bending sides

jcalkin

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The easiest way is to have someone bend them for you.

Sorry. The easiest way is to use a bending form and a heat blanket. There's plenty of UU archived material and YouTube stuff about this. You should do some research and come back with more specific questions.
 

Timbuck

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It also depends on the material you want to bend..I've had Maple that bent cold like plastic with no problems ...I made a laminated 8" banjo uke pot with it.
 

RawrGazzawrs

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It also depends on the material you want to bend..I've had Maple that bent cold like plastic with no problems ...I made a laminated 8" banjo uke pot with it.

I'm making my body out of koa. Grade A if that means anything.
 

Chris_H

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might want to have lots of Koa on hand as there might be a steep learning curve.. If it is curly, depending on the curl, there is a high likelihood of breakage unless you know what you are doing. The sound of an expensive piece of Koa breaking is not fun. Practice on some other woods. I broke plenty when I first was learning about bending curly Koa, had to ask for help. I was using a bending machine, one side at a time, consistently breaking them. This was after not having any problems with other woods.
 

RawrGazzawrs

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might want to have lots of Koa on hand as there might be a steep learning curve.. If it is curly, depending on the curl, there is a high likelihood of breakage unless you know what you are doing. The sound of an expensive piece of Koa breaking is not fun. Practice on some other woods. I broke plenty when I first was learning about bending curly Koa, had to ask for help. I was using a bending machine, one side at a time, consistently breaking them. This was after not having any problems with other woods.

What could you suggest would be easier to bend?
 

Chris_H

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In my limited experience, some Koa bends easily. You said Grade A.. that doesn't say much.. is that Grade A out of 5A? The exact 'flavor' of the wood will be the determining factor in how it bends. 2 types of Koa I have made sides from, both being very curly.. one of them bent easily, even with a lack of knowledge on bending. The other broke almost every time until I learned a little more about how to bend. I transformed some gorgeous Koa into firewood, very sad. At this point I consider it part of the price paid to learn.


Plain Koa bends pretty easily
 

RawrGazzawrs

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I've read you can also just soak it by submerging it in water overnight and then bend it, is that doable for most woods? I can't really find much on that method so i'm not sure how safe it'd be to try.
 

JelC50

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I looked around for all side bending alternatives, and being a hobbyist builder, just wouldn't spring for a Fox bender, heat blanket, etc. Searching around, I found a youtube video of a guy bending with a piece of galvanized pipe (I'm actually using thin walled metal conduit) held in a vise and heating the pipe with a small propane torch. I played around with some scrap maple, walnut and purple heart I had laying around my shop, and I have gotten decent at getting the wood to bend without breaking. I soak my wood about 15 minutes and bend slowly and carefully, never forcing the bend until I feel the wood beginning to give on it's own. I have pipe in several diameters. Only problem is regulating the temperature of the pipe, so I have to be careful about scorching the wood. I sometimes put a wet cloth between the wood and the pipe to prevent the wood from scorching, plus the moisture puts some steam into the wood. Already had the torch and spent about $5 for the various diameters of pipe. Turned out to be a very cheap alternative and it works for me.
 

Daan Muller

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RG - I'm not trying to high jack but augment the post.

If you don't want to invest in a heat blanket, is the Fox bender with a bulb heat source http://www.hanalima.com/tooltips_bendingjig.shtml easier than using a bending iron https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...CE2fLCkqUwCbmhbkVeowKxQ&bvm=bv.53899372,d.aWc. ?

I build a simple bender with 2 100 watt lightbulbs. Works like a treat so far. I was expecting to screw up a lot of sides in the beginning but it worked great the first time round with rosewood sides. Mahogany I screwed up the first set, they need a bit more time than rosewood, second set no problems.

Grotefoto-CJBSIKEV.jpg
Grotefoto-KBRGVIA7.jpg
 
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ksquine

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Koa isn't hard to bend....of course you can find examples of any wood that just won't cooperate.
I'd say just get a simple hot pipe. Its much cheaper and flexible for the hobby builder than all the work required to make a bending form. Here's a photo of my set up....cost about $20 with the heat gun and I can make one-off body shapes with no set up. I was amazed how easy it was to learn to use a pipe. Maybe get some maple or walnut scraps to practice with before you try the koa

IMG-20121201-00038.jpg
 

afreiki

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I use a large barrel curling Iron in my vice. Constant and consistent temp controlled by a dial. I soak first and spray frequently. The biggest thing is patience - wait until the wood bends willingly. Costs $29 or less at any drug store/ -mart/Target, etc. If I was sure I would not use it again for my hair I would just remove the clamp, but for now I just put it clamp down and use the other side.
Anne Flynn.
 

shaberd

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Koa isn't hard to bend....of course you can find examples of any wood that just won't cooperate.
I'd say just get a simple hot pipe. Its much cheaper and flexible for the hobby builder than all the work required to make a bending form. Here's a photo of my set up....cost about $20 with the heat gun and I can make one-off body shapes with no set up. I was amazed how easy it was to learn to use a pipe.

Can you tell more about your setup and how you use it? Temperature and how long, etc. Is heat gun permanently connected or comes out. Is there a whole in end of board holding the pipe? Any suggestions? I happen to have the same heat gun and am looking to try bending sometime but not sure where to start.