Plank benders

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Feb 22, 2020
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Ennismore, Ontario
Ah...I think I understand the problem...the blade in my Amati plank bender tool is fairly dull...not sharp. Thus when I create a dimple the indent is not a “cut” but more of a compression of the wood fibers. It is this compression that forces the plank to curve. Try dulling the blade even more so when you apply pressure it does not cut the wood but compresses the wood into a shallow dimple. My apologies for not picking up on this. I hope this works out because I use my tool all the time with very good results.
Stuglo above says the blade is reversible. I will check that out! Of course this puts me back at the bottom of the learning curve, but so what. It is very sharp. In fact, I relegated it to duty as a plank snipper. Works great in that role. But I'd rather have a dry bending tool. Thanks all.
 
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Scotland, Not Great Britain or the UK
I too, like Brian use a similar tool. I've tried the soldering irons with the adapters and molds and soaking and clamping to the hull. I take a contour tool to get the shape of the hull then "eyeball" transfer it to this tool.

I've found that this tool will handle any bending job I give it.

As far as how well it will do the job really depends on 3 things, thickness of the planking, wood type of the planking and finally the severity of the curve in the ship's bow. Softer woods are more malleable, harder woods less so. I've never had any trouble bending even 90 degrees over a 6-10 cm ever. I have had to soak harder woods longer in hot water, up to 60 minutes. BUT the aspect of this tool that I love is, depending on the width of your planking, you can bend up to 6 planks at once AND it is a passive tool!!! Unlike other planking tools that you have to actively work. Once you put your planks in this tool and wait for them to dry, you can get back to doing other things on your model. I'd rather put 6 planks in this thing and go work on something else for 2 hours than sit there for 2 hours bending planks ;) Thumbsup Also, if you don't want to wait for them to air dry, you can hit them with a heat gun or hair dryer to speed things up. But I rather let them air dry and work on something else as we all know how monotonous planking can get.
View attachment 187424

Cheers,
Ken
Thanks, I like the way you are thinking.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
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Ennismore, Ontario
If its the black plastic one, the blade is reversible. Remove(may need to lever a corner) turn it over to the blunt side
I turned the blade over and the difference is like night and day. I don't think I even COULD snip through with the full side in use. I trial bent a piece of lime wood left over from the first planking and it curved somewhat but more importantly provided negligible resistance to following the hull curve. One more thing is that when the sharp side was in use the plank formed a polygon, not a curve -- many, many flats that would have to be sanded smooth. When using the full side I donr see much evidence of this.
 
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Nov 18, 2018
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Easton, Maryland, USA (The Delmarva Peninsula)
Regarding the use of methanol, I obviously got some significant reactions from several of you, but I was away for a couple of days and not able to keep up with this discussion.

Yes methanol must be handled with respect. I began using it mostly because I had some on the shelf from a very different project which strictly required methanol. When I learned that some furniture manufacturers were using it to bend wood, I gave it a try and liked the way it worked. I suspect that one might get similar results using ethyl alcohol which is non-toxic. Ethyl alcohol can also be ordered on-line from various sources including Amazon. I will probably give it a try when my supply of methanol gets low.

But the immediate topic is about bending planks by soaking, and whether methanol is a worthwhile alternative to water or ammonia. Methanol is wood alcohol. The stuff is toxic and very flammable. You need good ventilation, or maybe just use it outside on the "picnic table." We model builders tend to use lots of thinners and finishes that carry warnings about avoiding inhalation, ingestion, and contact with skin. Well this is definitely another one of those things. If you use rubber gloves when handling the other chemicals, you'll do the same with this stuff. However, If you don't normally use the gloves, you'll probably ignore the warnings on this label, too. So, as with everything else in our world, you gotta take responsibility for your own choices and consequences.

