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Simple rib bender


polkat
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I've been asking about this a few times. Built it this morning. Used a 4" piece of pipe squished down to an oval of about 3-1/2". There is still enough air flowing through it that I can plug the igniter directly into the wall and get a very nice temp across the bending area. In the pic is a set of ribs for a Chanot style (cornerless) violin that I bent this afternoon with no problems.

Thanks to all for the advice!

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Well, I planned this thing to be a bit more elaborate, but didn't need to go that far.

The pipe is aluminum (I think), 1/8" thick walls, originally 4" wide (OD) but squished down to about 3-1/2". I actually found it on the street! I think it's some kind of ducting pipe. It's mounted to a 2x4 board (which I clamp to the TV) with threaded rod. The heating element is a electric barbecue charcoal igniter, 120 vac-550 watts (Kmart or Walmart for about $10). The pipe size makes tight bends like on C bouts a bit hard to do, but I have a smaller pipe that clips inside and sticks out the front for that.

The elements are not squeezed together and the heater is held in the back with a small bolt (visable at the top/back of the pipe. The element sides just clear the pipe and do not touch it. I tried it with plans to add a dimmer to control the temp range, but found that the pipe was big enough to pass enough air so that the heater provides just the right heat without a dimmer (but you don't want to sit close up right in front of it-unless it's cold outside :-)

Yep, that TV has been in my garage since just about when "Leave it to Beaver" originally went off the air. My philosophy: what the heck? If you've got it, use it.

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