View Full Version : When do you taper the sides?

Vespa Bob
02-04-2016, 06:19 AM
I have my side bender and form built and tested. Now I'm ready for the real deal. Up to now I have tapered my sides before bending, using a hot pipe, but I have read that the tapering is sometimes done after the wood is bent and clamped in the form. Is there a particular reason for this, as it seems to me that it would require more effort than cutting a taper when the sides are flat? I'd appreciate your comments if you have the time.


Gary Gill
02-04-2016, 06:58 AM
I book match and shape the sides prior to bending.

02-04-2016, 07:15 AM
I cut the taper after bending and the neck & tail blocks are glued in. Its really not a big effort to cut it after bending with a sharp chisel and a plane. I use a level laid across the rim to check that I have the taper the same on both sides.
I prefer it for two reasons:
1. Its not so critical to get the bends in the right spots to make the taper even. I've had wood where the grain lines didn't match up at the butt joint unless I moved the bends a bit.
2. I don't have to decide which is the top side or back side until I see it bent. I've changed my mind on that once or twice

Pete Howlett
02-04-2016, 07:27 AM
I set my bends then scribe off the sides of my mold which is tapered. Cut them on the bandsaw and glue the blocks off mold MyaMoe style. Put sides back into form and then radius and level as usual.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
02-04-2016, 07:32 AM
I book match and shape the sides prior to bending.


sand to thickness as rectangles though if you can- no biggy though

Vespa Bob
02-04-2016, 04:33 PM
It looks like we have a tie, two taper before bending and two after bending ! Thanks for taking the time to reply. While I can understand the reasons put forward by ksquine for tapering after bending, which would be my choice except for the fact that I still have a hard time visualizing how I would succeed at doing so! Nor can I imagine band sawing the taper after bending a la Pete's method. So I think that that I'll cut the taper first and make sure that I get the sides bookmatched and in the right location on the bending machine before bending. Thanks again for helping me out.