What’s On The Bench – 9/27/2013

Some days work-in-progress happens not only on the bench but also under the bench, on the floor, and on and horizontal surface I can find. Today is such a day.

This is my funky-yet-effective side-bender. This bending form uses metal slats and a heating blanket to bend the sides for my standard model dulcimer.  For one-of-a-kind instruments I bend sides the old fashioned way using a hot pipe.

Inside the side bender are several pieces of rosewood about to become binding; the trim I sometimes use around the soundboard.

Bending rosewood dulcimer binding

The wood is moistened and as heat penetrates the wood I hear and smell when it will become pliable enough to bend under pressure. Many of us bend under pressure so I do not hold this against the wood. What I do hold against the wood are both the male and female halves of the bending form.

I use three clamps to squeeze everything snug and then turn off the heat. I let the wood cool dry in the side-bender overnight.

Wood has memory and will try to spring back to its original shape. Sometimes the binding or sides coming out of the side-bender need a little touch-up on the hot pipe to assure they hold the desired shape.

5 thoughts on “What’s On The Bench – 9/27/2013

  1. Yep…exactly like mine. Leaving it to cool over night like you do does help with spring back. At one point I slightly adjusted the shape of my dulcimer to conform to the sides after they spring back. Yes..cheating.

  2. Marge Diamond

    This just reminds me of how I shape my boiled wool, I use very hot water and then mold it to the shape I want, some times I pur it on the wig stand and sometimes I put it on a bowl!

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