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Posted on How to bend wood, the right way. I know how to do it the wrong way

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DS

2132 posts in 1165 days


#1 posted 05-03-2012 10:14 PM

Proper defining terms for arcs and circles; Radius, (or Diameter), Angle.
Perhaps defining the wood thickness, Inside Diameter or Outside Diameter might help as well.

e.g. 180 degrees (Angle) at 13” Radius I.D. 1/2” Thick
This will help us better get the picture of what you’re trying to do.

Proper methods depend on how thick, what material, what tools are available, etc.
Heat will soften the lignon in the wood and allow bending such that it will retain the new shape when cooled.

Bending Irons work for thinner strips 1/4” or less. Steam chambers can soften thicker boards, but you need good jigs, a metal strap on the outside surface and lots and lots of clamps (and a few strapping buddies to muscle it into the jig).

Generally, wood compresses about 12% but only stretches 8% before cracking, so the metal strap prevents excessive stretching.

Cold bending often works with thin laminations. Vacuum forming can also be used with this method with various techniques.

There is also a method that first steams, then compresses the board lengthwise to “accordian” the fibers. This compressed wood can be stored wet inside bags for a long time then set into forms to dry into the new shape with relative ease. (It is commercially available, but not cheap)

As with most anything, there are a thousand ways to skin the cat. Experimentation is definately in order.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251


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