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fiddlerjer

Adding a thermostat to my bending iron

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I'll need to bend my purfling sometime soon, I got one of the cheap Chinese bending irons from ebay. Has anyone added a thermostat to one of these? Or would a dimmer work? My reading suggests the temp should be kept low for bending purfling so as not to damage the glue joint, is that right?

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I used to use a charcoal igniter in an aluminum pipe for a guitar bending iron.  I would have to plug/unplug to monitor the temp.  Was not ideal but worked well enough.  You got purfling from Stewmac right?  It's probably all fiber and if that's the case it should bend with very little heat.

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I mean my wiring experience is pretty slim but it seems like something like this should be relatively easy to install -- swh-474c738f15_lg.jpg

--would need to figure out how to put the sensor inside the iron.

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4 minutes ago, Thomas Coleman said:

 You got purfling from Stewmac right?  It's probably all fiber and if that's the case it should bend with very little heat.

Yep -- thanks, good to know.

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On 9/9/2019 at 6:09 PM, fiddlerjer said:

I'll need to bend my purfling sometime soon, I got one of the cheap Chinese bending irons from ebay. Has anyone added a thermostat to one of these? Or would a dimmer work? My reading suggests the temp should be kept low for bending purfling so as not to damage the glue joint, is that right?

If you just want to be able to reduce the heat (not have it automatically self-control to a specific temperature), then yes, an incandescent light dimmer switch will work. That's what I've been using for at least twenty years.

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Temperature controllers, like most other digital electronics, have gotten very good and very inxpensive in the last few years.  Currently you can get a setup as shown on Amazon for ~$35, and even cheaper on eBay.  You do need to know a bit about wiring things up, and would be safest to put these things in an enclosure.  And often the instructions (if there are any) are only in Chinese.  If you add some plug-in thermocouple connectors, you can use the same conroller for a bending iron, varnish pot, wood processing chamber, or anything you want that has electrical heating.  You just need to attach a thermocouple to what you want to control.

1683131167_Tempcontroller.jpg.f280092704b685dfd8cbf74e7e83fd40.jpg

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

Temperature controllers, like most other digital electronics, have gotten very good and very inxpensive in the last few years.  Currently you can get a setup as shown on Amazon for ~$35, and even cheaper on eBay.  You do need to know a bit about wiring things up, and would be safest to put these things in an enclosure.  And often the instructions (if there are any) are only in Chinese.  If you add some plug-in thermocouple connectors, you can use the same conroller for a bending iron, varnish pot, wood processing chamber, or anything you want that has electrical heating.  You just need to attach a thermocouple to what you want to control.

1683131167_Tempcontroller.jpg.f280092704b685dfd8cbf74e7e83fd40.jpg

That looks exactly like the ones I have been purchasing.

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If water fails to bounce off my bending iron, it is too cold for bending ribs. If I hold a scrap piece of wood against the iron for ten seconds, and it leaves burn marks, it is too hot. :D

I do use a PID controller for my varnish cooking though, where slight deviations in temperature can really matter.

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I really like the controller on my glue pot; it's a set and forget situation, and I never have to worry about my glue temperature until I remove it from the pot.

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My first "Hold-Heat" electric glue pot lasted for about 30 years. My second (with the same primitive bi-metal thermostat) has been going strong for about another ten years now.

Yes, I do have an attraction to complex control mechanisms, but for me, those are more for play time, than anything needed for serious fiddle making.

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