Using a Hand-Held Radio Frequency Gluer for Door Assembly

Small hand-held RF gluing devices can speed low-volume production, but may not be the most efficient method for higher-volume production. December 31, 2013

Question (WOODWEB Member) :
Does anyone out there have any experience using a Woodrite 4000 RF gluer (or equivalent) for cab door assembly? We can't afford a full-on RF gluer like an RFS or Rosenquist at this time. I am wondering how practical one of these small units would be to speed up cabinet door assembly and passage door assembly. Can they be used to cook the joints on doors one corner at a time?

Can they be used on panel glue ups just moving down the glue lines? I know itís a bit tedious perhaps but maybe in five minutes the panel could be completed. Itís better than waiting half a day in cold weather in a clamp rack. Can they be used on an engineered stile skin just working your way down the stile? How practical are these units?

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From Contributor H:
We use a Model 3000 on our segmented curved mouldings pretty much daily. Itís quick and efficient. Use Titebond 2 glue or something similar for instant hardening of the joint. For running down panel joint seams Workrite recommends spot welding so to speak. Hit it every 6" or so and it will lock the joint. Note though that you can't have metal clamps in the path of the hand unit feet.

From Contributor U:
We used one for cabinet door assembly before getting a rotary door clamp. We still use it for rush jobs. Yes, you can hit each corner and by the time the next door is glued and ready to clamp the previous door will be ready to remove. TBII is what we use with RF.

From Contributor S:
Contributor U - I am curious as to why you bought a rotary clamp when you had one of these RF units. You guys must have determined that the rotary clamp method was more efficient than using the RF unit. Did you not have an adequate squaring and clamping apparatus when using the RF as convenient as the rotary door clamp? If you had a convenient way to quickly clamp and square the doors and then RF it, might that be better than your rotary clamp method? I assume the rotary clamp takes up more space and takes longer. Please help me understand. The reason I'm asking is I am trying to speed up our cab door assembly and thought that the RF unit would do that and in less space than other options.

From Contributor H:
If space is an issue and you are dealing with small quantities of doors then spending the time to use the Workrite on the joints would be worth doing. It will add about 30 seconds to each door glue-up though. With large quantities of doors that can add up. With small quantities that need to get to the next step in your process as fast as possible though it will give you what you are after.

If you had the space and were doing large quantities then a rotary clamp is probably going to be more efficient. A large enough clamp will allow continuous gluing and clamping while the doors on the rack are drying. With large volume it's more about operator time spent then glue dry time. I think the ideal with a clamp rack is that by the time you get back to the first doors the glue is set and they can be removed to be replaced with the next group. It makes for very efficient processing.

From Contributor U:
I agree with what Contributor H said above. We had the space for a rotary clamp so we used it. We used a JLT single door clamp with the RF unit. The Workrite is still next to the door clamp, so on rush jobs we will hit the joints and continue to put the doors through a rotation so that they are cool coming out and ready to sand.