desk, my first attempt at bent lamination

  • Advertise with us
Project by drewnahant posted 1238 days ago 2576 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


44 posts in 1291 days

#1 posted 1237 days ago

That’s pretty cool!

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

View DLCW's profile


522 posts in 1255 days

#2 posted 1237 days ago

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

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14604 posts in 2276 days

#3 posted 1237 days ago

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


2654 posts in 2127 days

#4 posted 1237 days ago

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


34858 posts in 3001 days

#5 posted 1237 days ago

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 †

View Ryan Bruzan's profile

Ryan Bruzan

148 posts in 1496 days

#6 posted 1237 days ago

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


1807 posts in 1289 days

#7 posted 1237 days ago

excellent project

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

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4987 posts in 2313 days

#8 posted 1237 days ago

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 1240 days

#9 posted 1237 days ago

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


64 posts in 1244 days

#10 posted 1237 days ago

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!

View 489tad's profile


2213 posts in 1612 days

#11 posted 1237 days ago

An iron and a towel. Thats cool.

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

View 4thumbs's profile


153 posts in 1747 days

#12 posted 1237 days ago

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

-- 4thumbs in MO

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 1362 days

#13 posted 1237 days ago

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


14821 posts in 1789 days

#14 posted 1237 days ago

Great work, looks great all the way around.

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

View Jason's profile


654 posts in 2109 days

#15 posted 1237 days ago

Turned out well.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase