Welcome all, to the Bent Laminate Bat Instructable! Today I will be sharing the process of bending laminates to create a spoooooky Halloween decoration.
Decorations are great and all, but our goal is in learning the steps involved, and rules governing, the bending of laminated materials. A key model-making skill, bending laminates is a serious asset when you need to create a curved form.
Please only make use of the tools you feel comfortable with. Though I depict a table saw and router in cutting wood products, I will not provide instruction for either. If unfamiliar with these tools, I will provide alternatives for use with a variety of other materials.
Step 1: Choose Material, Determine Size and Shape
The idea behind laminates is the layering of flat pieces of material, between which we apply coats of adhesive. The bend is created in shaping and fixing these layers around a form, or mold. Plywood, for example, is the stacking of individual sheets of veneer, with wood glue to hold it all in place.
I have begun the process with 'bending plywood,' a particularly thin, easily bent material. Paper, chipboard, cardboard, plastics or any bendable sheet material should work well. In determining the curvature, I test the material for its limits, in which I bend until I begin to hear the plywood crack. Every material is different, papers will crease, cardboard will crinkle, I recommend stopping before your sheet loses its integrity.
Once you have determined a satisfactory bend, transfer a line of the curvature to another sheet, this will become our template for the next step, the mold.