Jump to content

When To Steam A Top For Bending?

Recommended Posts

i know how to do it but when should i? i have a 1/8" peice of brazillian cherry i want to put on a guitar with a forearm contour. it will bend over the contour if i push on it with my hand(takes a decent amount of pressure). so i guess what i was wondering is since it will already make the bend without breaking should i still steam it or just glue it.

also if i do steam it should i center join it before or after, this applies to my flame maple top too.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Water on the top where you want it to bend would be a better idea than steaming for something as small and simple as that. The water on the top will cause that area's fibers to expand, and thus bend. You'd rather have it WANT to be in the shape of the contour then forcing it and glueing and clamped, cause like that there will always be some force on that joint, whereas if you bend/warp it into place first there will be much less.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You want heat to bend wood. Water is only going to help get the heat to the wood more efficiently. You can think of wood as fibers held together with glue. Much like hyde glue when you bring it to temp (generally about 250-300 degrees) it softens the glue. When the glue is soft it bends like butter. Much like hyde glue it sets back up as it cools,and thus it holds it's new shape. This is how sides are bent for acoustics. Generally with sides your thickness is .075-.090". In your case you are slightly thicker at .125", but not too much thicker. The trick to bending is to heat it till it softens. It will move easily when it is ready, and it will hold that new shape. As a suggestion you could use a thin sheet of metal(flexable) over the area. Spritz it with water. use a bit of tape to seal the sheet of metal. This will contain the steam and make it much more effective. A heat gun as a source is more than sufficient, but if you have a heat blanket it will be even more effective. Just keep moving the heat around, and watch for a bit of steam and sizzle. That will tell you it is close to being ready.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...