June 29, 1999......After I finished the mold, I spent a few days mulling over how to make a side bending form. I had bought a silicone heating blanket from Luthiers Mercantile a couple of months ago, with the intention of eventually trying my hand at bending sides with a form. Now that I have the time, looks like I've gotta do it!!! I looked at Irving Sloane's side bending form in his book on making classical guitars, David Hurd's (Kawika) ukelele side-bending form, instructions on making the Fox Bending Form, and John Dodson's helpful photos and descriptions of his form. So, here I am again, making something new, one step at a time....

 Today I made the basic form (without all the hardware yet). I was able to use the same template method I used on making my mold, which helped tremendously (I made the two half-guitar forms slightly smaller than the original template, to account for the depth of the aluminum sheet, the heating blanket, and the side.) I drilled 1/2" holes tangent to the edge of the forms. Then I glued 6" lengths of 1/2" dowel through the holes to support the two half forms, which were first screwed to a 6" wide platform.

Tomorrow I will continue. I will attach a 6" wide sheet of aluminum to the top of the form, make some supports and a base for the form, make the waist caul, and attach the various pieces of hardware that make it all work (once I figure out exactly how I want to do it).

 June 30, 1999.... Well, I finished the form today! I made the base, with slots to secure the aluminum sheet that will cover the sides. Next, I made, out of a 2X4, the caul for clamping the waist, and attached it to the form with an eyebolt and screw eye. Then I cut out the aluminum sheet, 6" by 36", and screwed it onto the form, using the waist caul to clamp it down. I cut another 6" by 36" sheet of aluminum (the one to cover the sides), drilled a hole in the ends for the eyebolt that's inserted into the base slots. Finally, I used 5/16" threaded rods, two 1-1/2" aluminum bars, and some more screw eyes and clamping knobs, for the device which will hold down the ends of the sides to the form once they're bent.

It took me all day to do this. Even though it was extremely hot today (probably near the mid-90's), and I am extremely sweaty and tuckered out right now, it is a satisfying feeling to know that I was able to do this!!!! Tomorrow, I'll probably go get some 1/8" mahogany at the hobby store to try it out!!!!

 GO TO.....

  1. Intro Page
  2. Making the Mold
  3. Making a Side Bending Form
  4. Side Bending!
  5. The Side Set
  6. Beginning the Neck
  7. Top
  8. Back
  9. Soundbox
  10. Binding
  11. Fingerboard
  12. Finishing the Neck
  13. Finishing
  14. Nearing the End...
  15. Stringing 'er Up!!!

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