How to Bend Wood in 4 Easy Steps

There are several methods to bend wood, several of which can be attained by the average DIYer in a property workshop. Underneath we will lay out a easy four-phase approach for two of the most frequent approaches to bend—water and steam. Both have a related approach with a few key variances.

Water is very easily one of the most uncomplicated techniques to bend wooden and doesn’t require everything particular other than a sort. On the other hand, steam is a minor a lot more intense in its needs but arguably one particular of the most effective methods of wooden bending.

Ahead of you commence, right here are the equipment, components, and basic safety considerations to make.

Safety: Heat-resistant gloves
Materials: Wood of choice, water or steam
Tools: Tub, large pot, form, clamps, steam box for steam method

Water Bending

You really don't have to use a tub, but for the dimensions and volume of h2o essential for this technique, it tends to make an perfect “tool” for the work. Maintain in thoughts this is a time-sensitive approach as soon as the wooden comes out of the drinking water. So, make positive your kind is readily offered.

1. Arrange Wood in Tub

Once you have selected the wood for the project, area it in the tub. If you are going to bend numerous parts, the tub will require to be capable to accommodate multiple parts. Just bear in mind it will be a time crunch once the wood will come out, so you will most likely not want to be functioning with far more than two types at a time.

2. Heat and Water

You’re likely to need a substantial volume of drinking water to submerge your wooden, so the larger the pot or pots, the far better. Also, the hotter the drinking water, the much more pliable the wooden receives. There is no particular volume of water essential. All you want to do is make positive that the wood is entirely submerged. Wood frequently floats, so put anything on prime of it to keep it down if want be.

Critical Observe: Retaining the water scorching is essential. So, either add sizzling tap water or keep on boiling h2o to insert all through the soaking approach.

3. Clamp Board to Form

An hour is the least time you want to soak the wooden, but lengthier is also great if you have the time. As soon as you’re happy, consider the wood out of the drinking water with your heat-resistant gloves and quickly bend and clamp it into the form you have waiting around.

Critical Observe: On average, you have about 30 seconds to get the wooden bent ahead of it is no lengthier pliable.

4. Dry and Cool

When the board is clamped, there’s nothing remaining to do but wait around for the wooden to dry and amazing. The thickness of the board will determine how extended this element of the approach takes—it could be a handful of several hours to a few times.

As soon as you get rid of it from the kind, if it’s not very the concluded bend you want, it’s feasible to re-soak it and bend it further.

Steam Bending

H2o bending can be largely carried out with issues you very likely presently have laying all around the property, which is useful. But if you’re hunting to just take your wooden bending to the subsequent amount, then steam bending is a great selection. Even so, prior to you begin, you will want to buy a steam box or make one particular. Then you will need to have a way to generate sizzling steam—a steam cleaner is 1 alternative.

1. Arrange Wood in Steam Box

Due to the fact of its dimensions, a steam box is typically only suited for bending a single piece of wood at a time. But you require to steam it for significantly less time than you would have to soak it for. You can also use wooden that is a minor thicker, which opens up your possibilities.

2. Activate Steam

Flip on the steamer once you have the steam box sealed and the hose attached. Make positive to comply with all instructions while making use of the steamer simply because the steam can attain excessive temperatures and burn off you seriously if you aren’t mindful.

3. Clamp Board to Form

In contrast to h2o, steam only requires around 45 minutes to be effective. Nevertheless, you nonetheless only have about 30 seconds of pliability once you take away the wood from the steam. So, make positive you have the type all set before opening the steam box.

Important Notice: Just before opening the steam box, turn the steam off. Also, do not have your experience in close proximity to the opening when it opens.

4. Dry and Cool

Like the drinking water bending approach, once you clamp the board, all you do is wait for the wood to dry and great. Typically, steam bending enables for somewhat thicker wood to be utilized. So, drying will likely consider a handful of times.

Due to the fact of the dimension constraints of a steam box, you may possibly not be ready to match the bent board in for re-steaming. If this is the case, you will have to start above with a new board if the first a single isn’t what you wished.

Critical Be aware: Above bend the board to account for it bending back again somewhat right after it’s dry.

How to Bend Wood in 4 Easy Steps
Image Credit: piramit sorat, Shutterstock


Wooden bending has been about for hundreds of years. And the approaches for undertaking it—while they have enhanced and gotten better—haven’t modified that a lot. The methods described previously mentioned are two of the most widespread, but there are others. For illustration, kerf-cutting requires only a circular observed and wooden glue to bend. It is also attainable to use chemical substances to make the wood pliable for bending. Neither of these strategies is quite as best or functional as utilizing drinking water or steam, however.

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