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Forum topic by Mark Shultz posted 11-28-2016 05:58 PM 386 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shultz

92 posts in 2229 days


11-28-2016 05:58 PM

i need to bend about 15 inches of walnut strips. i don’t have a box or steamer, but do have a huge pasta pot. is there anything i’m missing by just putting water in bottom of the pot and putting the wood in (keeping it off the bottom/water). i would cover/wrap it in foil at the top to keep the steam in.


7 replies so far

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Loren

9633 posts in 3487 days


#1 posted 11-28-2016 05:59 PM

It may work if your bending goal is modest.

How thick are the strips and what is the radius
of the bend?

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Mark Shultz

92 posts in 2229 days


#2 posted 11-28-2016 07:40 PM

3/16 thick x 1 wide x 30 long. only the lower 15” or so would need to be bent. radius is ~9”.

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Underdog

1051 posts in 1874 days


#3 posted 11-28-2016 07:44 PM

PVC pipe.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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Mark Shultz

92 posts in 2229 days


#4 posted 11-28-2016 07:52 PM

thanks underdog, what does PVC get me that a basic pot does not.

thanks to Loren also.

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Mark Shultz

92 posts in 2229 days


#5 posted 11-28-2016 07:53 PM

I should add that i have 8 layers to bend. intend to dry them on the clamping jig, then remove and glue them up, then back on jig.

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Loren

9633 posts in 3487 days


#6 posted 11-28-2016 08:26 PM

I think the steaming method will be adequate
but if you can’t tolerate a lot of failures
you should use a backing strap in the bending.

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runswithscissors

2565 posts in 1864 days


#7 posted 11-29-2016 05:31 AM

The best bending straps I have found came out of the dumpster at the lumberyard. That’s the steel banding that they use for sling loads of lumber. Comes in various widths.

The point of the strap is that it forces the grain reorientation into the face fibers. Under close inspection, you can see those fibers sort of folding and crumpling together. Without it, you end up trying to stretch the fibers on the outside of the bend, which leads to cracking and splintering.

If you want to end up with a predetermined curve in your lamination, it’s a good idea to over bend the strips initially, as they will straighten out a little after cooling.

Another option is to do the heating with a heat gun, as it’s heat, not moisture, that enables wood to bend. I haven’t bent much walnut, but in some tests I did long ago, the walnut did not seem as amenable to bending as some other woods, such as white oak, white ash, and black locust.

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

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