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Home : Tools : Special tools for Bending sides : Bending Iron

Bending Iron

Read 29 Reviews   |   Write a Review

Variable temperature and versatile bending radii. Here's a well-made iron that's ideal for bending wet or steamed sidewood in the small shop.

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Bending Iron
  Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
0689 Domestic, 120-volt Yes

4049 International, 220-volt Yes

0688 Mandolin/Violin Side Bending Extension Yes

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Crafted from 6-1/4" long cast aluminum, it features variable temperature control and a versatile shape allowing a wide variety of bending radii.

Tip: Bending wood successfully requires practice, and we recommend using stainless steel Side Bending Straps to support wood sides during bending. We offer inexpensive practice wood and free instructions to help you get started.

The Bending Iron's highest temperature is approximately 500° (good bending temperature is between 350° and 400°). A surface thermometer placed on the aluminum iron is the best way to monitor the temperature.

To bend the tight curved sides of a mandolin or violin, screw on our unique #0688 Mandolin/Violin Side Bending Extension.

The sturdy wooden base can be clamped to your workbench horizontally or vertically.

#0689 Domestic model is a 120-volt (200 watt) AC electrical appliance. It has a U.S. standard Type B plug with two flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin.

#4049 International model is a 220-volt (200 watt) AC electrical appliance has international plug CEE 7/7 (compatible with Type E and F receptacles) with two round prongs and two grounding clips on the sides and female contact to accept the grounding pin.

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 Ratings and reviews
Bending Iron
Bending Iron
4 out of 5 stars
Based on 29 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 1 – 10 1  2  3 >
3 3-24-2014
It dose the job

This works well, though mine wobbles a bit and as some of the other reviews say it dose have a cheapish vibe... It still works and you can bend sides but a hot pipe is much better and sturdier.

JSD  Europe Read my reviews (31)
4 1-20-2014
Bending Iron

It is a fine bending iron. I also bought the extension for violin ribs and it worked as described. I used a homemade one for years. This one is a little slower to heat up but I just plan ahead and no problem.

justinarts  West Texas, USA Read my reviews (35)
1 10-11-2013
bending iron

I was full of hope when purchasing the bending iron, but it was a disappointment. Followed all the instructions properly but no luck. I have gone back to the old home made bending iron. It is quicker and better.

michaelrow  peterboro, ontario, ca
StewMac responds

Thank you for your order. We're sorry you were unhappy with the Bending Iron. We offer a 100% guarantee; if any item fails to meet your expectations, you may return it, unaltered, for a refund or exchange.

4 8-08-2013
Good and not too expensive iron with side bending extension

But a little too big just for violin making. But probably ideal for guitar builders.

Anders  Norway
2 12-06-2012
Low quality tool.

The Ibex bending iron works fine but has a general cheap feel and is slow to heat up. Most notably, the violin/mandolin bending extension didn't fit the threads that are tapped into the main iron. The extension is the only reason I chose to buy this bending iron from Stewmac. I brought this to Stewmac's attention and their solution was to force the screw so that it would cut new threads into the aluminum bending iron. In order to do this I had to first file the opening of the boss in the aluminum so it would accept the long, unthreaded section at the tip of the machine screw. Once the threads hit the aluminum they chewed up the old threads without too much force. With the machine-screw snug, the connection between the main iron and the extension is solid. This aspect of the tool seems a bit cheap to me and I am suspect of the long term integrity of the threads. Two stars because a specialty tool should not require modification to be used as designed.

Nate Clark  Ithaca, NY Read my reviews (12)
Customer supplied image for review
5 11-30-2012
Again the best service

I had this iron for some years. It turned out to be a fantastic tool. But now the iron did not get hot enough anymore and I asked customer service for a replacement heating element. This was not available and without asking they offered to send me a completely new iron for free! Where do you find such a service? I'm happy, thank you very much.

Herman Arendsen Guitars  the Netherlands
Customer supplied image for review
5 11-20-2012
Service beyond service

I bought the bending iron in 2003 for the purpose of pre-bending those few pieces of wood that won't bend evenly when used for a rosette.

Last weekend I finally hit a piece of rosewood that was too stiff in the middle to bend like the rest and thought "finally, I can try this thing out." Well, it didn't work and I had never tested it.

So I wrote customer service, asking which part they thought needed replacing, given the results of my electrical testing. I was hoping they could direct me to a source too.

On Monday I got an email saying a new one plus a pre-paid shipping label to send the defective one back was on its way.

You can trust Stew Mac to not only treat you right, but treat you well. I was certainly treated better than I deserved. Nine years is a long time to let something sit without testing and the thought they would still stand behind it like I bought it yesterday is amazing.

John L  Kalamazoo, MI Read my reviews (15)
5 10-11-2012

I use the 220 volt bending iron for my rosette bindings and for brnding the wood to insert in the cutaway channel. I dont use it for bending sides as i prefer the templated option. Wood thickness is very important to effect a good quality bend. I wrap my wood in a wet piece of thin sheeting cover both with tin foil. I get a mineral free clean smooth finish.

GavinB  Perth, Australia Read my reviews (26)
5 9-04-2012
Bending Iron

I have been using this bending iron for over 20 years now and it has never let me down. I can't understand some of the comments that say it doesn't get hot enough. I bend mostly dulcimer sides out of quartersawn air dried walnut and spray with water as needed. It bends beautifully at a temperature setting a little over 4, which is approximately 260-280 degrees. For woods like curly koa, rosewood, curly maple, etc., I have better results soaking in hot water for about 10 minutes and they bend just fine with occasionally spraying with a little water as needed, at just a little higher temperature setting. Most of these woods are kiln dried which tend to make them brittle and need soaking. My dulcimers also have solid linings made of basswood, which I freehand bend at the same temperature, only spraying with water. Yes, the bender takes a little time to heat up; but I find the heat is constant and the iron holds it well. It's not suppose to bend a side instantly. I've had good luck with sides for guitar and mandolin as well. My bender is an older version and the only thing I wish it had was the attachment for small bends. Other than that, I only wish I had purchased it 34 years ago when I began building. Best investment in a luthier tool I ever made.

Bernd Krause  Maine, NY Read my reviews (5)
Customer supplied image for review
4 7-26-2012
A needed product

You need this product for touch up bending work etc. Could be a little larger but works well enough at this size.

Beau Hannam Guitars  Read my reviews (31)
Customer supplied image for review
Displaying 1 – 10 1  2  3 > /\ Top of Reviews

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