Im curious to kno if there are any books that are geared at bending wood.
Im having a problem with bending because I have a tendency to scorch the wood as Im bending it.. thanx in advance for any help that someone has for me ..

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I doubt you can learn this from a book. On the job experience is the best teacher.
If you are scorching the wood you need less heat or more moisture, and rock the piece, and keep it moving on the bending tool.
I'd get some scrap pieces of wood and experiment with different combinations of heat and moisture content of the wood.
This is something you just develop a feel for.

That is the best advice you can get.

Years ago I built a bunch of guitars sides out of 1/4 plywood that I had removed one out side ply from the plywood and it gets very flexible. You do not need to heat bend it. You have to be very careful in sanding it tho.

If you can bend sides over a bending iron you can build a guitar. That is the hardest part of all.

As Ron said, Jim's got it right. Alot depends on what you're using to bend the wood. Back in the days when I was using an electric bending iron, I also ended up with scorch lines from time to time. And maple or koa? Forget it.

If you expect that you're going to be doing guitar building for a long time, I'd highly recommend setting up a Fox style bending apparatus and use both the light bulbs and a regulated silicon heating blanket. I just finished bending up a set of pretty scary cocobolo sides last night and they came out just right. One does get alot of popping, hissing and bubbling of pitches, etc. with this method but nothing that the usual sanding job doesn't take care of. The one thing you don't get if you have the voltage adjusted right on the blanket is scorching.

I'd been bending on the furnace pipe for 2 yrs.Mahogany scorches easily.I keep a soggy rag or spray bottle at hand. Dampen the wood oftenRecently upgraded to a propane torch into the anus of a charcoal starter. Getting the heat setting just right is tricky.The lower the better.I may start using a smaller pipe as the charcoal
starter is about 8".Ovangkol I found difficult but I may have used too much water.I will revisit that wood!
Thanx for the replys people-- the first time I tryed to bend wood it was with maple and the size of the wood was-- 1-3/4 wide and .118 or 3 mm thick. I soked the material in warm water for about 20-30 min and it seemed to be plenty wet. I was using a piece of galvonized pipe 1-1/2 inches in diameter and used a bunson torch to heat the pipe. the wood it self seem to bend fairly easy and when I looked to see what it looked like I had scorch marks where it touched the pipe.
I didnt rub or run the material along the pipe -- just touched it till I felt it give to the shape that I was looking for.
I used the material for the project anyway because it was painted when it was complete.
I guess like Jim said -- experiance is the best teacher in this case so -- without ferther a-doo
off to the shop I will go and practice till I get er rite..
once again -- thanx for the replys and best to you all---
Maybe your pipe is too hot. I use a 1 1/2" galvanized pipe for what bending I do, mostly for repair purposes. I heat it with a propane torch to the pont where droplets of water start to sizzle, when dropped on the pipe.
I then rock the wood on the pipe as I'm bending. I get some minor scorching, sometimes, with hard maple, but it's only on the surface and easily sands off.

Donald the torch method give a real hot spot.
I f you have to do it on the cheap, replace the torch with a barbque charcoal lighter (electric) from Home Depot.

Much better would be to invest in building a Fox styled bender for much better results.
for what you could be potentially losing in the cost of good wood would well be made up for with a better bender.

They are easy to build, and the heating source can be electric light bulbs, or bette yet the silicone heating blankets that are available.

Hi Mark -- the idea of an electrical torch insted of a bunson torch is a better idea--
I have a form for the guitar that I am making and I have a pic of the finished prototype that I made--
the body is built like a dred with "X" bracing in the top and completely hollow body
the sides and bk.are maple whith a spruce top-- top and bk are set at a 28foot rad.
lowre bout is 14-1/4 inches
waist is 9-1/4 inches
upper bout is 10 inches
body thickness will be 1-3/8 thick
my proto type hapens to be cherry red with silver sparkle but the color of the next one is up to the client.
its designed to be a soloest style guitar that can be played all nite long without having to bring your back doctor with you to work on you during breaks.
pic of red guitar
Hi Donald, I think thicknessing your sides to 2mm (.08") would greatly facilitate your task, 3mm might be a little too much. If you keep rocking your side until you feel it starts to bend like plastic you will lessen the chance to burn the wood, a bigger pipe (3-4 inches) would help too.
Hi mathieu -- thanx for the reply-- you have a thing there about the side wood being a lil thinner than the rest of the guitar--the reason that I use such a small dia. pipe is because I have a 1-1/2 inch rad to do on the pickgard side of the guitar because its a cutaway style. I think Im finally getting the hang of this bending thing here (used up
about 35 lin. ft of material already practicing)
once again thanx for the reply-- best to you
Has any one tried " steam " as in clothes steam pressing sourse? I am totally new, but will need to bend some lovely Brazilian sides, and, I do not want to ruin them.
Thanks Luis


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