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Speaking of Plank Benders - homemade plank bending jig

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I thought I would share my little idea for plank bending.



I'm not sure how original it is, but I have never seen one just like it..



Basically, it is half the bottom of a large tin can, attached to a base board.




I place the end of my wet plank into the slot  and use a clamp to adjust the amount

of bend ..  ( I soak in plain water for a few of minutes, depending on the type of wood )






I direct a hot blow dryer onto the jig for about two minutes.  This is usually enough to dry the wood.

This picture does not show the wood, but it is there when the dryer is on.




I wait at least 5 minutes before taking the wood out of the jig.  It needs to cool before the bend is fully set.



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Is that softwood (pine?) or hardwood?  Softwoods often don't bend very well compared to hardwoods.  But I'm not sure that soaking is necessary.  I bend 150mm x 900mm x 2.5mm thick guitar sides dry, using a heating blank and form, at temps 250-350F.


Also, some people make a trough from a piece of rain gutter, and then fill it with a solution of Downey fabric softener in very hot water. This will make wood pliable.  It will stink for a while and raise the grain, but time and sanding will take care of those issues.

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That particular piece was fairly soft..  It's the stuff usually seen in kits for 1st/base planking ..


I watch for splitting as I bend it, and sometimes flipping it over, reduces that.


I Have seen a lot of good ideas for making soakers, but have found I only have to soak about six inches or less.

The little blue topped container seen above, filled with water, is all I have ever used.  I can see using  boiling water might help.

I'll have to try that.

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Oh, as a note, here are inexpensive lumber sources for hobbyists in the US: Walmart stocks 'square dowels' in the crafting aisle.  They appear to be nice clear 12" lengths of birch or maple in several cross-sectional sizes, and the price is right.   Also, a trip to the paint dept at the Lowes home center will show 36" x 1.5" x 0.25" yard sticks of clear white pine for $1.  It will be necessary to plane or sand off the ink printing, but then you'll have high quality straight-grained stock of ~ 3/16" thickness.

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