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Hi,

I am building a wood bench for a table and need some help. I built a plywood frame, pictured, and will be attaching horizontal slats of 3/4" pine to it. The pine is 2.5" wide. The problem is when the bench curves I am trying to figure out how to cut the slats to fit. They will be spaced 1/2" apart, start from just below where the nape of ones knee would rest and continue up to the top of frame. It seems where the slats lay flat (meaning parallel to the floor) a simple 22.5 degree will do. But as I move up the curve things get messy. Any advice?

Thanks,

Nialls
 

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where's my table saw?
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apparently a corner bench?

This means you can't just use straight slats and bend them around the corner, since they will have to bend in 2 planes. You can bend a straight board in one plane and keep it parallel, but not 2 planes.

So what can you do? You could miter the corner, but it won't be a smooth transition. The only other solution I can imagine involves a lot of scultping, sanding and scraping. Many narrow strips stacked one upon another, could be formed around the corner, but you'd want to have more forms to hold them in place. Then a lot of scraping and sanding to blend them to look like one continuous surface... :yes:
 

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My suggestion would be to do it with glued up laminations. Wood cut thin will bend on one plane. The idea here is to only do the laminations to bend in one plane going horizontally. Don't concern yourself with the vertical curve. If you cut your strips thinner than 2" wide and thinner than ⅛" thick they will make the horizontal curve.

Use a bendable form, like kerfed plywood that forms the horizontal curve, but is back cut to fit the ¾" plywood forms shown in the picture supporting the laminations for a one plane curve. The kerfs should be filled with Bondo, to give it some rigidity to keep its shape when applying the strips to be glued up. The first few lams will be cut to set the posing angle 90 degrees to the supports, which is the plane for the curve.

The lams will sit at a slight angle to the supports, and will vary vertically, but in the end when the width of each slat is complete, a bit of sanding will knock off the outstanding edges.





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My understanding is that you are making an L shaped slatted bench, if so the slats on the curves will be cut as compound mitres, there many online calculators, one is here:
http://jansson.us/jcompound.html

For the top part look at them as upside down and the back side of the examples shown.
 
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