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Kenneth Michael Guitars est.

"Spartan Side Bending Machine"
The KMG Spartan Series Side Bender Kit is a professional quality device that we
are offering at the modular level so that the hobby builder or small shop can afford
multiple units and the benefit of ready to run benders. While the Fox Style bender is
brilliant in concept, we have found that the change over time and the related
adjustments ultimately led to using most of our Fox Style machines for a single
pattern. The Spartan Series Side Bender Kit is designed so that it is economical,
easy to assemble and easy to use. We have incorporated some unique features that
speed loading and increase part quality. The waist clamp assembly is a unique
laminated design to insure accuracy across the entire length. All bender styles are
equipped with aluminum waist support bars. While it may be possible to make gentle
bends without this feature, it made no sense to us to run the risk of possible warps and
cracked sides. Plus the support bar is an integral feature of our time saving pre-load
system. The wood components are precision machined to high tolerances made
possible with the use of our CNC machines.

The kit comes complete including

custom aluminum slats, the Timer
and all electrical panel wiring in done
for you. The reflective linings are
installed. You will need to purchase
three 200 watt light bulbs.

The waist clamp swivels are fastened

to each side with three screws; the
swivel assembly is used to line up the

Four slat clamp stop screws are

positioned one at each end of the form
on both sides.

Fasten the loose form panel with one

screw into the base.

Fasten the leg/ caps to each end of

the base using four screws per end.

Fasten the slat clamp latch details to

the clamp bars using the pan head

Screw the 3/16 threaded rod into

each end of the waist support bar.
Assemble a threaded L bracket in each corner of the form, the
nut only needs to be finger tight.

Assemble the aluminum rods to the


Note that there is a top and a bottom

slat -- the top slat is longer and has
detents on each end

A unique feature of the Spartan

Bender are the waist locating

The large spring clamps provided are

used as a stand to assist in loading
and aligning the side, waist cauls, and
the top and bottom aluminum slat.

The top slat - wood side - bottom

slat sandwich is placed and lined up
on the aluminum waist bar. Note that a
small notch is also made in the wood
side to mark the waist location.
The waist caul is placed on top the slat sandwich aligned with the waist marks
than, tighten the washers and wing nuts to secure the caul.

Place the caul/slat assembly on the

form locating the waist bar into the
slot on the bender.

Position a threaded waist clamp swivel

on each side of the form and the waist

Push down on the waist clamp and

spin down the nuts.

In the dry run the nuts can easily be

turn down by hand -- an open-end
wrench can be used with care. This
may be necessary with tight waisted
guitars like the 000 or J200.

The slat clamps have latches built on

the ends place these in the open

The slat clamps are used to aide in

pushing the sides and slat around the
form. If this were for real we would be
wearing gloves.

Slip the threaded Ls into the clamp

slot then close the latch, the spring
action of the slats will hold the clamps
in position.

The wing nuts on the slat clamps are

turned down to complete the bending
action of the machine. Note the detents/
ledges on the ends of the top slat. This is
another unique Spartan Bender feature.
This allows the slats to be forced around
the form and firmly clamped in place. This
is an important function that is missing on
most other side benders. With out it the

side slips ups away from the form and

results in a soft or incorrect bend.
The KMG Spartan Series Side Bender Kits are reasonably priced and available
in many popular styles.



Using the KMG "Spartan Series Side Bender"

First, lets put the guitar side bending process in perspective. Forget the
notion that you need giant springs, veneer press clamps or hydraulics ----we are going to bend a piece of wood that is the same thickness as a
Popsicle stick! About .075 of an inch. What is needed is accurate alignment,
so the waist bend is in the right place and 90 degrees to the top edge of the
rim. The process requires relatively even heat distribution, gentle bending
pressure, and positive location until the bent side has cooled. The Spartan
Series Side Bender offers all those attributes. We are not trying to crush
the wood into shape. The object is to make the wood pliable than gently
push it over the form. When at the correct temperature the side will present
very little resistance.
Three clear 200-watt light bulbs will generate plenty of heat. We have found that the
bender must be clamped to the bench. Working on the end of the bench works best.

A standard spray bottle works well for

misting the side and also testing the
temperature of the bender. When the
temperature is high enough a sprites
of water on the aluminum should
produce some hiss and steam.

A wood burning furnace thermometer

can be set near the waist clamp to
monitor the heat range. This may be
helpful in establishing precise operation
Prepare the side by marking the waist bend location. To aide in alignment use a file
and make a small notch on the top edge of the side. Than make a sandwich with the
aluminum slats aligning all the waist locators. A couple of small spring clamps help to
keep the layers lined up.

