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Thread: Totally new builder already in trouble

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Big Island, Hawaii


    It doesn't sound like you got enough heat. I usually bend my sides at around 325 degrees or so. I'm able to pop them out of the form within a half hour with minimal spring back.
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Virginia USA


    You can try also to undersize the bending form to compensate for the side thickness and any slats/blankets/whatever. I also exaggerate the waist bend and the ends at the blocks. That way the spring back is somewhat compensated for. But this is of course separate of getting your heat issue "ironed" out.

    Rodney Paul Adams

  3. #23


    Wrap your sides in aluminum foil (helps keep moist and evens temperature.

    If you are using one blanket have it on the outside of the wood. (wood, wrapped in foil, blanket on top, spring steel above and below this package.

    Use higher temp (300 F minimum)

    don't wait so long to make the bend (soon as you are close to 300 F slowly and gently start the bend. If you wait too long and dry out your wood you will have problems) The idea is to be both at a high temp and moist at the same time.

    as soon as you are done with the bend shut it down and let it cool for 20 minutes. Then run it back up to 290 F. Shut it down right away when it gets there. Allow to cool for an hour or two and you should be good to go.

    There are some woods that are incredibly hard to bend even when you are extremely careful. I did a leopard wood set that gave me fits. I resorted to Supersoft 2 a veneer softener. That did the trick.
    Last edited by Michael Smith; 12-30-2015 at 09:16 AM.
    Michael Smith
    Goat Rock Ukulele

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2015


    Thanks folks for the quick response. Higher heat makes sense. I watched the Mya-Moe video and Char said she bends at 212 degrees, others on this forum said they bend at about 240 so I guess every one has their own way. But higher heat makes sense to me so my next try will hopefully be better. I did offset the bending mold 2mm smaller than the build form. Unfortunately I only had on set of sides that came with the, ran out this morning to the local exotic wood place and picked up a 6"X5"X24" piece of pricy Brazilian Mahogany, sliced 4 pieces off and sanded them down to .075" . I'll give another go soon.

    Again thanks

    Paul McCauley (Bobsled)

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