Bending Wood

We are building a new home and I need to trim out the inside of our large round top window. The window is 4'x7' overall, but the round portion of the window is 4 feet wide with a 2' radius round top.
We are using cedar trim in our home, so I want the round trim to match the rest of the wood.
I do not have a way to steam wood for bending, so I'm guessing I'll have to run several cedar boards through my planer into thin boards I can bend (hopefully without cracking). Then I'll have to laminate them somehow so that I can end up with a 3/4" thickness (part of the edge will show).
Am I approaching this correctly? How thin should I plane the boards for bending? What's the best way to laminate them?
Would there be any problem laminating the thin layer's in place? In other words, can I bend and install the first board, then bend and install the second, and so on...? It seems this would ensure the arch would fit the opening perfectly, and eliminate having to build some kind of bending form.
Is there another option I'm not thinking of?
Thanks,
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Tom Plamann has done a lot of curved work. Maybe you can pick up some ideas from his site. http://plamann.com/sys-tmpl/door /
Curved mantle glue up starts here. http://plamann.com/sys-tmpl/mantle/view.nhtml?profile=mantle&UID 018
HTH.
-- Mark
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I think you have selected an approach that is a heck of a lot of work. Having the grain of the wood parallel the arc probably won't add THAT much to the esthetics.
Why not just edge glue segments of 4-inch wide finished boards into a blank for your arc; scribe the outlines of the arc; cut it out with a saber saw and clean it up with a spokeshave?
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This is a good method. I would use 3/4" stock wider than the finished trim and miter it into several pieces approximating the finished radius. I would use biscuits or slipnes on the miters and then use a jig saw or band saw to cut the finished radius. Use the spokeshave or a spindle sander to clean it up.

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Bubba,

I did something similar to this for the exterior trim and it worked well (I used pocket screws on the backside to hold the trim together tightly). I'll probably use the same approach for the interior casing around the window.
Phisherman,

I'll probably try a simple bending approach to see how that works and if that fails I'll probably use something similar to what you mention. I actually thought of this approach early on, but thought bending thin layers might be easier. Live and learn... Ha. Ha.
Thanks for the input everyone!
Anthony Watson snipped-for-privacy@pacifier.com
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A length of PVC pipe and a kettle is unobtainable for some reason?
djb
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2003 17:21:31 -0600, Dave Balderstone

Electric tea kettles are apparently unobtainable for those poor Yanks. At least, that's what he friend of mine says, and she ought to know as she exports coffee and often gets requests for her to send a kettle along. Maybe they don't need them since that deplorable incident of juvenile vandalism in 1773.
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" for real email address
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Luigi Zanasi wrote:

What does an eye-talian care anyway? :)
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 02:37:44 -0500, Silvan

If you lived in 13' deep snow for 9 months of the year you'd know. </poetic license>
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 02:37:44 -0500, Silvan

That's a *kanuckistani* one-eye-talian to you, buddy!
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" for real email address
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brought forth from the murky depths:

Party on, duuuuude!
http://www.google.com/search?q=Electric+tea+kettle 54k returns.
Alternatively, a non-electric kettle and hotplate would work.
ALT2: My Aroma 10-cup electric rice cooker could be converted to turn a gallon of water into steam with a retrofit lid.
ALT3: Order/make a still. (Jes doan put no corn it 'er.)
ALT4: I picked up a carpet steamer for $12 last year at a garage sale. It puts out about 5 times as much steam as the little hand held models.
Many of the new electric kettles shut off when they steam, so the new safety features make these newfangled kitchen items useless for this porpoise. <sniff, sniff. There was something fishy about that statement.>
Or for only $900, you can have this: http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3729-AA.shtml
http://www.google.com/search?q=Electric+steamer
http://www.google.com/search?q=industrial+steamer
Perhaps HerHusband should review his/her level of creativity. I got all this (including a trip to my library online to order a rice cookbook) in 15 minutes.
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Wallpaper steamers produce more steam than most kettles. Popular with folks I know that do lots of steam bending.
Mike
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 17:43:04 GMT, "Michael Daly"

It is handy because it only needs one connection, at the far end of the hose. You can tape it in to whatever steam box you have rigged.
Rodney Myrvaagnes J36 Gjo/a
"In this house we _obey_ the laws of thermodynamics." --Homer Simpson
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scribbled

Can you get this at any place that sells appliances?
http://www.canadiantire.ca/assortments/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id%34374303514305&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id 08474395348027&bmUID71417893048&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id5524443249459&assortment=primary
Everybody I know has one or one like it. Note the safety feature: it turns off when it boils dry. They are extremely useful, not just for bending wood. Filter coffee, tea, jello, and even pasta. I get my pasta water boiling much more quickly by only half-filling the pot, and running the kettle at the same time. As soon as the water in the kettle boils, pour it in the pot. I am curious: do you have one? Are they a common, easily available item or was my friend right?
There is, of course, also the LVT version:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?SID=&ccurrency=2&pageB176&category=1%2C45866
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" for real email address
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brought forth from the murky depths:

Newp.
Yes, they're common down here. Most probably shut off when they start to boil, though. I don't have one so I can't say fer sher. Mine's a stovetop model.

That's definitely his best bet.
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Lots of electric hot plates and tea kettles for cheap at Goodwill or Salvation Army.
wrote:

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wrote:

I'd use 1/4" thin stock, steam it using a PVP pipe (inexpensive), and place it into a form built from MDF to dry for several days. The curve should be slightly tighter than what you need to allow for some spring back. You can use an old tea kettle and a hot plate to generate the steam. When the laminates are dry, glue them together and allow to dry again. Another method, perjhaps better, is to cut the cedar in arc pieces, then half lap (or scarf joint) them together.
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Some people make steam boxes out of insulation (like styrofoam). Make sure that there is a way for the steam to escape so that you get a good flow over the wood.
Cedar is not a good wood for steam bending, so be prepared for a lot of breakage even if you use 1/4 inch stock. The larger the radius, the more likely you are to have success. You'll have to get really straight grain with no runout. It would be best to use a strap to back the bent pieces. You shouldn't need to keep them on a form for several days, they will keep their shape after they cool a while.
Mike
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saw this on modern masters a while ago. they made bent laminated beams for outdoor furniture.
lots of thin slats. plywood form for the inside with lots of large holes drilled into the form about 2" from the edge. they used epoxy and lots of clamps to get the tack laminated onto the form. let sit for a couple of days. i think they started with 1/4" slats but i don't recall what the wood was.
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Yesterday I bent my first piece of wood for the curved inside jamb of our 4'x7' round top window. I planed a piece of pine down to a 1/4" thickness and carefully bent it into position inside the window framing. Because I was only using this piece of wood to establish the curve for cutting the drywall, insulating, etc. it didn't have to be pretty. So, I screwed it to the framing members in a few places, adding a shim where necessary to ensure that it had the curve I needed. My wife and I are both very happy with the way it turned out.
When the time comes to install the actual trim, I'll use the same approach, using two more 1/4" layers, and adding glue between the layers. I only need a 1/2" total thickness to meet up with the window frame, and leaving a 1/4" reveal around the edge should mask any differences in the layers.
Thanks for the feedback!
Anthony
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