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Wood Bending Volunteer? (Read 2759 times)
Coping
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Wood Bending Volunteer?
May 31st, 2009 at 3:37pm
 
Hi,

If anyone is highly adept at bending hardwood, and would care to help me out by bending a couple of ukulele shapes for me, please let me know (PM) how much and what wood specs work with your form and technique.  I'd like to try hickory and cypress. 

I understand that hickory bends easily.  I don't know how difficult it might be to bend cypress, but it used to be a favorite of the Spanish for flamenco guitar bodies.  (I grew up in a hickory wood.  I spent more than a decade in the deep south around Cypress trees.  Nothing spookier than a cold autumn night driving through the Atchafalaya basin surrounded by tall cypress trees with dormant, gray moss hanging from their branches, and no one visible for miles.)

I'd ship the wood to you via USPS, and you could ship it back to my P.O. Box when the shapes have dried and set.  I'll pay for shipping and whatever you would charge for bending. 

I'm in no hurry, and you might not hear from me for quite some time if you do entertain this concept.  I can get thin plywood to bend without a lot of expertise.  I've never done this with hardwood, and if it will take a great deal of time and effort, this probably won't be practical.

Thank you!
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Wood_Butcher
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Re: Wood Bending Volunteer?
Reply #1 - Jun 3rd, 2009 at 3:23am
 
Hi Coping,

Welcome to the forum.  Lot's of good people here to answer your questions.

You might try giving your general location (city, state).  I'm just thinking it would more likely to find somebody to give you a hand if they are close enough to drop in for a visit.  Would be a lot more fun as well.

Happy building,

Mark
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Thanks, Mike and Asa!
 
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Don_Orgeman
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Re: Wood Bending Volunteer?
Reply #2 - Jun 3rd, 2009 at 5:36am
 
Mark:

Great suggestion.

I would be much more inclined to have someone come to my shop and work with me to thickness sand the sides and then bend the sides to shape.  I would be much more likely to respond to this type of need for help than an opportunity to make a few bucks.  I hate to screw up nice wood, but it would be doubly disturbing to screw up someone elses nice wood.  If you come to my shop, you work and I assist while we have a nice visit about instrument making.

Don
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konacat
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Re: Wood Bending Volunteer?
Reply #3 - Jun 3rd, 2009 at 11:07am
 
Coping,

If you canít find anyone to help you can give a call to Kevin Murray of Blue Mountain Acoustics and Exotic Woodworks. He does offer bending service. He does offer to bend to tenor size. You should contact him directly because under his guitars icon he will build all four ukulele sizes. You would think he could bend to all sizes also. Kevin also sells on eBay under the seller name of †rivdriftr. Go to eBay and click on advanced search then click the seller option then add his user name and search. †You could have him bend some of his inexpensive tone wood for you and then you only pay shipping one way. I have dealt with Kevin before and would have no problem recommending him as a good supplier. His eBay feedback rating is 3220 transactions with 100% positive feedback.

Another option is to just build your own bending iron. They are not that hard to make and can be electric or propane. Do a search for bending iron plans you should get several hits. In the past I have made temp. units using my heat gun, pipe, aluminum flashing, and some copper scrub pads as baffles. I used the flashing to make a cone from the heat gun outlet to the pipe that is being held in a vice. The pipe has enough of the copper scrubbers in it to allow the pipe capture the heat from the hot air. It will work in a pinch.

A cardinal rule of bending is that speed kills or should I say speed cracks. Cry Donít force the wood to bend because when it talks back itís not good. Place the wood on the pipe (wear gloves) and when it comes to temperature you can feel the wood releasing and becoming pliable. Now is when you start bending by working the heated area of the wood against the pipe. Do some searchís here and on the official luthierís forum regarding the best procedures for bending with an iron. Here is a link to Stew Macís instruction page. http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Special_tools_for:_Bending_sides/1/Side_Bendin...

Philip
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obmissy-
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Re: Wood Bending Volunteer?
Reply #4 - Jun 8th, 2009 at 8:51am
 
i haven't spent much time in my shop in the past 3 months due to an injury. if you are in no hurry, i will bend the sides for you...no charge. i haven't worked with cypress but have bent hickory.  hickory is very willing to please.
lori
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