Posted on August 12, 2021February 2, 2024 by Dale Phillips Bending Sides with Silicone Blankets Bending Sides with Silicone Blankets by Michael Keller from his 1990 GAL Convention workshop Originally published in American Lutherie #25, 1991 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004 Althrough I attended the 1977 Guild convention in Tacoma, I exhibited my instruments for the first time at the following year’s convention in Winfield, Kansas. I visited Stuart Mossman’s shop while I was there, and I saw the side-bending mold that he had. It must have cost a fortune. It was about the size of a Volkswagen van standing on end, and it had all sorts of hydraulic pumps and pistons. In a production shop that kind of tooling might make sense, but for a small shop like mine, making twenty to thirty instruments a year and bending wood for repairs, I don’t need that kind of investment. I bent sides for years over a hot pipe I bought at Lewis Music in Vancouver, B.C. I had to work at a regular job and save money for quite a while before I could afford to buy two Overholtzer side-bending molds. A friend of mine had a custom mold made by the Overholtzer company, and it cost $1,000, I believe. That’s a lot of money. I can bend guitar sides with either a hot pipe or a cast mold quickly and accurately, but I am in this to make a living, and if I can save time and money I will do it. That’s why I prefer my new method. By the way, would anybody like to buy two nice Overholtzer molds? Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.