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Thread: Bent Plywood

  1. #1
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    Bent Plywood

    The other day I was poking around on one of the design blogs I like to follow and they showed a small stand made out of sheet metal. It is designed to hold a computer bag or similar. I thought it might be interesting to do something similar in wood and I was looking for a practice SketchUp project anyway. (Someday, I swear, I'm going to master it. Hasn't happened yet, though.)



    So let's make the top part out of a few layers of bending ply and veneer the outside faces. Maybe 1/4 inch thick altogether. The legs are 1/2" thick Baltic Birch. How would you attach the top to the legs with no visible fasteners? My thought is to use a couple of dowels, one on each surface and kind of snap the top into place on them.

    What's your approach?

    By the way, I'm not sold on the feet or the arch on the stretcher. They were just put in for the idea.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 07-20-2011 at 09:03 PM.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  2. #2
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    Sliding dovetail, stopping it short of where the back starts to curve up toward the top on the legs
    Last edited by Charles Hans; 07-20-2011 at 08:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    Charles, that would be interesting. Do you think a guy could get away with sliding dovetail sockets cut into 1/4 in. thick plywood?
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    Charles, that would be interesting. Do you think a guy could get away with sliding dovetail sockets cut into 1/4 in. thick plywood?
    I would think that a 3/16" x 3/16" DT would be stronger than dowels into the thin stock. You may want to consider laminating a thicker piece of stock to the underside of the "seat" for the legs to DT slide into as I agree that sliding DT's would be the strongest "hidden" joinery for that stress-point. Making it may prove problematic as I just noticed the back support portion of the leg pieces. Doh!

    OK, let's see. I will change my vote to dowels but, use epoxy to attach the "seat" to the "legs", dowels and all.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 08-03-2011 at 10:25 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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  5. #5
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    I would agree with the sliding dove tail but would say on the back and a dado for the curve and bottom. Epoxy or plastic resin glue, slide it into place and clamp it till it's set. not going to go anywhere. If you are planning on making it as thin as that no mechanical fastener or dowel is going to improve the strength, if anything it may weaken it. The stretcher will take up any lateral movement so racking will not be an issue.

    Looks like a cool project! Are you going to use a vacuum press or a bending mold?

  6. #6
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    Thankee gentlemen.

    So I did a quick sketch with sliding dovetails up the back and a shallow mortise on the bottom. It could work although i'm not sure how i would cut the sliding dovetail sockets on the back. i have a tiny little dovetail bit that might work fine and it would be pretty easy to set up on the Router Boss.

    As to bending it, I don't know. Vacuum bagging seems like a reasonable idea. When is another question. It's on my list.

    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  7. #7
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    you would have to make a sled for your router, route the dovetail as far as you can on each side then finish with a chisel or if you have a rabbet plane finish up the last bit. The same would go for the back of the chair as far as the router is concerned. where the bit enters the back is where you would have the sliding part, the rest would just be a straight dado. Really all the dovetail is going to serve is just to square it up and index, the epoxy is what will do the real work.

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    ..............
    Last edited by John Bartley; 09-22-2011 at 12:36 PM.

  9. #9
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    No need for a sled with the Router Boss.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    No need for a sled with the Router Boss.
    Quite the rig! I would lose all those little parts in under 10 minutes though.....

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