Need help with making curved veneer seat.

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Forum topic by JimKing201 posted 08-20-2008 02:01 AM 1394 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 4171 days

08-20-2008 02:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question oak veneering

If you go to my profile, I have pics of the chair I’m building and the original. It will help make sense of what is written below.
Thanks, Jim.

I am at a stand still on how to glue and bend the veneer for the seat. I will be using 3 plys, with the center being .200 thick – grain horizontal. Front and back of chair seat will be vertical grain white oak, .045 thick.

The seat will be about 20 inches wide by 42 inches long. The top of ply will be straight down then about a 6 inch radius bend, a relatively flat seat, then bend about 4 inch radius curved downward which will be the ‘front’ of the seat.

The problem is because of the size, and my concern that the form that I make will not have pressure through-out the entire surface of the ply, is whats keeping me from finishing this project.

Any ideas, comments, questions, pictures, advice, experience, etc., will help in getting this monkey off my back and get me going on this again.

This project was inspired by an old Wisconsin Chair Company piece. Its all quarter sawn white oak, with only the rockers being white ash. The backs were made from a 2×4 being resawed, planed and glued back together in a form. I am not set up for steam bending yet. I made several trial and errors steam bending and ended up with a bunch of kindling wood.

-- Got Wood?

5 replies so far

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4270 days

#1 posted 08-21-2008 03:00 AM

I will try to explain this and can only hope it makes sence. You can make a solid form for the base and use square tube steel as your downward force. The bottom form will need a rigid lip or points of connection about every inch. If the base is say 20” wide, the tube steel will need to be atleast 24” long. The steel will cross the form perpendicular every inch or more depending of how tight the radius is. Drill holes into the ends of the bar, you can use carriage bolts or all-thread as clamps. These bolts then go up through the lip or points of intersection along the sides of the from. Use nuts with washers to tighten down the bars from the top. Wrap the form and the bottoms of the steel bars in cork as to not telegraph the shape of the steel onto the top of the seat frame. This will give you absolute control of the bend as you can tighten down individual bars at the appropriate inside radius working up the form. I have produced extreme radi with a smaller version of this method. The only drawback for you will be cost of set-up.
Good Luck

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4326 days

#2 posted 08-21-2008 03:53 AM

Between the Olympics and the Little League World Series I am like a pig in the mud with sports right now.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View JimKing201's profile


36 posts in 4171 days

#3 posted 08-21-2008 11:21 PM

Excellent idea! I see what youre talking about. Gives a new light on something that I could use for some other projects of mine too. Thanks Rhett.

-- Got Wood?

View Grumpy's profile


25952 posts in 4454 days

#4 posted 08-22-2008 02:38 AM

Jim, I think there are a few posts on this subject. If you search veneering you will find a lot there
Here’s a link

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View G517's profile


1 post in 1568 days

#5 posted 10-04-2015 10:51 PM

Hey. Realise this is an old post but may still help someone out.
Old school way to veneer on a curved surface.
Get yourself the required amount of fine sand, heat this up in a large pan. Pour into a sack or even a large towel…sacks preferrable. Place the pre glued veneer onto your glued surface, sheet of brown paper on top, then the sack of sand. The sand will perfectly form to the contour of your seat or curved area. Next place a board on top and clamp as normal. Make sure there is pressure all over seat though if the sand is fine enough this shouldn’t be a problem. Leave for 24 hrs and bobs your uncle…veneered seat.

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