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How To Bend A Headstock Laminate


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I goofed today. Now I get to turn it into a feature. I accidentally sanded my headstock down too thin, and want to add a laminate to the back. It has a volute with a 4" radius. I know I could bend it around a hot pipe, but I don't want to go buy the stuff for that. Since it's a pretty small piece (3" wide and less than 1/8" thick, I was wondering if I could just hold it in a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds, lay it on the back of the headstock, place a 1" dowel on it, and start cranking down on the clamps. I have no experience with bending. Anybody have any thoughts?

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Make a caul with a 4inch radius on one end, from some scrap to match your volute. Then do the dip in hot water thing and clamp to your head stock and let dry. Then use the same caul to glue the veneer to the head stock.

I did this with a maple veneer on the face of a Telecaster head stock. Worked great.


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Easiest way to think about what you're doing its to view steam/water as the medium you are using to transfer heat to the wood. Lots of heat, and just enough water to prevent scorching.

I'm not 100% on whether boiling it is ideal. It will work better than as not, however you will likely get a better result using a steam iron and bending the laminate gradually over a convex former like a steel pipe or whatever. Pretty much what Keith said.

1/8"is pretty thick to be bending though. It will need a fair amount of time to get the wood to relax.

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