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desk, my first attempt at bent lamination

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Project by drewnahant posted 03-08-2011 04:38 AM 2910 views 6 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

this is actually an older project, completed feb 2008, but I just realized that I had all these photos and decided to post.
let me just say, the only wood I bought for this project was one sheet of 5/8 birch for the top, the rest is scraps, which is why there are a couple extra seems covered with edge banding.
so, I started with sketchup.

I decided that I wanted more desk space, but I didnt want to take up all of the floor space, so I designed it with a rolling cabinet and drop leaf section of the desk.

I wanted to try bending and laminating 1/4” birch plywood, I thought it would be fun. so I just kindof tried it without any real research. I steamed the plywood with a wet towel and an iron. It was a lot more effort than a steam box, but since i didnt have any real plans of doing this again, I didnt want to build a steam box just for this. Here I am pre-bending the panels.


once the panels were roughly bent, I covered them in glue, bent them around the interior frame, and since I dont have a vacuum press, I clamped them with a bunch of ratchet straps. I cut the drawer fronts, and the shelf openings out of the solid curve after lamination. this way the drawer fronts actually fit the curve of the face, and the grain fits in. It was a little tricky laying out the cuts, and then actually cutting it with a fine handsaw.

the top is pretty simple, just some 5/8 birch plywood, with a maple band bent around the edge. the final step was to accent edges, drawers, etc. with walnut edge banding, sand and finish with gloss clear polyurethane.






24 comments so far

View AugieCoe's profile

AugieCoe

44 posts in 1438 days


#1 posted 03-08-2011 05:03 AM

That’s pretty cool!

-- There is a lesson in every project. Play safe!

View DLCW's profile

DLCW

530 posts in 1402 days


#2 posted 03-08-2011 05:15 AM

Very nice job. Bent form lamination and freeform opens up the world of possibilities in woodworking.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - http://www.dlwoodworks.com - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15076 posts in 2424 days


#3 posted 03-08-2011 06:12 AM

Nice job. It really takes another WW to appreciate that.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2654 posts in 2274 days


#4 posted 03-08-2011 06:18 AM

The outcome of your first attempt appears as though you have been doing it for decades! Great job and the design is really awesome!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Karson's profile

Karson

34915 posts in 3148 days


#5 posted 03-08-2011 06:20 AM

A great job. making your own bending ply.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Ryan Bruzan's profile

Ryan Bruzan

148 posts in 1643 days


#6 posted 03-08-2011 07:03 AM

That is AWESOME! Now I’m gonna have to try it.

-- No matter how many factors go into thinking about a project, there is always one important new discovery to be made.

View steliart's profile

steliart

1816 posts in 1436 days


#7 posted 03-08-2011 07:14 AM

excellent project

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - http://www.steliart.com --

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5119 posts in 2460 days


#8 posted 03-08-2011 07:22 AM

AN inspiring project! Thanks for the post and the great idea.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1388 days


#9 posted 03-08-2011 07:35 AM

Very nice. Looks professional. Hell, I’d have it. I like projects that don’t look home made, but are. Impressive.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View RPKnikker's profile

RPKnikker

64 posts in 1391 days


#10 posted 03-08-2011 02:56 PM

Very nice!!! I like the 2e 3D picture! Works well!!!
Good luck to make your next project!

-- Register at my website if you're interested in my projects... It's FREE! www.rpknikker.com

View 489tad's profile

489tad

2495 posts in 1759 days


#11 posted 03-08-2011 04:17 PM

An iron and a towel. Thats cool.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View 4thumbs's profile

4thumbs

153 posts in 1894 days


#12 posted 03-08-2011 04:23 PM

Great job! Bent laminations are tedious, but sure do open up design options like this. Well done!

-- 4thumbs in MO

View nobuckle's profile

nobuckle

1120 posts in 1509 days


#13 posted 03-08-2011 04:38 PM

Okay, first let me say, WOW! That is a really nice desk. You have inspired me to take a second look at material that would normally be pitched in the trash. Absolutely amazing.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15304 posts in 1937 days


#14 posted 03-08-2011 04:58 PM

Great work, looks great all the way around.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Jason's profile

Jason

655 posts in 2256 days


#15 posted 03-08-2011 06:59 PM

Turned out well.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

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