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Reply by Rick M.

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Posted on Bentwood Ring Technique

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Rick M.

3861 posts in 1005 days


#1 posted 680 days ago

I’ve only done slight bending projects but here is what I’ve learned from watching Roy Underhill and reading guitar and banjo building books.
  • When bending, heat is the necessary ingredient. Water is only used to help transfer the heat, soaking alone won’t make the wood pliable enough.
  • Ideally you want air dried lumber. My understanding is that kiln drying collapses the cells and the wood will never again bend as well. That means that commercial veneers may not work.
  • Riven wood is better for bending. Again excludes commercial veneers.

Other than that, it seems Jacob and Loren have pretty much covered everything.

You could try the method used by banjo ring makers where they build layers inside a female mold then use an expanding male piece to apply pressure but it requires the veneer to be very precise in length as the edges are butt joints.

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