Introduction: Bending Wood With a Car Tire

About: interested in creating alternative sources of energy for local urban and suburban communities, enjoy cooking, biking, fun with electricity and fine woodworking

Used bent lamination to bend some maple using a car tire as a form:) Good fun. Be careful not to get the wood stuck in the tire

Step 1: What You Will Need

This is bent lamination; where numerous, thin strips of wood are glued together in a bend. For this project I used some squared 6X1X .1 " maple. You want very straight grained wood. Tops would probably be Ash, maple and any other hardwood (unless you are very careful and take great care soft wood will mostly likely snap).

Table saw

car tire

Stretch wrap (grab some of this at a local post office, ebay, Walmart, etc.)

Plenty of wood glue, for the most "open time" I highly suggest using Tight bond III as it gives you at least twenty to thirty minutes for working, which you will need

sand paper a little coarse and a few finer pieces

Some long grained wood such as Ash or Maple (keep in mind you will need more than you think to compensate for loss of material to the table saw blade)

towels or rags to help clean up the squeeze out (excess) glue


If you want to spend the money on a cheap mini roller to apply the glue feel free. It does make the application process much easier. but this is optional

Step 2: Rip Your Material

cut your material into whatever size you like width and length wise. try to keep the thickness consistent and very thin. close to 1/10th". This makes the bending part much easier.

Better to keep track of your pieces and keep them in order so I use a pencil and draw a little triangle to help me remember the order in which they are cut

Step 3: Layering Like Cake

Set yourself up with plenty of room as you will be moving fast with your arms waving about. An extra hand sometimes can be more helpful in this step. For this bend two hands should suffice. Get your stretchwrap out. Now if you are like me and not going to make a huge investment in some very strong stretchwrap you will need to wrap it around several more times as it is not as strong as the industrial grade stuff.

Grab your bundle and stack it close. If the surface of your material still seems a little rough use some sand paper to smooth it down a bit. (don't worry too much about this).

Apply glue generously on each piece, one at a time. and slowly layer them on top of each other until all are stacked.

push down gently along the build and then once most of the excess glue has been squeezed out, apply a little more pressure and the strips are sticking together. Then...

Step 4: Wrapping Fast

working fast, grab your stretch wrap and firmly wrap it several times around your cake. Working from one end to the other. Don't become frustrated if the stretchwrap breaks now and again; just keep going until you have it wrapped tightly around all the strips. Remember you are fighting the clock as you do not want all the glue to solidify just yet

wrap it until you feel it is holding all the strips together tightly; there will and should be a bit of squeeze out inside the wrapping. Once you have done your weaving, grab both ends and pull them towards each other and set it inside the car tire and let go (this is your form).

Step 5: Wait and Pull Off the Plastic

Now you have done it! Leave it in the tire for eighteen to twenty four hours. Pull the woven wood out of the tire and unwrap the plastic. That's your wood bend!

If you intend to smooth it out, use a rasp first. It helps to remove the excess that has half hardened and shape the edges. Then you can take some sand paper to it.