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Anthony Panke

Bending iron

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Which bending iron would people recommend buying for a violin/viola? I’m looking for something electrically heated, possible to clamp to a workbench (vise, dogs or clamps, I don’t mind which) and temperature-adjustable.

thanks in advance for suggestions!

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I got one on ebay , offered less , it works fine has temp readout , I added some bolts and metal right angle plate to bottom to set in vise.. not sure how the tariff thing affects you in somewhere so they might be higher now. 

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1 minute ago, saintjohnbarleycorn said:

I got one on ebay , offered less , it works fine has temp readout , I added some bolts and metal right angle plate to bottom to set in vise.. not sure how the tariff thing affects you in somewhere so they might be higher now. 

You and I probably have the same bending iron. 

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I bought a cheap Chinese one on eBay, and the profile was terrible.  I filed it a lot, but it still isn't great; I had to give up when I reached the bolt holes.  The ends are too round, and the flats are too straight, if that makes sense.  Wood doesn't bend like that.   It is more progressive.  Maybe more like a French curve.  They didn't think it out, and they aren't luthiers.  No temperature readout.  Plug it in, and wait 20-30 minutes and bend.

That said, it does work, and I even used it for an Archtop guitar with a cutaway; and didn't break either rib.  But it isn't ideal.  I don't know which ones are.  Probably any are better!  

If I was making a lot of them, I'd buy a different one.

Ken

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Using a bending iron seems to me like waste of time. Soaking ribs I water let them dry on a special mould and then give them the final shape on the inside or outside mould is more time efficient. Ribs simply need to be thin enough.

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Using a bending iron seems to me like waste of time. Soaking ribs I water let them dry on a special mould and then give them the final shape on the inside or outside mould is more time efficient. Ribs simply need to be thin enough.

This is interesting, could you describe how you do it? cold? hot? vapor?

Although, judging from the burns that you see on ribs of some old Cremonese instruments, it looks like they used a bending iron.

Do you agree?

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

This is interesting, could you describe how you do it? cold? hot? vapor?

Although, judging from the burns that you see on ribs of some old Cremonese instruments, it looks like they used a bending iron.

Do you agree?

I think we can't throw all the cremonese instruments in the same pot. 

Just going by the thickness measurements of the ribs it seems clear that Del Gesu must have bent the ribs with an iron. 

Looking at the rib thicknesses of Strad however their measurements strongly suggest that the ribs have been bent by soaking and dried on a mould to give them their shape. Usually they are around 0.9 - 1.0 mm in the long arcs of the ribs and thinner at the narrow arcs of the corner blocks.  

I use this method for my Strad copies. I soak the ribs in cold water over night and the press them on a form. The form has a slightly narrower curve than the curve I want to achieve because when taking the ribs out they open up a little. If I can I let them dry for a week. When glueing them on the mould I wet them again when necessary. 

 

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5 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Using a bending iron seems to me like waste of time. Soaking ribs I water let them dry on a special mould and then give them the final shape on the inside or outside mould is more time efficient. Ribs simply need to be thin enough.

This might work for new making, but we do restoration work.  With that in mind, I would be very concerned with the potential of distorted ribs and cracking at the blocks that can be caused with moisture retention.  

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22 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Janito, could you explain the “Forex” reference?

Brexit. Lots of cheap goodies if the UK crashes out of the E U.

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54 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

This might work for new making, but we do restoration work.  With that in mind, I would be very concerned with the potential of distorted ribs and cracking at the blocks that can be caused with moisture retention.  

Right, not for restoration. 

The interesting thing is that so far to my experience moisture retention didn't cause cracks. I rather discovered that the the ribs are shrinking lengthwise. So if you put the c ribs tightly on the mould in a not perfect dry state they lift up from the mould.

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47 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

 I rather discovered that the the ribs are shrinking lengthwise. 

There must be another explanation, otherwise our houses would get taller when it is raining.

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21 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

There must be another explanation, otherwise our houses would get taller when it is raining.

Maybe they are. Did you ever measure it? The difference would be so small that you wouldn't notice it anyway. 

However on a wooden structure supporting weight, things might be a bit different from wood which is cut very thinly compared to its length and made of a material where the fibers don't run straight but in waveform. My guess is that on unflamed material it doesn't shrink so much.

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1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Right, not for restoration. 

The interesting thing is that so far to my experience moisture retention didn't cause cracks. I rather discovered that the the ribs are shrinking lengthwise. So if you put the c ribs tightly on the mould in a not perfect dry state they lift up from the mould.

Maybe the ribs are thicker while retaining moisture? 

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