Bending irons

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.
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Arnt Rian
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:41 am
Location: Trondheim, Norway
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Bending irons

Post by Arnt Rian »

Here are a couple of mine (I have a couple more that I rarely use, like one with a regular 4" pipe and one 2"). Not pretty, but they work!

The main one is a 4" pipe, slightly squeezed into an oval shape and welded onto a flange. It is perfect for normal guitar sides, as the varying geometry is useful for the different sections of a guitar side. It is heated with a charcoal starter, and I use it all the time for waist touch-ups, bindings, headstock back veneers, mandolins, one-off guitar shapes, you name it.

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This smaller one I use for cutaways and tight bends on mando sides and such. It is heated with a propane torch, and it's walls are on the thin side, so it gets quite hot fast, and it is possible to scorch wood if you are not careful. I'm used to it though, so its not really a big problem.

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Rick Cowan
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:21 am
Location: Oakville, ON

Re: Bending irons

Post by Rick Cowan »

Arnt,

Curious what material you are using as an insulator between the pipe flange and the board it is mounted to?

TX
Rick

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Paul Doubek
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Re: Bending irons

Post by Paul Doubek »

Here's my bending iron... but it hasn't been getting a workout doing beautiful work like Arnt's. :) It's the fat end of an aluminum baseball bat with a flattened barbeque starter and filled with BBs. The backer is tile backerboard left over from some remodeling... very heat resistant but I need to screw it to some wood like Arnt's to keep it from cracking.
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I've got a replacement backer cut but it probably won't get done until I've got a project that calls for bending. I also have yet to build a thermostat or rheostat setup for it, but with the BBs in there I get it up to temperature and unplug it, and it holds the heat for quite awhile. I also have the smaller handle section that I plan on making a smaller bender with... when the need arises or time permits.

Paul

Arnt Rian
Posts: 216
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:41 am
Location: Trondheim, Norway
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Re: Bending irons

Post by Arnt Rian »

Rick Cowan wrote:Arnt,

Curious what material you are using as an insulator between the pipe flange and the board it is mounted to?

TX
Rick
Rick, the top one has a piece of drywall, the bottom one I think has "Eternit", which is good 'ol asbestos :shock: (NOT healthy to cut, and nearly indestructible). The drywall looks ratty by now of course, but as long as it holds up...

Tim Douglass
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Bending irons

Post by Tim Douglass »

You can also get concrete tile backer board, which works well. I didn't bother with any backer on mine and it hasn't shown any desire to burst into flames yet - but you never know.

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Rick Cowan
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Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:21 am
Location: Oakville, ON

Re: Bending irons

Post by Rick Cowan »

Thanks Arnt, Tim!

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Paul Doubek
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Re: Bending irons

Post by Paul Doubek »

Tim Douglass wrote:You can also get concrete tile backer board, which works well. I didn't bother with any backer on mine and it hasn't shown any desire to burst into flames yet - but you never know.
The concrete tile backer board is what I used. You can see in the pic that it cracked from clamping it in the vise... it really needed some reinforcement. It's a pain to work with; I drilled holes for the rivets and to make a perforated knockout for the bending iron using carbide tipped masonry drill bits. It's a great heat proof layer once it's prepped.

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Rich Stommel
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:20 pm
Location: Machias, WA

Re: Bending irons

Post by Rich Stommel »

Paul,
A baseball bat! Great idea, thanks.

Tim Douglass
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Bending irons

Post by Tim Douglass »

Here is my bending pipe.

Note that it is mounted to a long piece of 2x6 that I then clamp to my bench. I do that for a lot of jigs, tools and stuff to make my bench more versatile.
Attachments
031BendingPipeSmall.jpg

Robert Briley
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:08 pm

Re: Bending irons

Post by Robert Briley »

Jim,

Looks like a handy setup.
What are you using to heat your bending pipe?

Tim Douglass
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:32 pm

Re: Bending irons

Post by Tim Douglass »

Mine is a 300 Watt halogen bulb. It is actually barely hot enough and I normally run it full on. I think I may step up to a 500 Watt at some point.

Terry Aucoin
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:06 pm

Re: Bending irons

Post by Terry Aucoin »

200 watt buld
Attachments
bending iron.jpg

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