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iPreferAndroid
06-26-2014, 09:13 AM
I had another crazy idea. Lets say a luthier wanted to bend sides on a tighter budget than most. Is it a viable option to heat up water, put the wood in it, bend the wood around a form, and then bake it while clamped tp the form? Or is that unrealistic or doesnt work?

ksquine
06-26-2014, 09:56 AM
I've seen some slight bends done that way. search for Strum Stick building videos on youtube.
But its not a good method. Wood really doesn't bend well until 230-250F so boiling water isn't hot enough. You might be able to get the lower bought bent but probably not the waist or upper bought.

Allen
06-26-2014, 09:57 AM
If the wood was very thin it might work if you had the water up to boiling temp. Still don't think it would be very successful though. And some wood species don't bend very well at all with lot's of moisture. Causes all kinds of other problems.

iPreferAndroid
06-26-2014, 10:00 AM
But I am saying to clamp it to the form. I know it wont hold there, ive tried it. But then put it in the oven and bake it.

ukantor
06-26-2014, 10:02 AM
I can't comment on your suggestion, but I have successfully bent sides using a domestic steam iron. Damp cloth above and below the wood, then use the steam iron to get it stinking hot. Quickly clamp it into the former and wait for it to cool and dry.

I don't recommend this - I never managed to do it without burning myself.

vanflynn
06-26-2014, 10:52 AM
I'm on my first build so I'm far from knowledgeable but I built a bender from steel pipe and a heat gun like http://poorfolkbows.com/violin3.htm
and it worked pretty good at minimal cost. The heat gun is also good for undoing things glued in the wrong place!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-26-2014, 11:20 AM
Honestly, what could be cheaper than a length of pipe and a propane torch. $10 for a tried and true pipe bender.

iPreferAndroid
06-26-2014, 12:06 PM
Fair enough. And as an aside, I went ahead and tried it - if you can manage to bend the wood into place without cracking it, the oven heats it super well so there is like no spring back

thistle3585
06-26-2014, 04:44 PM
Its called cold molding and is common in the violin world. Dave Gill cold molds all of his ukes. He doesn't bake them but lets them sit in a mold with air blowing over them until they dry. Very minimal spring back. I'd guess he's built 200+ ukes in this manner.

Dougf
06-26-2014, 08:58 PM
Here's my pipe and propane torch bending iron:

68252

And here's a link to my first one, galvanized vent pipe with a light bulb. Talk about cheap.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?57679-Cheapskate-s-bending-iron

Pete Howlett
06-26-2014, 10:21 PM
The propane torch method means you bend Martin style. I can't do it - I have to have the iron vertical so I can better see the work as I visualise the shape and where on the iron I am going to solid or air-bend. There is much more to this hand process than meets the eye...

Michael N.
06-27-2014, 12:51 AM
Its called cold molding and is common in the violin world. Dave Gill cold molds all of his ukes. He doesn't bake them but lets them sit in a mold with air blowing over them until they dry. Very minimal spring back. I'd guess he's built 200+ ukes in this manner.

It exists but it's hardly common. Violin ribs are pretty thin though, at near 1.1 - 1.2 mm's.
I have cold bent quite a few items. It's actually quite time consuming because you have to spritz the wood, partially clamp it and then allow the fibres of the wood to relax. You keep doing that until you have your final shape. Cracking isn't unknown.
I can (and have been known to) bend a side on a hot iron in 5 minutes. Far, far quicker than any cold bending.

ksquine
06-27-2014, 09:49 AM
Here's my cheapie iron. About $25 for the heat gun, pipe, flange, misc. I made this just to try hand bending but it worked so well that I never upgraded it.
I used to use forms and heat blankets with reasonable success. This is better

Gyozu
06-28-2014, 06:46 AM
Here's my cheapie iron. About $25 for the heat gun, pipe, flange, misc. I made this just to try hand bending but it worked so well that I never upgraded it.
I used to use forms and heat blankets with reasonable success. This is better


any sort of baffle inside or just a straight shot? Does hot air exit through wood block?

TIA

Doc_J
06-28-2014, 07:03 AM
Its called cold molding and is common in the violin world. Dave Gill cold molds all of his ukes. He doesn't bake them but lets them sit in a mold with air blowing over them until they dry. Very minimal spring back. I'd guess he's built 200+ ukes in this manner.

Dave Gjessing at Waverly Street Ukes shows his similar method for cold bending in detail.
http://www.wsukes.com/bendingsides.html

Ron B
06-29-2014, 03:52 AM
Most muffler shops will give away a short scrap of the size pipe that accommodates a 100W lightbulb. Couldn't be cheaper than that, and works pretty well.

ksquine
06-30-2014, 10:19 AM
any sort of baffle inside or just a straight shot? Does hot air exit through wood block?

TIA

Its a straight shot through. There's a hole in the wood to let the hot air out. Its fine for the smaller uke size pipe. When I use my larger dia guitar size pipe I put a wad of tin foil in the end to make it heat up faster