Bent Lamination Bracelet

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Introduction: Bent Lamination Bracelet

About: I build, I teach, I learn. Happiest when covered in saw dust, sweat and machine grease. Visit CobyUngerDesign.com for more projects and info.

Bent lamination is a process for creating a continuous grain curve in wood. It is used frequently in furniture and other curved wooden objects. 

In this example we will be using 5 layers of standard thickness walnut veneer to make a wooden bracelet. 

The materials you will need are:

Veneer (I really like the people at CertainlyWood.com.)
Wood Glue
Masking Tape
Packing Tape
Sand Paper
Solid Wood
Bicycle Tube (or other rubber strap)
Wood Finish (I use General Finishes' Salad Bowl Finish)

The tools you will need are:
Knife
Pen
Saw (band saws are great although a scroll saw will work)
Sander
Dremel Tool (or similar rotary carver)

Step 1: Cut Form

You will need something to bend the wood around. In this case it is just an oval shaped piece of wood. Start with a block approximately 1.5 to 2 inches thick.

Trace an existing bracelet to get a good size. Mine was about 3 inches by 2.25 inches. 

Cut out the form with your band saw (or scroll saw).

Sand it down to the finished shape.

Step 2: Wrap Form

In order to make sure the bracelet does not stick to the form wrap it in packing tape and trim off the excess.

Step 3: Lay Out

Cut strips of veneer that are as wide as your form is tall. Make sure the grain is running in the long direction. 

If you are using a burl veneer on the outside (as I am) cover one side of that layer in masking tape. 

Dispense glue onto 4 of the 5 layers of wood and spread it out evenly. Glue should cover the entire surface of the 4 layers of veneer.

Stack the layers on top of one another. 

Step 4: Glue Up

Carefully wrap the stacked layer of veneer around your form, making sure they overlap on the long side of the bracelet. 

Wrap the whole thing tightly with the rubber tube. The tube should be split down the middle and you will only need about 2.5 feet of it.

Tape the end of the tube in place and wait 12 hours for the glue to dry. It will take longer to dry than wood glue usually does since it has water tight membranes on either side.

Step 5: Cut to Shape

Unwrap the bracelet and remove the form from inside.

Cut a gap in the front where the two pieces overlap. 

Cut off the sides.

Round the corners and edges with a Dremmel.

Step 6: Sand and Finish

Sand the bracelet with descending grits (80, 120, 220, 400). 

Apply 2 or 3 coats of finish. General Finishes makes something called Salad Bowl Finish, which is great. It's non toxic and waterproof when cured.

 

Step 7: Enjoy

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10 Comments

Sure. It is best to use veneer that is not paper backed. Good luck!

-Coby

Did you end up making one?

Very good instructions! Thanks for the tutorial. Fran

1 reply

Did you make one? I'd love to see pictures.

Great work. I love the burl on the outside (I've done that for rings). Have you ever considered using micromesh to get a smoother, almost mirror-like finish on the wood before you coat it with anything? It's extra work, but it makes the wood look and feel incredible.

Nice! Great job