Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Fabric Softener for bending sides

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    423

    Post Fabric Softener for bending sides

    I have read and heard that some builders have soaked their wood in fabric softener previous to bending on a hot iron. I tried to search forum for any articles and postings concerning this but have not found the source. Are there any builders who could give me feedback and advice on how to go about using this approach. Pelone

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Surrey, BC (Vancouver)
    Posts
    279

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    I have no idea about this. What does the fabric softener do?

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Boston West
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    My limited experience with this method told me that it is no magic bullet and I have no idea how it would ultimately affect the finishing steps. What I have found is that if I get the ribs hot enough they will bend, and the thinner the wood the easier it is bent.
    -Newtonamic

  4. #4
    Registered User bennyb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Here's one (of many) threads over at luthiers forum on use of supersoft(the preferred brand, currently). It aids in bending.

    benny

  5. The following members say thank you to bennyb for this post:


  6. #5

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    There is veneer softener which is available through Amazon and woodworking supply houses. It is a glycol and intended for these applications.

    https://www.amazon.com/Sauers-Veneer...eneer+softener

  7. The following members say thank you to CarlM for this post:


  8. #6
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ardnadam, Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    1,409

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyV View Post
    I have no idea about this. What does the fabric softener do?

    Thanks
    Surely wood bent using fabric softener would be so much kinder to your hands?
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

    http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOldBores

  9. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Thanks and a shout out to bennyb for leading me to the correct thread. I had used SS fabric softener a year ago on some highly figured maple for the ribs of a mando. I found that it seemed to work well and I did not encounter breakout at the figured wood. I will soak for 24 hours and then bend on the iron. Will post the outcome.

  10. The following members say thank you to pelone for this post:

    bennyb 

  11. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Chicagoland, IL, Southside
    Posts
    2,968

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Works fine, even for cold bending on a form.
    Stephen Perry
    www.giannaviolins.com - Primarily violin family
    mandovoodoo.com - Acoustic blueprinting
    South Side Chicagoland

  12. #9

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Works,but a steam cabinet (Rockler) and a bending iron is so much better and faster with less rebound.

  13. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Success--I managed to bend highly figured sides without experiencing "breaking out" at the weaker sections. To determine if it was just my imagination, I also bent plain flat sawn maple---bent like rubber. Of course, the flat sawn material is nice but lacks the drama of the figured wood that is either vertical grain or slightly vertical grain. Would like to hear about the experience of others.

  14. #11
    Registered User Andy Morton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    madison, wisconsin
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Hi---I have been on a mission to use curly maple binding on my current F-5 build. Maybe its a fools erand...but I have had some success. It just looks so cool!!!!

    I have used fabric softener and yes it did seem to work--soaking .04 " thick binding between a aluminum foil sheet for about an hour.

    I then tried "Veneer Tamer" which I bought at Woodcraft (approx--$13) and it seemed to work much better. Again wetting the binding strips (with the spray bottle that it comes in) and letting it soak for an hour or so between a folded sheet of aluminum foil.

    For all but the scroll curves---with this binding (.04") you can "cold bend" all other curves. For the scroll curves it requires heat for the bend--I use a soldering iron and bend around that with a aluminum fabricated backing strip (HoGo describes this in one of his posts--Thannks Adrian).

    In short the Veneer Tamer works very well----and helps prevent delamination---even after the binding strips have dried.

    I will try to post some pics later.

    Good luck--anyone else trying this.

    Andy

  15. #12

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    I used fabric softener for a while, Wanted to buy SuperSoft II but the shipping and custom fees were more than the SS itself. Finally bit the bullet and got a jug. Seeing that you are in the U.S. it would be more advantageous picking up a bottle. The FS can work but SS is much better.

  16. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Fabric softener is a surfactant (wetting agent) that lowers the surface tension between a liquid and a solid. It does not impede the bending when used as a “pre-treatment” and smells nice too.

  17. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    I found super-soft liquid at a made in america store, super-soft flakes, and super-soft 2 veneer softener. Any suggestions on which one to buy?
    Graham

  18. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    I used SS fabric softener on some sides a week ago---left the ribs in the form for a week while I left on a camping trip, came back to find that the ribs have no "spring-back" and hold the intended shape quite nicely. It appears that there are no negative consequences such as discoloration or staining. A test piece seemed to take dye well. I did notice that even though I had thinned the wood quite substantially there was a bit of thickening to the finished piece. I am interested enough in the process to use it on other pieces of highly figured woods.

  19. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Quote Originally Posted by pelone View Post
    I used SS fabric softener on some sides a week ago---left the ribs in the form for a week while I left on a camping trip, came back to find that the ribs have no "spring-back" and hold the intended shape quite nicely. It appears that there are no negative consequences such as discoloration or staining. A test piece seemed to take dye well. I did notice that even though I had thinned the wood quite substantially there was a bit of thickening to the finished piece. I am interested enough in the process to use it on other pieces of highly figured woods.
    Where did you get the SS?

  20. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Graham----after checking the label----it is ALL Fabric Softener, "Fragrance and dye free"---bought it at local grocery market in the laundry and detergent section. I squeegied th liquid off with my fingers and did have to spritiz/spray with a mist---there was a bit of bubbling where various grains occur----took my time and tried to be patient. Practicing on highly figured maple scraps with various cross grains and weak spots gave me a feel and I just had to go much more slowly in comparison to walnut, mahogany and other clear wood that are a breeze to bend.

  21. The following members say thank you to pelone for this post:


  22. #18
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,184

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    The veneer softeners (Supersoft 2 or Veneer tamer) are just diethylene glycol monoethyl ether (CAS # 111-90-0), I don't know if (or how much) water it contains. It is very slow drying liquid that is part of the fabric softeners. You can also get it at chemical suppliers (though a bit more expensive than from the veneer suppliers).
    You can get similar version it in UK here:
    http://www.thewoodveneerhub.co.uk/th...neer-softener/
    I couldn't find MSDS for that but I guess it's the ame stuff.
    Adrian

  23. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to HoGo For This Useful Post:


  24. #19
    Registered User Zoomp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Lake Peekskill, New York
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Kool. Is this useful for particular wood or certain bands. OS there a job where u would not use fs??
    Zoomp Instruments and Luthier!!กก!!กก

  25. #20

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    There is no reaction with finish materials? The softener would have to soak through the entire piece of wood and would stay there. I would worry that whatever chemical residue was left by the softener might react with the finish and it might not be apparent right away but do it over time.

  26. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    Barney---no negatives after several builds over ten years. I do not know if the liquid evaporates while bending...I do have to occasionally spritz with a spray bottle....fThe wood seems to accept finish nicely...However, I can not speak to how dyes and various stains react with the wood as I prefer to stay with woods that reveal there inherent beauty using a natural clear lacquer.

  27. #22
    Adrian Minarovic
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Europe
    Posts
    2,184

    Default Re: Fabric Softener for bending sides

    The "glycol" softeners work by getting the water deep into wood and keeping it there - slowing down evaporation. The stuff will slowly evaporate, perhaps heat bending will force it out faster. Water is what makes the lignin in the wood more pliable. Uneven bends and breaking are result of uneven heating and moisture content through the thickness of the wood because of curl in the wood and less so by uneven stiffness of the piece.
    Adrian

  28. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to HoGo For This Useful Post:


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •