It’s both a blessing and a curse that there are so many edgebander manufacturers. It means that there are lots of options, but also that there’s lots of research to do before making a purchase. While machines and functions may vary, Stiles Machinery (stilesmachinery.com) reminds shop owners that there are some basic considerations when choosing an edge processing machine. The first is to know which kind of tape will be used (PVC, ABS, PP, PMMA, wood veneer or melamine). After that, a shop owner needs to consider the feed speed, the edge capacity and the production speed.
The variety of edgebanders offered by Stiles ranges from simple gluing machines to ones that sand, shape, cut, and apply an assortment of edge treatments using a variety of application methods. They range from stand-alone units for small- to medium-sized shops, through mid-grade machines with a variety of options, and on to high-performance machines for optimum quality at very high production speeds. The company’s catalog includes machines for hard profiles, soft-form continuous strips on a contoured edge, and ones that can post-form a banded profile. There are machines specifically designed for contour forming, such as an all-in-one bander for multiple shapes and sizes. In addition, application technology in edge processing has evolved to include a variety of adhesives types and the latest in application methods, including compressed hot air and laser systems that melt the surface of the edgebanding with optimum adhesion for a seamless look.
Even if a shop zeroes in on one manufacturer, most of these offer a number of machines with standard features or optional upgrades. So, working with a knowledgeable salesperson is essential.
Felder Group USA (felder-group.com) offers 17 options for edgebanding, from the benchtop ERM 1050 to the Format 4 Tempora F800. The latter is an industrial solution that incorporates a wide range of customer specific options, and the support and financing for which Felder is known. There’s Bluetooth-based digital thickness measuring, air-motion for perfect laser joints, an air-cushioned table for gentle material handling, a Smartouch control unit, an infrared parts warmer, a fast-heating glue applicator, and a nesting package that handles cup hinge holes and even surfaces with acute angles.
Seven edgebanding options from Castaly Industries (castaly-cncmachine.com) are designed to meet the needs of small- to medium-sized shops. There’s a trimmer, a trimmer and polisher, and five edgebanders. The most affordable option is the EB-1SC that can handle straight or curved edges, has variable speed and a couple of thermos control systems to protect the motor and gluing applicator. It also has an electric counter or position limit switch for an automatic pneumatic end guillotine. And at the other end of the scale, Castaly offers the EB-J4, which is a full-option machine that includes automatic feeding for rough trimming, end trimming, gluing, pre-milling, buffing, scraping and fine trimming. The J4 also has a pressure beam mounted on two heavy cast columns with mechanical digital readout for thickness adjustment, and an outrigger support for wider work pieces. There’s a cutterhead with two independent high frequency, inverter driven motors to round the corners and edges automatically, and a polishing unit that applies the finest finish surfacing process on top and bottom edges.
Biesse America (biesse.com) offers a full range that runs from the small-shop Akron 1100 to the Stream B MDS, which delivers single-sided squaring and banding for the largest operations. The Akron is equipped with HSD electro-spindles, a 7” touch-screen control panel, and a removable glue bowl. This machine also comes in 1300 and 1400 models for larger capacities. The mid-range Stream A machines handle a huge amount of work but are also highly configurable.
SCM Group offers a banding solution for every shop size. The company includes almost two dozen options, almost all of which can be customized. There’s a baker’s dozen of Stefani models that cater to high-volume needs, and families of Olimpic and Minimax models for small- to medium-sized shops. For example, the Minimax me 20 is a small, single-phase bander that has 2mm tooling along with a glue pot, guillotine end cutting, and a scraper. And the Stefani 60 is an industrial-scale solution for the production of components for narrow, long furniture items such as drawers, fill-in strips, skirting boards, small shelves, etc. SCM can also help shops set up cells with automatic feed and return conveyors.
Holz-Her (holzherusa.com) offers LTronic, a new laser edging unit that offers impressive speed and cost efficiency.
JKL Machinery in Brighton, Mich. is the exclusive importer for Casadei- Busellato (casadei-busellato.com), which manufactures eight edgebanders. The smallest (the ALA 10) is a manual machine with a glue pot and a foot operated control. From there, the range grows through two more ALA machines and four Flexa models to the industrial strength Flexa 607. Among the newer options are the Flexa 27 and 47. The former is aimed at small shops that process a lot of work, while the latter can apply up to 6mm solid wood edging on panels with a maximum thickness of 60mm.
IMA Schelling Group (imaschelling.us) offers four industrial banders that “are constructed with a solid, rigid, fabricated base frame and a double-joined, V-belt, electronically adjusted top-pressure track that optimizes and gently guides short components and sensitive surfaces,” according to the company. Shops considering a bander might also be interested in IMA’s panel support device that has program-controlled feed speed and centralized lubrication of the feed chain. It features multi-profile technology with automatic profile change capabilities, a 19”-wide touchscreen controller, and optional Imalux (laser) jointless edge processing.
