View Full Version : bending Bloodwood binding

Mungo Park
09-29-2017, 03:14 AM
I have been following the form for a while now and have finally jumped in with my first build. I have Bloodwood accents in my build, a strip down the center of the neck, and want to use Blood wood for binding.
I soaked the 1/16th strips for about 1 hour and tried them on my light-bulb bending forum and it broke. I tried a heated pipe with the same results, broken strips.
I was looking at a thread for side sound port and it had a photo of a sound port with a blood wood strip around the port. So somebody has the skill to bend this wood to a degree far exceeding binding curves.

Could anybody be so kind to offer some insight into how to bend Bloodwood for binding. I have bent flamed maple sides for this instrument and heat and slow going worked but I am stumped with this binding.
Cheers Ron.

09-29-2017, 05:38 AM
We had this question recently: heres the link


09-29-2017, 10:26 AM
I have bent a aweful lot of bindings. Some easy, some difficult, and then there's Bloodwood that I can not bend at all. Every single piece snaps like it's made of glass. I had to find another timber that was complimentary to the builds that I was usuing them on. For me that was Jarrah. Fortunately easy to source in Australia.

The stack of Bloodwood bindings are now set aside for inlay into boxes.

Ken Franklin
09-29-2017, 10:19 PM
I haven't bent bloodwood bindings but I have bent bloodwood guitar sides in a Fox style bender without issue. You might try Super-Soft 2 veneer softener. Might be time to upgrade to a heating blanket rather than a light bulb. What are you using to heat your pipe bender? For stubborn woods I sometimes put a wet cloth on the pipe and bend the wood over that. It's good to hold some aluminum backing support while you're bending. Make some strips with wooden handles.

Michael Smith
09-30-2017, 05:14 AM
If I am going to bend really stuborn and or valuable old woods I soak the wood in supersoft 2 (wrapped in tin foil) overnight Then put it in a Pandora's Box for 20 minutes then on to the bending blanket. Pandora's Box is a steam box powered by one of those little steam generators you often see sold on tv. Small steam generators are pretty easy to find at thrift stores

09-30-2017, 05:19 PM
I perfectly solved my bloodwood bending problems with a simple idea: I don't try to bend the stuff anymore and you know what? I haven't had a single failure since. 100% success! I'm also having 100% success bending ebony bindings by not trying to bend ebony anymore.

One wood I really like to bend is Koa. So polite. So supple. A pleasure to bend. Looks better too.

09-30-2017, 08:53 PM
One wood I really like to bend is Koa. So polite. So supple. A pleasure to bend. Looks better too.
Thats why it's used so much.....I was amazed the first time I bent some Koa, after years of fighting mahogany...Same with Maple drum shells One of the most common used materials in percussion...(Now! Chuck comes in, on about curley Koa and how hard that is to bend ;))