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Thread: Veneer softener

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    5,056

    Default Veneer softener

    Today is "Side Bending Day" I had 4 soprano sets to bend ..it is the Cuban rosewood that has been giving me a hard time recently... The waist is only a 1 inch radius so I do this on the hot pipe by hand. The first set cracked and was binned..The second set, I took it very carefully and with constant spraying with water I got there in the end but with slight leafing on the inside on one rib which I managed to sand out with a bit of help from CA glue...The third set went better and I managed to to get a set with no defects...The fourth set...I sprayed with this Veneer softener that I bought on Amazon (You can't get Supersoft in the UK)
    I left the sotener on for about 45 mins then I wiped it down with a rag to remove surplus and started to bend on the pipe...It went like dream with no problems and I did it in double quick time...This stuff really works
    IMG_4247 by Ken Timms, on Flickr
    Last edited by Timbuck; 08-03-2019 at 05:30 AM.
    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Stockport, Cheshire.
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Can't see this on Amazon, Ken, although I see it on another site for about 15. If it works like you say, I might try it. I've some honduras rosewood sides to hand bend which I've been apprehensive about, cos it looks quite dry and brittle. Of course, it might not be but just looks that way.
    Thanks for the recommendation, Mike.

  3. #3

    Default

    That is a great product to know about. Never thought to use a softener for this purpose! I would guess that any of the veneer softeners might do the trick.

    Another idea for tough bends - use a thin sheet of metal to back up the waist bend (on the outside of the bend). Steam benders use this technique all the time. I bought a small roll of thin aluminum flashing I use for this purpose when steam bending my ribs. I don't see why it wouldn't work with the pipe.

    I sure envy your Cuban Mahogany stash. I have some Honduran Mahogany that I guess would be 2nd place to your Cuban! ;-}

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    New Westminster BC Canada
    Posts
    57

    Default

    I've been using a home made softener containing glycerine, alcohol and water for side bending. I'd like to try one of the commercial products but I can't find these in Canada and shipping from the USA is insanely expensive. Have any Canadians here found a source for this stuff in Canada? Has anyone done a comparison between the commercial and home made softeners?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
    Posts
    5,056

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eclipsme View Post
    That is a great product to know about. Never thought to use a softener for this purpose! I would guess that any of the veneer softeners might do the trick.

    Another idea for tough bends - use a thin sheet of metal to back up the waist bend (on the outside of the bend). Steam benders use this technique all the time. I bought a small roll of thin aluminum flashing I use for this purpose when steam bending my ribs. I don't see why it wouldn't work with the pipe.

    I sure envy your Cuban Mahogany stash. I have some Honduran Mahogany that I guess would be 2nd place to your Cuban! ;-}
    I also use the metal strip method at the waist bend when I bend on the hot pipe..I made this device so that the metal strip automatically holds firm to the bend and my fingers don't get burned...It works really well.
    IMG_4251 by Ken Timms, on Flickr
    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.

  6. #6

    Default

    [QUOTE=Timbuck;2170245]I also use the metal strip method at the waist bend when I bend on the hot pipe..I made this device so that the metal strip automatically holds firm to the bend and my fingers don't get burned...It works really well.

    Great to see!

    Just curious, and maybe more appropriate to a separate thread but what opinions, if any, do you have on steam bending ribs? I learned steam bending on boats so brought that over to my uke building...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Australia
    Posts
    2,361

    Default

    So I got some veneer softener because of an upcoming project that I know will be rather difficult to bend. But today I had a set of extrremely curly Australian Blackwood that I've built with quite a bit and I know I have to go careful and slow. Obvious candidate to try the softener out and I'm quite simply amazed at what a difference it made.

    I'm pretty sure that I could have had a complete newbie succesfully bend these sides on the iron. Big thumbs up from me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    2

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    hello Allen
    where did you get your softener from?
    regards
    chris

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cairns, Australia
    Posts
    2,361

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clarkey View Post
    hello Allen
    where did you get your softener from?
    regards
    chris
    I got it from Carbatec.....Only good if you are in Australia or N.Z.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
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    Default

    I'm making an Ebony fretboard only .096" thick and it had developed a cross grain curvature making it difficult to press in the frets...So veneer softener to the rescue.. brushed some on the back and clamped hard between two flat surfaces and a couple of hours later it came out as flat as a motorway hedgehog
    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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