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Mother's day candle holder

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Project by ic3ss posted 05-13-2013 03:59 AM 1906 views 16 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This candle holder has been in the works since last November when it was supposed to be a Christmas gift. This was my first try at steam bending wood, and it did not go well, at all. In the spirit of full disclosure, I got the idea and indeed the whole design is basically a ripoff of one that was posted by Kiefer here on LJ. I did make a few tweaks to the design but I can’t call this one entirely mine. This one is birdseye maple and wemge.

The big hangup was first making the square holes. My first try I split a piece os curly maple while pounding in a mortise chisel. Next I tried glue laminating two 1/8” pieces but it twisted badly a few days after drying. So then I tried a thicker piece if bird’s eye maple, but it crcked in a few places when bending, and it bent in several places instead of a nice smoothe curve. This was the last straw, and I left it until last weekend when I had a few months to think about it.

Well, I re-did my bending strap and form design and that seems to be the critical change needed because the two pieces of bird’s eye maple bent quite nicely. Have a great day, and many thanks to Kiefer.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."





11 comments so far

View ASUAlumni02's profile

ASUAlumni02

164 posts in 683 days


#1 posted 05-13-2013 04:13 AM

That’s neat I might have to “steal” the idea as well….good job

-- www.facebook.com/GarageTherapyWoodworking

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112544 posts in 2301 days


#2 posted 05-13-2013 04:23 AM

That’s great.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

344 posts in 1310 days


#3 posted 05-13-2013 04:13 PM

very nice project!

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

828 posts in 1789 days


#4 posted 05-13-2013 05:47 PM

Could you share a pic of the strap and setup you used to bend? Really nice project.

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

261 posts in 1500 days


#5 posted 05-13-2013 11:27 PM

No problem. Basically I took some metal roof flashing and screwed it to two blocks. I use a clamp to pull them together, and then three bar clamps to keep the workpiece up against the form.

I also tried to make one out of a 1/8” thick piece of figured Makore today and it broke in two places as I bent it. I think I’m done with this project. Bending wood is just not what I’m supposed to do. Sigh.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

828 posts in 1789 days


#6 posted 05-13-2013 11:37 PM

Wayne, thanks so much for posting your jig. Do you think the material is just too thick or hard to be steamed enough to bend or maybe just not steamed enough for the thickness of the material?? I hope you follow my thinking. Pat

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

261 posts in 1500 days


#7 posted 05-14-2013 12:41 AM

I know what your saying, if anything it’s my setup isn,’t exactly right for Makore. It steamed for a half hour and it’s only 1/8” thick. I dunno, but I do know that I’m done caring about it. My latest disaster below.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3293 posts in 1391 days


#8 posted 05-14-2013 02:10 AM

Very nice Wayne
Love the Birdseye maple ,gives it a beautiful look .
Don’t give up on steam bending it takes time to find the right way and even then I have failures for one reason or another .
The strap tension can be a problem and I see you have no way to release pressure with the fixed blocks .
Take another look at my jig
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/74258
and you may want to try the micro wave process which I ran across on the net.
I soak my wood which is generally 3/16 for about a day and I also hope to get some air dried wood which is better for bending I am told .
Another suggestion is cut the holes after bending using a drill bit and file .

-- Kiefer 松

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

261 posts in 1500 days


#9 posted 05-14-2013 04:49 PM

I don’t know wy I didn’t think of using just a file to square the holes. I used one to smoothe them out but I’m using a mortise chisel to square it. My first two try’s were done in the microwave,a nd the first one soaked overnight, although it didn’t break it did twist badly afterwords. Other than that, I didn’t really see a difference in performance although it was much easier.

I don’t understand what you m ean by “release pressure from the fixed blocks”, the blocks are screwed to the strap and I just bend it around the form and squeeze them together woth a bar clamp from side to side.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3293 posts in 1391 days


#10 posted 05-19-2013 06:54 PM

Hi Wane
When I bend the pieces for my boxes that have small radius I cut the pieces so they are not tight against the blocks but as I come to the end of the bend the wood is in contact with the blocks ,it’s a bit of trial and error but it gives me better results .
I think what happens is that the wood gets over compressed .
I noticed this method in a video where a adjustable block was used on the strap and some pressure reduced by backing off the block about half way during the bend .
Another thing that I do is to start the bend to about half way and back off a little then proceed to the end slowly .

-- Kiefer 松

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

261 posts in 1500 days


#11 posted 05-20-2013 06:08 AM

Well I don’t think I have issues withbthe strap but I will say that on three of the pieces so far I have bent and after a few hours I had to steam them again to be bent a second time. I think I’m taking them out of the form too early. Today I left them in the form for about a half hour each.

How long do you keep them in the form for?

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

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