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Bending Binding


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I think you will get a variety of opinions on this one. I don't really have an opinion on which is best since I've never used hot water to soften binding. I have used a heat gun (read that as a small hand held hair dryer) to aid bending binding around horns several times. It works fine and quickly, but you do have to be careful not to overheat the binding for safety reasons. It doesn't take much time with a heat gun to soften the binding sufficiently, so try it out on test pieces. In fact, try both methods on test pieces and see which you prefer.

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I'll echo the point about not getting it too hot - you don't want it to distort in more than one direction, that gets to be a real devil to deal with. Always go slow, both with heating and bending, that way you'll avoid oversoftening, or snapping the binding.

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I use a heat gun or blow dryer myself, but I remember reading somewhere last fall (MIMF maybe?) of someone who posted the -exact- temperature range of where binding becomes soft enough to bend, but not hot enough to turn it to liquid goo. It was a very valuable piece of information to have.

The controlled environment of heating water (and thus the binding) with a thermometer to the perfect temperature for controlled bending is a very good idea I think, I just can't remember what temp. it was.

But using a heat gun can be very very tricky, you can overshoot your temp. range in -seconds- if you're not very careful and ruin everything rather quickly if you don't have patience.

With the heat guns and blow dryers, you have to keep them moving rapidly back and forth, else you wind up in goo city :D:D .

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A blow dryer (for hair) is OK but you have to heat it for quite a while to get it soft.

In my experience, it softens quite quickly - a matter of seconds moving the dryer back and forth rapidly just as Drak says. Maybe my wife had an industrial model. :D

I don't usually soften large sections at once. I'll apply the binding to the gentler curves first and then use the dryer to softer small sections at a time to get around the tight spots. That way, I use the binding ledge in the body to help me keep the shape of the binding i.e. helps avoid twisting of softened plastic.

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I always use CA and no tape ore anything to hold the binding in place. I don’t even pre-bend the binding if it isn’t extremely thick. I just push the binding in place and use the thinnest version of CA. When it has cured I just move on to the next section.

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