LumberJocks

Bending green wood into oval boxes

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 753 days ago 1138 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14727 posts in 2313 days


753 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: bending green wood steam ash

Today I spotted a fresh cut ash log about 20 ” in diameter. I was too late and it had been cut up for fire wood. I got to thinking about how I was going to do it and, quite frankly, I didn’t have a clue! ;-(

My first thought was to quarter saw & rive it in lengths of about 6 feet or a little longer getting it to about 1/4 to 3/8” thick. I thought I would plane it with a hand plane. Next move was to bend it on the form green. If that didn’t work too well, try steaming it and bending it green and wetter. If that didn’t work too well, let it dry, get a good finish and steam bend.

My biggest concern about doing the bending wet was being able to get a good smooth surface on, especially, the inside and the outside of a curved surface. I expect teh grain would be raise quite a bit by the time it got dry. Anyone know how that would have turned out?

Any ideas about the proper procedure?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence


9 replies so far

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

1011 posts in 1616 days


#1 posted 753 days ago

Bob – Not my area of expertise but i do remember watching a NYW show where the chap (I think his name was Mark Dungske????) was splitting trunks of about 6’ long. It looked a simple process, using only hand tools he was splitting the trunk into staves, hand planing, then steaming in a home made steamer.then forming the staves to make his windsor chairs. he reckoned this would provide more stable timbers as the hand tool method followed the natiral lines and contours of the grain. I think too the trunks had been felled 3 or 4 days previous. This all took place during the winter monthns when the sap in the tree was not at it’s highest.

f you are after turning the trunk into planks or boards then I’m sure it could be done in a similar pricess but there woulkd be a lot more waste.

I can’t remember much more but perhaps someone has the show taped and could provide you with more detail.

Good luck

David

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14727 posts in 2313 days


#2 posted 753 days ago

I’ve seen Roy on NYW doing riving with green wood a couple of times. He is always making round parts on the shaving horse when he rives green wood.

My biggest concern is what kind of finish will the curved board have? I expect it might be all fuzzy or grainy from being green and continuing to dry. If I need to smooth it, how to get on the inside curve and do a nice job?

OR = is it better to get it fairly dry, plane it smooth and then steam and bend?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

1011 posts in 1616 days


#3 posted 753 days ago

From memory, the timber has to be “wet” to utilise it’s natural elastisity.

I guess the most appropriate tool for shaving the inside radius would be a spoke shave or drawknife…...........or if you are lucky enough to have one, a compass plane.

The guy was building chairs so I expect he was happy with the smoothness of the grain, although I can’t remember what the timber species it was he was working.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1003 posts in 771 days


#4 posted 752 days ago

Not sure wood has to be green (wet) you will end up soaking wood slats in hot or boiling water. Plenty of insructions on making Shaker Boxes on the web.

-- Bill

View stefang's profile

stefang

12970 posts in 1971 days


#5 posted 752 days ago

I’m not sure what your goal here is Bob. A wood surface can always be smoothed once it is dry. If it is curved you can use a rounded card scraper or a rounded spokeshave or other suitably shaped edge tools used to shave inside curves. It is a lot easier to work green wood with the shaving horse whatever shape it is.

A lot of oval boxes here in Norway are made from birch bark which is very water proof and easy to work and also to punch holes in and sew together. Indian canoes are a good example of this. The layer just under the outer bark is wooden colored (light tan) and is the best part to use. There are many articles on the net about Birch bark and also using it make the oval boxes (search Birch Tine).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14727 posts in 2313 days


#6 posted 752 days ago

Hi Mike, My greatest concern is the box is a flat piece of wood 3-6” wide bent in a oval. I am wondering if I get it smooth while lit is green and bend it, will it still be fairly smooth and not require much more than a light sanding?

All of the articles i have seen about making these boxes were using dry wood and steaming it as far as I know. When I saw the ash log, I thought, why not bent it green and/or add a little steaming if necessary, then let it dry rather than drying and finishing the board, then steaming?

I have some short fire wood lengths. I’m gong to make a small piece and bend it around a radius to see how it turns out. Not any where long enough to make an oval box ;-(

I gotta get some of these bucket list projects going. I keep adding more! ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14727 posts in 2313 days


#7 posted 752 days ago

I’m thinking if the oval is not a flat after being bent green, it will be impossible to flatten vertically with the horizontal axis being curved. Well, maybe not impossible, but more trouble than it is worth.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View studie's profile

studie

618 posts in 1783 days


#8 posted 752 days ago

Bob I just saw a wood mag article using a pvc 4” tube and a Rockler steamer unit. After steaming, then a buck made to the curve held it for an hour or so but I think you may have to leave green wood in the buck for a year or so;))

-- $tudie

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14727 posts in 2313 days


#9 posted 752 days ago

OOH! never thought about that ;-( Thanks

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase