Wood Bending Tips and Tricks

Wood bending can be accomplished in a variety of ways and is a useful technique when building an item that requires a bend or a curve.

Types of Bending Methods
Wood is bent using 4 standard methods: kerf cutting, steam bending, microwave steaming and laminated wood bending. Of these methods, kerf cutting is the simplest method. This is done by cutting slots into the the side of the wood and gluing the gaps together. This method is prevalent in older homes and is preferred by many installers.

Steam Bending
Steam bending is more effective than the other methods for bending wood. In steam bending, wood is placed in a box that is filled with steam in order to create moisture. The steam’s moisture is what creates the bend.

Tips to Bending Wood
Wood is the most durable when dry and cool and weakens when either heat or moisture are added. Applying amounts of water with a rag or sprayer to soak the wood or exposing it to excessive heat helps make it easier to manipulate into a form.

Small pieces may be placed in a microwave to create the shape and laminate pieces are typically glued together to create a form.