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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One project in a woodworking magazine I have is an entry table with a curved front. Their process was to laminate veneer to make the curved piece.

I can get 1/4" thick oak and poplar pretty easily locally. Would that be thin enough to bend, or do I need something thinner?

I am guessing I need something thinner ... ?
 

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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't have the article with me as I am at work right now, but it's a bow-front hall table with a hidden drawer on the side. The curved front apron is around 24-30" long. The bow is not anything radical, the middle of the curve maybe 3 or 4"" out, something like a 30" radius. It is the sort of thing that I could give the bowed part more or less of a curve if I wanted.

This looks pretty much like it. The difference is that this one has drawers in the front, where as for the one I am wanting to do, the front apron is one continuous piece, and the drawer is hidden on one side.
 

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Old School
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I don't have the article with me as I am at work right now, but it's a bow-front hall table with a hidden drawer on the side. The curved front apron is around 24-30" long. The bow is not anything radical, the middle of the curve maybe 3 or 4"" out, something like a 30" radius. It is the sort of thing that I could give the bowed part more or less of a curve if I wanted.

This looks pretty much like it. The difference is that this one has drawers in the front, where as for the one I am wanting to do, the front apron is one continuous piece, and the drawer is hidden on one side.
For a curve like that I would use ⅛" thick laminations, or cut from solid stock.






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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Cabinetman ... one more question ... how about laminating 1/4" lauan? Would that take to bending more readily? I can get that locally, and it's not very expensive.

Over lunch, I went to the HD and tried it with a 1/4" x 3 1/2" x 48" wide piece of oak. It DID bend 3", but of course, it wanted to straighten out pretty badly, so I don't know how well glue would hold it ... ?
 

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You could steam bend, but then you have to make a steamer.

If you use C'man suggestion of lamination or steam bending, you need to consider spring back, where some of the curvature is lost when you remove the clamps.

The thinner the laminations, the less the spring back.

If you cut from solid stock, no spring back issue.

If you laminate or steam bend, I would make the curved front pieces first and then modify any dimensions to accommodate the spring back.
 

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Thanks Cabinetman ... one more question ... how about laminating 1/4" lauan? Would that take to bending more readily? I can get that locally, and it's not very expensive.

Over lunch, I went to the HD and tried it with a 1/4" x 3 1/2" x 48" wide piece of oak. It DID bend 3", but of course, it wanted to straighten out pretty badly, so I don't know how well glue would hold it ... ?
I ain't changing my mind. I'm suggesting ⅛", that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.






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Master firewood maker
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks folks. I think I have some of the lauan sitting in a corner now, so I think I'll give it a whirl just to see what happens.

Cabinetman, I am 100% certain that you know alot more about this stuff than I do, and your advice is not being ignored, but since it won't cost me anything to play with it, then nothing lost (expect maybe a scrap piece of lauan).
 

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I don't have the article with me as I am at work right now, but it's a bow-front hall table with a hidden drawer on the side. The curved front apron is around 24-30" long. The bow is not anything radical, the middle of the curve maybe 3 or 4"" out, something like a 30" radius. It is the sort of thing that I could give the bowed part more or less of a curve if I wanted.

This looks pretty much like it. The difference is that this one has drawers in the front, where as for the one I am wanting to do, the front apron is one continuous piece, and the drawer is hidden on one side.
I did a much more serious almost 180* bend on a highchair tray with slightly smaller than 1/4 stock and it worked just fine. You just need lots of clamps... lots
 

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I've not had much luck with steam bending but form bent glue laminating is something I've done with many many projects with success.

The bend in the OP is fairly shallow and could be accomplished with 1/4" thick lams. Cabinetman's suggestion of 1/8" would certainly work well also but it is a lot easier to make and glue up the 1/4" pieces. Much of the 1/8" pieces do not survive the trip through the planer whereas the 1/4" holds up much better.

You will have to make your form at a tighter radius than the finished product due to springback which will be greater than if done with 1/8" lams.

Bret

1/4" used here
Wood


3/32" used here
Clamp Wood Metal Machine tool Machine
 

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I've not had much luck with steam bending but form bent glue laminating is something I've done with many many projects with success.
Me too. Glue lams IMO are more predictable.

The bend in the OP is fairly shallow and could be accomplished with 1/4" thick lams. Cabinetman's suggestion of 1/8" would certainly work well also but it is a lot easier to make and glue up the 1/4" pieces. Much of the 1/8" pieces do not survive the trip through the planer whereas the 1/4" holds up much better.

You will have to make your form at a tighter radius than the finished product due to springback which will be greater than if done with 1/8" lams.
For this particular instance, I recommended ⅛" because of the length, and height of the lams. The shorter the lengths, the thinner the lams should be. It's just a matter of evaluating. I don't run lams that thin through the jointer. My saw cut is very good. Jointers can leave small chattering. If need be, I will just block sand the lams, and get very smooth faces.

I made a curved 22' footbridge over a swan pond, and the lams for the stringers were ¾" x 4"...in Red Oak. They varied in lengths up to 16'.






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As a kid, I helped my Dad steam bend oak keels for boats.
Galvanized downspout tube tied to a step ladder.
Ordinary water stem kettle at the bottom (K.I.S.S.)
Rag in the top as a steam gate.
He laid them on hot, that stuff was floppy like rubber.
 
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