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!


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Updated: February 16, 2017 — 11:57 pm
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