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Forum topic by jjagerson posted 1149 days ago 2405 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jjagerson

42 posts in 1602 days


1149 days ago

I sat in a chair last night at the library that was just awesome. It looked like something that would have been designed by Alvar Aalto. It was basically two bent plywood “legs” that were connected to each other with a few stretchers and then a canvas sling was suspended between the legs and a leather covered cushion was on top of that. I have included an image in this post.

My question is whether it is possible to replicate a design like this in the home shop? I think I could do a small bending project (just one curve) but this long compound curve seems very difficult. I can’t find a lot of documentation on furniture like this but I have always admired it a lot.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I like the design, but what I liked most was the comfort. It was easy to sit in and kind of “springy”. Have you seen anyone build something like this?

Thanks in advance.


8 replies so far

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roy

134 posts in 2418 days


#1 posted 1149 days ago

try steam bendin hickory

-- tn hillbilly.." tryin to do the best i can with what i got "

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jjagerson

42 posts in 1602 days


#2 posted 1149 days ago

Roy – That sounds like a good idea and may be the only way to do it. I have never done that before. Do you have any recommendations for books or something on the topic?

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1565 posts in 1612 days


#3 posted 1149 days ago

I hope one of these will help get you started.
The second link shows some pics of the form used.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/12332
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/47806
Good luck

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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Jonathan

2603 posts in 1675 days


#4 posted 1149 days ago

I think you could probably also do a bent lamination here. I have just started doing research on bent lamination, and posted a thread about it.

I also started a topic asking about various adhesives/glues for bent lamination.

I also just purchased the book, “Wood Bending Made Simple” by Lon Schleining. I have read the first couple of chapters and I would recommend it. It has a lot of good pictures to illustrate the points talked about in detail. It deals with both bent lamination and steam bending. I am getting ready to read the steam bending section. It also came with a DVD, but I have not yet watched that. I paid a little over $18 for it on Amazon. It received good reviews there, in comparison to other similar books. You might want to look into that?

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Loren

7387 posts in 2272 days


#5 posted 1148 days ago

Laminated veneers is the way to go. Solid wood is too
variable in the way it holds a bend and you’ll struggle to
make the shapes on both sides of the chair close enough
in form and springiness that the sitter won’t notice an
odd feeling of unbalance.

For laminating the plywood you will either need a really big
vacuum bag, a custom-made bag to solve the particular
problem, or a two-part form and some really heavy-duty clamps.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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jjagerson

42 posts in 1602 days


#6 posted 1148 days ago

Thanks for the great info everyone. Jonathan, I found the book you recommended at the library and I am planning to dig in this weekend. It sounds like the consensus is to use some kind of bent lamination process. That sounds reasonable to me. Based on what you all have said and what I have read, the form-building and clamping process is the most difficult for large bending projects like a chair. Frankly – I think I better try something small as a first time bending project before tackling anything else.

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Jonathan

2603 posts in 1675 days


#7 posted 1148 days ago

One of the steps emphasized in Wood Bending Made Simple is using both a male and female set of forms, and that the female form needs to be cut up into smaller sections, to allow for even clamping pressure.

I haven’t yet begun practicing the techniques mentioned in the book regarding bent lamination, but I don’t think I’d want to tackle the curves that make up the arm and leg of that chair right out of the chute! Maybe start with the back brace curve, then go from there.

The project I have in-mind is a fairly simple curve, but there will either be 6-or-8-pieces that make up the frame. It’ll just be a matter of consistency and repetition, more than anything.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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Loren

7387 posts in 2272 days


#8 posted 1148 days ago

You can also do it out of 1/10” veneers you saw yourself.

You bend the wood on a hot pipe (a luthier method) and
laminate each layer one at a time by clamping to a 1
sided form with cauls on the other side. You’d need a lot
of clamps, but not silly amounts of pressure since it’s only
one layer at a time. 1/10” thick wood is really pretty easy
to bend this way. The radii of the curves will vary from
piece to piece of course, but the method is more fun and
forgiving than you’d expect it to be.

You can also laminate Italian bending plywood in this way
foregoing the steam bending. Use a glue that dries hard
and brittle.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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