Let me say that fenders on a bike are not always stylish accessories, especially if plastic parts (except if it's reuse). Nevertheless when it's raining they become essential, so that leaves us with a question, install fenders or not?
For my all-day city-bike I decided to make my own stylish fenders from wood profiles.
Step 1: Material
First of all I had to choose the wood profiles. I looked for a flat bar, long 1 meter for front fender and 1.5 m for rear one. About the type of wood I'm not an expert, but I paid attention that there were not knurls, and that fibers were thin, and obviously parallel to the length. The thickness of the bar has to be not more than 1/4" or better less.
To bend the wood I used a strap with lever and pulley, used to glue frames and pieces of furniture.
Step 2: Soften the Wood Fibers
To allow the wood bars to bend, and then keep the shape, you should put the bars in steam for some hours. I don't have a steam box (although you can easily build one, there are also some instructables about that) so I decided to pour profiles in water.
I found a plastic pipe, I plugged the bottom with a plastic conical container, and I left my wood bars in water for three days.
Step 3: The Bending Jig
My bending jig is nothing complicated... just a city bike 26" wheel, with rim wide enough to hold my wood profile.
I made different attempts with different wood types and I discovered that 26" diameter jig is good to build fenders for my mountain-bike with 26" wheels and 2" tires. Just leave it dry enough and it will straighten out just a bit. I waited a few days.
Step 4: Most Is Done
It's time to choose the right length and cut the extremities of the profiles. For the longer bar you could decide to keep one end, which should have a lower curve, and use it for the forward part of the rear fender, to connect it to the center of the bike frame.
After cutting to the right dimension use a belt sander to round off the top edge on all the length of the fender, and also smooth the corners. Then smooth it by hand with fine-grained sand paper.
Step 5: Choose Colour
When the fender is smooth you can paint it with a darker colour, or leave it natural. I chose a walnut tint.
Step 6: Connection Bars
For front fender, which has no other connections with the fork, I used a rigid metal bar reused from my old plastic fender. For rear fender you don't need a very stiff piece for connection, since it could be joined to the frame and to the rack.
Step 7: Protective Paint
To weather the rain wood fenders have to be painted with a layer or two of boat paint ("flating" is its name in Italy).
Don't forget to wash your brush with thinner.
The finishing painting also gives a shiny appearing and it accents the wood distinctive vibrancy. You should probably take care of your new fenders cleaning them frequently, and sanding and painting them again after 6-8 months.
Step 9: Assembling
You can now assemble the fender on your bike. Make some test and mark the positions for holes, then drill the wood bars paying attention to not break fibers, it's useful to lean the piece on another wood block while drilling.
Tighten screws enough so that fenders will not come unscrewed. Mount again wheel and close your brakes.
Step 10: Awesome
Your bike has now two awesome stylish wood fenders, with personal length and width, and you can say: I made it!