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Thread: Looking for a rib bending iron

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    117

    Default Looking for a rib bending iron

    I would like to get more accurate with my bending so am looking at buying a bending iron.

    I like the StewMac, that is all except the price. This will be my first experience with a bending iron so would prefer a less expensive option, if it will work...

    This one is $100 and seems to get favorable reviews. What do you think?

    Thanks!

    https://www.amazon.com/Yinfente-Guit...5685816&sr=8-1

  2. #2

    Default

    I don't own the stumac iron so I'm not sure, but it looks like it uses a rheostat. The problem with that is they take a long time to come up to temp because they are reducing power only. Like a dimmer.

    I have made my own and use a temp controller like the one on amazon. Mine gets up to temp quickly because the power is on full till it gets to temp then the power is full off and on to maintain temp.
    Michael Smith
    Goat Rock Ukulele
    www.goatrockukulele.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    221

    Default

    I have two of the Stew-Mac benders, the first one for 38 years now and still going strong. They are not controlled by a rheostat, but by a thermostat that cycles the power on and off ( you can hear it switching). The newest one does take about 15 minutes to get to temp even here in balmy Kauai.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
    Posts
    5,291

    Default

    If you have a gas propane torch you can heat it up to temperature in a couple of minutes on the electric iron while it is still switched on...it gets you off to a fast start ... I do it all the time with my heat gun and pipe method.
    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbuck View Post
    If you have a gas propane torch you can heat it up to temperature in a couple of minutes on the electric iron while it is still switched on...it gets you off to a fast start ... I do it all the time with my heat gun and pipe method.
    What size pipe did you use? Do you/would you share a picture of your bender? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Stockton on Tees..North East UK.
    Posts
    5,291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eclipsme View Post
    What size pipe did you use? Do you/would you share a picture of your bender? Thanks!
    Here is an old video I made pre bending kerfed linings. It’s made from a scrap steering column off an old golf buggy...very impressive
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igefP_h7Nh8&t=9s
    Last edited by Timbuck; 04-01-2020 at 03:39 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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Trois-rivieres,Quebec
    Posts
    36

    Default

    These are not difficult to make.
    I made mine with an old water tank heater element as the heat source. Around here the water tank is 220V and the domestic is 110V. So the element has no problem on 110V. You can also use a Barbecue lighter. For a thermostat, I used an old electric pan thermostat found at the flea market. Similar to this one. A short piece of Aluminium pipe to complete
    Korean-multifunction-electric-pan-plug-the-power-cord-cookers-cooker-thermostat-thermostat-wire-.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alain Lambert View Post
    These are not difficult to make.
    I made mine with an old water tank heater element as the heat source. Around here the water tank is 220V and the domestic is 110V. So the element has no problem on 110V. You can also use a Barbecue lighter. For a thermostat, I used an old electric pan thermostat found at the flea market. Similar to this one. A short piece of Aluminium pipe to complete
    Korean-multifunction-electric-pan-plug-the-power-cord-cookers-cooker-thermostat-thermostat-wire-.jpg
    Thanks for the pointers. It is the pipe that I have a hard time sourcing...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Thank you all for your responses! I have decided to go ahead and order from Amazon.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,086

    Default

    Years ago I made a wooden pattern for a bending iron and got a couple of solid aluminium castings done from a small local foundry. I then used a heating element salvaged from a UV/infra red heater, back then they were popular if you wanted to be the glorious orange/red colour of a lobster.
    I think I'm going back 30 years or so, how amazing but the thing is still working! I never did get around to fitting a thermostat to it. When it's up to temperature I just unplug it. Being a solid casting gives me enough time to bend a set of ribs, so no real need for a thermostat. Must say that the amazon one is pretty cheap.

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