|Forum topic by Jonathan||posted 06-18-2011 05:26 PM||4044 views||3 times favorited||3 replies|
06-18-2011 05:26 PM
I have a design floating around in my head that I’d really like to make. This piece requires curving many of the pieces of wood to achieve the look and design that I’m shooting for. Since I’ve never created a piece with bent wood in it, I’ve been trying to study up on the subject a bit. There are numerous ways to bend wood, but it seems that the most common/popular ways to bend wood are:
(Simplified, not exhaustive explanations of each process below:)
Steam Bending is just what it sounds like. You put the wood to be bent into a steam chamber and steam it to soften the lignins in the wood, then put the wood into your form and clamp it down until it is dry. Then the pieces are laminated together. It seems to me that the complications of steam bending are that you have to account for a fair amount of springback, as well as having a steam chamber, etc. to be able to steam the wood in the first place. While I am not opposed to this idea of bending wood, and it certainly has its place, I am currently more interested in the second type of wood bending, which is Bent Lamination.
The basic process of bent lamination involves glueing narrow strips of wood back together, then placing them into a form and clamping them down. You don’t need a steam chamber to do this. You basically need: thin strips of wood, glue, a form of the shape you want to create, and lots of clamps. While springback is certainly possible with this technique as well, there are ways to reduce or almost eliminate springback after the stock is dry and out of the clamps.
I found several articles that I found to be helpful in explaining the differences between these two ways to bend wood, as well as a good step-by-step guide to follow for the bent lamination.
The first article talks about the differences between the two techniques, then delves into the overall procedure of bent lamination and includes a few tips along the way, such as strip thickness, depending on the size of the curve, flipping every other piece of stock, etc.
The second article is a great step-by-step guide on exactly how to create bent laminations.
While this is certainly not the end-all, be-all guide to bent lamination, I hope you find these links as useful as I did, as it appears to cover the basics of the procedure. Please feel free to throw out other resources, steps, or tips and tricks on the subject of bent lamination that you’ve found helpful and useful. Maybe we can turn this into a very educational and extensive thread on bent lamination!
-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."