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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it possible to bend 3/16" cherry into a 3" radius? I have never done any steam bending so if it is possible how long does 3/16" wood need to be steamed prior to bending?
Thanks, Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I figured it would be difficult to do. The pieces would be 3/16 by 1/2" and coiled like a spring.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Manuka Jock said:
Try it and see
I was hoping that someone had some experience and could give me yes or no answer. So I guess the worst thing that can happen is I break a small amount of cherry. If I don't get any other info I will try. May be a week or so to set up a small steam box.
Tom
 

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I was hoping that someone had some experience and could give me yes or no answer. So I guess the worst thing that can happen is I break a small amount of cherry. If I don't get any other info I will try. May be a week or so to set up a small steam box.
Tom
Yes, a 6" radius can be bent with the right piece of wood.

I have NO experience steam bending Cherry. This 1/4" thick piece of Hackberry I steamed is bent around a 2x4 end which is considerably less radius that your 6" radius. Being it was cut fresh, all that's required is to bring the wood to temperature since we aren't attempting to add moisture back. This piece was steamed for about 20 minutes.

For ease of steam bending a fresh cut from the tree will be the easiest and have the best success rate. Next would be air dried wood followed by Kiln dried. I don't even attempt Kiln dried and avoid air dried when possible.

Research steam bent wood stirrups and you'll see old white Oak and Hickory bent with real sharp radii. You can bet those were bent fresh cut and the convex of the bend was the outside of the tree to avoid grain blow out.
 

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Let us know how cherry bends vs straight grain wood like w. oak and hickory. I've got a project planned where I need to bend possibly 3-4"r corners out of 1-1/2" wide x ? thich strips.
 

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Yes, a 6" radius can be bent with the right piece of wood.

I have NO experience steam bending Cherry. This 1/4" thick piece of Hackberry I steamed is bent around a 2x4 end which is considerably less radius that your 6" radius. Being it was cut fresh, all that's required is to bring the wood to temperature since we aren't attempting to add moisture back. This piece was steamed for about 20 minutes.

For ease of steam bending a fresh cut from the tree will be the easiest and have the best success rate. Next would be air dried wood followed by Kiln dried. I don't even attempt Kiln dried and avoid air dried when possible.

Research steam bent wood stirrups and you'll see old white Oak and Hickory bent with real sharp radii. You can bet those were bent fresh cut and the convex of the bend was the outside of the tree to avoid grain blow out.
Our mate TomC is talking about a 3" radius spring , will that work ?

I'm thinking of building a steam box too , for eucalyptus
 

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Adding moisture back isn't going to help.
In the process, the noncellulosic wood chemicals are plasticized by heat, not moisture.
Steam is a very effective transfer agent for heat.
The steam heat warms the bound water in the wood which in turn warms and softens the non-fiber in the wood (lignins, pectic substances and so on). No more, no less and never reaches pyrolysis temperatures.
That's a $2 way of saying that steam won't char the wood.

For kerf bent boxes, I have seen the joints done with rags boiling in a big pot of water. One after another
dropped on the joint. Some boxes have 12" - 18" corners.
 

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I 'steamed' these strips in ones and twos in a microwave oven .

Soaked them overnight , then hit them with short 'high' bursts in the oven , quicky clamped them into a former mold for 24 hours , then glued up and back into the mold for gluing to the previous ones.
Some had to be 'steamed' twice .
It took forever to do .
Thats' why I'm looking to build a bending box :yes:

The strips are oak and birch , 18mm wide x 28mm deep
Board is 400mm long x 210 wide

Sometimes a wee curl of smoke arises and leaves it's mark :laughing:
 

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