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Bending Wood Binding

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Can you bend 1/8" binding? Yes. However, on tight bends, it may start to unlayer the grains and literally seperate ( i.e. The lower horn on an LP ). Sometimes this can be fixed with super glue and shaping with a sander and it will never show. Sometimes it can't.

The key to bending is getting the wood moistened and heated to the point that the natural glue in the wood, called malignon, becomes the most pliable it can be. I literally have a tank of water sitting on a double electric burner to heat it up and soak the strips in it. Too cold and it is not as pliable as it can be. Too hot and you burn and crystalize the malignon....this the strip will break and or crack. Maple and cherry generally like to be bent once it gets to around 165 to 175 degrees fahrenheit. Much beyond that and it gets brittle and breaks.

Once the water gets to temperature ( about 180-ish ), you place the strips in for about 20 minutes. You have to work fast at this point. Knock out any tight bends first and work the easier bends after. Once you get it to the general shape, as long as the wood is wet, it is fairly willing to be bent. However, if it starts to get stubborn, just soak that particular area.

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