Kenneth Michael Guitars est.1978
Side bending  "low cost" set up
Our bending station is fairly extensive
but, on occasion (not very often) we
need to perform some hand bending
operations. Mostly bindings and maybe
re-bends on sides with tight waist
curves. Our set-up could hardly be
The main bender is a 15” section of 3”
diameter copper pipe we purchased at
a local hardware store, aluminum
would work equally well. The pipe is
fastened to a piece of 2 X 4 using
metal utility strapping and ¼’ nut and
bolts. A piece of non-flammable clothe
in placed under the pipe.  The material
we use is from a pad used by plumbers
to protect framing members etc. when
soldering joints.
To capture the heat a piece of
aluminum foil is crumpled up and
stuffed into the end of the pipe.
The heat source is a propane torch
lined up in the center of the pipe. I just
set it on one of our miter clamps. A
piece of wood could be used, note that
the nozzle end should be raised slightly
Our binding touch up bender is made
from a “stained glass artist’s” soldering
iron. This one is 100 watts --  a little
more power (200 watts)would be
better. It was purchased off Ebay for
$10 including shipping
The bender is made of a short length
of ½ “ copper pipe, a ½” to 1 ¼”
coupling and a piece of #12 copper
Flats are sanded on the soldering iron
handle on both sides so it can be
clamped to the bench securely.
Slip the ½” pipe into the coupling and
drill a hole large enough for the #12
wire to slid through. Loosen the two
screws that secure the soldering iron
Flatten the end of the ½” pipe so it is
crimped onto the soldering iron tip and
will not rotate.
Thread the wire through the holes ---
wrap it around the tip retaining screws.
Tighten the screws. Wrap the wire
around the assembly than trim the ends
Please understand that both these tools can cause severe burns
and if left unattended they are CAPABLE OF CAUSING FIRES