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Can wood inlay banding be steam bent

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Forum topic by HarveyDunn posted 04-11-2014 04:08 AM 1697 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1197 days


04-11-2014 04:08 AM

I’m turning a lamp base. There is one portion, about 10” in diameter, that would look great if I could apply a strip of 3/4” high inlay banding to it. I’d like to make the banding myself. Is there a glue I could use that would enable me to steam bend the banding?


10 replies so far

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#1 posted 04-11-2014 04:14 AM

Thickness of the banding matters. A thinner banding is
easier to bend. Something like that I would bend on
a hot pipe and spritz with water.

PVA glue should be fine. I’ve glued veneers
to ebony guitar binding and bent that.

Anticipate failure and make extra parts.

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1197 days


#2 posted 04-11-2014 12:30 PM

Do you think a thin banding glued to a solid backing would bend better than just the binding itself?

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Planeman40

805 posts in 2227 days


#3 posted 04-11-2014 03:35 PM

When bending, the outer surface is under tension and the inner surface is under compression. The outer surface under tension is usually where a break starts. I would glue the face of the outer surface of the inlay to some strong paper or tape to prevent the outer surface from stretching. This will force the inlay to be entirely (or mostly) under compression. Then steam the taped inlay and test bend it around a similar curved surface. If it holds together, then do the inlaying. Make sure the outer surface of the inlay stands “proud” from the lamp base a touch. When the inlay is glued and dry, sand the paper/tape away bringing the inlay surface flush with the lamp base.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1197 days


#4 posted 04-11-2014 03:37 PM

Very interesting suggestion. Would you back the inlay with something – perhaps a thin piece of solid wood?

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Planeman40

805 posts in 2227 days


#5 posted 04-11-2014 03:55 PM

As long as the inlay has its wood grain running lengthwise no backing is needed. If the wood grain is crossways to its length you might consider a very thin wood backing with its grain running lengthwise. But I feel the paper tape on the surface face should be enough. Try it this way first. Remember, the tape will prevent the face from stretching and will force the cross grain wood to be under compression so it will be unlikely to break. No guarantees though. That’s why you do a test bend.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1197 days


#6 posted 04-11-2014 03:56 PM

Are you thinking of the brown gummed tape such as is used to stretch watercolor papers?

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#7 posted 04-11-2014 04:11 PM

Introducing a hard glue line by turning the banding into
a plywood will interfere with the bending. It will make
it hard to get moisture where you need it.

If, however, you wanted to make a circular form to prebend
the banding on to the shape you want, then you could
glue a veneer layer underneath to fix the shape. You
would still need to use heat and moisture to coax the
banding into the curve prior to gluing it to the backing.

Planeman’s idea of using tape might work.

The the banding is perhaps 1/20” thick I don’t foresee
a great problem in getting it to go around that kind
of radius. My concern is that if you introduce too
much moisture, the glue holding the banding together
may soften and little parts will pop out. Even then they
can be glued back in place later.

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HarveyDunn

328 posts in 1197 days


#8 posted 04-11-2014 04:19 PM

What would you suggest as an appropriate glue?

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#9 posted 04-11-2014 04:21 PM

PVA for making the banding. Fish glue, PVA or super glue for
repairs. Hot hide glue is useful but of course setting up for
it may be a hassle. I would still use PVA to glue the
banding up because it has some flexibility when subjected
to moist heat. Some glues are hard and brittle, like
urea glue and super glue, so they won’t want to bend,
while others like hide glue might let go too easily in the
moist heat. Hide glue was used traditionally though and
what you’re wanting to do is certainly something that
was done in the past using hide glue only.

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runswithscissors

2192 posts in 1491 days


#10 posted 04-12-2014 07:41 AM

Thin cross section wood is very difficult to steam bend. That’s because the heat dissipates from the wood almost the moment you remove it from the steam, and it’s heat, not moisture, that enables wood bending. A hot pipe was mentioned, which is one way to do it. A heat gun is another. Also, some kind of bending strap is needed except for a very moderate bend. The more extreme the bend, the more important it is to force the wood deformation into the wood fibers on the inside of the bend, which is what the bending strap does. You can prebend, then install your banding.

It would help to know what cross-sectional dimensions the banding will have, and how much of a bend you need to make.

Again: moisture is not necessary for bending, and it will complicate your gluing process.

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

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