Bending Italian Poplar
i need to bend some 1/8" Italian Poplar just a little a bit further than it wants to. It always snaps right before I get the needed bend.
Basically, I performed an experiment: I soaked it overnight in lukewarm water. Also, I heat treated some of it. This thread describes the two batches, with questions.
After soaking, i was able to bend the poplar to the needed radius (and beyond).
Anything that could be improved with my soaking method? Is it bad for the wood in any way?
Continuing the experiment, I put some of it in a microwave for a minute. The micro'd wood offered less resistance and less spring-back than the soaked-only wood. That's a good thing, right?
Anything bad about the microwave method?
I braced both the micro'd and non-micro'd samples on jigs.
Continuing the experiment, i put the micro'd wood in a toaster oven for 5 minutes. That seemed to extract most of the moisture. I could remove the wood from it's brace shortly after, and it held it's shape.
Will toasting make the wood too brittle, or have any other drawbacks?
After 6 hours, i removed the non-micro'd, non-heated wood from it's brace. It is still moist, and has some springback. I re-braced it, and plan to keep it braced until naturally dried, probably another day or two.
Will the naturally-dried wood be stronger or weaker than the heated wood? Anyone have experience with soaking, microwaving, or toasting wood?
It seems that the full regimen of soaking, microwaving, and toasting quickly produces bent wood with no drawbacks, but i wanted to get a second opinion from someone who's done any of these things.
Last edited by johnywhy; 08-01-2014 at 03:42 AM.