Bending Lauan for bent lamination chairs

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Forum topic by Scott C. posted 05-23-2016 12:26 AM 684 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scott C.

160 posts in 2199 days

05-23-2016 12:26 AM

My local supplier has 1/4” exterior glue bending lauan plywood. I’m thinking of buying a couple of sheets to experiment with some bent lamination exterior chairs. Seems like a cheap way to practice and prototype.

Anyone have any experience making bent lamination with this material?

Should I expect a lot of spring back from laminating 3 slices to 3/4” finished thickness? Enough to make the pieces unusable? The only 1/8” is birch and thats special order.

Will the exterior glue lauan holdup outside with a good exterior finish, spar varnish maybe?

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3796 days

#1 posted 05-23-2016 12:29 AM

Bent laminations spring back very little. You’ll basically
get the shape you want.

I am not saying I am optimistic about the material,
but for prototyping you’ll be fine for learning.

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3279 days

#2 posted 05-23-2016 01:24 AM

If it’s anything like the 3/8” luan we use, it’ll be complete garbage as far as appearance goes. It’s not really a finish material, but used more as a core that’ll be veneered, or finished with other laminations. It’s probably two thick layers with a crossgrain veneer center layer. It bends like a wet noodle, and should have zero springback when laminated.

-- Gerry,

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1547 days

#3 posted 05-23-2016 03:09 AM

To improve appearance, glue a thin layer of wood to one or both sides. That will let you use any wood you like.
A way to cut wood thin.

View jerryminer's profile


944 posts in 1590 days

#4 posted 05-23-2016 05:02 AM

As mentioned above, bending ply will bend easily without springback, but you will probably want to add a slice of solid stock to both faces and some springback can occur with solid lumber laminations—less with thinner lams, more with thicker.

I’ve only used bending ply for indoor projects and probably wouldn’t recommend it for outdoor use, but if you put a good finish in it—-and maintain that finish—- it could work OK, certainly good enough for “experimental” chairs.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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