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Thread: How to Bend Oak

  1. #1

    How to Bend Oak

    I'd like to build something like this:
    http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/bo...d-glass-holder

    I have some white and red oak, approx 5/8" thick. It's flat sawn... it used to be baseboard at a store so length is "anything under 10.5 feet"

    How would I go about bending it to make that wine glass caddy? Can 5/8" thick oak even be bent that far?

    Any ideas are appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
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    1,448
    I have my doubts about bending any dry 5/8 inch thick oak, but note that those are from a wine barrel, so the bend is from the sides of the barrel, and not from any need for a bend. A straight board would work as well, and be easier to store.

    If you still want a curved piece, try sawing the oak into 1/8" thick strips (which I am confident can be bent) or perhaps 1/4 or 5/16 inch. Then laminate the strips around a form, and when the glue dries there will be very little spring back.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,323
    Yeah, what Charlie said.

    The oak you have was probably kiln dried, and kiln dried wood generally doesn't steam bend very well. Air dried - and especially recently cut air dried - wood is best for steam bending.

    As Charlie said, rip it into 1/8" thick strips and bend them around a form to laminate them up to the thickness you want. Titebond, or other white or yellow glues tend to creep after bend laminating, so I'd use either hide glue or a powdered resin glue for the laminating.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    6,000
    As much as I like doing bentwood lamination, I'd cut something the size of that wineglass holder from a solid piece of whatever wood.

    Now, if I were doing a quantity of them, I'd use a bending form, cut the wood into 1/8" strips, glue it up and vacuum press it.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  5. #5
    Hmmm.... disappointing advice, but much appreciated. I don't have a band saw, so ripping 4.5" stock isn't an option for me. Also, I'm not sure I'd like the look of a laminated bend. Sounds like I'll have to try to source a barrel if I want to do this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    A laminated bend, when done right, will hide the seperate pieces quite well.

    Another approach to the project might be this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Whether one incorporates the different woods for contrast or uses a solid piece, it works.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    Bottle and glass holder. That would get a chuckle in some quarters. In Cockney rhyming slang, "Bottle and glass" is a rhyme for the part of the body one puts on a saddle. Or, I suppose, the creature one puts a saddle on.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8
    Bill - I've already made a number of 2 and 4 glass holders similar to that. A bent one would be the next step up!

    I did find a place where I could buy a very small (approx 10" long) oak barrel for approx $45+shipping, which is about the length I want. But it's a barrel intended for small batch wine making... straps, tap, and stand. I assume the company has waste, so I sent them an email asking if I could buy some of it. Bigger barrels that didn't pass QA or even just longer staves.

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