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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:44 am 

Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:39 pm
Posts: 140
One of the things that helped me get started on my first two guitars was a gift of tools and woods from a friend who turned his hands to other things. One of the tools was a nicely made bending iron with a skookum piece of aluminum boat mast mounted on an aluminum plate, then fastened to a wooden base. For heat he used a 300 watt bulb in a ceramic lamp base, which did not get the iron hot enough. Another friend gave me a discarded home-built bending iron with a heating element in it. After some dithering I got around to trying to fit the element into my bending iron. To my surprise, the heating element screwed right in to the ceramic lamp base. I think these are no longer made, but I found many for sale online, most listed as "vintage" or even "steampunk", but apparently working. I believe mine is 660 watt, and another similar unit is 1000 watt. I wanted to upgrade the 600 watt dimmer switch in mine to 1000 watt for safety, but they are not easy to find; I will do it though. I fitted a gasket of wood stove door gasket between the aluminum plate and wood box, because of the higher heat. Not seen in the photos, I also raised the ceramic lamp base inside the mast on a piece of aluminum square tubing, to better distribute the heat, and replaced the wiring with high temperature wire from a stove element repair kit. I bought an inexpensive digital heat sensor unit to test the temperature. It seems to vary a lot from spot to spot on the mast, maybe needing a longer warmup. I got it up to about 280 F in places which is a little low but it worked not badly on my most recent build. I think it will do until I can afford one of the silicon blanket types.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:02 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1119
Location: Chestertown Maryland
A cutoff from a boat mast extrusion - brilliant. They come on different shapes. I bet every marina has a few abandoned masts around back.


PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 1984
Very nice!

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