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bending wood for bike basket Answered

So I've found this bike basket (http://bentbasket.com/) I really like but I don't feel like spending 100$ on it.  I was thinking about building it myself but I have no idea how to bend wood like that in two directions
Any idea on how to bend wood like that would be appreciated ;)


You can be lucky to get quite thin sheets of plywood from a furniture manufacturer, there are often small comapnies or individuals using it a lot.
Some years ago I was able to get tons of it for free, only downside was the size and shape was quite odd as it was used to make other parts.
If the sheets are thing you don't really need too much force to bend and keep in shape, a wooden form works fine here as long as you factor in that the wood can bend back a little bit once removed.
But I would not try to bend in 2 dimensions with the same sheet.
It is best to create the form pieces only bend in one direction and to laminated them together to form the final piece.
For most 2D bending you also need to make cut outs in the ply to allow good forming - this can often only be done through try and error, which needs a bit more wood...

But the problem would be that I get some kind of edge on the inside, won't I? And veneer wood is quite expensive as far as I know..

You essentially need a very rigid form or mold in that shape for the inside and outside, an outer C shaped bowl and a filled in D shaped ram to fit the inside, like stacking together bowls that fit inside of each other.

The plywood is softened or steamed to be pliable. To DIY it, you could set up some kind of car jack or heavy duty vise to press the forms together. It is easier to glue up and laminate the layers in the form if you have access to sheet veneer. Short lengths of steel pipe as the inner form and lots of clamps to coax the wood into shape would work too. Good luck.

Do you think it is a good idea to make the mold out of wood?

You've got a lot of things going on here.

1. You have to find a thin enough plywood that will bend when heated and steamed. Just soaking in hot water may only warp the wood or destroy it because the glue falls apart. You may find that you need to score - not all the way through, on the crease lines so that it can fold or bend at the crease.

2. You may want to find one of those heavy duty steel steam pans - ones used in food buffet catering to use as your form. You can even wrap a thick telephone book or old hardcover book with plastic wrap or duct tape as your form. The core form can be anything that is solid enough to resist the bending/clamping and waterproof so it doesn't bend under the wet wood.

The trick is to get your thin sheet of plywood to go bend around the curves, weigh it down, fix it in place with clamps or more tape and let it completely dry. You may need to form and glue several layers of plywood together to get a sturdy enough tray.

These are some pretty good ideas! I think I'll do some testing on the wood I already got to figure out how it's going to react to bending.

Thanks for the ideas!
Would you make the form also out of wood or some different material? And is it really possible to bend plywood in two different directions at once? Or is that just a trial-and-error-thing?

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I would start with a thin rectangle of plywood and circle out the corners. Than I would steam it and has caitlinsdad says put into into a form and press it. Leave it clamped in there for a few days and when it's dry, take it out.