Bending iron

Sporky

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Hey all, I thought I would post on the off chance that one of you has a proper bending iron that you're not using, perhaps because you switched to heating blanket or steam or something. At the price StewMac and LMII sell them, getting one new is not a possibility right now.
In the meantime I have been tinkering and found a workable but not ideal solution. I bent my first "side" yesterday and today, a slice of padauk I made with the band saw. It's not easy! But I really like it. I'm just practicing of course. Didn't have a controlled thickness, etc.
I tried a Canary wood slice first. Bad idea! That was basically impossible to bend.




 
how many watts is that bulb?
Just 60 - I tried with 100 today but the bulb burnt out. It was a super cheap dollar store one though, they come in pairs and the other one was already dead. I think one of the obvious upgrades would be to use a decent 100W with a dimmer. Another would definitely be a thicker walled steel tube so that it doesn't lose as much heat locally
 
This is the setup I use, although I have since upgraded to a better quality Wagner heat gun.
 

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It's actually aa length of galvanized pipe which I think I found in a junk yard.

It kind of looks like a cutoff from a galvanized fence post, such as would be used for chain link fencing. I just picked up a similar piece that was scrap from a job site. What's pictured might be thicker wall than the one I have. Still, thanks for posting this because now I know how to attach it to something for use as a bending iron.
 
Nice. Where does one get such a thick walled tube of aluminum?
Scaffold pole ..I use a length of tubing that once was the steering column on a golf buggy. :) Any tube will do steel copper brass as long as it conducts heat.
 
You know, as easy as it should be to find some old tubing to cut, living in the city in an apartment without a car I'm finding it to be quite a headache!!
There's definitely a bit of an issue with the amount of heat I'm getting with a 60 watt bulb. Also that bottle is 3 inches in diameter which can be too much for the waist on an ukulele. Still seeking a remedy.
Amazon has these so-called sanitary spool pieces of tube made of stainless steel. It's overkill as I'm not going to be running food products through it and it's not the cheapest thing but it's also not super expensive. They have a bit of a flange at each end
 
Do you not have any friends who have cars, who might be willing to take you to a junk yard, or even a fencing company that might give you an offcut?
 
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I used a piece of aluminum baseball bat that I got at Goodwill for $3. It had a small dent in it that didn't make any difference.
 
Wow that's even much cheaper than eBay for the same one. Thanks. Thoughts on noname uncertified electrical devices from China though?
No idea but the ones you buy in your country for twice as much is also made in China :)
 
A 75 watt halogen will fit a smaller pipe and generate more heat per watt than a 100 watt incandescent. Don't be tempted by a 150 watt halogen. That's too much.
 
Sorry, just the opposite. A halogen lamp is more efficient than an incandescent. I.e. it produces more light(and thus less heat) than a standard bulb for a given power consumption.


"An incandescent lamp, which is fairly inefficient lighting, only has around 2% efficiency. This means that a 50-watt incandescent lamp produces only one watt of light and 49 watts of heat.

Meanwhile, a halogen lamp is a bit more efficient as it provides you with 7 watts of lighting and 43 watts of heat for a 50-watt lamp."
 
Sorry, just the opposite. A halogen lamp is more efficient than an incandescent. I.e. it produces more light(and thus less heat) than a standard bulb for a given power consumption.


"An incandescent lamp, which is fairly inefficient lighting, only has around 2% efficiency. This means that a 50-watt incandescent lamp produces only one watt of light and 49 watts of heat.

Meanwhile, a halogen lamp is a bit more efficient as it provides you with 7 watts of lighting and 43 watts of heat for a 50-watt lamp."
Nonetheless, the halogens get hotter than the incandescent. "There's one more difference that affects the use of some halogens. This is because halogen bulbs burn very hot. Even hotter than traditional incandescents. So in the case of mini halogens and projection bulbs, you don't want to touch these bulbs with your hands, as this can leave oil residue on the bulb. This can cause oily / non-oily parts of the bulb to heat up differently, which can weaken and eventually break the bulb. Wear gloves when installing these bulbs. This doesn't likely apply, however, to general use halogen bulbs."

 
For purposes of heating the inside of a metal tube I don't think it matters much which kind of bulb you use. The bulb is simply functioning as a resistive heating element, and whether the electrical power going to the bulb or element is making heat or light, the tube should heat up the same for a given watt input. The surface of a halogen bulb is hotter than a similarly power rated incandescent because it's radiating its heat over a much smaller area.
 
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