Proulx side bender?

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.

Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Randy Roberts » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:19 pm

It was about ten years ago when I bought mine, but got it from Omega. You will probably need to put a plug on the end as it came with just the 2 wires coming out of the blanket. And get a cheap router speed control for your temperature rheostat to plug it into. And most everybody with a better brain than mine put it through a timer to keep from burning down their shop when they forget it is on and take a phone call....

I'd be surprised if they weren't still in business as they supplied a million different industries.

You want their 6 x36 and get the 5 watt per square inch, not the 2.5 watt.
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Brian Evans » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:48 am

Randy, thanks for the tip. Question - I do archtop guitars with 3" wide sides. Should I get a 3" wide blanket, or is some overlap required or desirable? The 5 watt per square inch silicone blankets are available in 3", 4" or wider. https://www.omega.ca/pptst_eng/SRMU_HEATER.html

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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Mario Proulx » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:44 pm

If all you do are archtops, then a 4" would be fine. You DO want some overlap....

I've bent archtop ribs on my 6" blanket without issues. Shoot, I even bend binding strips with it... 18 years old and still fine!

You can also get-by with a dimmer switch for temp control. Just make sure the wattage rating is high enough. A timer is a MUST. You WILL forget it. Not might forget it, but will..... A 15 minute bathroom timer is fine.
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:06 pm

I have the 2.5 watt per square inch blanket (6x36). I like that a household dimmer switch can handle it. The 5 watt would heat up faster and perhaps work better but then I would need something else to control it.

As Mario says, do install a timer! I have forgotten a few times but the timer has saved me. I have a three receptacle box wired up with an outlet, a dimmer switch and a hot tub timer switch. That box has a cord that plugs into the wall and the blanket plugs into the outlet (fed by the dimmer and timer switches). If I want' heat, I have to crank the dial on the timer switch. The nice thing is that I don't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. The bad thing is sometimes I do a lot of bending and fitting with the bending iron for linings and such. If I don't hear it click off I might not notice it is cooling when I come back to it with the next piece. . .
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Pat Foster » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:20 pm

Bryan Bear wrote:I have the 2.5 watt per square inch blanket (6x36).

<snip>

If I don't hear it click off I might not notice it is cooling when I come back to it with the next piece. . .


Some of the old darkroom timers have a buzzer that goes off when it cuts the power. Takes care of that problem.
I like to start slow, then taper off.
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Mario Proulx » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:58 pm

Just get in the habit of twisting the timer for every bend.
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Bryan Bear » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:48 pm

Oh Mario, you’re always so darned practical. <G>
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:14 am

I just saw this video of Danny Koentopp's cutaway side bender. How inspirational! http://koentoppguitars.com/blog/the-koe ... ay-bender/ Link to custom blanket supplier, too.

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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:49 pm

At first I though it looked a bit weird. But I like the way he pulls the sandwich around the convex cutaway form instead of pushing it into a concave form. That gives me an idea.
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Randolph Rhett » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:50 pm

Yes, I like that bender. I'm sure the devil is in the details (the shape of the caulks, the pivot points, etc.). I've just rebuilt a lot of jigs, including my CNC machine, so I'm a little jig building exhausted. But I'm definitely adding that to my future list to try.
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Re: Proulx side bender?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:13 pm

Omega heat blankets is another source. I like the 2.5 W /sq in blankets but some use the 5W blankets. A 36 X 6 inch 2.5 W blanket will pull about 5 amps at full power, a 5W blanket about 10amps.
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