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Techniques for a Maple border/lip around Lazy Susans?

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Forum topic by Keith Kelly posted 11-18-2015 01:41 AM 649 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1128 days


11-18-2015 01:41 AM

I saw my brother-in-law looking at some $60/each Maple Lazy Susans at Lowe’s, and I intercepted the project as a challenge since it would incorporate a few things that I haven’t done before. Naturally, I’m already deep into the project and apparently haven’t thought things through :)

Current challenge: to create a border/lip.

Plan: 18” 3/4 Maple plywood circle, with a 1” tall band around it made from Hard Maple (maybe 3/16 to 1/4” thick)

Problem: I’ve apparently never bent kiln dried Hard Maple before. OK, ok, I’ve never bent wood before, regardless of wood, regardless of method (except for the method of improper drying which seemed to be an effective means)

I bought a steam generator and built a tube, but a real woodworker friend advised me that steam bending Hard Maple, even the thin slices, will likely not work well, since the lignin has been set as part of the KDing process. His recommendation was a bent lamination of 3/32” strips made on the Performax.

My brother-in-law said that Maple is desirable, but a Walnut band is next choice. I’m continuing in the Maple direction for the challenge. But, I do have a stack of air-dried Walnut taunting me.

I made a test piece @ 1/16” and might be able to go 3/32” but I’m realizing this is going to be quite a pain. (however, I realized my test piece at 1/16” is quarter sawn, so switching direction of grain should help with flexibility)

What do you guys think? How would you do it?

TL;DR:

How would you form a 1” tall x 1/4” thick band of Maple around a 18” diameter circle of 3/4 plywood?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com


7 replies so far

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Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1195 days


#1 posted 11-18-2015 02:09 AM

Keith, cut your strips long enough to make the diameter you need. Use Pi, and you should get it correct. The second piece will be longer than the first, because the diameter will change as you add pieces.The third longer than the second, and the 4th will be longer than the third.Cut all strips about 1/8” wider than the finished height. Make another circle the same size as the Susan bottom. That will just sit on the main lazy bottom. It’s there just to keep the strips from twisting while under pressure from a strap clamp.

Glue the strips, using only enough glue on the inner strip to glue it to the Susan bottom. Do not have all the strips meet at the same place. Wrap the strips around the plywood, making sure the bottom edge overhangs the plywood and tighten the clamp When the glue sets, sand the bottom flush, and then trim the top edge to clean it up. should have the lip you need.

I’ve done this about 10 times while in business. My biggest problem I had was if the strips were thinner than 1/8”, they had a tendency to stretch, warp, and other things wood is famous for doing when wet. Do not Saturate the
pieces with a water based glue. Don’t ask for an alternative, as I don’t know. I use only Titebond. . .

I hope I didn’t confuse you any….......... jerry (in Tucson).

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1128 days


#2 posted 11-18-2015 02:55 AM

Thanks for the help. All seemed to make sense except for the last bit about not using water based glue. But I have some PC-7 epoxy that might work well in this case.

Good news/update: I made a test strip of approx 1.125” x 5/32” flat-sawn maple, and it bends pretty well and almost tight enough for the full circle but not quite. I’ll drum sand it down to a uniform 1/8” tomorrow. It looks/feels like 1/8” will totally be sufficient for the lip, so if I can knock this out in one band (per Susan), that’d be sweet!

Question: Would steaming this help at all to bend this just a bit further? Or would it complicate things for the glue-up process?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

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runswithscissors

2189 posts in 1490 days


#3 posted 11-18-2015 08:16 AM

The trouble with steam on thin stock is that heat is lost very rapidly after it comes out of the steam box (or pipe, or whatever). I doubt you can move from the steam to the bend quickly enough to retain the necessary heat; and it’s not the moisture that you need for bending wood, it’s the heat.

Now, I haven’t tried this with maple, so I’m not familiar with its bending characteristics. But I would use dry heat (such as a heat gun), and a bending strap. The steel strapping they toss in the dumpster down at the lumber yard is just right for this, particularly if you can find a piece as wide as your wood.

Clamp one end with the bending strap (which will be on the outside of the bend) in a vice, and put a C clamp on the other end. Then apply the heat from the heat gun. Move it back and forth, gradually heating the wood. Don’t hold it in one place or you will scorch the wood. As it heats up, slowly start bending. The bending strap will force the bend into the inner fibers of the bend. Without it, the outer fibers will split off and you’re toast. Keep moving the heat gun gradually along until you have your bend, and preferably a little more, as there will be some spring back. After only a couple of minutes, the wood will be cool enough to hold its shape, and you can then cut it to length. Which reminds me, start with a piece of wood that is considerably longer than your circumference. I would attach it with Titebond and pin nails.

If you bend too tight a circle, you may have to heat it again to unbend it. As far as I’ve ever been able to tell, grain orientation is irrelevant, except that you do want straight grain

I have used this technique very often with oak, and with thin plywood. I have tested it on a number of species, but I don’t remember doing it with maple.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1128 days


#4 posted 11-19-2015 03:04 AM

Am I asking for trouble by trying to glue this in one solid piece? Especially regarding tension pulling away from the glue joint?

Should I suck it up and make thinner strips?

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

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Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1128 days


#5 posted 11-23-2015 06:05 AM

I’m going for a single thick strip, even if I need to turn 2 pegs to tap in there to hold those ends (though I’d prefer not to)

Therefore, I posted a glue-specific question in the joinery forum: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/130122

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View Keith Kelly's profile

Keith Kelly

223 posts in 1128 days


#6 posted 11-23-2015 07:05 AM

So I whipped up a clamp system I really really like. It’s perhaps a bit non-traditional. I smell an upcoming patent and licensing deal with Rockler….

Features:
  • Dust collector bag clamp: Spacers added to compensate for extra circumference. Dual purpose: incentive to finish project quickly, so I can put my dust collector back together.
  • Crescent shaped cauls: tweak pressure and reduce unsightly gaps.
  • Wrench: To decrease friction, therefore allowing the edge ends to slide together.

-- Keith - Bolivar, Missouri, http://www.SquareOneWoodworks.com

View ste6168's profile

ste6168

250 posts in 636 days


#7 posted 11-24-2015 08:25 PM



So I whipped up a clamp system I really really like. It s perhaps a bit non-traditional. I smell an upcoming patent and licensing deal with Rockler….

Features:
  • Dust collector bag clamp: Spacers added to compensate for extra circumference. Dual purpose: incentive to finish project quickly, so I can put my dust collector back together.
  • Crescent shaped cauls: tweak pressure and reduce unsightly gaps.
  • Wrench: To decrease friction, therefore allowing the edge ends to slide together.

- Keith Kelly

Well done, sir!

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