|Project by DaleMaley||posted 03-13-2016 10:09 PM||426 views||0 times favorited||3 comments|
My father-in-law, more than 10 years ago, refinished an old set of oak chairs. They turned out very nice, but somewhere along the line, he lost 2 of the curved pieces that attach the seat to the back. He has been deceased for 12 years now.
I was asked to make new curved pieces to repair the chair, so the whole set can be sold together.
The original curved pieces were probably steam bent. I have a steam generator and box, and tried it a few times. I have not figured out how to bend pieces thicker than a 1/4”. I suspect I should have soaked the blanks of red oak in water for a day or two before I tried to steam bend them.
So the other option that I was 90% sure would work, is to glue laminate thin strips of red oak, and clamp them in a bend fixture. I used yellow Tite-bond glue.
I used my thin-strip jig on the table saw to cut the strips of red oak.
I use a 3/4” diameter round-over bit on the router table to change the glued up blank from square to round…...then the Dremel with drum sander to point the ends.
I test fit them on the chair, and was ready for stain and polyurethane. One trick I have used to speed up finishing is to bake small pieces for 10 minutes max to dry either stain or polyurethane. I used this trick on this project….....but when I went to screw on the finished pieces to the chair, one piece fit fine, and the other did not!!
One piece had dried several days after glue-up, but the other only 48 hours. Maybe the glue wasn’t fully cured on the 48 hour piece, and the heat opened it up??
After some salty Sailor terms were uttered, I was able to put the bad piece back in the clamp fixture….....then 10 minutes of oven time, and 10 minutes in the freezer to cool down…......and it fit close enough :)
I guess I won’t be using my oven trick on any future projects with glued up bent laminations!
If you are interested in my Trials & Tribulations on this project, see my woodworking web site.
-- Dale, Illinois, http://dalemaley.webs.com/