If attempting to bend acrylic yourself is not a good idea, is there a
source for purchasing pre-bent stems, either half bent, or full bent ?
I've used the same method as Gary describes above, with success.
You might want to try using a metal tubing bending tool available at
hardware and plumbing suppliers. I'm not sure they would work any
better than a suitable round object, but they are made specifically for
bending metal tubing and solid rods which could be an advantage to
someone inexperienced at bending tubing or stems. As with many things,
experience is a great teacher, and we always learn something even if we
don't get the results we wanted.
Half an hour ago, before reading your reply to Steve I just tried to
bent an acrylic stem by doing exactly what you mentioned, the only
difference is that the gentleman at Tsuge, the Japanese Pipe Company,
told me not to leave the stem in boiling water for more than a minute
and a half.
I've tried it after leaving the stem in the water for a minute and a
half, two minutes, three and since there was no way in hell it would
bent, I ended up leaving it there for five long minutes and it still
My question is, how long do I have to leave the stem in the boiling water?
thanks in advance,
Gary Saenz wrote:
> I've bent acrylic stems on the pipes that I've carved by placing a pipe
> cleaner in the stem, placing it in boiling water and then bending it
> over a round object. Test the stem several times as you heat it. I've
> always tried to bend the stem just as it gets soft enough to bend with
> some force.
With enough dissolved salt, you can get it up a few more degrees. Or,
pressurize your house. ;)
I've seen buckets of sand heated in the oven used for bending all sorts of
plastics. Once you know the plastic point of the substance you are bending,
you put the sand in the oven until it's at the right temperature. The high
thermal mass will hold the heat long enough to do quite a few stems. Some
acrylics, it seems to me, have plastic points well above 212F, so the hot
sand approach might be the most practical.
This is a simple procedure, once you get the hang of it. Just use common