Reply by bbasiaga

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Posted on CNC vs Steambending Hardwood

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1243 posts in 2444 days

#1 posted 04-04-2018 12:22 AM

The advantage, at least on paper, with steam bending is that the grain of the piece would be continuous. If you imagine cnc cutting that out of a thicker block, there would be some short grain wherever wood was cut out of the way to make the shape. In the wrong place, this could mean a weaker piece.

On a bent piece, all the wood is still there, so all the grain strands are longer and more continuous. In theory, stronger. Imagine the grain like fault lines…ehen you stress them so they compress together it is very strong. If you stress them to peel them apart they can be weak. Hopefully that helps with the visualization.

The reality is that for the application any hardwood may be strong enough for either method of construction. On the flip side, you could cut or bend a piece in the wrong orientation and have a failure either way too.

Cnc is good for some things and overkill for others. I would probably band saw this out as well, and sand or plane to shape.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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