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Thread: A couple of Questions (old high chair)

  1. #1
    Bob Wiggins is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    A couple of Questions (old high chair)

    1) Is there a specific name for this type of carving on the back?

    2) As can bee seen in the pic it needs a new arm. The way I see it steam bending would be the only correct way to make a replacement arm. Would that be too difficult, for a first bending project, for a person with say maybe average woodworking skills if he does some research first? thanks

  2. #2
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    I think you'll find that it's not really carved. The design is actually pressed into the wood - using a big hydraulic press and and a metal die.

    As for the bending of the arm - it'll be a bit complicated since it's a 'reverse bend.' That is, it bends/curves in two different directions. You'll need to make a bending form, and since the radius of the bottom bend is so tight, you'll probably need to use metal strapping to keep the wood from failing.

    Use green, or at least air dried wood. Kiln dried stuff probably won't take the bend.

    For some great info on steam bending, there's a book by Leonard Lee (Of Lee Valley) that is one of the best treatises on the subject I've ever seen. You used to be able to download it (FREE) (about 75 pages) from the Lee Valley website. I don't know whether it's still available there or not...

    Good luck. This will be a challenging project.
    Jim D.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Bob,

    If you are able to bend an arm piece, please post pictures and information on how you went about doing it. Even if you try something and it doesn't work, still put the pictures and steps out. It would be a good learning experience to share.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

  4. #4
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    bob, jim`s correct the top rail is embossed......as to bending an arm......the trick is to have thin enough plys so that the plys will make the radius with very little stress. remove the other arm and use it to make a pattern, i`d use 3-4 layers of either ply or mdf, cut small flats on the backside for clamps to gain purchase on and start clamping with the inside curve.....good luck!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    bob, jim`s correct the top rail is embossed......as to bending an arm......the trick is to have thin enough plys so that the plys will make the radius with very little stress. remove the other arm and use it to make a pattern, i`d use 3-4 layers of either ply or mdf, cut small flats on the backside for clamps to gain purchase on and start clamping with the inside curve.....good luck!

    Jim and Tod are correct. Laminated is the way to go with the replacement arm. Less than 1/8" thickness and they need to be soaked in hot water before attempting to bend. So use a water activated glue such as Polyurethane. There will some springback so when you construct your form, tighten the curve a little, Also make the strips longer than necessary to allow for trimming to size.

    Back at steam bending Green wood will work fine and easier. The results will be the same as with laminations.

  6. #6
    Bob,
    Unless you have the urge to tackle the piece on your own, take a look at VanDykes parts:

    http://www.vandykes.com/product/02239174/

    http://www.vandykes.com/subcategory/194/

    It may fit, may not, just food for thought. If not, maybe replace both sides?
    Wes

  7. #7
    Excellant suggestion WES (BTW my initials are WES so smart must be in the genes) I looked all through Vandykes and couldn't find it, although I knew I had seen them before (their search has to be so specific) I have used Vandykes before and have been pleased with the products (not the price, but the products, which are hard to find)

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