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.
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.