Small to mid-sized choices
For smaller shops, Grizzly Industrial (grizzly.com) recently introduced the G0854 compact automatic edgebander for $7,500. It handles panels from 1/2” to 1-3/4” thick and tape from 0.5 to 2.0mm thick.
The Bandit Series from Laguna Tools (lagunatools.com) answers the core needs of most woodshops. There’s the Bandit 3/2 that includes end, top and bottom trimming plus buffing, a hot melt glue system and up to 2mm tape capacity, all starting at $10,999 (as of Dec. 2019). An upgrade to the muscular Bandit 4 will give a shop dual motor end trimming along with buffing and scraping capabilities, plus tape capacities up to 3mm. And the top of the line Bandit 5 adds pre-milling and corner rounding.
The Brazilian manufacturer Inmes (inmes.com) offers two versions of its basic 3-phase IC-1000 electronic edgebander. These are small machines that allow gluing of panels up to 77mm thick, and they have a standby mode that lowers the glue pot temperature after 15 minutes of non-use. There’s an easy to operate control panel on the front of each machine. The IC-1000 has a manual cutter system. The IC-1000 Plus includes a quick-change system for the glue pot, so it can be switched between different glue types.
Sauk Rapids, Minn. is home to SNX Technologies (snxtechnologies.com) which develops and manufactures SNX nVision contour banders in-house. Options for the company’s newest machines include a quick-change glue pot system, an enhanced PLC controller that has faster setup and production settings, and updated trimmer chip vortex. The SNX SYSTEM2 G3 features an extended base frame to accommodate more area for banding and trimming at the same time. SNX also offers the Excel-Edge line of chemicals for cleaning surfaces and machines.
Four Bi-Matic brand machines from Martin Woodworking (martin-usa.com) cover the gamut from small to light industrial. The Prima 3.2.C is an entry-level bander that can handle tape up to 3mm. It also has a trim saw, top and bottom milling stations, and a glue scraper. The top of the line Prima 7.3-r.a. is a hot melt and hot air (laser/hot air tape) machine.
The EB200 is NexTech’s (nextechmachinery.com) entry-level edgebander that features a simple, straightforward setup and heavy-duty, well-engineered components. In the middle of the line-up, the EB300 series is scalable, allowing the addition of machining units such as pre-milling, additional top and bottom trimming units, and scraping units. Precision horizontal and/or vertical grooving may also be added. And at the top of the line is the EB400 which has a standard corner-rounding application, and options that include pre-milling, additional top and bottom trimming, and scraping. These machines can be seen in person at the new NexTech showroom in Cornelius, N.C.
Safety Speed Mfg. (safetyspeed.com) offers a couple of small-shop hot air edgebanders, the 60HA and 72GP. The numbers in the names describe the table length. They have electronic variable speed control, digital temperature control, electromagnetic end cutters, and an edge trim system.
The KA 65 Contura edgebander from Festool USA (festoolusa.com) comes as a tool only, or as a start-up set with multiple accessories and supplies. Shops with floor model banders will probably switch a lot of jobs to the Contura because of its ability to work curves, small parts and bevels. It has dual speeds and a patented hot melt glue adhesive system that’s thermally isolated, so no more burns. Festool also offers an optional bench mount.
The 8850 from Oliver Machinery (olivermachinery.net) is a portable unit than can handle veneer, melamine, PVC and ABS, and can be used on straight or contoured edges down to a 1” radius. It can also handle bevels from 75 to 90 degrees, and the tape width capacity is 10 to 45mm. It has a digital temperature readout and a large capacity glue pot.
Grizzly offers the G7910, a bare-bones tool that works on straight and shaped pieces. It has adjustable clamping pressure and can be used with pre-glued PVC, melamine and wood veneer. The maximum tape width is 2”, and there are two temperature settings. Or shops can step up to the G0825, which has a glue pot and can be table mounted. It doesn’t trim, but Grizzly makes a trim router (T1188) and a dual end cutter (T1189).
The Le-matic portable edgebander is available from Stiles Machinery.
As materials change and machines add more capabilities, edgebander operators need more custom gluing options. Those come from companies such as DC Distributing (dc-dist.com), which is one of the largest suppliers of edgebanding and related products in the United States. Its inventory includes such brands as Canplast, Rehau and Doellken, and services such as slitting and pre-gluing.
Edge Co. (edgecoinc.com) carries a huge inventory of edgebanding that includes PVC, plywood veneer, acrylic, ABS, peel and stick, iron-on, pre-finished plywood, melamine, polyester, metal and paintable tapes. The company also offers glue pellets, cartridges and both two-ply and paper-backed veneer sheets.
Doucet (doucetinc.com) offers parts feeders and low-cost return conveyors.
Richelieu Hardware has a huge catalog of tapes plus a small Maksiwa floor machine and a light-duty portable bander.
Eurowood Machinery (eurowoodmachinery.com) is a leading importer and supplier of European machinery and replacement parts.
This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue.