pull saw to cut my spacers off and then the trimmer that came with the bander. I finish it with a sanding block. I'm going to have to try my laminate trimmer bit and see if I get less tear out. It is a decent bit. Has a square plastic bearing.
 

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We just did 1.5 miles of edge banding with the same hot air unit. Once you get it, it's easy. Make sure you adjust the width guides properly, makes a big difference.

Pull a little out at the start, cut the band about 2" from the end. Start the run on low heat, increase to high as you move along.

We trim with the MFK 700 connoted to a CT, 19 mm mortise bit.

I hate the blade trimmers on wood edge banding.

Tom
 
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