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Methods of Bending Wood

Aparna Jadhav Jul 25, 2020
If designing wooden crafts and creating unique furniture pieces out of wood catches your interest, then you should learn how to bend wood. There are a number of ways in which it can be done. Here are a few of them.
The most primitive material used for building houses, traveling equipment like carts and wheels, and other objects like canoes, bows, sledges, barrels, etc., was wood. All these objects were made by bending wood and shaping it in the desired manner.
Today, bending wood can be useful for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being woodworking. If you are fond of building wooden articles, you can easily learn how to bend wood and build chairs, tables, bookcases, wooden toys, spoons, picture frames, etc.
Wood can be bent to create varied objects like boats, an arch, a barrel, or a container. There are three basic techniques than can be followed to do this. These are steam bending, laminated wood bending, and Kerf-cut bending. These methods are generally used to bend bigger pieces of wood.
Another process, known as microwave steaming. is used for bending smaller pieces of wood and make tiny wooden objects and crafts. In the given information, you will learn about these processes in brief.

Steam Bending Wood

● This is one of the most widely used methods of wood bending and one of the most primitive ones as well.

● To mold wood in the steam box, you will need water, a hose pipe, a container, a box that will hold wood, screws and clamps, and of course a source of heat!
● Place the wood in the mold, with the hose pipe on one end of the steam box and the water container on the other.
● When the water container is heated, the hose will carry it from container to the steam box where the steam will eventually soften the wood and mold it in the desired shape. This can also be used for furniture repair, if you have damaged chairs or tables.
● Depending on the thickness and hardness of the wood, this process can take a longer time, however it is very effective.

Laminated Bending Wood

● Unlike steam bending, this process is quite simple, but you will require a mold. You will first need to cut thin pieces of wood and place them in a mold with glue.
● Cutting thinner pieces makes the process more efficient as the thicker ones don't bend that easily, therefore once you cut the pieces, glue them and dry them inside the molds itself.

● You can use this process for a boat, as these thin pieces of wood, when stuck together can become strong enough.

Kerf-cut Bending Wood

● For this, you will need a saw to cut slots across a stock of wood. Once these slots or gaps are made on the wooden piece, it is very easy to bend them. These kerfs can be made in different patterns for different purposes. Kerf-cut can be used to mold wood as you have to cut them.
● Many prefer to make S-shaped and almost 2/3 deep molds, so that they can bend easily for whichever purpose they are being used.

Microwave Bending Wood

● This method is very simple and similar to steam bending. All you have to do is wrap the pieces of wood in a wet paper towel and microwave it for sometime.
● It is the heat from the microwave which heats the wood and bends it in the desired manner. Moisture is a principle factor which plays an important role in this technique.

● You can microwave the wood for about 15 to 20 seconds and then mold it immediately in whichever form you wish to.
With these basic techniques for wood bending explained, we are sure you are now well-versed with each one of them. Subsequently, learning to carve wood too, would be very useful to make different things. You can use them to make furniture or any other wooden object you wish to mend or mold, and build very attractive wooden pieces, too.