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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm trying my hand at designing a bent wood dog's den, or kennel. Would really like opinions on how to actually go about constructing it, specifically bending the wood. The basic idea for putting it together (in 3 parts) is illustrated in the image bellow: I'm also probably going to cut out sections in the sides for ventilation.


I'm new at this and I'd love as many different opinions as possible.
Thanks very much!
 

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Is the den going to be exposed to the weather? If not as wide as the bent board is you need use bendable plywood. The stuff bends like rubber. It doesn't have an attractive veneer for the finish layer like most plywood. It would be necessary to veneer over the den after it is assembled.

An alternative would be to make narrow strips of solid wood like slats and bend around a form. You would have to make a steam chamber to steam the wood to soften it to allow it to bend. This could be as simple as a pvc pipe rigged to vent steam through.
 

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Hello,

I did this for my small dog last year. Same concept. I used the brown backboard material from home depot and it worked great. It just depends on how big you want to make it. If its going into the weather than you may want to look at another option. If inside than that worked great for me.
What is "brown backboard material?" Are you writing about thin hardboard?

George
 

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He may be referring to hardboard ("Masonite"), which at big box stores typically comes in 1/8", and either 3/16" or 1/4" thicknesses. It looks like you have about an 8 inch radius, which ought to be bendable with 1/8" thick. If you need greater thickness, you can laminate two or more layers after bending.

One thing that can make bending easier- though I think it weakens the board a bit- is to spray a little water on the surface, and wait several minutes before bending. It makes the hardboard more flexible. As already mentioned, hardboard is not weather (moisture) resistant, so an outdoor project would require real wood.

If you want to give the dear dog more ventilation, you can use perforated hardboard (AKA pegboard)! :smile:
 

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He may be referring to hardboard ("Masonite"), which at big box stores typically comes in 1/8", and either 3/16" or 1/4" thicknesses. It looks like you have about an 8 inch radius, which ought to be bendable with 1/8" thick. If you need greater thickness, you can laminate two or more layers after bending.

One thing that can make bending easier- though I think it weakens the board a bit- is to spray a little water on the surface, and wait several minutes before bending. It makes the hardboard more flexible. As already mentioned, hardboard is not weather (moisture) resistant, so an outdoor project would require real wood.

If you want to give the dear dog more ventilation, you can use perforated hardboard (AKA pegboard)! :smile:
Yes, Massonited, is the word I could not remember. Those old brain cells deteriorate with age.

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone! I'm looking into your suggestions.

Is the den going to be exposed to the weather? If not as wide as the bent board is you need use bendable plywood. The stuff bends like rubber.
Yes, it's going to be inside.

If you want to give the dear dog more ventilation, you can use perforated hardboard (AKA pegboard)! :smile:
That's a cool idea!
 

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Being exposed to the weather lets out bendable plywood and pegboard. Both are interior products. The easiest way you could make that radius then would be to make slats running perpendicular to the radius and miter the corners and assemble like a wood column. Assemble with waterproof glue and once dry the corners of the joints can be rounded over making it a full radius.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Both masonite and bendable plywood seem like good options, but after more internet snooping I have to admit I'm even less clear on how I should do the bending. Most instructions on bending wooden laminates feature things that aren't as wide (arms rests, chair legs, etc.) which makes them easier bend with clamps. Any suggestions on how I could get the pressure spread evenly/enough across the 14" wide sheet? Creating male and female moulds seem time consuming and they would have to be fairly precise for it to work well. How would you guys suggest doing it, exactly?

Steve, when you mention bendable plywood are you talking about using several laminates and gluing them together?

GeorgeC, when you built yours, similar questions, what was the process for bending the masonite?

It looks like you have about an 8 inch radius, which ought to be bendable with 1/8" thick. If you need greater thickness, you can laminate two or more layers after bending.
How do you bend with only one layer of masonite? I thought you had to glue several together for them to keep the final shape.

Thanks again for your help and sorry if these are stupid questions :blink:
 

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Both masonite and bendable plywood seem like good options, but after more internet snooping I have to admit I'm even less clear on how I should do the bending. Most instructions on bending wooden laminates feature things that aren't as wide (arms rests, chair legs, etc.) which makes them easier bend with clamps. Any suggestions on how I could get the pressure spread evenly/enough across the 14" wide sheet? Creating male and female moulds seem time consuming and they would have to be fairly precise for it to work well. How would you guys suggest doing it, exactly?

Steve, when you mention bendable plywood are you talking about using several laminates and gluing them together?

GeorgeC, when you built yours, similar questions, what was the process for bending the masonite?



How do you bend with only one layer of masonite? I thought you had to glue several together for them to keep the final shape.

Thanks again for your help and sorry if these are stupid questions :blink:
Bending pegboard around that small of a radius would require making molds. It would other wise break under the stress of the bend. It's not as time consuming as you would think to make molds but is a little more trouble. You just cut two pieces of plywood to the radius you want and nail 1x4 ribs around the radius between the plywood pieces. Bendable plywood on the other hand you could roll it into a tube and insert it in a gallon paint can. It's just that flexible. For what you are doing one layer once glued to a frame would be strong enough. If you were making a den for a great dane you would have to laminate two sheets of the plywood together.

The curved area of this display was done with bendable plywood. Because of the large area and also because the bottom is a drawer front it was necessary to laminate two sheets together. Still there was no mold made. The two layers were just bent around the framework with glue between. On this project a single layer of the plywood was too flexible to work alone.
 

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