I am not sure where that old adage came from, but it is what I did today. I decided that this was the day to bend the sides for Delrene's Kasha tenor. I decided to do it the old fashioned way, with the hot pipe.
I plugged in the bending pipe made of an iron pipe with the end welded shut and heated by a commercial soldering iron. It takes a long time to heat up to its max of about 270 degrees, but I am learning it works just fine. this is a new skill in the art of Lutherie and I am enjoying the experience of learning. In this photo I am using a bending steel to help bend the wood. The steel contains and concentrates the heat in the wood and also provides an even and consistent bending force.
This hand operation takes a lot longer than using the bending machine and a heat blanket, but it is much more satisfying and I think results in a better bend. It is also much less apt to break a valuable and beautiful piece of wood. I think I am converted to the old fashioned, hand made process and that is consistent with my approach to building quality ukuleles.
This very nice bend is now sitting in the form to dry for a few days. I will have plenty to do before installing these sides on #106. The old adage came to my mind "strike while the iron is hot". It was only 4:00, an hour before martini time, While the iron was hot I should bend the binding for this uke. I found in my stash, three pieces of the lovely heavily figured Koa binding that I used on #100 and knowing that Delrene would love it, I decided to bend it into tenor size for this uke, making it a duplicate of #100.
I was able to bend plenty of binding for #106 and some left over. This is exceptional binding and I have not been able to get any more of it.
Oh, and I almost forgot. This morning I invented a new device to increase efficiency in the workshop. This vertical rack will hold all of my "stick-on" sandpaper and eliminate diving into drawers for each change in sand paper.
This is a revolving tower of sandpaper. From 89 grit to 600. Ought t o make life a little easier having it all in one place and accessible.