Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
John higgon
Amateur luthier
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Post by John higgon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:12 pm

Can anyone recommend the most suitable thickness for slats to use with a side-bending machine? I have ordered stainless Spring steel slats in 0.6mm. I've since read that thicker slats support the sides better. Does anyone have an opinion on this!?

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Michael Lazar
Luthier
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 10:26 pm
Location: St. Albert, Alberta

Re: Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Post by Michael Lazar » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:48 pm

Mine are 1 mm stainless spring steel. I've used them for 23 years now and they are still like new. Easy to clean and have never kinked or creased after hundreds of bends. I had bought two sets but gave one away after it became apparent that one set will last forever. Prior to those, I had thinner ones which seemed O.K. but needed replacing after a few years. I got these from a sheet metal supplier who suggested the heavier ones when I told him what I was using them for. They absolutely do provide better support. I sometimes bend some very difficult wood and I cannot remember when I last cracked anything. I think they may also help to reduce the rippling and/or cupping one sometimes gets across the sides with some materials.

John higgon
Amateur luthier
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Post by John higgon » Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:05 pm

Thanks, Michael, that's very helpful. I'll revise my order!

Jose Marques
Luthier
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:36 pm

Re: Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Post by Jose Marques » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:28 pm

Where do you have ordered? I need some news as well
I'm a Luthier living in Bury st Edmunds UK

John higgon
Amateur luthier
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Post by John higgon » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:27 pm

Jose Marques wrote:Where do you have ordered? I need some news as well
I used www.westyorkssteel.com. Warning, this stuff is not cheap!

Jose Marques
Luthier
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:36 pm

Re: Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Post by Jose Marques » Sun Apr 16, 2017 3:34 pm

thank you John
I'm a Luthier living in Bury st Edmunds UK

Paul Micheletti
Amateur luthier
Posts: 481
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:48 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Best thickness for side-bending slats?

Post by Paul Micheletti » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:15 pm

I bought a 6" x 100" roll of hard tempered 0.025" thick stainless (0.6mm) from McMaster Carr. That's enough for three slats at $38 for the roll. Just cut to desired length with tin snips and clean up the ends. I've used them for several guitars, and they are still springing back great.

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