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 Post subject: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1319
It's high time I learn to bend my wood. I picked up this small bending iron from EBay. The iron stands about 15" tall. The base is about 6" x 8". The iron is weighty for its diminutive size. What caught my attention was the temperature control. The unit displays Celsius only.

I tested the unit by setting the temp at 100° C (212° F). The unit was holding 102°, so I assumed the little blue screw to the right of the temp controls, to be a calibrator. I was right. I turned the screw counterclockwise and the temp dropped to 100°.

You can hear the thermostat clicking on and off frequently , exhibiting fine control of the temperature. It stayed within 1° of the setting. It's a small unit. I'm going to mount it onto a piece of plywood, so I can carry it where I want, then clamp it down. Although it's small, it's big enough to bend guitar sides.

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 Post subject: Re: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5421
Location: Hegins, Pa
you will want to be about 350 for bending
also there is a learning curve. Take your time

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
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 Post subject: Re: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
Posts: 425
Location: Chadds Ford, PA
Also bend lot of scrap of various species and thicknesses, fast and slow, including going beyond the breaking point to get a good feel for how the wood gives, sets, and breaks, etc. You might also play with the position of the iron for ergonomics. I started with a horizontal pipe and moved on to bend with a vertical pipe. (Actually I now use John's gizmo, much faster and very easy and accurate.)


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 Post subject: Re: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1319
Thank you both for your insight. I will definitely do as you both suggest.


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 Post subject: Re: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Posts: 2926
Location: Visalia, CA
Very neat looking iron Diane. I bet way cheaper then what the guitar supply houses are selling?
It looks a lot better than the one I made too.


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 Post subject: Re: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 12:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:46 pm
Posts: 24
Danl8 wrote:
...I started with a horizontal pipe and moved on to bend with a vertical pipe. (Actually I now use John's gizmo, much faster and very easy and accurate.)


I practiced once bending horizontally and planned to do that on the figured maple for real. But now i have second thoughts. I wonder about accuracy, particularly regarding keeping the bend square. So you feel vertical is better? Any further tips for the nube?

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
Posts: 425
Location: Chadds Ford, PA
ChuckBarnett wrote:
I practiced once bending horizontally and planned to do that on the figured maple for real. But now i have second thoughts. I wonder about accuracy, particularly regarding keeping the bend square. So you feel vertical is better? Any further tips for the nube?

Thank you.


With vertical bending it's easier to see the curvature develop --you can look down on the edge of the wood-- and horizontal gives the advantage of using your weight to assist bending -- at least I find it easier to bear down on the wood that way. Thin wood bends pretty easily making the latter less advantageous. I always have a curvature template right there to constantly check the accuracy of the bend, both the curve and any unwanted skew. The machine compares favorably to manual bending I find, but I still use the pipe for lute ribs and single purfling strips. For purfling I have a slot cut in the metal that supports the strip on three sides to help with bending.


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 Post subject: Re: Bending Iron
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 3:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1319
Danl8 wrote:
ChuckBarnett wrote:
I practiced once bending horizontally and planned to do that on the figured maple for real. But now i have second thoughts. I wonder about accuracy, particularly regarding keeping the bend square. So you feel vertical is better? Any further tips for the nube?

Thank you.


With vertical bending it's easier to see the curvature develop --you can look down on the edge of the wood-- and horizontal gives the advantage of using your weight to assist bending -- at least I find it easier to bear down on the wood that way. Thin wood bends pretty easily making the latter less advantageous. I always have a curvature template right there to constantly check the accuracy of the bend, both the curve and any unwanted skew. The machine compares favorably to manual bending I find, but I still use the pipe for lute ribs and single purfling strips. For purfling I have a slot cut in the metal that supports the strip on three sides to help with bending.


Do you have a photo of the iron and purfling slot?


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