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While the pipe is getting up to temperature, I'll spritz a bit of water on the rib

When possible, I leave the rib as long as possible, which gives me a bit of a "handle" to help start the bend. I begin by rolling the rib, back and forth, until it is hot enough that it begins to "give" under light hand pressure.

Once it begins to give, I keep rolling, never stopping, but begin applying more pressure.


Always rolling....

Still rolling, still applying pressure, and the bend continues to form.

Until I can see the bend getting close to what I want, then I'll stop rolling, and gently force it, and hold it in place a few seconds to "set" the bend.


Check the progress...

Once very close, I'll begin the rest of the bends, always working from the neck block toward the tail.



Now I can move pretty quickly through the long, gentle radius...

..and finish up with touching-up any flat spots, etc...

Some ribs just want to snap, so I'll often use a backer strip to support the rib while bending. I hate using it, because it gets in the way, but sometimes I have no choice.


This is a Myrtle(AKA: Bay Laurel) rib that will become a J-5 mandolin.

The J-5, like and F-5, isn't near as simple as an A-5!

For a radius that is smaller than my pipe, I'll get it good and hot, and apply pressure to hold the tighter radius while the rib cools.


When I don't have extra rib length, I use a small block of wood to support the end while starting the bend.

As always, check the fit, adjust as necessary...

    Here we have the A-5's ribs and blocks, ready for gluing. And here we have the J-5's ribs; a lot more work went into these ribs!  


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