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Bending Wood Techniques – In A Microwave?

bend wood photoThere are many ways to bend wood. But one thing is for certain, you have to have steam to make the wood flexible. And yes, it can be done in the microwave. Of course this will limit the size of the wood you are bending, so that is why I have compiled a number of videos on this post for you to check out. But first, let’s get a little info on bending it first.

If you have seen woodworking with curves, bends, or circles, usually it will come from steaming the material before shaping it, especially thicker stock, and shorter pieces. Maybe you question how it is done. Well, it actually isn’t that difficult if you have a little bit of a setup, and some ingenuity.

You have to set up a jig first, and once the wood is steamed, then you can bend it to shape to the jig, let it cool, then take it off over time for it to stay stiff. Bending it isn’t the time consuming part, setting the jig up can be though. But once you have the pattern, especially if you have numerous bends to make on a number of different pieces, you will be set.

You can get the steam from various places. You may have to think outside the box though. One thing I noticed a lot of woodworkers will do is put the wood to be bent in a large schedule 40 or 80 piece of PVC, cap one end and cap the other with a tube going into the pipe from the steam source. Here is a video below where a man is showing you his method using a wallpaper steamer, and the video below that will be the microwave trick!

As you will note in the video below, again, this bending is done in a microwave with smaller pieces. I actually have thought about using a clothes steamer that my wife has for my bending. I just have to convince her it is going to be brought back to her safely and in tact!


DO YOU HAVE a woodworking project or tip that you would like to submit to WooDesigner and get it added to our site? Then go to the contact tab below OR at the top of this page and let me know. Just make sure you are able to give us step by step instructions on it, as well as images as you see here, and we will put it on this site just like you have read on this page! As long as it is clear and concise like you just saw, it will go up. Your name will be credited to the project, as where you live. (Please include that.) Also include the type of lumber you use for the design. We look forward to hearing from you! (Take note that the tip and images and instructions have to become ours. I do hate that so much but in today’s society so many will sue, and yes, you can sue for a lot of money over images.) The tips will need to include YOUR IMAGES that you take. They can’t be images from somewhere online. Remember, we have to go through these images and if they aren’t your own, we will not be able to use them. This is illegal and it won’t be tolerated and you will be banned from this community by being blocked. We can get sued for this, and just one bad apple can ruin our community.

Ted Leger –


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Photo by seier+seier

Updated: December 11, 2014 — 10:22 pm
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