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Steam bending for first time

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Forum topic by breid posted 08-25-2016 06:29 PM 453 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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breid

2 posts in 99 days


08-25-2016 06:29 PM

Hey guys,

I new to the forum, looking forward to sharing and learning. I have a question though regarding steam bending wood. I want to build a wooden bicycle frame and want to steam bend parts of the frame. I plan on using Ash and my question is how tight of a radius can I get out of a 1/2 inch by half inch board?


10 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#1 posted 08-25-2016 08:01 PM

Ash can be bent into a very tight radius, a hairpin
bend with proper back-strapping and good ash
for bending.

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Rx_For_Bending_Wood.html

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Monte Pittman

21984 posts in 1798 days


#2 posted 08-25-2016 08:35 PM

What Loren said.

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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jwmalone

769 posts in 162 days


#3 posted 08-25-2016 08:47 PM

Welcome. you can bend it right up to the point it breaks:) don’t go passed it. Seriously Loren is correct.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

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runswithscissors

2176 posts in 1485 days


#4 posted 08-26-2016 07:31 AM

Just to emphasize what Loren says: definitely use backstopping. Ideal material is the steel banding they use to strap together sling loads of lumber. Though unfortunately woven fiber banding seems to be replacing some of that. It wouldn’t do, as you need the steel to resist stretching. Clamp the banding tightly at both ends of the stock before you start the bend. All of the movement of wood fibers has to take place at the inside of the bend. Without the backstopping, you’ll simply break the fibers at the outside of the bend by stretching them, which they can’t stand.

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

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runswithscissors

2176 posts in 1485 days


#5 posted 08-27-2016 08:31 PM

I meant “backstopping.” Brain fart, I guess.

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

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becikeja

643 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 08-30-2016 10:28 AM

breid thanks for starting this post. I have heard that you will get better results with air dried lumber vs kiln dried lumber. Unfortunately I do not have any experience in this area but have been thinking about trying it. Can someone comment on the air dried vs kiln dried results?

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1634 posts in 1777 days


#7 posted 08-30-2016 01:20 PM

Heating wood softens the lignin which is what binds the wood fibers together. Drying the wood in a kiln basically bakes the lignin into a permanent set which prevents it from softening under heat. The same effect happens with air-dried wood that has been allowed to drop under 10% moisture content for a long period of time.

You can try to bend kiln dried wood but it is likely to break if you attempt anything more than a mild bend.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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breid

2 posts in 99 days


#8 posted 08-30-2016 05:06 PM

Thanks for all the advice guys, I will have to do some experimenting and see what happens. I will be happy to keep everyone posted with pictures of the project.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#9 posted 08-30-2016 06:08 PM

I bend 4/4 kiln-dried ash and walnut into 8” radius with
a strap with minimal failure. I can’t really get air
dried wood in my area. I’m sure it’s better but I’ve
had better results with kiln-dried than I expected.

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1634 posts in 1777 days


#10 posted 08-31-2016 12:41 AM



I bend 4/4 kiln-dried ash and walnut into 8” radius with
a strap with minimal failure. I can t really get air
dried wood in my area. I m sure it s better but I ve
had better results with kiln-dried than I expected.

- Loren

Not bad but ash and walnut are some of the best species for bending and you can get around a really small radius with air-dried. I’ve done 8/4 cherry around an 8” radius and cherry isn’t the easiest to bend.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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