Curved Components: Part Three

(This is the third installment in a series of presentations on how to produce curved components in woodworking. The first installment dealt with stacked laminations (find it here), and the second discussed brick-laying – how to develop curve parts using small wooden bricks (read it here).

(Fig. 1) Building a form to use in bent lamination work is sometimes a much of a process as is building the entire project. For that reason, I only chose to build forms on projects I expect to make again.

A third method to make curved components is to assemble and glue thin pieces of stock around a form. When the glue dries, the assembled part is pulled from the form. This is known as a bent lamination. The important words in that first sentence are “around a form.” Building a form takes time. This is a process I’d use only if I were building multiples of the same design. In other words, I could and would use the form over and over (Fig. 1).

Before diving into form building, a word about “springback,” which has to be determined prior to building a form. Bent pieces attempt to return to straight if given the opportunity. That is spring-back. Some degree of springback happens to any glued-up bent lamination, even with a strong-holding glue. As woodworkers, we have the ability to lessen the amount of springback.

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