How is this chair back made? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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How is this chair back made?

I was wondering how something like this chair back is made. Is it carved from a blank or is it steam bent, or some combo of both.
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 04:08 PM
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welcome to the forum.
is this something you want to build ?

How is this chair back made?-angle.jpg
.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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It's more just a study to figure it out. I don't want to copy the design completely but I really like the chair back. My skills are not at this level yet. But I am interested in this technique to learn the skills to do something like this.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 04:36 PM
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My guess is a combo of both. If it's a production model, it may be cut before bending and then bent in a hi-tech device that ensures that it comes out to a precise final shape.

It doesn't look like it, but it's also possible that it's laminated on a form.

Both are guesses though.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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With steam bending are you able to twist wood and have it keep it's shape?
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 06:43 PM
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Yes ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffery Korkus View Post
With steam bending are you able to

twist wood and have it keep it's shape?

http://sammaloofwoodworker.com/


Here's some examples:
https://www.google.com/search?client...4dUDCAY&uact=5



The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-03-2019 at 07:25 PM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 08:20 PM
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if you want to now if it is stem bent or laminated, just look straight down on the upper edge from the tip of one arm to the tip of the other. If it were laminated instead of steam bent, it would be very obvious. My vote is cast as steam bent without looking. I'm sure that sometime during the bending process it was placed in a mould of sorts to help keep the shape throughout the coolong process. That way, they could accurately fit the rest of the chair structure and would be a great help in mass production.

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post #8 of 9 Old 12-03-2019, 09:21 PM
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The chair back in the photos must be solid wood - look at the grain pattern as it flows from the back to the top of the arms.

My guess is steamed, then bent with arms twisted and clamped into a metal form to cool. Steamed wood springs back a little when it is removed from the mold after it cools and sets. Those kinds of molds usually exceed the desired bend by a certain amount, so that the wood springs back to the precise desired shape.

I have done steam bending with small thin pieces, helped others do steam bending, and seen the documentary on how they make that large curvy side piece on Steinway grand pianos.

I have never done a chair back or anything like it. That piece looks very thick and has twists, so maybe there is another explanation.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-04-2019, 01:36 AM
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My thoughts are that it is steam bent. I zoomed the image to the point of almost pixilation. The grain on the chair's right arm is rather telling. The grain seems to flow from the center of the back and up onto the arm down to the front leg. This says to me that the it is steam bent.

In the real world of manufactured furniture the joinery was probably cut before bending with knowledge of expected spring back, then steamed and clamped in a fixture to force the shape. During assembly, any variations are probably forced to conform by the legs and seat rails.

I have done some steam bending but not to the extreme as shown in this example. I made some Mission style chairs and bent the seatback rails. I did it by bending six 1/8 thick pieces and then laminating the pieces together. The huge problem for me was cutting the tenons in the seatback rails. When you think about it, the tenons must be parallel to the chord between the ends of the seatback rail and perpendicular to the legs.

If I were going to do it again, I would buy thicker stock and use the band saw to rough out the curve of the seatback rail, AND CUT THE TENONS BEFORE THE CURVE.
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In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon
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