advice please

I need to make the top part of a chair, where the spindles conect into. I need to bend a 1X6X24 inch board. what is the best way to do this without making the board snap. do I cut the shape then bend or bend and cut? How do I bend. How would you make it. Thanks for any advice.
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Two methods are possible. My first choice would be to cut the board into thin strips (3/16" or so), glue up the strips and clamp into a pre-formed fixture arced to what you want. Second would be to steam bend it. DAGS (do a google search) for both. Dave

do
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Not knowing all of the specifics, but if I understand correctly I would not bend at all (unless you were working with plys and want that look). If you have a bandsaw or access to one, why not just use thicker stock and cut the piece out of the thicker stock instead of trying to bend it? In other words cut both "shapes" and eliminate trying to bend. Let me know if I'm misinterpreting something here... Good luck with your project. Ben
**If you need to bend, cut it into thinner strips first, then glue up strips using a jig with the right curve and clamp.
On 2/25/04 10:42 PM, in article uVe%b.161$ snipped-for-privacy@read1.cgocable.net,

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I don't have access to a band saw. I have never tried to steam bent anything before. I am trying to repair a set of chairs. I have made the spindles for the back, but the top for the spindles I have to make the one for the last chair. The chairs are made of maple. The back has an arch. I tried to wet the wood and bend it, (bad things happened, it split). I tried to cut a piece on the table saw into strips, That did not work well either. any other suggestions? Thanks
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The good answers have been given. Reduce a piece of thick stock if it's a shallow curve, stack laminate (dry) around a form if not.
Unless you have access to wood which you know has never been near a kiln and is _very_ straight-grained, bending's not likely to work out well.

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You're back to steam bending. It's not hard, really.
Do a search on it, give it a shot. You'll probably also find out why just wetting the wood didn't help.
If you don't want to do it, call a pro and pay a few bucks.
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Mike Patterson Please remove the spamtrap to email me.
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Jeff Miller's classic chairmaking book, at your library? Because it seems to be out of print...
Chairmaking & Design, ISBN: 1561581585
Or the $20 video of the same topic, by the same author, which isn't. Check the taunton press website.
He discusses the various engineering challenges for wooden chairs quite clearly, and runs though a series of sample projects. There is a lot to learn there, even if you decide never to build one or more yourself. You will respect those who did.
Patriarch
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Steam-bending is the way to go. A 1X6 24" long with about 2 to 3 inches displacement is easy to do. Making the steambox and bending form will take you longer to do than the actual bend. Steam one hour, bend, and let it sit a day to dry out. The only tricky part is where you have to drill spindle holes and shape the back to final dimensions in the bent piece.
Here's a website with good stuff: http://www.megspace.com/lifestyles/njmarine/Steam.html

do
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