Help! How do I bend this?

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Project by JonH posted 01-25-2008 11:31 PM 2756 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Help!  How do I bend this?
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Hello fellow lumberjocks!

I have a student who is making a table and wants to add this fancy trim to the feet. Trouble is the trim is straight and his feet are most decidedly curved. Here is a the student’s project.

Anyone know how to bend this material around about a 2” radius?



9 comments so far

View Ryan Shervill's profile

Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 4323 days

#1 posted 01-25-2008 11:52 PM

IS that softwood? “cause if it is…check my blog….you wont want to bend it anymore ;)

2 ” is asking alot of the trim…..I would rip off the beading on either side, cut a wole bunch of kerfs in the the backside of the center piece, then try bending it around the leg. If it stays, soak the beading in a mixture of 1 part glycerine to 10 parts water overnight, then try and pre bend it around a 2” form. If it still doesn’t work, soak it then steam it. If you get the 2” bend on the beading glue it back to the sides of the trim to cover the kerf cuts.

or rip off the beading, cut out the individual squares and face join them directly to the leg, then re-apply the beading.
Either way…GOOD LUCK!

-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here:

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4385 days

#2 posted 01-25-2008 11:59 PM

IS that softwood? “cause if it is…check my blog….you wont want to bend it anymore ;)

Mine, too. I sanded very thin (.08”) and tried bending using the same methods I have used building several guitars and a uke. It split along the grain, cracked across the grain, and scorched in spite of constant misting.

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4588 days

#3 posted 01-26-2008 01:09 AM

rikkor and ryan . . . you have guys have more patience than me.

-- BLOG -

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4314 days

#4 posted 01-26-2008 03:48 AM

If you steam bend you can make a bending jig up with either mdf or a pvc pipe. Lots of clamps and keeping the fingers crossed.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4404 days

#5 posted 01-26-2008 04:42 AM

sometimes students are exactly that

students , and not to be confused with children

rarely right <vbg>

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4501 days

#6 posted 01-26-2008 11:40 AM

Make the feet out of cherry or walnut and give the trim to someone else. I really think that’s a beautiful table and really would like to see it when the tile inserts are in place, and it’s finished. Would be a shame to add that plain white trim then try and color match it to fit. I’m thinking “overkill” here.

By the way…This piece directly reflects the instructions he’s received. You’ve done a great job with this student.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 4351 days

#7 posted 01-26-2008 12:41 PM

A 2” radius thats a tough one
If you go to Fine Wood Working .com search for bending wood. There is an article there that shows how to make wood as plyable as a rubberband. I read it and it left me amazed if Im not mistaken the same guy has a video on the same web site showing how to do it.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Bruce's profile


201 posts in 4285 days

#8 posted 01-26-2008 04:20 PM

If the legs are the octagon shaped columns he is scraping, it aint gonna happen given the apparent thickness of the board to be “bent.” I would miter cut them to fit with my Osborne EB3 ;-) If you MUST bend them, try cutting a V-notch just opposite where the trim meets the joints in the octagon leaving maybe a 32nd of an inch of material. Make a clamping block with an inside angle to match the angle of the octagon. Soak each thin area with hot water and spport it with the clamping blocks while appling pressure. Go really slow, so you’ll need to use a slow-setting glue. Breathe. And, as the other guys said, pray, with fingers crossed. Good luck.

-- I think of Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman when he says "Where does he get those wonderful toys" and ask WHERE DO U GUYS GET ALL THAT WONDERFUL WOOD?

View JonH's profile


82 posts in 4597 days

#9 posted 02-06-2008 06:04 AM

We are taking Ryan’s approach from above. We just got a Freud Fusion blade and it is amazing. I set it up and sliced off the little pyramids and then we cut some 1/32” thick strips of pine, soaked it, and bent it around a template. He then individually applied each little pyramid on the table feet. It is lots of work, but he is really working hard on that table! It should be a really neat project when he is done. More pictures to come on mccrafter’s page!

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