Buying a Used Edgebander

There's more to running a glue-pot edgebander than plugging it in and turning it on — so be cautious when buying used equipment. December 30, 2005

It was recommended to me recently that I buy a SCMI K201 as it’s an entry level not so big edgebander and this sounds like the one for me. However, I might have found a SCMI basic-2e. I am just wondering how this machine compares with the K201 in size, capabilities and etc. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
The Basic 2 would be a step above the K201 but keep in mind that the SCMI Basic machines were very temperamental and while they were great machines for the application of edgebanding they were nearly worthless for trimming the banding. Consequently there would be a pile of work/cleanup remaining after the panels were run through the bander.

I've never used a K-201 but supposedly that machine is a Basic-1 with better panel trimming capabilities. Given the track record of the SCMI Basic machines I think I would be afraid of buying one but would not hesitate to buy a K201.

Never buy a used edgebander without seeing it run through the paces using both pvc and real wood veneer tapes. Remember that if you do not have 3 phase in your shop you may have to
get some and that will cost no less than $3,000 and can easily pass $20,000 depending on availability in your area unless you buy a single phase bander which are kind of rare.

Be very careful about buying a bander without an owner’s manual because without a manual you might never learn how to band properly and quite possibly you might not even learn how to turn the machine on. I'm not kidding. Try to get some kind of training session from the seller.

From contributor S:
As an owner of a K201 I can tell you that James hit everything on the head. You must watch it run, you must get an owner’s manual and you must learn how to set it up. These things don't just plug into a wall socket and start working.

There are no less than 6 steps to turn on the K201, and they must be done in proper sequence or they won't start. The panel trimming setup is pretty straight forward, but you're going to run 3-4 8' runs to set it right.

And most of all, the glue pot is very temperamental. You can't let the machine run too long without running panels through it or you'll burn up the glue and clog the pot. It's no piece of cake cleaning the pot out, either. Some would claim this is an argument in favor of hot air machines, but I don't think so.

Edgebanders by design are complicated machines. There's a lot going on in each pass. This complexity requires more tender loving care to get the most out of your machine. I'd buy it again, but be prepared for the level of commitment you have to make to its setup and maintenance.

From contributor B:
I bought the AMT with glue pot around 4 months ago. It works quite well for us. We are a small shop and only use it several times per week; once set up to our liking it has been dependable and much quicker than the hot air machine we used before. We put it on a base with casters and can shove it out of the way when not in use, a real issue for our small space.

The instructions that came with the machine could be better, in that they are not quite detailed enough for me. The glue head is not quite square with the table and I want to adjust it, but am not sure exactly what I need to do to remedy this.

I looked at used machines before buying this one, and found that I was likely looking at purchasing someone else's problems. Since I was trying to resolve problems rather than getting new ones, I decided to buy a new machine that we could keep in good condition, rather than losing lots of time trying to get a used machine in good working order. I am not at all sorry I made this investment.

From contributor D:
We have had SCMI K201 for nearly 6 years now with no problems at all. It is true it is a beefed up basic machine but it works great. We got ours with high frequency motors and it works on either single phase or three phase - ours runs on single phase very easily. In all these years I have had to get one part from Italy but ended up fixing the one I had and never installed it.

It is a nice entry level bander but still rather expensive. You can find a good used machine and some of my friends have but you must have someone with experience run the machine and evaluate it for you - someone who really knows what they are talking about.