An impromptu binding steamer

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Bob Hammond
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

An impromptu binding steamer

Post by Bob Hammond »

Hello, I was having trouble dry bending some granedillo into tight curves, and so I came up with this. It's a hotshot steam cleaner, and some copper pipe. It works.
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Marshall Dixon
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: An impromptu binding steamer

Post by Marshall Dixon »

Hey Bob,

Several questions:
Do you plug the end of the copper pipe when steaming? How big a hole for the steam to escape?
About how long does it take?
Do you just take it out of the tube and bend it or use a bending iron also?

It seems to me when bending linings (and sides too) that runout is a big problem and with my luck it usually occurs where the bend is sharpest.

By the way; I recently read your thread on plane use and found it quite informative.

Marshall

Bob Hammond
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:13 pm

Re: An impromptu binding steamer

Post by Bob Hammond »

Marshall -

A pipe coupler is pushed on to the spout of the steamer, and the pipe is just put in the coupler. Because the coupler is not firmly attached, there is some water leakage and you can see a cup to catch that. The pipe can be any convenient length, and there's sufficient steam to heat the entire length of the pipe, and the amount of steam was 'adjusted' by the cork & rubber band on the trigger. I don't think it's necessary to plug the pipe. In this instance, because the short strip of granadillo was so brittle, I cut an MDF form that matches the guitar's profile, and gradually bent the repair strip as I clamped/supported it with strips cut from a bicycle innertube until dry.

About runout, it takes time to find stock which has as little runout as possible. I've cut it from a bigger board where I can see the grain lines running the length of the board. I suppose one could rive (split) the board so that fractures along the grain, but I've never done that. Another alternative is to buy wood binding stock from LMII or StewMac, where hopefully the pieces were selected with grain structure in mind to prevent breakage from runout.

Re the plane post, I'm not sure which one that you read, but thanks for reading it!
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Marshall Dixon
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue May 21, 2019 8:58 pm
Location: SW Oregon

Re: An impromptu binding steamer

Post by Marshall Dixon »

Bob,

Thanks for the reply.

My brother-in-law used to make bent wood furniture and had a steamer running into a 4" PVC pipe about 12 feet long. I never thought to do anything like that with bindings.

Last time I bent grenadillo bindings I cut them from a set of extra sides. Three out of 4 came out but one cracked in the waist. And have had problems with ebony in this regard. Hard to see defects on the darker woods.

It's always good to have another approach to a solution.

Christ Kacoyannakis
Posts: 229
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:58 pm

Re: An impromptu binding steamer

Post by Christ Kacoyannakis »

Great idea Bob. I have one of the those steamers. I'll give it a try. Thanks!

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