I put my planks and timbers in a tube with a tight fitting lid and store my working batch of methanol in the tube so I can use it multiple times, or even for several days. Besides not swelling the wood the way water does, the biggest advantage is that it completely dries in a very short amount of time. The quick drying also means that the surface of the plank is dry within seconds of pulling it out of the tube. So by the time I re-seal the tube and get ready to bend, the surface is not wet at all, just cold due to the fast evaporation. So I'm really handling a relatively dry plank by the time I'm bending it. If you must use heat, the ONLY heat I'd even consider would be an electric soldering iron or bending iron. And if it's capable of charring wood, that's too hot anyway, and might not be safe in this case. With methanol, I prefer to work cold and clamp the piece into the desired curve as fast as I can after pulling it out of the fluid. I do still leave the plank or beam clamped overnight in most cases to get a permanent result.

I'll add that there doesn't seem to be any harm to leaving planks to soak way longer than necessary - like even overnight. So you don't have to rush. If you know how long it takes to get a good result with water, the furniture manufacturers say the time will be about the same with this.

PT-2, thanks for your report of plank-bending success with isopropyl (ethyl) alcohol. I think I will order some 100% ethyl alcohol and see how that performs. It's available from Amazon as either Drinkable or as fuel grade. The latter is called Bio Ethanol. If one of you beats me to it, will you please report back with your plank-bending (not drinking) results?
 
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Interesting. I like your comment about those of us that normally take precautions will and those that don't, will not. Sealing planks in a tube makes sense.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2020
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I use this one, I dont think they make it anymore. Works great. You can use either end depending on the radius your bending.
Well. My brother just gave me one of these today. He doesnt use it. Is the roller there just to hold ether wood down -- it's a clamp. It came with Englitalian instructions, but it just says to wet the wood and bend it, and don't use it too long or it will scorch the wood. I wish there were some videos but there aren't that I can find. Do you dip the wood first or just bend it dry?
 
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Тонкие рейки (до 2-3мм) сгибаю самодельным приспособлением, замачивая их в воде на сутки.
 

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Joined
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Bu aptalca bir soru olabilir ama metanol nereden satın alınır? Asla düşünmedim, bu yüzden aramadım. "Şişme yok" özelliğini seviyorum. PT-2
Metanol oldugunu sanmiyorum. o zehirli bir kimyasal. Etanol (alkol) olablilr.

ENGLISH
I don't think it's methanol. it's a toxic chemical. It can be ethanol (alcohol).
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
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As a shipbuilding novice I bought an Amati plank bender (crimper?) from Cornwall Model Boats: a blunt blade is levered into the block with this tool. It's the size of a pair of pliers. I'm currently using it on 1.5mm bass planking and noting that it (obviously) leaves crimp marks on the inside of the curved piece and can I afford to have these in sight later or can I sand them out? The only downside so far is that the pivot screw undoes itself with use; I can cure this with a little Loctite on the screw thread.
 

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Joined
Feb 22, 2020
Messages
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Location
Ennismore, Ontario
As a shipbuilding novice I bought an Amati plank bender (crimper?) from Cornwall Model Boats: a blunt blade is levered into the block with this tool. It's the size of a pair of pliers. I'm currently using it on 1.5mm bass planking and noting that it (obviously) leaves crimp marks on the inside of the curved piece and can I afford to have these in sight later or can I sand them out? The only downside so far is that the pivot screw undoes itself with use; I can cure this with a little Loctite on the screw thread.
You can only use that tool where the concave side of the bend is glued down, hidden. Does it do a good job with the blunt edge out on stock that thick?
 
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Nov 10, 2019
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Roswell, Ga
As a shipbuilding novice I bought an Amati plank bender (crimper?) from Cornwall Model Boats: a blunt blade is levered into the block with this tool. It's the size of a pair of pliers. I'm currently using it on 1.5mm bass planking and noting that it (obviously) leaves crimp marks on the inside of the curved piece and can I afford to have these in sight later or can I sand them out? The only downside so far is that the pivot screw undoes itself with use; I can cure this with a little Loctite on the screw thread.
have a pair and never use them
 
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You can only use that tool where the concave side of the bend is glued down, hidden. Does it do a good job with the blunt edge out on stock that thick?
In my limited experience yes. Have just shaped and stuck the first false keel plank on my AL dhow. I shaped the strip in two planes, curving round and curving up to follow the deck line.
 

