R. Woudsma:   The Loonsong Instrument Company Home Home Phase 6:

Bending the guitar body sides

phase5a phase6b

The side wood is thinned to about .08 to .1” and must be wetted and heated to bend. This is an electric, temperature-controlled heating pipe.

The wetted side wood is placed on the pipe once the temperature is about 300oF.  As the wood heats and steam is created in the wood fibres, the fibres  will “relax”. Then a small amount of pressure will cause the fibres to bend. Care must be taken not to over stress the bend to the point where the side wood will crack, just enough to facilitate the bend.

The mould above is used to hold the bent sides into the correct position for assembly of the sides to the neck block, tail block and if there is a cut-away in the guitar, the cut-away block

With the sides in place. The mould is closed and the sides are pressed into position. The blocks are dry-placed to check their shape and position before gluing the side assembly together