View Full Version : New to building: Seeking used equipment UK

03-15-2015, 01:59 PM
I have nearly completed my first build and am looking to future builds.

I managed to purchase ‘bent’ sides for the 1st one, but wish to do it all myself from now on. this will be one cost saving method.

At the moment, I have no means of bending.

Does anybody have any used bending equipment,they no longer use that they would like to sell on to a beginner? I realise that people upgrade equipment etc! Im just hoping!

(also looking for sanding equipment!)

Thanks in hope!

03-15-2015, 05:26 PM
I also just built my first uke. I didn't have any bending experience so I watched a lot of u tube videos and built my own. Crude but it worked. I used a piece off 2inch water pipe and a electric heat gun. I just mounted the pipe in a vice and built a cradle for the heat gun. I plugged the end of the pipe with a piece of tin and that's about it. It was plenty hot just don't put the gun to close. I melted the plastic on the gun. You can see my first try on one of my previous posts. PS I was stationed in the UK for three years and I loved I. Mike

03-16-2015, 02:20 AM
It's not the quickest way of bending but if times not an issue and depending on which wood you're using, you could try just soaking the sides, carefully bend by hand into your mold, use spreaders to hold shape and leave to dry. I tried this with a spare piece of walnut and it worked fine. By no means an efficient way but its cheap and worth a try if you have plenty of wood.

I'm going to buy the stewmac bending iron shortly, most people say they do the job fine and worth the investment if you're planning to keep building

03-16-2015, 04:14 AM
Many hobby makers simply use a tube and an electric heat gun as stated above. If you look on Youtube there are examples of how its done: it doesn't have to be sophisticated.

I now use a tube rammed full of cooking foil with an electric cartridge heater inserted in the centre. You need a 300 or 400W heater. Cartridge heaters will burn out if they overheat so must be embedded in a mass of metal to absorb the heat they generate. You can build in a sensor and thermostat if you have the knowhow but can get by without one. Again I found this method on Youtube.


WARNING: If you are not competent working with electricity, then don't make one

Wood varies in its ease of bending. In my limited experience I have found cherry, walnut and tulipwood easier than sapele. There's also variation in ability to bend within a species. As as a beginner you are also likely not to get the sides thin enough (2 mm): its much harder to bend thicker sides.

03-16-2015, 04:52 AM
I tried using a 175w soldering iron to bend sides on Saturday. It worked ok then got way to hot and started scorching my wood as soon as it touched the iron. A 150w iron would probably work great though if you can find one.

Pete Howlett
03-16-2015, 06:11 AM
Make a simple iron with a 40mm diameter aluminium bar drilled for a 12mm cartridge heater and controller...

03-17-2015, 08:48 AM
Still working on my first, I made a uke sized FoxBender, works great.