I am 16 and in the process of building my first guitar, i Was bending the sides and bent one side perfectly but cracked the second one pretty badly, is there anything anyone can tell me on how i can try to remedy this?
Dan, so sorry that you got launched up the learning curve so quickly. It would help greatly if you told us more about the crack (a picture perhaps?) and how you went about bending it, what type of wood, etc. Don't worry about being brief. The more info, the better at this point.
Well I Was bending Indian Rosewood on a pipe i heated with a blowtorch. I had boiled the side prior to starting bending. I guess I just pushed too hard downward coming around the lower bout of the side. The crack goes through about three-quarters of the wood. I don't know if theres anything to be done for it but anything at all would be helpful
Well, Dan, I hung back hoping some other kind person would jump in and give you the news but, no,,, so here it is. The side or, rather the pair of sides, is now toast. There's no way that you're going to be able to repair that crack and then get the bend you need in that spot. Your only recourse is to buy a new set of sides and go at it again. Both StewMac and Allied Luthiers will sell sides only and if you send them a picture of the current back, they'll do their best to give you a decent match. StewMac's sides come presanded to .095" - .100" if you want to get back to the bending iron quickly (at a price).
As for next time, a couple of suggestions. The first is pretty obvious and that is to go slower. The pipe is, of course, smaller in diameter than the curves you want to bend so the trick is to try to spread the heat along a wider length by rocking the side on the iron, but with relatively moderate pressure. When the wood comes up to bending temp, you'll feel it yield noticeably to the pressure. With Indian rosewood, that temp is about where some of the non'lignin solids also start to melt and sputter on the surface of the wood. Not to worry because it sands off later.
The second suggestion is to NOT boil the wood beforehand. By itself, It does nothing to contribute to ease of bending other than ensuring that the wood is wet all the way through. A thorough soaking is sufficient to do that. On the other hand, having the wood wet, at least on the surface, does lower the temperature at which the wood starts to bend, so it can be beneficial.
One downside of using alot of water in bending Indian rosewood is that you can get longitudinal ridges and valleys where the softer grain swells and the harder grain doesn't. This is a real pain because, in the extreme, leveling the sides can leave some pretty thin, unstable spots later when you have the body together. My routine is to wipe the sides with a wet paper towel beforehand and just bend at a higher temperature. That really helps to minimize the rippling.
When you bend the water that you use on the side just turns to steam and that is hotter than just hot water. I just use a spray bottle before bending and get it hat like rocking it back and forth so it wont burn and it will just bend by its self almost when it gets to the right temp. You need to hold it away from the iron to let it cool below bending temp to set it. Then it will never straighten out by it self.
Dan keep the wood moving go slow you can feel when the wood starts to give , sprizt it with a water bottle to keep some moisture in there if it gets to dry it becomes brittle and is prone to crack easier. I suggest practice bending some scraps you will get more of a feel for the wood when it starts to give.take your time.