Looks like it's time to get in and do a thorough cleaning of the glue pot in my KD 56. I'm getting little flecks of burned glue that jam in the gate to produce dry spots on the roller, with resulting glue void stripes on the panel. I frequently clean the glue reservoir to get as much of the gunk out as possible, but seems like it needs more attention this time! How do you clean your machines? Has anyone used Adwood's "Super-Rapid 401" cleaner or similar product?
From contributor B:
Search for a company called Indemax. They sell hotmelt glue parts, and carry a cleaner called Salvage. It comes in 5 gallon buckets. You let it cook in the pot and guns.
To get started, at the end of the day, bury a couple of sticks as far as you can in the melted glue. Then let it cool off for the night. The next morning, turn the heater on for a few minutes, just enough to get the edges of the glue melting. Then pull the sticks out. The majority of the glue will still be solid and stick to the sticks. Now you can proceed to the fun stuff.
When the Stiles tech came out and tried to clean my pot, he disassembled it, even taking the tower off. You will need a heat gun and a hard plastic scraper. Stiles offers one, or you could make something out of Derilin (sp?). You want to be careful not to damage the Teflon coating.
When you pull the tower off, the roller will come with it. Just unbolt this unit from the pot. I think there are 4 or 5 bolts holding this down. There is a heater on this unit as well, so be careful to disconnect it before you pull the tower off.
Take the heat gun and warm up the glue, scraping it off with the plastic scraper. You will find all kinds of areas where glue hides, or is packed. Do the same thing with the pot, using the heat gun to loosen the glue.
I have heard about products that you put in the pot to clean it. You have to be careful about this. Just remember - the same stuff that is loosening the glue can work against you when you are trying to get the glue to stick. I think that is why Stiles does not have such a product. This is just a disclaimer, and not to start a fight with those who have successfully used it. Just like a chemical stripper, be sure it will not effect the next step.
It is also a good idea to check your heaters. These are silver tubes that are inserted into the pot. I seem to remember it having 4 - 3 in the bottom of the pot, and 1 in the tower. These heaters are designed to last about 3 years before they are replaced (according to Stiles tech). If one goes out, you will have to turn up the temperature to get a good bond. This is when it is easy to bake the glue.
Also be careful about the settings of the shoe to the roller. This relationship is in .001's. It is easier to take the pot out and work on it on the bench. Your back will thank you. Also best to do a good cleaning about every month's worth of use, and then a thorough cleaning once a year. Of course, when you do regular cleaning, the thorough ones are not such a big task. Use some gloves that will protect you from getting burned.