Caleb, I do not use a heating blanket for bending the uke sides. It was just too much for me to invest in for this project. I steam the sides and then place them in the bender. I use a heat gun to heat the sides as I bend them. I make a sandwich of galvanized steel, wet paper towel, side, wet paper towel, and galvanized steel. The first bend went well. I'll see how the rest do; especially when I change from mahogany to rosewood.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."