Introduction: Bending Wood Using a 3-D Form
You will need to have a form in order to bend the wood shown in this demo. Please refer to "Making a simple form for 3-D wood bending" in part 1 of this Instructable.
Step 1: Steaming Your Wood
If you haven't done so please soak your strip of wood in water prior to bending. Give it at lease a 30 minute soaking.
Turn on your steamer. If you do not have a steam box or a steaming source, you can get free plans at Rockler.com or you can probably find some good ones on Instructables.com
Once your steamer is at full capacity, put your wood in the start for 15 minutes.
Step 2: Ready, Set, Bend
The bending portion will be quick so be sure to have everything at the ready. Have a spray bottle of water at arms length.
1. Have all your clamps ready. Allow one clamp to rest on the top of the form to clamp the ignition bend. Take the wood out of the steamer and clamp it on the top.
2. Quickly bend the quick as it will stiffen quickly and will no longer be pliable in Less than a few minutes time. Bend the wood along the forms to your desired design preference while clamping it as you go along. Use the spray bottle to add moisture as you are bending to prevent cracking. There maybe breaks, that is common. You can fix it will some glue and clamps.
3. Allow it to dry for an hour.
Step 3: Unraveling the Form and Reshaping
After drying for an hour.
1. Unclamp the wood to the form.
2. Carefully take apart all the screws that hold the form in place. Once this is done, your sculpture will be released. Some spring back will happen so we will use it to our advantage. It light even be still slightly pliable where you can pull out the bent wood carefully without unraveling the form.
3. Use the spray bottle to wet the wood again and tighten the radius and reshape your wood to your hearts desire without pushing it too far. If you feel resistance, that is close to "too far"". I would say that you can comfortably tighten the radius up to an inch all around and manipulate the wood to tuck and lock underneath each other. Reclamp for final drying position. See picture.
4. At the his point, fix some of the tears with a little wood glue and reclamp.
Step 4: Sand an Finish
1. Sand your piece by hand.
Start with a higher grit. I'm using 120 the go on to a finer grit. I will use 220 for my final sanding.
2. Finish with poly or hard oil and your done.
3. Use your sculpture as you please. I am using it for a planter.