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Last week we focused on the smaller shop and hobbyist in Part 1 of this 2-part series. This week we will discuss how to know if the portable edgebander is a good fit for the larger shop.
Large straight-line edgebanding machines, CNC routers, and sliding table saws are some of the many machines typically found in a larger shop. With such large and expensive machinery:
How could a portable edgebander fill any sort of need in a large shop?
Through discussions with larger shop woodworkers and owners, the portable edgebander, in many cases, can play a significant role in the edgebanding processes of a larger shop. To the contrary, in some cases, a role of any kind for the portable edgebander is all but absent. The following 5 questions will enable you to identify whether or not the portable edebander is a good fit for your shop:
1. Will my market share increase by doing radius work?
Are you looking to venture into the radius market? A leader in the closet industry recently stepped into the “radius arena” after the owner bought a portable edgebander in order to match many competitors who were doing radius work and to have an edge on those who weren’t. It is important to note that this decision was made after he identified a potential to significantly increase his market share. If the potential for gaining a stronger foothold in your market is slim to none by doing radius work then you may just want to stick with your larger straight-line edgebander.
2. Will it beat outsourcing or any other process I am currently using?
Maybe you, like some larger shops, do a small amount of edgebanding so buying a large edgebander can’t be justified. When edebanding projects come your way, you might do it by hand or outsource your edgebanding work to someone else. Can time and cost be cut down by edgebanding in-house with a simple and affordable machine like the portable edgebander? Evaluate the time and money aspects of these different edgebanding procedures to identify which one will be the right fit for you.
3. Can I benefit from doing edgebanding on-the-job?
Is your shop one that does a lot of work on-the-job? Maybe you are thinking about taking that route…. Some companies realize cost advantages by doing work such as edgebanding on-the-job rather than in the shop, and such shops reduce the risk of damaging products during the transport of finished work. Identify whether or not edgebanding on-the-job can be beneficial to you and what you are doing.
4. Can I use the portable edgebander to phase into a larger cnc contour bander?
Diving right into buying a large cnc contour edgebander ranging from $70,00 - $500,000 can be very stressful, especially if you are just starting to do radius work. For large production, these machines are excellent, but if you want to take a phased approach into radius work the portable edgebander might be just what you need. Maybe you will find out that the portable edgebander suits your needs just fine or maybe you will realize that a demand for really high production exists and you are ready to phase into a cnc contour bander. In this situation, the portable edgebander can be an affordable and conservative approach to investing in machinery for radius edgebanding and is really a “win-win.”
5. Will I realize a return on my investment (ROI)?
Investing in woodworking machinery all comes down to ROI. The previous 4 questions will help you identify whether or not the purchase of a portable edgebander will result in a positive return on your investment. If you think it would be, taking the next step in the buying process would be a good idea; but if not, don’t waste your time.
*Not a large shop? Read last week’s article: “The Portable Edgebander – A Good Fit for a Small Shop”
Posted by Kyle Johnson of Shop Gear Inc.