I am attempting to finish the edges of some plywood with birch strips
coated with heat sensitive glue. I used an old steam iron at maximum
temperature (linen) and without steam, and moved the iron slowly along
the board - forward and then backward. I then used a "J" roller to
apply some pressure.
For the most part, it worked well. However, I am finding spots where
the glue did not take - or it released after I put the board away. Is
there something wrong with my technique? It the proper repair - just
re-heat the area, or should I force some wood glue into the spots and
apply clamp pressure?
The J-roller does not cool the heated tape enough to allow the
adhesive to 'set'.
After the J-roller leaves, the tape just lifts again.
The best 'heat-sink' to use is a chunk of flat metal. It presses the
tape in place, and removes the heat.
Since I no longer own an edge-bander, I now use a 2" wide strip of
Corian, about 4-6" long and use it as a 'cold iron'.
A piece of granite or another smooth stone works well too.
If you're planning on doing a lot of this, try to find an old iron
without the holes. Plug it in, let it heat up, and unplug. Wait a
couple of minutes and spray with Top-Coat. As the iron cools, the
TopCoat gets trapped in the porosity of the iron's shoe and will stay
slippery for a long time.
The joint has to stay in contact while it cools, but has to get hot
to force glue into the open-grain edge. You can reduce the heat
by priming the edge with glue (I paint-roller with PVA white glue and
it a day to dry), or you can hold the tape in place by sliding a block
the iron has passed. In mass production, the hot band goes on, then
the edge presses against an outfeed fence.
The J-roller is fine for contact cement banding. Back/forth ironing
seems unproductive (it only takes ONE heat to do the job).
If you're having trouble with the iron on type of edge banding, you could
try the straight veneer wood type that you apply your own white carpenter's
glue. I've used both and while the iron on type is convenient to use, the
apply your own glue type holds better in my opinion. The options with it are
to use finger pressure for about a minute in any spot, use edging clamps or
perhaps a strip of wood clamped against the veneer.
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