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Y.T.

Revelation about Aeropicolla plank bender

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Y.T. said:

Yeah. If this is THE solution I will stop throwing money and efforts away. But what to do if strip is 2 x 2 millimetre and triangular moulding profile. How to hold this softened piece in place on my model? Note that curvature is steep.

Maybe make a jig and place the strips there until cool, then on model. Or leave the strip longer, screw in place, then cut the excess when cool and set in shape. Maybe make pieces with triangular indentations to hold it in place.

I use a lot of 1 mm screws and later fill the holes with tree nails so no such issues. I like very large scales though!

 

This is a frame 4 x 2 mm boiled and set in position. On the boat the curvature is much more extreme. Immediately out of the pot the strip will really do whatever asked. But note that this is beech which responds superbly to wet heat. 

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Best to experiment with the woods you have. Ask permission before messing with the admiral's kitchen.

Edited by vaddoc

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Posted (edited)

I got 80 watts soldering iron. Aeropicolla head fits right into a heating element. I was super lucky. I now got plenty of power. Even too much as it charrs the wood. There can be no too much power however. I will just get a lamp dimmer if I need. At the end I am very happy. I now have best plank bender in the world. Here it made a rubber out of 2 x 10 mm wood in seconds. 

 

A2EDC812-8366-4996-BD91-B97214A2476E.jpeg

Edited by Y.T.

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On 8/25/2019 at 8:31 AM, rshousha said:

I wonder if I am missing something here. What's wrong with using a tiny travel iron? It steams on demand and is very, very hot. I've been using this for years and it seems to work very well. What would be the advantage of using this little bender? 

If it works for you, go for it! There's lots of ways to bend wood.

 

The particular advantage of the now out of production Aeropicolla bending iron is the shape of the head and the spring-loaded (and adjustable) bail (some of those pictured above have lost their spring-loaded bails.) The adjustable bail permits sliding the strip of plank material under the bail and bending it against the "French curve" shape of the head's edges. The plank can be bent incrementally as it is slid through the bail, or in "stages" where the bail is moved successively to bend compound shapes from broad sweeps to tight curves, much as curves can be drawn with a French curve drafting template. The bail makes it possible to hold the iron in one hand while manipulating the wood strip in the other. (It can also be held in a vise, making both hands available for manipulating the wood piece.) Other irons now available require a variety of shop-made forms to bend a strip to a particular shape and the "candle in a can" method, which is otherwise a good idea, limits you to the radius of the can you are using.

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On 8/25/2019 at 2:56 PM, Y.T. said:

Yeah. If this is THE solution I will stop throwing money and efforts away. But what to do if strip is 2 x 2 millimetre and triangular moulding profile. How to hold this softened piece in place on my model? Note that curvature is steep.

Bring Mohammed to the mountain, not the mountain to Mohammed. Make a former jig that is the same as your model, but with provision for easy clamping. Bend your parts on that, clamp, and let cool. If you are using suitable "bending wood," (experiment... species vary in bending characteristics,) you should have curves that have "set" as you require. Sometimes, depending on the wood and "the phase of the moon," you will need to bend your piece into a bit tighter curve on your jig to compensate for "spring back" when removing the bent piece from the clamps. That's a "trial and error" experimental kind of thing to determine just how you want it. The goal is to try to get a piece that is bent to fit on the model without needing to clamp it to the model, but rather to simply glue and peg it into place without it being under stress trying to spring off the model.

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Posted (edited)

Essentially all one needs to do for bending a wood plank is making it soft with help of steam and heat. Issue is to apply enough heat so wood softens enough so you can easily shape it in your hands. Then you put it into a jig or on hull surface to dry and take a proper shape. The higher the heat you apply the better results you get. At certain temperature (all woods are not born equal) your wood will char and start getting burn marks. We do not want that so we limit the temperature just before wood start charring. Simplest method is just to hold soaked plank over the flame till it softens and then form it.

image.png.9027964ebbad3ecfba96468f9436dba9.png

Aeropicolla plank bender infinitely simplifies the process as gives you full control. Here are wood charring temperatures in deg. Celsius.

image.png.84a4c1efeacabbbe010cf7a9fad2c892.png

 

 

Edited by Y.T.

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