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2 x 4 Challenge: I'm done (I'm finished)

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Blog entry by rikkor posted 01-21-2008 09:05 PM 10151 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok, it’s over. I was unable to pull off my project. I was making a full-scale soprano ukulele. 2×4 material does not bend without splitting, cracking and scorching. I enclose the following picture of the neck just to show I was serious. It was fun, at least the parts that were not frustrating. Good luck to all who are in the contest for the prize. Stewart, I wish I could vote for your chair.

Uke neck



16 comments so far

View Ryan Shervill's profile

Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 2559 days


#1 posted 01-21-2008 09:13 PM

I definitely know where you are coming from….but from the guy who spent a full week experimenting with steam, forms, chemicals, and pure “sticktoitness” figuring out how to steam-bend my 2X4: Don’t give up! I posted the secrets to bending softwood in my blog…..you CAN pull it off. My project has a dozen steam bent parts around a 4” radius.

It was by far the most difficult bending I have ever done, but it is doable…...seriously, don’t give up! :)

If you need more info, just shoot me a P)M and I’ll answer any questions you have.

Ryan

-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here: http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/showthread.php?41055

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2735 days


#2 posted 01-21-2008 09:18 PM

You could also glue up real thin veneers or a lot of small pieces. Don’t give up.

You have posted a project on Lumberjocks so you can vote. It’s not just a posting a project in the contest.

Also don’t give your vote away yet. You still haven’t seen the other projects. I have a feeling
some great ones will be posted at the last minute.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1117 posts in 2648 days


#3 posted 01-21-2008 09:55 PM

That’s one heck of a challenge you set yourself Rikkor! I’d honestly love to have seen that done. Can you still do it with Ryan’s advice??

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2621 days


#4 posted 01-21-2008 10:14 PM

I doubt it. The wood was already thinned to .080” I wet it like I always do. I gave the bending iron a full half hour to heat up. I proceeded slowly but relentlessly. I had my mister at the ready. It still scortched, split, and cracked cross-grain. I have made these bends on mahogany with little or no problem. Fir just isn’t a good bending wood from a luthier prospective.

Here’s a mahogany body on my last uke.

Uke body

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2735 days


#5 posted 01-21-2008 10:20 PM

Did you use a bending strap to support the piece on the bending iron. This really helps a lot.
I couldn’t have bent the curly maple sides of my violin without it.

I use a strip of sheet metal but you can also buy them:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2907 days


#6 posted 01-21-2008 10:27 PM

with all this support…. maybe one more try is all you need… ok maybe 3…
we’re rooting for you!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1117 posts in 2648 days


#7 posted 01-21-2008 10:41 PM

Mrs YS just said, in hindsight, maybe a 4×2 of mahogany or similar would have been the answer..

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2621 days


#8 posted 01-21-2008 10:46 PM

Thanks Gary. I do have a stainless steel, factory made bending strap. I just don’t think construction grade fir was meant to be bent into aesthetic shapes.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3046 days


#9 posted 01-21-2008 10:47 PM

I feel really bad you had all of that hard work, & anguish.

Do the rules specify pine, why not a mahogany 2 X 4?

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2621 days


#10 posted 01-21-2008 10:49 PM

Maybe so Dick, but there isn’t enough January now.

View Ryan Shervill's profile

Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 2559 days


#11 posted 01-21-2008 11:35 PM

Thats too bad :(

Well…if you ever try it again, soak the strips in a 1:10 mix of Glycerine and water….or a 1:5 mix of Fabric softener and water for 24-48 hours..then try. Also….unlike any hardwood, the softwood doesn’t like to bend if it’s sawn on the quarter. Rift or flat seems to work better, as long as you bend so the grain climbs around the form face down.

I was ready to give up as well….a whole week wasted trying to figure it out, and I was ready to throw in the towel on more than one occasion….then I hit that “magic” combo. I may not even get my project done in time, but I could probably just post the bent parts :) I’m pretty sure anyone who tried to bed theirs would give me votes just for that!

Hey…you could submit just what you have done…......

-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here: http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/showthread.php?41055

View roy's profile

roy

134 posts in 2541 days


#12 posted 01-22-2008 12:14 AM

have you thought about a square body?
worked good on my banjo

-- tn hillbilly.." tryin to do the best i can with what i got "

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

1404 posts in 2824 days


#13 posted 01-22-2008 01:17 AM

thats to bad. I was looking forward to what you were building.

-- BLOG - http://www.colorfulcanary.com/search/label/Zuki

View Karson's profile

Karson

34912 posts in 3147 days


#14 posted 01-22-2008 01:27 AM

Keep at it Rikkor. Still 10 days left.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 2627 days


#15 posted 01-22-2008 01:58 AM

go for it rikkor we are rootin for ya !!

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