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methods of work #21: Steam bending recurve - FAIL

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Blog entry by Loren posted 321 days ago 1346 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: Chair mockup seat/front leg unit Part 21 of methods of work series Part 22: chair spindle repair without disassembly »

Steam bending setup for chair leg. The part fractured so it was a fail, but I learned from it. Doing a recurve bend where the direction of the bend changes is trickier than a regular, U-shaped bend. I’ll try some different approaches but at least I got the spring-back allowance (overbending to compensate) right on the nose with this one.

-- http://lawoodworking.com



17 comments so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1526 posts in 1108 days


#1 posted 321 days ago

I don’t see the break. I am surprised it broke since you are using a steel band and shape support, what do you think happened?

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View jap's profile

jap

1226 posts in 687 days


#2 posted 321 days ago


This might help, It is hard for the strap to tension when it is an S curve. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=42174&cat=1,45866

-- Joel

View Loren's profile

Loren

7435 posts in 2281 days


#3 posted 321 days ago

I just ordered the change of direction unit… they were backordered until
November when I checked last week so I went ahead and tried it using
a setup similar to what Brian Boggs uses with the strap on one side only.

Boggs has the advantage of a lot more experience and better wood
selection resources I suppose.

What went wrong:

- understeaming maybe. I did it for an hour but it looked a little dry to me
based on previous parts I have bent successfully into other shapes.

- runout maybe… just a bad piece to bend.

- not working fast enough, probably. Since I’d never done this shape
before I didn’t know what it would be like and by the time I got
to the bottom part of the bend the wood was cooling off.

- I started with the wood clamped in the strap, but when I applied
the big C-clamp, it pulled away from one end without my expecting
it too. I hadn’t thought to watch for the wood shortening in the
bend as in a usual bend the end stops get tighter as the bend
progresses and the screw has to be loosened a bit as you go to
complete the bend. In this case it should have been tightened as
I cranked the c-clamp, then probably loosened as the second bend
progressed.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View cathyb's profile

cathyb

757 posts in 1877 days


#4 posted 320 days ago

You might want to consider bent lamination. I always bend my back rest with that technique. No drama.
Just a thought…..
Best of luck to you.

-- cathyb, Hawaii, www.cathyswoodworking.com

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13825 posts in 971 days


#5 posted 320 days ago

You do great work. I am learning greatly from your work.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View badcrayon's profile

badcrayon

33 posts in 454 days


#6 posted 320 days ago

Was the wood kiln dried or air dried ? I tend to get more breakage with kiln dried on certain woods I personal them in water with fabric softener in it and that helps..
.

-- Bad Crayon Studio

View Loren's profile

Loren

7435 posts in 2281 days


#7 posted 320 days ago

Kiln dried. This board has a lot of surface checks so I’m
using it for running tests like this one.

It’s not a big deal if I have to end up laminating this style
of leg, but steam bending is much faster so I’d like
to see if can figure out a way to make the shape work.

I live in Los Angeles and it is not sawmill country. Air
dried woods are not readily available.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View badcrayon's profile

badcrayon

33 posts in 454 days


#8 posted 320 days ago

If you can find air dried lumber for me it tends to work better .

-- Bad Crayon Studio

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1603 days


#9 posted 319 days ago

Loren, first off, thank you for taking the time to blog all of this, it’s very informative – it’s very useful too. But may I ask, you are developing a line of chairs… when you have perfected the chairs, what will you do with them?

View Loren's profile

Loren

7435 posts in 2281 days


#10 posted 319 days ago

Bring them to the market.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Earlextech's profile

Earlextech

962 posts in 1324 days


#11 posted 319 days ago

I double the steam time when I use kiln dried lumber.
Grain runout is usually my biggest problem, finding boards without any is time consuming.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1603 days


#12 posted 319 days ago

By market, do you mean furniture retailers? and if a hit with the buyers would you set up a production line?
I apologise if I missed this earlier.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7435 posts in 2281 days


#13 posted 319 days ago

I’ll probably do a bespoke line to start and sell direct to
customers. We’ll have to see. I think a lot of the fine
chairs woodworkers are making are too elaborate
to sell in sets except to very wealthy buyers and that’s
a problem to me because I want to sell dining chair
sets to the modestly affluent too.

In any case, if a product is a real winner in terms of
how it works and the price point, then production
can be scaled up or outsourced.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1603 days


#14 posted 318 days ago

I find that really interesting as I’ve only ever made things after agreeing a design with a client. I have ideas for a ‘signature’ range, in which case I’ll be making a few cohesive pieces and trying to sell them as a finished items – much as your chairs. I’ll be very interested to see how you o on from here.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7435 posts in 2281 days


#15 posted 318 days ago

Custom work tends to run to heavy lifting I have noticed. If
you want to do more furniture than cabinetmaking,
developing a portfolio of standard designs is a good
idea.

I recommend the book by Mark Ripley on making furniture.
The designs are pro level and he makes a lot of useful
comments about the business end of it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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