Bending Oak

What would be the best way to bend a piece of 3/4" X 2 1/2" oak. This would be for the seat frame of a chair. The two straight rails would be about 18" apart with the curve across the back. Thanks, Jim
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James wrote:

Steam it or split it into 1/4 inch strips bend and glue together
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On 12/26/2011 8:55 AM, James wrote:

Either "steam bend", or do a "bent lamination",
Neither one is a straight forward process, and both will necessitate some jig building and advance preparation.
Do a google search on both terms and you should find ample information to do either one.
The other option is to cut the curved portion out of a thicker piece of wood, like this chair back rail:
https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopArtsCraftsChairReproduction2006#5651146189930046946
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Swingman wrote:

Roy Underhill's Woodwright Shop built a chair not so long ago in which steam-bending was done. As was suggested above, so far as the bending is concerned, most of the work is in the jig. Several years worth of his shows are online.

https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopArtsCraftsChairReproduction2006#5651146189930046946
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I'm thinking he wants the back board of the seat frame, itself, to be bent, not the backrest/leg support to be bent. Caned seats often have curved seat frames and the curves are usually simply cut from straight boards. Even Sam Maloof cut/carved/molded curves onto some of his wood pieces, rather than bending boards to conform. For that small of board, bending is an overkill operation for that application, especially if other connecting boards are not bent/curved.
Cut a straight board to the curve you want, otherwise you have the 2 options mentioned above: Steam bending or laminate bending. Also, to my knowledge, air dried wood is most appropriate for bending, than kiln dried wood.
Sonny
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Green wood is even easier to bend.
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Regarding cut from thicker piece, I learned a little trick from Sam Maloof (GRHS). Kind of hard to describe in words but I will try.
Assume you had a 3/4" thick board standing on edge and you cut a curve out of one face of it to make it a seat back. At the center that piece has only maybe 1/8" thickness left. However, if you take the cutout piece and move it to the back and laminate it onto the front piece you now have a curved piece with an equal 3/4 thickness all along.
Not sure it makes sense in words but the man was a gentle and talented genius. Just one of his many tricks.
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SonomaProducts.com, Very nice! Kerry
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Thx
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https://picasaweb.google.com/111355467778981859077/EWoodShopArtsCraftsChairReproduction2006#5651146189930046946 Another option is to kerf the back - this can allow very tight curves if you space the kerfs close and cut within about 1/8" of the front. However, you only want to do this if the back kerf side doesn't show and if you don't need the full structural strength of 3/4" stock
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For one piece with a gentle curve, laminate. Not sure a steamer is worth the trouble.
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Just to be clear, did you SPLIT a 3/4" oak billet? If this is a sawn board, in dried oak, steam-bending is unlikely to be satisfactory.
Green split wood is the ideal starting point for bending (you can hand-plane it to flatten and adjust thickness). If you must use sawn boards, there's gonna be a lot of selection and maybe some failures.
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