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Forum topic by trimman posted 02-18-2010 04:42 AM 1111 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trimman

11 posts in 2486 days


02-18-2010 04:42 AM

Does anyone have experience working with Brazilian Cerry? I have a 3 story curve to build, now that I’v got the work I’m skeered. No just wondering how it’ll bend in 1/4 inch wafers, its a contemporary handrail, basiclly a 2×6 sliced into 1/4 in wafers. Any thoughts?


16 replies so far

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Tony_S

607 posts in 2549 days


#1 posted 02-18-2010 05:14 AM

Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) ‘can be’ tough to bend, but so can a lot of other woods. Really, a lot depends on the radius of the bend, the slope of the stairs and the experience level of the person doing the bending. A little more info would be helpful.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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trimman

11 posts in 2486 days


#2 posted 02-18-2010 01:01 PM

I’v been in trim work 30 yrs built around 200 sets of stairs, but as for curves only a dozen or so. Just dont run into them that often. The cylinder of the cuve is 12ft dia, with the handrail to be wall mounted on that outside 12’, the inside diam is 4’6” and will have a glass elevator, so the stairs go around the elevator.

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Pete Mohr

75 posts in 2554 days


#3 posted 02-18-2010 02:28 PM

“now that I’v got the work I’m skeered. “

I would be too!
I can’t offer any advice on the bending but sure would like to see the finished project!!!

pete

-- "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." -Anatole France

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Tony_S

607 posts in 2549 days


#4 posted 02-18-2010 03:03 PM

You shouldn’t have a whole lot of trouble bending 1/4” Jatoba rail slices on a 6’ radius, especially on the outside of the stair, which is typically a fairly gentle slope. My main concern with a bend such as this would be ‘spring back’, once you take the clamps off. If the rail springs too much it can be a nightmare to get the rail back in place once it’s milled. With a contemporary rail like yours, the extra depth (5 1/2- 6 inches) is fighting with the narrow width (1 1/2- 2 inches) more so than a more typical rail size of say, 1 1/2” thick x 3” wide. With the narrow width, your only getting 5 glue joints using 1/4” slices vs. 15 with a more standard 3” wide rail.
If it were me doing the job…

Honestly….I would use 3/16” slices instead of 1/4” to get the extra glue joints. It’ll hold the bend much better.

some other pointers.
If your using PVA glue, don’t cheap out, use a good brand name glue.

When clamping the rail…use LOTS of 5-6 inch vertical blocks (every 4” minimum for me) BOTH SIDES of the rail and don’t remove any clamps or blocks until you get a FULL cure. Deep rail slices like these can, and usually will (especially the 2 outside faces of the rail) cup badly after you walk away as the glue cures. Blocks are critical for tight glue joints.

Give yourself as much extra material at the top and bottom of the stairs as you can(min 16” both ends for me)....the extra length makes it MUCH easier to keep a nice fluent bend near the ends of the bend.

Be very careful profiling the OUTSIDE edges of the bend, it’s the most prone to ‘blow out’ because of the wood fibers being stretched, vs. the inside bend, which is under compression. Not to mention, Jatoba can be tough to profile simply because it’s more hard and brittle.

Gotta run….any more Q’s, just ask.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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trimman

11 posts in 2486 days


#5 posted 02-18-2010 03:18 PM

Thanks Tony, Thats a big help, I always use lots of clamps. My forms at each riser hold rail to the curve then several clamps with blocks in between. The pies at that point are 17 ” so I have plenty of clamping space. I also overbend the rail, maybe a couple of inches in this case on both ends to help comensate for the spring back. Thanks for the hint on the thickness, I’ll bring that up with my miller. If you think of anything else I’m all ears. Sounds like you have alot of experience with stairs.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3203 days


#6 posted 02-18-2010 05:56 PM

I would suggest you use a Urea Resin glue for the laminating. It will give you the least spring back. I use it for all of my curved work. You can order the powder in light, medium, and dark. Depending on the wood color.

I use Unibond 800 but there are other ones on the market.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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mahadevwood

415 posts in 2485 days


#7 posted 02-18-2010 05:56 PM

We are also manufacturer of wooden stair parts, like Modern Style of stair baluster, stair handrail, novel post Etc
we are interested to export abroad, Looking to dealer for our products

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trimman

11 posts in 2486 days


#8 posted 02-18-2010 07:33 PM

Hey John thanks . I usually use Titebond 2, but urea resin would be better? Never worked with that, hows the work time. Each of my rails will be pretty long, one about 25’ the other about 21’. glueing up that length I sometimes find the first glue I put down has started to go off by the time I get ready to put it all in the forms.

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Tony_S

607 posts in 2549 days


#9 posted 02-19-2010 02:11 AM

I have absolutely no experience with Urea based glues, so I can’t comment on that myself.
When we need a really long open time for a long or difficult bend, or are in a situation where near zero spring back is a must, we use West System Epoxy.
I avoid using it if I can simply because cleanup is more of a hassle (cured and uncured) and it is expensive.
But it really is amazing stuff for holding a tight curve. It machines really well, and it doesn’t bung up sander belts and pads like some other epoxies do.

damn…you made me think….goin’ on 19 years building custom stairs and railings! I love every minute of it though!

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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trimman

11 posts in 2486 days


#10 posted 02-19-2010 02:23 AM

hey Tony, thanks again. I’v been doing trim for about 30 yrs and stairs for most of that. but most of my ballustrades have been what I call country style, useing clear fir instead of regular stair parts, but that gave me alot of experience without worriing about ruining $100 fittings. Now I’m fairly confident in my work. Just, last night got to thinking I’m useing a new species of wood in probably the hardest thing to do in trim work. Epoxy… I’ld be hesitant to use that cause of the work time. Mite just stick with the tite bond.

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mahadevwood

415 posts in 2485 days


#11 posted 02-19-2010 08:40 AM

we are using Jowat D3 for staircase join and bend handrail

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trimman

11 posts in 2486 days


#12 posted 03-22-2010 01:00 AM

ok I finaly got deposit on my staircase job time to order mtls. since I have no experience with the urea glues Ill ask this very basic question, how much should I order? Iv got about 75 feet of handrail to glue and bend. any suggestions would be helpfull. Stuffs expensive so dont want to buy too much but definatly dont want to run out half way thru application, Ild rather have extra. will a gallon do me?

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John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3203 days


#13 posted 03-22-2010 03:13 AM

I think you would be better off using West Systems Epoxy because of the long work time needed. One gallon would do. Urea glue times can be played with but I believe the Epoxy systems have even longer work times. This will be very crutial for you. Jatoba is quite tough wood and could give you some challenges. Don’t get me wrong, I love Urea glues. I am just concerned about the time need to glue and clamp the pieces. I would recommend you never use titebond II type glues for bent laminations. They will not hold the curve true to shape. There will always be some spring back. For stair railings, this could be disasterous.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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trimman

11 posts in 2486 days


#14 posted 09-02-2010 02:18 AM

Well it has been a very long time since my last post, and a very long time since beginning this stair job but now its nearing an end. The stairs have been pretty well finished for awhile, just awaiting the install of the elevator to finish up, and that went in today!! Its all turneed out very well, and thanks to all the suggestions, ended up using the west sytems epoxy, very good, plenty of work time, and barely any spring back. Still have two curved thresholds to do for the elevator in soft maple but think those will go fine. Again thanks to all who offered suggestions. I want to put some photos here but cant seem to, will post some soon

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Tony_S

607 posts in 2549 days


#15 posted 09-02-2010 01:24 PM

I’m glad it all went well for you. Looking forward to the pictures!!

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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