Hi everyone,

I'm new here, so I'll just introduce myself.  My name is Gage, now that that's done...

I'm building a new Side Bender, and I just wanted to get some advice from those of you using the Fox Universal style benders.  After watching the Taylor factory tour videos on Youtube, I started to imagine a whole new side bender utilizing much of the same features found in the Taylor bender (albeit without all the automation.)  Up 'til now I've used a Fox bender with light bulbs (never tried the silicone heat blankets) and I'm wondering if anyone's used silicone rollers for the upper and lower bout cauls?  I've talked to a roller manufacturer, and they can produce a heated roller, which seemed like an interesting bender feature.  Does anyone see a possible benefit from having what is essentially a heated caul that rolls smoothly over the bouts, rather than the typical hard wood?  Also, because of the heated rollers rigidity, you could build a single sided bender that would allow faster, easier set up of the pre-bent sides.

I'm basically throwing this out to see if there are any obvious flaws in my theory...

G. B. Halland

Also, any suggestions on where to get extension springs for a Fox Bender?  All my local hardware stores are no longer carrying them.

Tags: Bender, Fox, Side, silicone, springs

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when a new shape comes up i ask my pops for 1/2 inch emt pipe and trim my shape and route a duplicate gluing them together with the emt pipe to separate the 2 to make the bending jig, so springs and i screws are purchased through ace hardware along with t buckles and all thread for the mold and since i make my own molds to build my sides in side of .I have noticed that i could utilize the center piece from my mold for my bending jig .I found that 2 inch mdf is easy to come by through large lumber shipping cos that are near me and that this process is best for my small shop it uses the entire sheet of mdf to make the jig and matching mold all thread and t buckles and in place with wooden cauls to spread my sides into my in short it takes me a whole 4 hours or less to make thew mold and jig and i keep them for as long as they last .my personal cost is $35 a sheet of 2 inch mdf and maby $20 at ace hard wear .and so I built my timer and dimer switch and purchased a heating blanket with 2 steel slats .you can multiply this for how many times I would think it would cost springs maby try kragen auto look old clutch springs or throttle springs for a quadraojet carburetor and or transmission springs . weather using a dowel or a piece of hard wood with this method i would conciser much the same if you are describing the handles that bend the wood attached by the springs or sliding through the jig it self have you seen lmii new jIg also the two may be similar, I like making mine they work great cost is right also i could make it from old shelf material or fence boards they don't need to look pretty they just need to bend my wood while i answer the phone make a nut or saddle attend to 2 3 or 4 customers walk back 45 minutes later and pop it on out and bend the next side or several strips of matching binding they work great now for single cut away a different story
Thanks for the reply. I've seen the new LMII bender, and it just seems to have made a simple idea more complicated. I'll have to try one before I pass judgement though. I too would like to see pics of your bender/jig.
Let's see a pic FRANK.My mind goes blurry puttin' it together in my haid.
tim just imagine the lmii jig no difference really mine just is home made
Hmmm, I built my first Fox light bulb bender back in the last century (1980's, but "last century" sounds cooler) and it's still going although getting a bit tired.

I agree with Gage, that new LMI bender seems a little un-necessary but I've never tried one so I'm not really qualified to comment. I just have so many guitar models that I'd hate to have to make all the forms over again.

Here's where I got some mail order extension springs a couple years ago. Good service and prices. I think they are a Canadian company but they have a USA outlet, click on the "contact us" page for location and telephone number.
Thanks so much for the link Scot.
go to then in the photo albums select Shop &Jigs

there are some pics of my bending jig. you will notice that when I made my jig that I made it wide enough to bend both sides at the same time, a huge time saver! I do not use rollers at all since it is not pizza dough we are working with here. the springs are very strong which came from Home Depot and provide plenty of pull to not only hold tight against the heat source, but to prevent buckling. There is also a video of bending a set of sides at this same page.
John, I like the double wide bender. Are you able to index the sides so you can cut their profile before they're bent? My idea for silicone rollers is quite a bit different than what LMI has done, mine would only make sense in a shop churning out hundreds of sides a day. The more I think about it, it's probably just a little overkill for the home guitar builder. Thanks for the info about Home Depot's springs, I'll be checking them out tomorrow.
Thanks Gage,
I would be able to index the sides if I chose to, however that is not my method of building. your roller idea is s good one and I see it being especially useful for a cutaway.
That bending jig is slick. As I mentioned above, mine is getting tired and I'm thinking of building a new one in the New Year. I've wondered about the double bender for a while. How wide did you make yours? I notice you only have two rows of two bulbs, any issues with the waist not getting enough heat? How do you stabilize the press for the waist so it doesn't rock from side to side? Do you have a third support running down the middle of the side insert? I'm sure I have a hundred more questions but that's enough annoying you for now.

Wow, I just flicked through your photos and noticed that binding channel router set-up is one bad arse robot! I use the Stewmac TrueChannel. Took a bit of getting used to and some tweeking but I fell in love with the little machine.
I too use a double wide and usually rough cut the profile for the back and keep the top flat, since I build with a 50' radius. That sands out pretty quick. I don't have the fancy stainless, just 1" copper between the sides of the mold, and it works pretty darn well. When I remake a mold, I've gotta give more room for spring-back, I just left 1/4" on each end, and they still boing back. I've got two 200 watt light bulbs, and get the bulbs and springs from ACE. I use all thred for the "press" part of the assembly with a fairly haphazard assemblage of nuts, sugar maple, and such to make the handle but it has lasted 11 years.
the total width of my bending form is 11 1/2"...this allows for the 3/4" plywood on both side and provides 10" of heated surface. If I had it to do over, I would make it 1/2" wider. I use 4- 150 watt bulbs on a dimmer switch. There is not a center support inside the form and I have had zero issues regarding heat.
My binding router allows me to cut the channel for the back of a guitar with my eyes closed in about 5 minutes..but I don't close my eyes... but I could :)


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