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Just finished a new side bending iron

Discussion in 'The DIY Tool Shed' started by Rich Rice, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

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    "I'm gearing up for a very unique build....." Well Rich, I can't remember when they've been any other way. Like the time a thread started with a disintegrating old piano puked itself all over your driveway......
     
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  2. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    That piano was crazy! Made some great instruments from that wood.

    On another note, the side bender has been refined- and is working perfectly now.
     
  3. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    FB_IMG_1491566403236.jpg
     
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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My fox style bender with the 3 incandescent bulbs will routinely start charing the insides of the plywood, even after a 15 minute cook. It's like a smoker.
     
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  5. BAW4742

    BAW4742 Tele-Afflicted

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    I had the same problem. I mounted the lamp sockets on separate piece of plywood and they sit on a set of rails inside the base. I added another set of rails lower in the base. With this set up I can get the bulbs at different height so they match the contours that I'm bending better. It's helped quite a bit.

    I like the idea of using the variac so I think the next time I do some bending I'll add a dimmer to the setup.
     
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  6. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    My MDF component burned up, I eliminated it entirely. I replaced it with a steel plate, some steel angle brackets, and copper pipe standoffs. This removed the fire hazard, and actually increased the rigidity. Only downside was the seal at the bottom was severely compromised, thus decreasing the efficiency of the unit. I crushed some heavy duty aluminum foil in the gap, which produced a marked improvement in holding the temp inside the sleeve. I will try to get/post a better pic in a minute, for illustration purposes..

    Big improvements in safety, no more smoke, higher temp (if necessary), and a very secure installation. I'm pleased with the result, function over form.. It's not as pretty, but it is now safe, efficient, and reliable. Win.
     
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  7. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I bought a Chinese bending blanket for the next set of sides. I'm looking forward to trying that out.
     
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  8. BAW4742

    BAW4742 Tele-Afflicted

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    That's probably the way to go. I just haven't made that plunge yet!
     
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  9. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thought about going the whole Fox bender/blanket route, but it doesn't make sense for me.. everything I do is different, and making a new form is harder than just making the bends manually. Love the idea, but not a good fit for what I do..
     
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  10. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Good to see you around here again, Rich!
     
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  11. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks! Great to be back! Honestly, going through everything we did over the last year or so was worth learning, but I like this way (the old way) better. I missed all you guys.
     
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  12. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes, Rich, very good to see you back here. The Piano was the thread that lead me to the TDPRI always good to see you posting.
    Any chance you can or would give us a very ;) detail parts list? I've got cousins and other relatives asking about Ukes and acoustics and when I saw this on that other site I made a mental note to ask. I've assemble various parts and pieces based on other threads but have yet to latch on to one or the other. Thanks in advance!
     
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  13. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    I can do a rundown, but remember this was a prototype- you can surely improve/refine to taste. Certainly not my "invention", but it can be built for very low money.

    I started with a porcelain keyless fixture (don't use plastic), like they use for light bulbs in an unfinished basement or attic. Added a 200 watt incandescent bulb. You could get a drywall ring to mount the fixture to a 4" box, but I didn't. (I was an electrician for years, so I'm dangerous).
    I flipped a drywall ring upside down and mounted it with two 8-32 machine screws and nuts to the porcelain fixture, using existing holes. I had to bend the screw tabs to fit, but it's pretty obvious how that goes.

    Then I drilled some holes in that plate to mount little right angle brackets to the plate, sticking up around the bulb socket. Those are my points to anchor the aluminum paint cup- which I drilled and used TEK screws as set screws to hold the cup in position.

    I mounted the whole thing to an MDF baseplate, then added a block to the underside for mounting the unit in a vise or Workmate- left it longer than the MDF base so I could use the unit horizontally or vertically.

    I had a used power cord with a molded plug that I cut off some non-working tool- but you can get that stuff anywhere.. It's basic lamp wiring. As for the Variac, it was convenient since I have one on hand (another, bigger project from a while ago) but a heavy duty dimmer will work just fine. My unit draws less than 2 amps at full tilt, so you want something that will handle that draw. It's a lot of power, but not like a motor or heater element.

    The ring mount was OK, but flimsy. I want the cup to be able to stand up to pulling/pushing against it while bending, so rigidity is important. In my case, the angle brackets were situated so they extended beyond the MDF base- so I cut four lengths of surplus copper pipe to length to act as supports for the ends of the brackets, wedged them between the brackets and baseplate, and installed long (2") screws through the bracket and pipe into the MDF. This holds everything in place, and gives strength/rigidity to the whole unit. It's pretty much immobilized by this refinement.

    There is some open space where the drywall ring is sitting above the keyless base, which allows too much airflow to go into the hot cup. I could have figured out some fancy way of remedying the situation, but decided to simply crush aluminum foil around the opening. That area was originally perfectly sealed and neat with an MDF donut piece I made, but that kept overheating, burning, smoking, etc. The aluminum foil isn't real neat or high tech, but it closed the gap and won't burn my house down. Works fine.

    If you need some pics, let me know. The unit is really pretty solid, and shouldn't run more than $50.00, all in. I spent less, but took a couple of days to figure it all out and build it. Good luck!
     
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  14. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    By the way, if you need tighter curves I spotted a video on YouTube where a guy is bending sides with a curling iron! I swiped one from my wife and removed the spring clip, but haven't tried it yet. Some are hotter than others. Her 80 watt unit didn't get as hot as the 22 watt iron. Still over 220 degrees, though. Might be a cool, cheap fix for ukulele sides and/or cutaway pieces. I'm intrigued, at least. ;)
     
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  15. DrASATele

    DrASATele Poster Extraordinaire

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    You the man Rich, thank you much!
     
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  16. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My time to be THAT guy. Use a 3 wire cord-and-plug set and make sure the "can" is securely screwed to the grounding lead of the cord set. Should something unanticipated happen, you want to make sure those electrons find their way to ground through something other than you.

    I will add that Brenda, my cartridge 800 W heater, uses an inexpensive light dimmer and works fine. My biggest challenge building Brenda was drilling a straight hole centered through the aluminum billet. I thought I'd ace it, but my little tiny HF lathe is too small for most practical projects.

    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/hot-pipe-benda.655668/

    I very fondly remember the piano dissection, one of the best lines in there, when Rich was wondering what to do when the guitar building wood ran out from the piano, somebody suggested building a piano from old guitars. :lol::lol:
     
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  17. Rich Rice

    Rich Rice Poster Extraordinaire

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    A ground is always a good idea. Nice bender you made, too!
     
  18. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Thanks, Rich. I need to correct my earlier post, I used a 250 w, not 800 w.
     
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