Step 4: Build the Molds

Once you've selected your profile, carefully trace its shape onto a piece of particle board you've cut to fit it. It's very helpful at this stage to print the profile if you have a large enough printer or plotter available. You can spray-mount the profile to the first piece of particle board to make sure your cuts are precise. The two halves of the mold must have exactly the right tolerance between them, or the molds will not apply even pressure to your bent ply piece!

Once you've cut one carefully on the bandsaw, sand down using a (1" belt sander if available) to the exact edge of your profile curve.
Alternating the direction ofthe veneer is crucial. You can also use wiggle board , but then you have to seal the edges afterwards.
Very, very nice. Thanks for sharing.
<p>Fantastic work, absolutely excellent. If you put a few of these on Etsy, you'll make a bundle. Well done indeed.</p>
All I can say is: WOW. Well done. Brilliant, really. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.
I didnt know you made this! I love this project.
This is fantastic. Any thoughts on whether it might work on a larger piece, like a chair? Or something that bears a lot of weight, like bentwood legs?
Thanks!<br> <br> After working through this with the nightstands I'd say it'd be a real challenge to make a full single-piece chair or anything like the <a href="http://padstyle.com/wave-desk/510" rel="nofollow">Wave Desk</a>&nbsp;in size. These little nightstands required a full sheet of 3/4&quot; particle board, so they were quite heavy and awkward to work with, even for a small finished piece. If I had to guess, the molds for something like a desk or chair would probably weigh over 200lbs; also I suspect it would be hard to paint all the glue on before it starts to cure.<br> <br> That said, I definitely think there are ways to be clever in the design process that would enable you to make a larger piece out of several self-similar pieces. Like the <a href="http://julesseltzerstore.com/butterfly-stool-miniature.html" rel="nofollow">butterfly stool</a>, or the <a href="http://www.puredesignonline.com/onsale.php?sku=ZUMI" rel="nofollow">zumi stool</a>&nbsp;, for example.<br> <br> As for legs, absolutely. The nightstands are pretty much unbreakable. I had one where I messed up during the glue-up; to throw it away I wanted to break it, but even with my full body weight on top of it, I couldn't break it. Legs, also, don't necessarily need the tight curvature that I used in this design, which would mean you could start to use much thicker laminations. It would become a more normal <a href="http://americanwoodworker.com/blogs/techniques/archive/2009/10/07/bent-wood-lamination.aspx" rel="nofollow">bent laminations process</a> at some point, once they curvature and surface area decrease substantially.<br> <br> Thanks for the comment and the great questions!<br>
I made a lot of longboards with rather complex compound curves. I used a similar method in construction but rather than particle board, I used high density foam (like the sheets of insulation foam you can get at hardware stores). This foam is really useful because you can shape it with a hotwire foam cutter and sand it down, then you can fiberglass the foam so it won't warp under pressure or wear over time. <br> <br>I generally use a vacuum press for my molds but before I had one I used a similar sandwich type technique. I used 1/16&quot; maple so I had to lay it up over several pressings to get the tight curves but the result is very satisfying. <br> <br>This would be a decent, lightweight way to craft larger projects.
This is awesome! I always wondered how bent-ply was done. I figured it was just steamed, like how they made the curved spars for boat hulls. Thanks for the detailed instructable!
great way to make the mold, I love the results
This looks great. I learnt a lot from your tutorial, thanks for the instructional.
Great stuff!<br>I had always thought this was done on a single regular piece of ply-wood, and then molded with heat and steam...<br><br>You have just opened Pandora's box! :)
This is amazing....looks like a bit of work though. I would be interested in buying one if you decided to make a few extras :)
Thanks! I'm not going to lie.... it's a ton of work. 21 Layers is easy to type, but each one has to be roughcut (twice) then flush-trimmed.... but each nightstand isn't too bad !<br><br>Wish I could offer you one! Unfortunately I don't have the molds anymore, so I think these may just be two of a kind.... next time I'll hang onto the molds until *after* the instructable is posted :)
Very nicely done, and well written. It makes me think that even I could do it.
Thanks great work.
This is incredible and looks complicated, and yet you have made it so simple that anyone could attempt it. Nice photography too.
Great pictures!
Charles and Ray would be proud. Nicely done.
Wow, this is impressive. The design is fantastic and the directions are really thorough. Great pics too!
This is gorgeous! I've been looking for a design like this for a desk. Great work!
I love this !!!
nice design!<br>
Awesome design!
This is amazing! Great instructions. :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Architect by training, Phil is a designer who codes. He abuses CNCs and industrial robots while building fine furniture, mixing digital fabrication and craftsmanship. He ... More »
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