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Thread: Bending Iron Suggestions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    28

    Default Bending Iron Suggestions

    So to date I have used a fox style bender I built to bend sides. I've managed not to break any sides so far but, having watched Beau's videos on laminated sides and solid kerfing, have decided to try some hand bending.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on which version to get. I have been leaning more towards the Luthier Bench version rather than Ibex but they both cost over 200 and I've heard the luthier bench version can take quite a while to arrive. Does anyone have any experience with any cheaper Chinese versions?

    Another option would be to try and build one (if similar results can be got to the commercial versions). I don't have access to a torch (and it looks scary) so has anyone built using easier charcoal starter or bulb in aluminium pipe?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado
    Posts
    2,470

    Default

    This is the bending iron I want to buy when my stew mac one dies (which i secretly hope it does so i can buy this bending iron!)

    Yes- i want the bronze one, cuz im pretentious...

    https://luthiers-bench.com/collectio...s/bending-iron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Thanks Beau that is the one I was leaning towards. I think I will go for the aluminium version and save 50.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    So. Oregon
    Posts
    1,572

    Default

    If your budget permits, this is the bending iron to buy. It's a stout unit that seems to be well made. It's not easy to peek inside so I don't know anything about the electrical components but everything that can be seen speaks of heft and quality. The business end is solid aluminum (or bronze) and is massive enough to accurately maintain the temperature that is set. The control pot has a dial that indicates degrees C but I've never paid attention to its accuracy. Instead, I monitor the temperature with an electronic thermometer. The hole in the top is about 1/4" diameter and 1" deep. I use a short piece of aluminum rod to jam in the end of a wire probe that feeds an electronic thermometer so that the temp can be accurately set in degrees F.



    I got the "guitar" version and it has worked out fine.

    It took a month or two for it to arrive from England. As noted in postings in other lutherie forums, you won't hear much from the seller until it lands on your doorstep. It's a small business, maybe just one guy, and his preferred activity seems to be making and shipping a superior product.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Ok luthiers-bench one ordered (guitar version in aluminium). Actually got an email from him straight away saying delivery would be in around a week.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Posts
    5,141

    Default

    I gave away my StewMac electric bender. Just didn't have the patience to sit and wait for it to warm up. The old pipe and propane torch work best for me when I want to touch something up or make an unique bend ( like headstock bindings).
    Chuck Moore
    Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    http://www.moorebettahukes.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
    Posts
    4,704

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moore Bettah Ukuleles View Post
    I gave away my StewMac electric bender. Just didn't have the patience to sit and wait for it to warm up. The old pipe and propane torch work best for me when I want to touch something up or make an unique bend ( like headstock bindings).
    I gave mine away as well and now I use the pipe with an electric hot air gun...I found you can heat up an electric bender with the propane lamp in a few minutes while it's switched on if you don't like to wait
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

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