I was worried. I had never bent Bubinga before and somewhere I had heard it was tough to bend. I set up the Hot Pipe heated by a soldering iron inside it. Got the temperature up to 250 degrees, spritzed the Bubinga and had at it.
It was a marvelous success convincing me of two things. Bubinga is not hard to bend, and I really enjoy bending on the hot pipe. You can feel the wood, feel when it is ready to bend. The chances of breaking a side are far less than when using a bending machine, and best of all, I am getting better bends than when I used the machine and a hot blanket. Perhaps the wood gets wetter this way, but putting it into the mold seems to set it perfectly.
The sides are now tightly clamped into the mold. After drying for a day and a half they seem perfectly set, but they are still cool to the touch indicating wetness. I will leave them in the mold for a couple more days as they dry and I am working on other things.
But I took them out for a photo Op. They are exactly what I wanted. These will fit perfectly and easily.
Notice that they are alike as peas in a pod. Just what you want for a balanced instrument. I am now sold on bending the old fashioned way, by hand with a hot pipe. Anyone want to buy a used bending machine and heat blanket?