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Any Advise On Fox Bender For Es335 Like Sides?


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Well, just about what the title says. I'd like to bend the sides of an es335 like guitar on a home made fox bender, but the problem is my bend would have the es335 cutaway bend the normal western acoustic hasn't. Can it be done? In which order to bend? Etc. Pics greatly appriciated.

Cheers,

Hugo

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I just built my own, and sourced the heating blankets from LMI. If you can cut a template, you can make yourself a bending mold.

This particular one has removable shoulder elements for the upper bout, so that I can use one mold to bend the bass-side (no cutaway) or the treble side with Venetian cutaway. I also have one for a Florentine cutaway.

bender1.jpg

Here it is with the cutaway shoulder in it....and my seat-of-the-pants clamping arrangement to hold everything down.

bender2.jpg

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Wow, that looks nice. Very proffessional. I'm a bit hesitant to invest in the blankets, since I' only build solid bodies except for this project. Although the dollar is low... I think I'll try with the lamp arrangement. Or with an idea I just came up with:

I have an oven (to bake cakes in. I have a girlfriend for that...) This oven is large enough to put the wood in, bent in a C shape, holding the ends with a bit of string to maintain the C shape. The wood is in it's unbent, cool state flexible enough to make the C-bend. If I heat the oven to 300F, leave the wood in for say half an hour, should I be able to fold and clamp it around a mold? Or do we need to keep heating during the bending process?

BTW, I'm considering making the sides out of Limba, since I have some lying around. Would this bend easily?

Cheers,

Hugo

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You need more than heat, you actually need to steam the wood to make it flexible enough to bend around the cutaway. And you need to take it to something like 275-300F (whatever that is in Celcius), too hot to really reach into an oven to do.

Plenty of guys do very well with the light-bulb heat source, but you need the strongest ones you can find. Limba bends very nicely.

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Ok, temp OK, need moist. I'll look into the lamp-deal, I have a 500W lamp here which I used when rebuilding the house; not only did it provide 'sufficient' light, but also it dried the plaster really quick! Had to take it away from the wall to avoid the plaster cracking. Hmmm, might put a dimmer on it to controll...

I just read somewhere else Limba is hard to bend. Aaargh. Do you speak from first hand experience?

Thanks,

Hugo

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Ok, temp OK, need moist. I'll look into the lamp-deal, I have a 500W lamp here which I used when rebuilding the house; not only did it provide 'sufficient' light, but also it dried the plaster really quick! Had to take it away from the wall to avoid the plaster cracking. Hmmm, might put a dimmer on it to controll...

I just read somewhere else Limba is hard to bend. Aaargh. Do you speak from first hand experience?

Thanks,

Hugo

I have bent cuts with bulb and heat gun, bulbs alone will not cut it(just can't beliver the heat where you need it). Borrow Mattia's heat blanket, that is your best and most controlable solution. Also be sure to thin the wood in the cutoway area. This will make iteasier to bring the wood up to temp, the wood will have an easier time bending with a lower risk of damage. Thinning tight cutoways is not a structural issue, because the bent wood increases the strength in the area significantly.

Limba does bend very well (the wood is a pleasure to work with). Again though, it is a very good idea to thin even the most workable woods in tight bends.

Anywho.. You have Mattia, and he has all this stuff down pat.

Peace,Rich

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Mattia, thanks for the offer, I think I'm gonna hold you to it. If I make the mold and prepair a few pairs of side strips, can I visit you and be your humble pupil?

Cheers,

Hugo

Sure, no problem!

If you don't have a thickness sander, though, and you come this direction for bending, don't bother thicknessing all too accurately.

You have my email address, I believe :D

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