Extreme Wood Bending

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Forum topic by daltxguy posted 05-21-2010 08:28 AM 6545 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1373 posts in 4120 days

05-21-2010 08:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource ash cherry shaping wood bending

I just came across this but you may have seen it.

A company called Fluted Beams out of Gig Harbor, WA is producing a manufactured clear wood product which is cold bendable! It can be used for boat building, furniture building, instruments, architecturally etc. but it can be bent by hand without applying heat and it stays pliable until the wood dries.

Basically the process is to steam clear, straight grained wood, then compress it in its length to between 75-85% of its original length. Then let it rest and cool. As long as it is kept moist after that(for up to 5 years), it can be bent, by hand, into crazy shapes.

When it is being bent, rather than the inside being compressed, the outside is actually stretching. ( Who said you couldn’t stretch wood).

Not all woods work according to the founder. Temperate hardwoods are best ( oak, ash, cherry). Softwoods and exotics don’t.

This process was apparently developed by the Danes 20 years ago though this fellow, in true American fashion, has patented the process.

See more at FlutedBeams

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

6 replies so far

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4229 days

#1 posted 05-21-2010 05:00 PM

Very cool. Would be fun to experiment with.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 3135 days

#2 posted 05-21-2010 06:25 PM

I HAVE to try this!
Thanks for posting

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3783 days

#3 posted 05-21-2010 06:49 PM

Unique product hard to believe

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4424 days

#4 posted 05-21-2010 06:54 PM

Man, think of the possibilities!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3167 days

#5 posted 05-21-2010 10:59 PM

Wow, what an idea! I watched the video but sound wasn’t real good. Is this an actual wood product or something you apply to wood? I can think of several decorative applications for this.

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4120 days

#6 posted 05-25-2010 12:19 AM

So the bendywood site informs me that this process is nearly 100 years old and invented by the Germans! Refinements over the years have improved mainly the size and types of wood which can be compressed.

I say, do try this at home if you can and bugger any patents. Surely the process is too simple to patent or the patent too old to be enforcable. Patents are the greedy man’s way of laying claim to common knowledge.

This wood is still produced according to the method patented in 1917: steamed deciduous trees (beech, oak, ash, maple) with 10×12 cm in section and up to 280 cm in length are longitudinally compressed to 80 % of their original length. The wood is then dried in this compressed length: the above mentioned original scantling of 280 cm is now 220 cm long, with a moisture content of about 14% and can be worked in the traditional way into handrails, wood profiles for round and oval tabletops, for round, curved and flat surfaces, glass beads, mouldings and skirtings which then have got a special character: they can be bent in a fully profiled state up to a radius of 1:10; a skirting of 20 mm thickness, for example, can be bent to a radius of 200 mm.
Pliable wood scantlings can be stored any length indefinitely and never lose their flexibility.
Patented pliable wood is a raw material that makes it much easier to bend solid hardwood: it is worked like ordinary wood (into a handrail, for example) and then, dry and without steam, it can be bent in several directions. It can be used whenever the traditional steam bending method is either not worthwhile or not possible because dry and fully profiled wood must be bent.
For bending this kind of wood you don’t need a special bending machine as it is the case with the steam bending method. Small sections are bent by hand, bigger sections, like handrails, are bent by means of ordinary rollers or roller bending machines, which are also used by metalworkers to bend metal pipes. This material can thus be bend in a three dimensional way with an ordinary standard machine which is accessible for everybody.
Since 2003 pliable hard wood has been branded world-wide as Bendywood®. “

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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