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Decking Material. Which ones will bend?

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Forum topic by kirkwoodinls posted 04-24-2017 01:32 AM 534 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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kirkwoodinls

4 posts in 376 days


04-24-2017 01:32 AM

I’m planning a deck build, 6’X 12’. One end of the deck will have a 6’ radius, I want a 6-8 inch border around the outside. I would like to make that by bent lamination or steam. I had thought about going with the man made product but none are solid to let me rip to the thickness to laminate. Which species or “brand” would work best for bending. Ipe is not an option,$$$ plus don’t want to put my TS thru that! Thanks for any help.


12 replies so far

View stan3443's profile

stan3443

299 posts in 2113 days


#1 posted 04-24-2017 01:43 AM

Azek decking is solid and can be bent with heat and a form not easy or fun but I have done it

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

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bandit571

18630 posts in 2521 days


#2 posted 04-24-2017 01:51 AM

There is a way…that involves a few “kerf cuts”......set the saw to cut all but the last 1/4” in thickness. Make a cut every 1” or so. I used a speed square as a guide. The non-cut side is the show side. Cuts will be across the grain.

You can increase the spacing, if needed….maybe a cut every 2”...

I used this method because someone wanted to add a pair of 1×6” to frame out a window with a 2’ radius top.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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kirkwoodinls

4 posts in 376 days


#3 posted 04-24-2017 02:32 PM

stan, thanks for the info, did you use steam to heat the Azek? Are there any issues or tips you could pass on? bandit, a kerf cut won’t work for this application as the border will be laying flat, not on edge. Any suggestions on wood that will bend and also suitable for the exterior?

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jerryminer

805 posts in 1279 days


#4 posted 04-24-2017 09:41 PM

A cold-bent lamination can be done in any species. Around here (west coast) we use redwood and cedar (WRC).

I suggest clear—no knots—material for the laminated parts. A knot in the lamina will cause a kink in the bend.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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JBrow

1274 posts in 758 days


#5 posted 04-25-2017 12:09 AM

Kirkwoodinls,

A third option exists, in addition to bent lamination and steam bending, for arriving at the 6” to 8” wide decking border. This is to cut the quarter circle from a segmented glue-up. Standard pressure treated 1” thick deck boards could be edge glued to arrive at a width of about 10” (after ripping the rounded edges off). Then segments could be cut to length with mitre cuts and then joined mitred-end to mitred -end to form a several segments that form a segmented arc. Once the segments are glued together, the quarter circle arc could be roughed out with a jig saw and then perfected with a router affixed to a trammel set to the inside and outside radii of the quarter circle.

End to end gluing of the segments could be problematic unless the mitres are half lapped or splined mitres are used. Since pressure treated decking is moist from the lumber yard, polyurethane glue could be a good choice if you do not mind dealing with the foam cleanup.

Layout to get the length and mitred angles of each segment would be tricky. Cardboard templates could help arrive at the various angles. A bevel gauge could then be used to find the various angles without any measuring. Otherwise paper and some geometry or a CAD program would probably be needed.

The sketch hopefully illustrates what I have tried to describe. The deck boards are represented as two 5-1/2” wide boards edge glued forming 11” wide boards that make up the segments.

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stan3443

299 posts in 2113 days


#6 posted 04-25-2017 02:50 AM

We used 2 4ft elect heaters and half metal culvert pipe. heat it up bend and wedge aginst form . a commerical heat gun can help with the bend around form don’t burn it.takes at least 3 guys

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

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jerryminer

805 posts in 1279 days


#7 posted 04-25-2017 02:53 AM

If you decide to cut from the solid (as per JBrow), I would make all the miters equal (22 1/2 degrees in this example—the miter angle will depend on the number of segments):

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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kirkwoodinls

4 posts in 376 days


#8 posted 04-25-2017 03:19 PM

Many thanks to all that have responded! I’m a firm believer in getting as much advise as possible to make the best decision. The members of LJ have such a wealth of knowledge! I’m looking forward using that knowledge and helping out when I can. Thanks again, K

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jerryminer

805 posts in 1279 days


#9 posted 04-25-2017 09:52 PM

kirkwoodinls—

I hope we helped. I also hope that you will let us now what you decided to do, and post pictures of the finished product (no pics = it didn’t happen! :-) )

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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runswithscissors

2564 posts in 1863 days


#10 posted 04-26-2017 03:38 AM

That could be laminated pretty easily around a form. The glue joints would be subject to a lot of stress with the weather—hot, cold, wet, dry, etc. Epoxy would probably hold up best. It would be a very messy job.

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

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

962 posts in 2655 days


#11 posted 04-26-2017 05:40 AM

Western red cedar is supposed to steam bend pretty easily, although I have never bent any. Northern white cedar takes to steam bending extremely well. Both species are rot-resistant and great for decking, although western red is much more commercially available. The bending will be a bit tricky given the orientation you want to bend it in – you might want to bend it out of thicker stock and then rip it down on the bandsaw after.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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kirkwoodinls

4 posts in 376 days


#12 posted 04-28-2017 01:27 AM

I’m just in the planing stage right now. Hopefully I will be able to get to it this fall, more urgent projects right now. I’m thinking bent lamination, along with the border on the deck also the cap of the railing and horizontal ballisters. Not sure if what I see in my head will be the finished product but it’ll be entertaining to figure it all out! When I get started try and get some pics posted. per jerryminer’s observation. Thanks again, K

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