Bend wood to make furniture using a bent lamination technique that involves cutting wood into the desired shape, ripping wood strips, applying glue with a roller and clamping wood pieces into place. Find out how long to let bent wood pieces dry in this free video from an award-winning woodworker on basic carpentry.
Next I will be demonstrating how to bend wood. This particular type of bend is called a bent lamination where you use multiple layers bent around a form with glue in between, clamp down, when the glue dries, it retains its shape. The first step is making your bending form. This particular bending form is made out of three layers of three quarter inch MDF. First you cut your outside radius or any shape that you want to bend to, then you cut an inside radius small enough to where your clamps that you'll be using can reach over your form and over your piece that you will be bending, clamping it down firmly. The first step after building your bending form is to now rip your strips. When ripping strips, you need to be aware that your strips can be pulled down into your table saw through your throat plate. Replace your throat plate with a zero clearance throat plate. Now it's time to rip the strips. The first step of ripping strips is to set the gage on the rip fence to the closest one eighth of an inch mark that cuts the least amount of material off your wood as possible. Once again, the first step is to set the rip fence gage to the closest one eighth of an inch increment that cuts the least amount off your wood. Now we'll make that pass shaving off the edge of the board. We will be creating one eighth of an inch strips. The way you do this is moving the rip fence gage one quarter of an inch each time. What that allows for, it allows for the one eighth of an inch thickness of the saw blade plus gives you the one eighth of an inch strip being sawed off the outside, which is the most safest and efficient way. This process gives you nice, bendable, one eighth of an inch strips that if you follow the method, it will give you each one will be very consistent. Repeat this method until you have as many strips as you need. The next part of this process is the glue up. You need to make sure that you have all your things right around you because you only have a limited amount of time to do a glue up like this because of how many glue seams you have. I've got a roller for applying glue to the strips, all my clamps, and my bending form right here where I need them. Now you need to take your roller, applying glue in the tray, roll glue onto your strips. All you have to do is roll it onto the first one, have your stack in front of you, roll a light amount of glue onto each strip flipping them onto each other and continue this process until you've covered each strip with glue and have them evenly stacked. Next after the glue up is clamping all of your strips to your form. Whenever possible, it's best to use a pad. In this case you're using small scraps of MDF to act as a buffer between the clamp and your first strip. The reason for doing this is the amount of pressure that the clamps can create can make marks or dent your wood, and then sometimes if there's any glue on the surfaces, it can react with the steel leaving dark marks on your wood. First is find the center of the strips, place it on your form and get your first clamp in place. Once you've done this, lay down, lay the form down along with the clamp and your strips down flat. Repeat this process until you've reached both ends of your strips. Bent laminations need to dry for approximately eight hours. Once enough time has passed, you want to un-clamp your form. If everything went right, you should get a nice, consistent curve, the shape of your form.