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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Side bending machine or a bending iron.
If a bending iron what size, shape, and wattage?
Or a heating blanket and steel slats over a mandrel?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
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Location: Chestertown Maryland
Ir depends

If you are only building a couple, then a pipe is perfectly adequate. I have only built 2 with thepipe, but my second one only took about an hour and a half to bend both sides. There are dozens of sites showing how to build a pipe, and $30-40 gets you there. I was extremely lucky to find an S-M pipe used a couple of times for $100, and I love it.

Ed


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:53 am 
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A bending iron will take some practice, but several suppliers sell "practice sides" for pretty cheap money that would let you get the hang of it.
Some woods bend more easily than others, too. Ebony, for example, is terrible to bend...not that you're likely to build an ebony-bodied guitar. If you're planning on using a bending iron, it would be sensible to choose a wood that bends easily to improve your odds of success.

When I need a bending iron, I use a piece of heavy-wall aluminum pipe with a couple of internal baffles and a heat gun blasting through it. For a while I was heating it with a propane torch, but the heat gun is safer and more convenient.

I've use the pipe to bend dulcimer sides and strips of binding. For guitar sides I've been fortunate to have access to a bending machine. I made the bending form for the guitar design I was building and donated it to the bending machine owner in return for use of the machine.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:49 pm 
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With the exception of the blanket, which costs $100.00 or so though there are cheaper Chinese ones on eBay, you don't need to build a whole machine to bend. Hundreds of thousands of instrument sides have historically been bent with a hot pipe, but a blanket and form works better for most. While I have a bending machine , http://www.pegasusguitars.com/how-i-ben ... sides.html , I have bent many 1 off sides over simple stacked, sawn plywood forms held in a vise. They work just fine. No need for a whole elaborate machine.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:25 pm 
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A provocative thought - - - somewhere between the lead-pipe (gotta say it) simplicity of a heated pipe and the grain-elevator elaboration of a Fox bender replete with springs and brackets and jackscrews, is there a middle ground of bending machines that has more predictability and higher probability of success than the pipe but not the daunting elaboration and expense of the Fox bender? I'm frightened of getting the bending done on the pipe at the wrong angles and winding up with a spiraled pretzel of a side.

Thanks very much.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:41 pm 
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The one my "teacher" has, he built himself, and it's pretty ragged in many respects. Certainly not fancy in any way. One could probably duplicate it for about 50 bucks or less -- ignoring the cost of the steel sheets, heating blankets, and controls for the time being. The most expensive thing to buy for the basic machine might be the screw to push down the waist, and even that woule be pretty cheap. He's the thermostat and timer of the operation. He puts a thermometer on the heating blanket, and when it gets to the desired temperature (typically around 300 degrees or a bit more) he unplugs the blanket until the temperature drops, then plugs it in again. It sounds like it would be a lot of work, but since the whole heating and bending takes maybe 10-15 minutes, it really isn't bad.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:05 am 
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Location: Chestertown Maryland
I am also on a ukulele site, and here is a picture of one that is uke sized. It has cords used to tighten the eye bolts at the bottom, and a bar clamp holding in a shaped caul at the waist. There are a couple of pieces of blue tape on the large bout to hold things together. Looks like $25 worth of scrap and hardware would get you there (plus the heating blanket):


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:20 pm 
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phavriluk wrote:
A provocative thought - - - somewhere between the lead-pipe (gotta say it) simplicity of a heated pipe and the grain-elevator elaboration of a Fox bender replete with springs and brackets and jackscrews, is there a middle ground of bending machines that has more predictability and higher probability of success than the pipe but not the daunting elaboration and expense of the Fox bender? I'm frightened of getting the bending done on the pipe at the wrong angles and winding up with a spiraled pretzel of a side.

Thanks very much.


My thoughts also. a middle ground would be good.
I'm excited about building guitars and plan on building quite a few, But
need to be a little modest on the out lay for tools. Anything I can build instead of buying
is right up my alley.
I'll build a bending iron and as time and money allow, build and buy other things.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:10 pm 
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An anyone recommend a side bending machine kit or plans?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:27 pm 
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I don't know if John sells plans or kits, but he has bending machines for sale..

http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/shop/i ... x&cPath=10

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