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In my limited experience yes. Have just shaped and stuck the first false keel plank on my AL dhow. I shaped the strip in two planes, curving round and curving up to follow the deck line.
I personally like to do bending by heat with slow curves being bent and checked to what I need. It is like sculpting or molding clay for the end result. I can always "unbend" or straighten out a curve that is too tight. Also it gives me the ability to do compound curves in both axis to the plank and hull itself. The isopropyl alcohol at room temp and only a few minutes is sufficient for the hot bending iron. Just my own preference as there are many ways to skin a cat. RIch
 
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I used to build RC airplanes and u can buy a 'hot iron' used to shrink the covering from most hobby shops...some have temp. Dial to change heat. Mine still with me from past hobby. Another tool for heat shrink trim work has interchangeable heads both flat and rounded.
 
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I used to build RC airplanes and u can buy a 'hot iron' used to shrink the covering from most hobby shops...some have temp. Dial to change heat. Mine still with me from past hobby. Another tool for heat shrink trim work has interchangeable heads both flat and rounded.
I used to do some shrink wrap wing covering on my large sailplane gliders with just the home iron held close and always moving as I recall. For ship plank bending I bought an electric plank bender which I roll/pass along the strip gently working it down while the free end is in contact with my wood work surface. I don't use precut jigs so far. Rich
 
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i HAVE OVER THE LAST yEAR STUDINGED THE PLANK BENDING. i HAVE 25 DIFFERENT CHAPTERS MOST OF THEM WITH SUB CHAPTERS. (sorry)
Out of all these methods, only a few is really working. some can be even harmful as caustic soda (NaOH). Soaking in water for a long time is either NO GOOG. The wood will such up water and by then1000 or more Bacterias, which can destroy de wood, so it is easy to bend and set nails, etc in, BUT the wood will dry out again, which gives some physical strengths, which can change the bulkhead position. In the end -after even having seen hear special equipment for bending- the is to me ONLY STEAM -high temperature- Electrically bending as seen here, with high temperature and FINALLY BUT NOT THE LAST "DRY BENDING" Many of you may not know it, BUT it WORKS and it is a very cheap tool. will add some pic. but it consists of an empty TIN (from Beans etc) which is Strongly faster too a piece of Wood horizontal. Now you take 3-4 candlelight (those from Chenice Restaurant, lit it and 30 min. later the tin is BURNING hot. Now simply add your planks -2mm no problem- and the good thing are, that the planks will stay bend, so one can make a batch
Why some are better than others, you will need to know, what is the raw material of Wood. You may be surprised WOOD is build up of 3 huge SUGAR molecules -YES sugar =GLUCOSE the smallest stone. The 3 parts is Cellulose 40-60% -HehiCellulose 40-60% and about 5 10% Lignin. Each sort has a different amount of mainly of Cellulose and Hemi-celluslose. To destroy this HUGE tridimensional Biochemical complex WE NEED a very high temperature
 

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Joined
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Sorry to you all. I was a little too fast about the biochemical composition of WOOD.
Hier is the correct value. Cellulose between 40-50%, Hemi-Cellulose 25-35%, Lignin 18-35%, and some byproducts 1-10%. It is from an article I wrought for the Company I was working for. In one way o another I have lost all the Pic. but they can easily be found in the Internet.. If there is any interest I can do it again and better, but as I never have published anything of my own here on "ship of Scale·, I do not know where to start. so I need some help here.
El Capi
 
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Sorry to you all. I was a little too fast about the biochemical composition of WOOD.
Hier is the correct value. Cellulose between 40-50%, Hemi-Cellulose 25-35%, Lignin 18-35%, and some byproducts 1-10%. It is from an article I wrought for the Company I was working for. In one way o another I have lost all the Pic. but they can easily be found in the Internet.. If there is any interest I can do it again and better, but as I never have published anything of my own here on "ship of Scale·, I do not know where to start. so I need some help here.
El Capi
Thank you for your good ideas El Capi. I like the bean can idea; I think that it needs to be fixed into a (wooden?) cradle to stop it from rolling about. My own recent thoughts have been based around using copper pipe from a diy store as the vessel/chamber in which the plank is heated or steamed. Again this would need to be held in a cradle and the end(s) stopped-off with a cork perhaps?
May the vaccx be with you.
Dudley
 
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