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Bending iron


ricecereal
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You can take a one inch steel pipe clamped in your vise, and use a small propane torch to heat it up from the inside. They work very well, just watch you heat, you can scorch the rib very easy, and it will take some work to get the scroch mark out.

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No, although when I tried this I did have the torch going on low heat from the other end of the pipe (heating it from the inside). I personally had trouble getting this right and gave up and bought a commercial bending iron. I'm now experimenting with cold bending. Previous posts on that will come up in searching archives here. Also another poster here did recently (last two or three months) post quite a bit about his making a bending iron using a block of aluminum, if you didn't find it then you searched wrong.

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In his book H.S. Wake covers how to make a homemade bending iron.

I use a piece of 2" copper pipe that is about 14" long. I flattened the last 6" of the pipe a bit using a vice to create an area to make tight radius bends. I hold the pipe in a vise and insert an economy propane torch. I regulate temperature by occasionally misting the hot pipe with a sprayer bottle. You want it hot enough so the water quickly skidders off but not so hot that it turns directly to steam.

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Lucky Chevy is very close to my description for a copper tubing unit. However, I cut my tubing in half and heat it underneath with alcohol lamps (only one if the tubing is about 6" long) I kept a wet paper towel handy to cool it if it got too hot. Drops of water should not "spit" and dance off, they should adhear and boil away quickly.

If you wish to send in the photo of the newer electric device I sent you, please feel free. The secret is in the wooden "French Curve."

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I'm using a fat tube curling iron. Works great and picked it up for $5. I place the wet ribs or linings on template curves and use the iron to heat and bend the wood.

When I get my workshop finished, I'll be installing the heating element from curling iron to inside of 1" pipe. Will let you know how this turns out.

Terry

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I have not made one, but I once visited The Violin Making School of America in SLC. This sounds way too much like that line- "I slept in a Holiday Inn Express last night" or whatever hotel it is. Anyway, a student there showed me a bending iron he was making. He was using a piece of brass tubing, maybe 3-inches in diameter and bent into an egg shape. He was putting a heating unit on the inside, soldering flat brass on the ends, and connecting a rheostat. Before soldering the top end, he filled the unit with BB's to help it heat evenly. The whole thing was to be mounted on a base of some kind.

Maybe someone has some plans for one like this or knows what kind of heating element and rheostat this type requires.

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