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Electric Plank Bender
Hobbyzone

Catalogue # HX-GDL1
Available from Hobbyzone for £20.63 (as of 10-7-18)

 

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There are numerous ways of bending those awkward planks that we regularly see at stern and bow, including soaking in water/macerating fluid that breaks down fibres, and then twisting. You can of course use a plank nipper, such as that from Amati, drum roller such as the Mantua release, or you can use an electric plank bender. The latter isn’t exactly a new way of shaping your planks to the required curve, but this new release from Hobbyzone is certainly a quality and affordable way to achieve it.

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Hobbyzone’s electric plank bender is packed into a sturdy plywood box which is then heavily wrapped in plastic film onto which the product label is affixed. Once the packing is removed, the lid of the box is lifted via a finger hole in the centre of the lid. Inside, we have the electricplank bending tool itself, lying alongside the curved forming tool.

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The electric part of this is a 240v unit and comes with a European standard 2-pin plug. For my tests, I converted this with a 3-pin UK travel adapter. I think that the basis for the plank bender is possibly a soldering iron or similar, but instead of a pointed tip, this unit has been fitted with a circular brass head that is the correct size to roll around the smaller of the curves on the forming block. Inside the bottom of the box is a sheet that explains that your planks must first be soaked, and that you may well experience some smoke emanating from the unit for the first 10 minutes after the very first use. Note also that the underside of the lid has a rest for sitting the electric tool whilst not in use. *CAUTION* NEVER LEAVE THE PLANKIG TOOL UNATTENDED WHILST POWERED**….simple safety tip!

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The forming tool is made from very thick MDF and contains two different sized scoop profiles, plus a gentler curving sweep. You can of course use different sections of these profiles to greater or lesser degrees, and it does seem very similar to the formers in other manufacturer’s products.

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To test, I first soaked my limewood planks for about 30 to 40 mins in plain cold water, and then with the forming iron fully hot, the plank was laid across the shallow curve and the iron gradually rolled into it. The timber formed itself into the curve very quickly and with minimal physical effort for me to achieve it. The tool was gradually rolled until the wood dried out and the curve remained.

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For the deeper curves, I first placed only a short length of the timber into the former, and then rolled the iron, pushing the timber into the former a little extra each time until I had achieved the full curve. I did experience a little scorching on the internal area, but nothing too major. I think that longer soaking for more pronounced curved would minimise this even more, but the plank shaped superbly.

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Resting the iron, whilst hot, onto the stand, caused almost zero scorching from the iron, so I have no qualms about using the stand for just that.

 

Conclusion
A superb tool at a very reasonable price. This currently retails for just over £20, minus shipping, and is very easy to use. The whole lots packs neatly into that plywood box too, so no loose tools lying around. I couldn’t see a wattage listed on the unit, and I don’t think this is currently available in anything other than 220/240v, but it could be worthwhile approaching Hobbyzone to clarify that.

 

 

 

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this exact modified soldering iron and associated wooden bending form have been around for years. well at least I have been using one for about 15 years. are you associated with the company who make this version? 

 

cheers

 

chris

 

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20 minutes ago, vossy said:

this exact modified soldering iron and associated wooden bending form have been around for years. well at least I have been using one for about 15 years. are you associated with the company who make this version? 

 

cheers

 

chris

 

No, I was sent this to test for myself and publish here.

 

You did of course see that I mentioned that there were similar products available, yes?

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10 minutes ago, Jasseji said:

Oh, you get stuff from Hobbyzone now to play around, neat :D 

 

We have more to come yet:

  • Small building slip
  • Professional building slip
  • SECRET product...not released yet. I'll publish when allowed to ;)

The building slips will be presented as full build guides too.

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6 minutes ago, Jasseji said:

Nice, happy to see Polish products advertised like this ;)

 

I have just received my Professional Building Slip today and will be putting it together 

Be careful with assembly.

 

There are a couple of little areas that may not be too clear. Wojciech has asked me to do a full step-by-step of this build, and it should be online within the next week. All will be shown in technicolour, including parts orientation etc.

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