Slide the waist caul into place, line up

all the waist marks then tighten the
wing nuts. Make sure everything is
perpendicular with the top side edge of
the aluminum slats.

Set the "slat sandwich" on the bender;

place the aluminum support bar in the

waist slot. Position the waist L clamps

to the bender and the waist caul. Gently
push the support bar into the slot while
spinning down the nuts.
During the pre-heat stage the bottom aluminum slat is pulled down and held in
place with the slat clamps on both ends. It is not necessary to have them tight to
the bender. Also gently screw down the waist caul until resistance is felt. Closing
up the bender in this way will help capture the heat and speed the temperature

After about 20-30 minutes of preheat

the temperature should be high
enough to continue. Spray a little
water on the bottom slat to hear the
steam hiss. If the heat is correct screw
the waist caul all the way down

Spin the wing nuts back and reposition

the slat clamps to the top side of the
slat sandwich. You should have at
least one glove on. With the glove
hand gently push the slats over the
form as you progress tighten the slat
clamp wing nuts. Just before the final
tightening make sure the clamp
engages the detent on the top slat.
Push the clamp down to pull out any
slack in the bend secure the wing

We perform the above procedure on the lower bout first; the logic is that the tighter
curve on the upper bout will have more time to heat up. The upper bout is bent the
same way, work slowly and all will go well.

Set the timer for about 20 minutes to cook in the set. Do not remove the side until the
bender has completely cooled to room temperature.



Discontinued for DIY thought starters only

Kenneth Michael Guitars est.1978


"SS Bridge Clamp"


The SS Bridge Clamp is truly Super Simple to use. The clamp applies pressure
by being secured to the top using two wing nut bolts and two wing nuts fastened
through the outside bridge pin holes. Once the bridge has been properly located the
two BP holes need to be drilled using a 3/16 bit. We highly recommend using our
Bridge Setter tool for this operation.

We drill two pilots through the saddle

in addition to the outside bridge pin

Two pieces of thin scrap material are

taped to the end of the bridge to
prevent the clamp from scratching the

Coat the threads of the wing bolts

with bar soap or candle wax to
prevent gluing them to the guitar.
Place the SS Bridge Clamp on the
bridge, locate the clamp and the
bridge, through the top using the wing
bolts. Notice the clearance holes for
the saddle position locating pins.

Two wing nuts are positioned through

the sound hole and the wing bolts
tightened from above.

Once the middle bolts are secure the

two out side bolts are gently screwed
down. Glue squeeze-out should appear
all the way around the bridge. Now is
the part where the SS Bridge Clamp
really shines --- the glue squeeze-out
can be completely cleaned up since
there are no obstructions like other
clamping methods
Follow the adhesive manufacturers recommendation for drying time before removing
the clamp.

Kenneth Michael Guitars est.1978

"Multi-Style Guitar Mold"
This is the only mold you will need to produce virtually any style and size
guitar. The mold can be adapted for guitar shapes that are one of kind
originals. The time consuming chore of constructing a special fixture has been

Begin assembly by removing the Masonite


Two short pieces of 2x4 material standing

on the 2edge are used as a stand to install
the 3 " post bolts.

Place one 3 carriage bolt in each

slot, make sure the square portion on the
bolt is seated properly in the slot.

Assemble the Masonite back with the six

wood screws.
Flip the mold over; each post is made up of a PCV tube and a MDF cap with a
rubber band tab. Place the tube over the bolt, position the cap with the locater
ridge in the tube, loose assemble a washer and nut. This is repeated for all 36

To establish a permanent reference a

line should be marked on the mold base.
Simply mark the centers between the end
slots and connect using a straight edge.
To set up the mold, place the stencil/template on the centerline. Locate the inner most
arc of the waist curve as close to a post as possible.

Tighten the end and waist posts on each side, slide the remaining post up to the
stencil/template and secure as you go around. Check to make sure the template stays
on the centerline.

Locate the waist caul and place it on the

mold to determine the best hole position.

Flip the mold over than place 2-1/2

carriage bolts in the chosen waist locations

and one in each of the remaining 4 holes.

Use a hammer and punch to seat the bolts.

Flip the mold once again. Place a spacer

on each bolt the wide clamps are for the
lower bout the narrow for the upper.
Secure the clamps with a wing nut and
washer at each location.


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To Purchase KMG products click here