StewMac tools

hot air gun for bending binding?

Please put your pickup/wiring discussions in the Electronics section; and put discussions about repair issues, including fixing errors in new instruments, in the Repairs section.

hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:46 am

Has anyone ever tried using a hot air gun for bending wooden binding? I was primarily thinking of finessing the fit around the waist, but it seems to me that the 600 degrees F that a gun puts out could be easily controlled by distance and movement, and might help loosen binding up as you are fitting it prior to glue...
Brian Evans
 
Posts: 516
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Chris Reed » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:33 am

I use one, but needs care to avoid scorching. And plastic bindings melt easily!
Chris Reed
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:26 pm

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Mike Conner » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:13 am

Any make-models to recommend? I'm thinking about getting one also for the same purpose!
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:04 am

My hot air gun, and the one I plan to try with wood bindings, is a really old Black and Decker paint stripping gun, with two settings. Max is 1500 watts, probably, and the other setting is probably around half that. It will scorch wood.
Brian Evans
 
Posts: 516
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:26 am
Location: Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Bryan Bear » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:40 am

Before I got serious about instrument making I was mostly playing around and tried to work around most of the traditional methods to allow me to get by with he equipment I already had. I used a heat gun to bend the sides on a small bodied instrument around an instide mold. The sides were way thicker than I now know is the right thickness and it still worked. It was however, a miserable experience. It took lots of water and there was lots of burning of my fingers. If you use one for finessing bindings, be careful. I'd be concerned about loosening the other glue joints nearby if you are working on bindings that are already glued in but need some work. In that case, I would first try a hair dryer to see if that could get it warm enough without burning or melting the other glue. If you are working on bindings before they are glued to finesse the fit, a hot pipe might be better.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.
User avatar
Bryan Bear
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Mike Conner » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:07 pm

Thanks Brian and Bryan,
I my case I am quite happy with my homemade hot pipe for bending sides, etc. My goal is to warm and bend small pieces of binding for inlays, for which I am presently using a cup of boiling water. I am also specing out an F style mandolin build, and there are some pretty tight bends at the scroll where the hot air gun would be appropriate. I wouldn't risk using it on the body.

I know what you mean about the waist bends, and it can be a challenge to keep them tight in the rabbet. I have found using small wood cauls rounded off to match the waist curve, held tight with a Irwin clamp across the waist, can keep the waist binding and purfling in tight while fitting and gluing the upper and lower bouts. Here's a picture:

A078 - Binding is glued[1].jpg


Hope this helps!
//mike
Mike Conner
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Seneca SC

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Bryan Bear » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:14 pm

I see, in that case the gun may work well but you will probably burn yourself every now and then. I needed to bend a couple of tight curves for some binding once and jammed a length of copper pipe in my home made bending iron. The copper heated quickly and evenly giving me a fast and easy 3/4" diameter bending iron. I may try the heat gun next time I'm in that situation and see which I like better.
PMoMC

Take care of your feet and your feet will take care of you.
User avatar
Bryan Bear
 
Posts: 918
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:05 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:21 pm

For the mandolin stuff you might also consider the side of an electric soldering iron (clamped in a vise).
Clay Schaeffer
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Eric Baack » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:02 am

I've used a heat gun tip for bending wood binding before. I clamped the heat gun to the workbench and then bent the binding around the tip.
Eric Baack
 
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:08 am

I just posted a couple pictures of a wenge guitar that I am building, in the electric section.
In that post, you can see some of the small pieces of maple that I bent using a heat gun.
I soaked the wood for about a half hour, and bent it around a pipe of the same diameter as the bend I needed. In my case it was an inch and a half diameter.
I put the pipe in my vise and stuck the heat gun in one end. This allowed me to use two hands for bending.
After the piece was bent, I clamped it to the pipe and left the heat on for a few minutes.
I used the low heat setting for everything.

As to the kind of heat gun you use, I don't think it matters too much, as long as it has two or three heat settings.
Mine is an inexpensive Mastercraft gun.
That, for my non-Canadian friends, is a brand sold by a chain of stores called "Canadian Tire".
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
Gordon Bellerose
 
Posts: 926
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:47 pm
Location: Edmonton AB. Canada

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby David King » Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:45 pm

I have a cheap Milwaukee brand heat gun that's been indestructible for several decades. You can also get a $10 one from Harbor Freight that comes with a pile of attachments, pretty worthless for paint stripping but potentially good for bending the occasional binding strip.
David King
 
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:01 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Karl Hoyt » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:45 pm

I bend my guitar sides old school over iron pipes: I have a 2" diameter pipe and a 4" diameter pipe: both have baffles in the end. For a couple decades I used a torch to heat the pipe. It's always a challenge to get the heat just right to avoid scorching. I teach an acoustic guitar building class at the high school I work at. One day I forgot to get gas for the torch, so in a pinch I used the heat gun as a heat source (one of those 2 speed ones from ace hardware) . It worked GREAT. There is plenty of mass in the pipes, so it takes a while to get the pipes heated up enough for spritzed water to dance on the pipe, but it stays hot nicely. And even no scorching on light woods like ash, maple or primavera. So that's my new 'go to' means for bending.

Cheers: Karl Hoyt
Karl Hoyt
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:04 am
Location: Cape Cod

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:41 pm

I bought one of those 11 setting digital guns - just didn't work out for me. I made a jig to hold the pipe and the gun, and it eventually lit the jig on fire and melted the end of the gun. Now I use a charcoal lighter.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it
User avatar
Peter Wilcox
 
Posts: 871
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: hot air gun for bending binding?

Postby Dan Smith » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:24 pm

I tried and gave up using a heat gun.
I made a torch-heated pipe as shown in Cumpiano's book.
What worked for bending Mesquite binding was to get the pipe hot, wipe the binding with a wet rag, and bend it using a strip of thin steel as a backer.
I found the key was to not soak the binding.
I use a heat gun for putting tight bends in plastic binding.

I may try using the gun to heat the pipe as stated by Karl.
Trying to regulate the temp using the torch was difficult.

Dan
Ever-body was kung fu fight-in,
Them kids was fast as light-nin.
User avatar
Dan Smith
 
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:33 pm
Location: Texas


Return to Flat-Top Acoustic Guitars and Bass Guitars

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests

Your purchase from these sites helps support the MIMForum, but only if you start at the links below!!!
Amazon music     Amazon books     Amazon tools     Rockler tools     Office Depot    

The MIMF is a member-supported forum, please consider supporting us with a donation, thanks!
 • Book store • Tool store • Links • 
cron