Formers have surfaces around which the workpiece is formed. The usual type of forming is bending. It is not easy to bend wood, (unless it is steam treated first or laminated), so the usual material to be bent is plastic or metal. Plastic has to be heated in an oven, with a hot-air blower, (rather like a large hairdryer), or with a line bending machine, (also called strip heater). The plastic becomes floppy and will just mould itself around the former. Metal is usually bent cold or after having been annealed. One side, (or one end in the case of wire, rod or strip), will need to be clamped. You will need to show where the bending force is to be applied. This will often be the human hand but may be a block of wood which is pushed or banged with a hammer or mallet


Examples of Former questions are 1998 Paper 2 question 1(d) and 2001 Paper 4 question 1(d)