older version(s) of bending iron?


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Hello, I am curious about early versions (non-electric) of the rib bending iron.. types of fuel, different designs. I would be most appreciative of any descriptions and or photos you may know of or have. So far this is my last hurdle to creating a completely non-electric shop.

Thank you!

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Yes I am considering the propane approach.. though with a modification.. I would prefer to set it up as flange > straight pipe > "T" > straight pipe; using the T as the flame inlet.. with tank in the upright position, as you mention.

However.. my quest is for a more "peaceful" way to operate.. perhaps spirit-lamp flame introduced to an opening cut into the lower portion of the pipe.

The iron in the fire technique is more up my alley.. though it does seem to be quite precarious.

Any more ideas?

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A shaped cylinder with a tang left on the end can be tossed into the coals of a fire,then brought out with tongs and clamped by the tang to a bench. It was hard to use it in the brief period between burn your maple and break your maple, but it worked.

This kind of iron is depicted and explained in Herron-Allen's "Violin Making: As It Was And Is".

I'm not sure if it still "Is" though.

Good luck with your workshop.

James

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Link for cold bending explanation?

I heard about it first from Craig, who posted some pictures here.

On post 21. I think 1 or 2 other people now only use cold bending (just ribs soaked quickly in water and slowly bend around preshaped forms. I think one can add 1 or 2 drops of conditioner in the water). It's longer than the hot method but works fine.

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Very interesting replies! I am glad I posted this question here.

The short answer for why go non-electric.. the challenge, the journey.. my love for woodwork has led me into the world of interesting and fine old handtools.. and developed friendships with antique merchants. It is just more fun using a 100 year old plane or a hand-crank drill press from the 1800s.. it's that kind of thing.. a love of old ways and tools, the learning!

I am currently experimenting with an olive oil burner to heat the pipe/iron. The flash point of olive oil is such that a breakage or spill would smother the flames before a fire cold erupt.

I could imagine the coal burner and irons system could be quite good if there were two irons to which one could rotate or a helper/apprentice to make the transfer! Interesting find!

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  • 7 years later...

hey guys !

I'm searching for an old bending iron as those that Mr Ritschard shows us in the picture and I don't know where i can found that. If you have any idea, please notice me !

(sorry for my english, i'm a french speaker)

Thank you !

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On 3/20/2020 at 6:51 PM, NMG said:

hey guys !

I'm searching for an old bending iron as those that Mr Ritschard shows us in the picture and I don't know where i can found that. If you have any idea, please notice me !

(sorry for my english, i'm a french speaker)

Thank you !

https://www.liuteriashop.com/en/tools/Violin-viola-bending-iron Like this?

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Kudos to all the tips! Aaaand, they're still available? I have three generations of tools and I love old hand tools in general. But I know in my heart, I'd burn down my humble abode with those things! Maybe we could do a paleo stringed Osteodontokeratika workshop at Oberlin, (bone, teeth, horn/nail), tools. In addition, we could use rocks, water and fire. To keep from burning any buildings down, I will rock pulverize my own insects and cook my secret recipe amber varnish outside!

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I went to help with the estate of a violin making friend last year. Having been in the trade for some decades, I was expecting a bunch of great old tools and stuff, but the workshop was remarkable not for what i found, although there was some of that, but for what I didn't find. Where was his bending iron? I expected a nice Gewa or German-made similar device, but I found these. His son had put them out on the porch to dispose of, since he didn't think that they had any value. One set for violin, one for viola. I am lookning forward to trying to use them.IMG_3281.JPG.d15abcab05fb732cf6b8d81c83880768.JPGIMG_3282.JPG.4b33374e9a8a2a911c2196212c37e600.JPG

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I don't believe you could ever get any kind of bending iron hot enough with an alcohol lamp.

When I started  working on my own I used an iron which I bought from the Chicago violin making school after the electric heaters burned out. I heated it on a electric hot plate although I am sure I could have used a propane torch and in fact may have done so at times. As soon as my instruments started to sell I happily purchased variable heat electric ones which I have used ever since.

 

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