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Homemade Bending Iron??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Groove Theory, Jan 27, 2006.


  1. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Okay, so after I finish the single cut bass I'm building now, I'm going to build me a big ol' double bass, which has been a dream of mine for a long time. :D

    What I'm wondering is if anyone knows how to build a decent electric bending iron (for bending the rib wood) ??

    I found this one online here

    I'm a bit skeptical of the light bulb being able to heat up the iron enough, but I could be wrong...which brings me to my next question...how hot should it be?

    Thanks!
     
  2. JSPguitars

    JSPguitars

    Jan 12, 2004
    Grass Valley
    "The heat comes from a 200 watt incandescent bulb mounted in a porcelain base, mounted to a nipple and ceiling-lamp bracket bolted to the board. I wired up a rheostat so I can control the heat. The aluminum gets very hot and I don't have to turn the bulb up very much."

    I am no expert, but that seems like a great way to go. If it doesn't work, it only costs you $20.
    As he says, I'm sure that 200-watt bulb gets the aluminum damn hot, and he's even got a rheostat (whatever that is) to boot!
     
  3. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Damn! I didnt even notice the rheostat! I believe that is the part that enables it to travel through time...no wait, I'm thinking of the flux capacitor...dang....:D

    yeah I will probably end up trying it out...like you said, only $20, what have I got to lose, but I just wanted to see if anyone knew any other inexpensive options out there...

    also, if anyone out there has one (homemade or not) I would like to know what temp they should be running at...
     
  4. MPU

    MPU

    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Go to MIMF forum, register and login. You'll find a lot of different bending irons used in bending sides in the Library.. This light bulb system is one of the most used. I use heat gun and copper pipe. Last time I almost melted my heat gun!
    Marko
     
  5. A rheostat is a variable resistor so it allows him to vary the power output by the bulb by controlling the current in the circuit.
     
  6. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    yeah there are a few in there, I think I'm going to give it a try. well its off to home depot for me! :hyper:

    thanks for the help folks.
     
  7. klocwerk

    klocwerk

    May 19, 2005
    Somerville, MA
    aka dimmer switch.
    (aka big bad potentiometer)
     
  8. I have access to the perfect "mandrel" for your iron. It's some 3" round extruded aluminum tubing with a tek screw boss running the it's length on opposite sides. The idea being you can make a round cap for the end and also have a way to attach it easily to your heat source.

    How much do you want?
     
  9. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    - PM headed your way -
     
  10. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    200W bulb!???! hot-hot! And that in a hurry, too!

    I know of other builders that use 100W lamps with good results. Takes a few more minutes to heat it up, of course.
     
  11. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Thats good to know. I was a bit skeptical at first, but after reading on the MIMF and y'all's comments here, I'm not worried about it, it seems many of the folks over at the MIMF use a 150 w halogen bulb.

    plus I can always put on a rheostat :D
     
  12. Tim__x

    Tim__x

    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    Sorry but no, a rheostat is a variable resistor, a dimmer switch varies the conduction angle of a rectifier (usually a triac). A rheostat is by nature dissipative, a dimmer switch can be near lossless.

    A variac (variable transformer) or dimmer switch would be better than a rheostat.
    At some settings the rheostat would have to dissipate nearly 200watts, i.e. it would put out just as much heat as the light bulb.
     
  13. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Hmm...yeah I was planning on using a regular household light dimmer switch
    [​IMG]
    nothing fancy, which is what it looks like the other guy used on his, he probably just didnt know that they were different things...I sure didn't but then again I'm not experienced with the electrical side of things...
     
  14. Tim__x

    Tim__x

    Aug 13, 2002
    Alberta, Canada
    It's nice when the best option also happens to be the cheapest and easiest.
     
  15. Holmann

    Holmann

    Dec 23, 2005
    Ashland, WI
    Hey GT- sent you a private message- I've got a stew-mac iron I don't use anymore.
     
  16. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    PM back atcha...

    I'm going to pass on it right now, Thanks for the offer though!

    However, if someone else out there is looking for a good bending iron, you might want to PM him, its a great deal.